Since it was introduced in 1964, the Ford Mustang has been a classic among car enthusiasts, and it is easy to understand why people everywhere have fallen in love with this car. Although the Mustang is still in production today, people enjoy the nostalgia that comes with owning a classic car, but should you buy a classic Mustang?
When it comes to classic cars, the Ford Mustang is not a bad car to own. They hold their value well, are easy to maintain, and are a ton of fun to drive. However, buyers should make sure to inspect the car fully before buying it.
Continue reading to learn more about owning a Ford Mustang, including the top five reasons to own one and what to look for when buying a classic car.
5 Reasons to Own a Classic Ford Mustang
You probably have your own reasons for wanting to be the owner of a classic Mustang, but here are a few more reasons to pull the trigger on that purchase.
#1. They Make a Good Investment
Although you might not be buying the car with plans to sell anytime soon, knowing that the vehicle you are buying will hold its value through the coming years is always reassuring. And when it comes to classic cars, the Ford Mustang holds its value well. In fact, according to CAREDGE, the Ford Mustang will depreciate by up to 43% in the first five years before it levels off and begins to hold its value.
In addition to holding its value, the Mustang is a highly sought-after car. If you have the knowledge and skill to be able to find a cheap car and restore it, some years can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, this should not be done by just anyone, as some repairs can significantly reduce the value of the car.
#2. They Are Inexpensive to Maintain (if you’re a wrencher)
People often wish they could avoid hefty fees by repairing their car themselves but understanding driving systems like radar and knowing how onboard computers make that almost impossible. Classic cars are much easier to work on because they were built in a much simpler time—before technology became king.
Although maintaining a classic car can be a chore, the Ford Mustang is one of the easier classic vehicles to maintain. Parts are typically easy to find (unless you need a super rare original piece) and are often inexpensive. Plus, if you have a wrench and a willingness to get dirty, you can do most of the work yourself.
#3. They Are Intergenerational
There are some classic cars that only a mother could love, but the Ford Mustang is a car that is loved by all. Even those with a grudge against Fords can agree that the Mustang is a sweet-looking ride. If you own a classic Mustang, expect to be approached by people of all different ages expressing interest in your ride.
#4. They Are Fun to Drive
Ah, the good old days before safety features and restrictions. The days when cars were mean, powerful, and meant to be driven hard. Speaking of mean cars, the Ford Mustang is impressive. With some models (such as the 1965 Ford Mustang SPLITR) being able to go from 0 to 60 in just five seconds and others (such as the 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt) reaching speeds above 150 mph, classic Mustangs are just begging to be driven.
#5. You Will Own a Piece of History
There are several good reasons to own a classic car, especially if that car is a Mustang, but just knowing that you own a piece of history makes it worth your while. The nostalgia that these cars provoke in people is amazing, and the stories you will hear from people who owned a vehicle like yours “back in the day” will surely bring a smile to your face.
What Should I Know Before Buying a Classic Mustang?
Imagine buying a car for $18,000 dollars only to find out it was only worth $1,500 in its current condition. How do people find themselves in this situation? They do not know what to look for when inspecting the vehicle, or they rely on outward appearances only.
Unfortunately, people have become exceptionally good at shining up classic cars just enough to hide the horror story underneath. Find out how you can avoid this type of situation by learning what to look for when buying your new/old car.
#1. Research the Vehicle
Because there was not a single standard for VIN numbers before 1981, many older vehicles do not have a typical history report. However, it may still be possible to find out some information with a bit of leg work.
You will need to know key facts about the car, such as the VIN, make, model, and manufacturing location. Then try calling the manufacturer and the DMV where the owner of the car lives to see if you can turn up any information about the car.
#2. Check for Rust
This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised to find out how many ways there are to disguise rust. Check under the vehicle. Has the owner recently applied undercoating? This may be a sign that they were trying to cover a massive rust problem. Check areas that people might not normally think someone would look, like the trunk and floorboards, to see if you can feel any holes under the carpet. You can also look in areas where parts connect to the frame, such as shocks, to see if you notice rust.
#3. Check the Doors and Windows
While inspecting the car, be sure to check that the doors and windows operate properly. Does the door open easily? Does it stick when you try to open it? Does the door line up correctly (this can be a sign of prior accident involvement)? Check the windows as well.
Check that they all go up and down multiple times to make sure they are not off track. In addition to making sure the windows work, you should check for areas that may be leaking. This is especially true around the windshield.
#4. Check Lights and Electrical Components
Check the headlights, taillights, and blinkers to make sure they work as they should. Look at the headlights to ensure they are not foggy or leaking. You should also check that all the dash lights are working properly as well. You do not want to be tracking down an electrical problem after you buy, so be sure to check for those things before you shake hands.
#5. Check for Repairs
Repairs are not always a sign of trouble if you know they were done, but repairs that the seller is trying to hide might signal a bigger problem. Additionally, when buying a classic car, it is important to understand what parts of the vehicle are still original and what parts are not because it makes a significant difference in the vehicle’s overall value. Some of the ways to spot repair work are:
- Make sure all the body panels line up
- Make sure the trunk, hood, and doors are flush when closed
- Look for areas where the paint does not match in color or texture
- Feel for areas that are not flush on the car
- Check the reflection of the vehicle for unevenness and smoothness
- Check trim and wires for evidence of work (such as overspray)
- Look for new parts (such as bolts)
- Look for flood damage
- Check the rockers for repair work
- Look for peeling paint
#6. Check the Door Plate
Classic Mustangs between the years of 65 and 73 should have a door data plate that holds a bunch of information about the car. This includes things like body and interior trim color, body type, and production date (among other things). Looking for this information can help you to spot any inconsistencies in the vehicle.
#7. Test Drive
Sometimes the seller may try to talk you into allowing them to drive you while testing driving the vehicle. However, whenever possible, you should try to be the one behind the wheel. If a seller refuses a test drive, they may be trying to hide a problem.
If you can drive the vehicle yourself, make sure to check that the vehicle accelerates as it should, brakes as it should, and does not vibrate or make any funky noises.
#8. Ask for Service Records
A reputable seller will have no problem offering paperwork for the vehicle, including the title and any service records. Ask for documents detailing any prior history, maintenance, and repair work. Also, if any of the vehicle’s parts have warranties on them, it might be a clever idea to ask for this information as well.
#9. Pick a Professionals Brain
Sometimes it’s okay to take a gamble on a cheaper vehicle because you know that even if the vehicle has something wrong, you could get most of your money back. However, if you are spending thousands of dollars, it is a promising idea to ask for a second opinion.
Ask the seller if they would be willing to meet you at a local garage to have the vehicle inspected. If you are buying a vehicle that the seller claims is all original, ask for advice from someone who knows what to look for on a classic car. This may sound like a hassle, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
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