I think he chose the 93 anyways.97 mostly likely has the smaller instrument cluster, drum brakes and a 7.5 pumpkin. The smaller cluster I personally don't like the look of, drum brakes speak for themself's less stopping power and harder/more time consuming to change brake shoes, and the 7.5 pumpkin isn't as well built. Also the 3.8NA is something like 140hp but it's in a 3700lb car so to me that's a very weak engine in a fairly heavy car meaning you have to use more throttle to move at same speeds as other cars, causing the engine to work harder just leads to more failures. as mentioned the head gaskets are an issue.
The 5.0 has a better looking cluster, most likely 4 wheel disc, 8.8 pumpkin and more hp (no it's not a massive hp gain) but it suits the weight of the car better. Personally I don't like the AOD or the 4r70w transmissions (unless rebuilt and upgraded) the exhaust system has a better sound (when slightly upgraded with better mufflers)