Well, I went and test drove the '99 today. BALLS!! She screams. All new BFGoodrich tires, freshly rebuilt tranny, fully detailed inside and out. Every possible option short of the chrome rims (if I buy it it will surely have chromies of some sort as soon as the snow melts in the spring). Trunk accessories kit is still there and complete.
As for the drivetrain, right when I put it in gear it had a kind of a clinging whir that sped up and slowed down with the rpms. I couldn't pin-point it, but it sounded like it might be coming from the tranny area (tranny is still under warranty). Engine is fully detailed, so I won't be able take pride in rejuvenating it like I did the engine bay of my 1994 when I bought it.
For the body there is quite a bit of hairline scratches that are more than surface scratches, but the majority should come out with some rubbing compound and some claybarring. The drivers side has quite a few door dings, but the PDR guy should be able to have them all cleaned out for around $100.
Inside is very clean with no wear spots on the floor mats, carpet, seats (side bolters on the lumbar seats are like they were on day 1).
THe suspension is the electronically adjustable suspension, which is not as tight as the suspension in my 1994 with 206,000, and the 1994 only has the FE1 suspension. But the difference in ride could just be the two different suspension packages. But still it doesn't seem as tight as the suspension in my friends 1995 SLE with the electronically adjustable suspension which has 209,xxx miles on it.
Otherwise the car seems fairly well kept. Engine runs smoothly and without hesitation and throttle response at any speed is very quick and thorough. Has balls to the wall for power. I'd say it'* quicker than my SLE, but not by much yet there is alot more power to be gained in here than in my SLE.
So the problems are:
Above average hairline scratches.
10-15 small door dings on drivers side
clinking whir that speeds moves up and down with rpms coming from tranny area (? only made the noise while at low speeds of 1-15 mph so I can't be sure where it is coming from)
power antenna doesn't work
I talked to the guy about price and he said $5600 is pretty much, the bottom dollar, but being it'* a company car he said he just want'* to get rid of it since they are buying a whole new fleet. I just wish I had known what else he had before this morning -he just sold a black 2000 SSEi with 157,000 miles for $6300!!!!!! Damned I would have been all over that one if I had known about it. :(