One-Year Update – To Buy a Special or Not?
Well, it’s been a year since purchasing the Special, and it was definitely the right decision. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I thought I’d add a little information for those LH buyers considering whether to buy a Special or not. Is it really “special”? Based on my experience, I’d say it is, and you should get the Special if you have the option. Here are “my” Pros & Cons:
- Feels and sounds faster
- Takes the bends better
- More positive steering feel
- Better/quicker stopping
- No wood trim
- Headlights are fantastic!
- Wheels look more up-to-date
- Special trim (including door sills) adds to the look
- Fuel economy a little lower
- Some say seats are harder
- Ground clearance might cause more bottoming out/scraping
- No wood trim (depends on what you like)
- Only comes in a limited color pallet (e.g., no Inferno Red Special)
I hope these thoughts help you in your decision about whether a Special is the way to go or not. Let me know if you have any questions on your search. I’d be glad to help.
My Special story begins long before actually acquiring this beauty in April of 2014. Although I liked the first-generation Eagle Vision, I ended up buying a new 1995 Intrepid as my first LH car. It was totaled six years later and was replaced with a 1999 LHS (Gen 2). I liked the “second-generation Eagle” (the 300M) better, but this used LHS was more affordable. When that needed to be replaced in 2006, I found a 1999 Intrepid ES with half the miles, which was a great car! My son still drives it.
I guess I needed to try them all out, so the Intrepid was replaced with my 2004 Inferno Red 300M in early 2010. I had considered some Specials in that selection process, but the Inferno Red M stood out at that time. Love that color! The only second-gen model left was the Special, and when I saw a pristine version available for sale, I went after it. It took a lot of time communicating with the previous owner to come to an arrangement, but after about six months of staying with it, I finally drove off with my 2002 Bright-Silver Metallic 300M Special.
This is not just your ordinary Special. Although it was a 12-year-old Western Pennsylvania car, it never saw any snow. It never saw an impact wrench on the lugs. Throughout its life, it was only driven as a vacation car in the summer. So, I bought it with less than 19,000 miles on the odometer. It still smelled new! The previous owner babied this car as he did all of his vehicles. There weren’t even any scratches on the bottom of the front fascia, and for those of you with Specials, you know that’s amazing! I’m sorry to say that I can no longer make that claim even though I have been very careful with it.
The window sticker and other paperwork came with it along with the Chrysler sales booklets from that year. Although the car did not come (from the factory) with a spoiler, the previous owner added a Chrysler unit very early on. So, with the exception of side air bags, I think it is fully optioned. In fact, it even has the cold-weather package. Not sure why since it sat in a climate-controlled garage every winter, but it may come in handy for me.
In spite of its beauty and rarity, my Special is my daily driver. I don’t have the garage and driveway space or the funds to have a summer-only vehicle. I know that probably offends some of you, but it’s a great drive, and I want to enjoy it all year. Besides, after taking almost 20 years to climb from a base-model 1995 Intrepid to this top-of-the-line Special, I want to be behind the wheel as much as possible. I’m looking forward to driving it for years to come. Thanks to this website/forum, taking care of it will be less of a challenge.