144 Miles: 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Dale Earnhardt Signature Series

They say that legends will live forever, and to many thousands, if not millions, of fans, the legend of Dale Earnhardt has lived on well beyond his sad passing in 2001. Whether a car like this 2002 Monte Carlo would be considered to be a fitting tribute to one of the all-time greats of NASCAR is something that will undoubtedly be debated for years to come. For those of us here at Barn Finds, this is not the first Dale Earnhardt Monte Carlo that we’ve seen. It also isn’t the lowest-mileage example, and it is not even close to being the most expensive. That honor falls to a car that was covered by Bill Owens in this excellent article. This particular car, with a genuine 144 miles on its odometer, is located in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $17,500 for the Monte Carlo.

As befits a tribute car released to recognize a great who was known for carrying the famous “3” racing number, the Earnhardt Edition was limited to a production run of 3,333 cars. These sold out fairly quickly, and some speculators squirreled them away in the hope that they would appreciate over the years. In reality, this hasn’t happened. With all of the options that were ordered with this car, it rolled off the showroom floor at a price of around $29,000. Compare that with the BIN, and this one hasn’t been a great investment. Having said that, the panels and paint are in the sort of condition that you would expect from a car with less than 150 miles on the clock. The Black paint and Silver “Ground Effect”  package looks striking, while the original alloy wheels are in perfect condition. In essence, there is nothing that can be faulted with regard to the external condition and presentation of the car.

The spotless presentation continues inside the Monte Carlo. The Black and Pewter leather seats are perfect, while the original signature mats appear to be sitting unused in the trunk. The interior trim and equipment levels leave little doubt that this was a car that was squarely aimed more at comfort than performance. A sunroof, air conditioning, power functions for the windows, locks, seats, trunk release, and mirrors, are complimented by a premium stereo, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and a multi-function trip computer. The front seats are even heated to make life more pleasant on those colder days.

Getting the Monte Carlo up and moving is the 3,791cc V6 engine, which sends 200hp to the front wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission. It should be no surprise to learn that the car also features power steering, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and traction control. Naturally, performance isn’t even in the same league as that of a true NASCAR, but considering the power output and a vehicle weight of 3,391lbs, the fact that it is capable of breaking into the 16-second bracket for the ¼ mile actually isn’t too bad. One big question is when the Chevrolet last fired a shot in anger. If the car has been sitting for an extended period, there may be some work required before the car could be considered roadworthy.

As was pointed out in the previous article that I referred to earlier, this edition of the Monte Carlo SS has not proven to be a great investment for those speculators who purchased the cars new. Vehicles with higher mileages now struggle to sell for $10,000, but prices in the low-to-mid $20,000 range can be achieved by a patient seller with a low-mileage example on the market. Whether these are a car that will ever experience a significant increase in value in the future is quite hard to tell, but when you look at the mileage and condition of this one and compare it to other offerings in the market at present, it actually seems to stack up quite well.

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Comments

  1. Angrymike

    I loved the look of these years Monte’s, but the front drive turned me completely off. I was gifted a regular Monte a few years ago, locked engine, once I dug in the rot underneath was to bad. It went to the junkyard.

    3
    • John

      I had a 2002 bought new put on 171000 miles and it rotted out loved the car would buy it again

      2
      • JoeNYWF64

        I didn’t think any cars from this century rotted out like the older ones, but now that i think about it, i don’t see these on the road anymore. As for most other front wheel drivers i can’t tell WHAT decade they are from, let alone who makes them.
        At least this car is distinctive – & 2 door.

  2. John

    Price is right one sold this June at Barrett Jackson for 16000 plus buyers premium
    Great car loved mine rotted out in New England weather

  3. Eric

    Too bad they didn’t put in the 240 HP supercharged 3.8 liter from the Park Avenue Ultra just to give it a little bit more power – since it IS the Dale Earnhardt model.

    7
  4. Camaro guy

    They did for the 2004 edition of this car i have one

    3
    • ERIC

      Nice! I didn’t know that!

  5. CCFisher

    Destined to live in the shadows of the later supercharged and V8 models.

  6. jerry

    I remember tractor trailer loads of these coming into a big werehouse in scarborough ontario canada where they were turned into the above cars as monte carlos were built in oshawa ontario ,once done they were shipped to the rail yard in toronto to where ever

    3
  7. Del

    A new Earnhardt for 18 grand.

    Another good deal

    1
  8. Will Fox

    I think this is the same one I’ve seen in Hemmings for $22K for YEARS now. If so, I see the owner has had the good sense to come down a few bucks in price, but it’s still a Chevy, and one that the factory built thousands of at the time–just not all of them a tribute to Dale Earnhardt. It’s just a glorified Chevy Lumina with 2 doors is all.

    1
  9. Tom Bell

    Possibly the last good looking 2-door sedan. I wish it had been built as a rear drive car. That, a V8 and a stick would have made a nice latter day muscle car but GM markets to the masses.

    2
  10. Del

    I had one new.

    It was bullit proof except for the mass airflow centre. Which went twice.

    Good car but did get rust

  11. w9bag Member

    IMO, any Monte Carlo built after 1977, ceased to be a Monte Carlo.

    1
  12. Joe Spinelli

    had this engine in my 98 buick regal great durably reliable motor loved it

    1
  13. The Chucker

    Based on the commentary, I’m definitely in the minority around here. I’d walk right past this, yet would totally geek out driving that fake 356 Porsche with the fake patina. Different strokes I guess…..

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