what to look for when buying a classic ?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by drichard, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm looking to buy a classic Mustang, preferably a coupe of the early years. I'm ona budget, but not a mechanic, which means I can afford neither a fully restorated one nor a project. Can I get a decent driver for around $5k ? And what should I be careful of ? I know of the rust problem, I guess I can spot an engine that will fail in few miles, but what else is important ?

    Thank you for helping a classic newby...
  2. I assume this will be a casual driver, and your 2001 will be your daily?

    Take it from me, if you are not mechanically inclined you do not want to buy a $5000 car. You may find a decent 65/66 6cyl coupe, but that's it. I do most of my own work, and when I started my search 5 years ago for exactly what I could afford, (5k also) I was very disappointed and realized I would easily spend another 5k just making it look real sharp much less also running sharp. I then decided to buy the best car I could afford that I could use right away, and I did it with the help of www.jjbest.com. I spent over twice as much initially but not out of pocket, and defineitly saved money in the long run. You would be surprised how much better of a car you can get for that range, not to mention way less headaches. You'll only have to part with 2k of your 5 up front, and even if you wanted to finance it for 5 years it would cost you around $150 a month. I paid it off in 1 1/2 years and saved alot with the simple interest set up.

    Trust me, it'll take you quite some time to cherry pick a local car within 5k and you will still have no gaurantee's. Likely you will experience a string of repairs begining with your first inspection, be into it for another few grand with little enjoyment, and find your self loosing interest and selling it for a loss.

    Also, get a set of ford manuals for what ever year you choose and learn how to do the basicis yourself. If you have any common sense these cars are not hard, almost everything is a nut and bolt set up and what you can not diagnose we can help point out the problem and the manual can help you fix it.

    Just think through all your options is all I'm saying, this can be a very fun hobby and obviously the coool factor has already caught your attention. What you don't know is how many people buy stangs for the same reason and leave do to headaches, poor purchases and have a bad taste of the experience in their mouth for a long time.
  3. make sure the doors shut well and the windows seal good. it would be nice if the frame rails were rust free. shock towers are important, make sure they are in great shape and not patched. make sure that the front windshield and cowl don't leak.

    don't buy a car from ebay, or any where else for that matter, unless it is in a location where you can check the car out first. there is just no substitute for seeing the car in person, preferably on at least 2 different occasions, before buying it.
  4. I just picked up a 65 6/200 for $3.500 in Phoenix.
    I knew going into it that I was going to replace the front end, engine, and rear. My plan was to get one with no rust (the magnet test) and the interior in good shape. Then spend around $4.000 grand to get the drive train like new. I would not trust any moving parts from a 40 year old vehicle.
    Front drum brakes are a deffinitly replacement!!!!
  5. Caught the Bug, :D
    Being on the west coast you should be able to find something
    to start with that will be a good candidate.

    Look for a low owner car if possiable[3 or less]
    they are more likley to have been taken care of.
    Take a good look thru the interior of the car, look for missing or miss matched screws and panels not properly aligned, it will show tell tale signs of someones been in there.

    Before you buy, take it someplace that you can put it on a lift to get a good look under and around it. you will be suprised on how getting a differant view
    of it shows prev unseen body damage.
    While it's up check the sub frames, pans and running gear.

    If your still interested in the car you have a better idea of what you would be willing to spend on it.

    Good Hunting.