Hey everyone. I apologize if this is not in the correct thread, but Iím looking to purchase a mustang in the next few months, most likely a 67 or 68.
Iím new to this world, and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to fill me in on any big red flags I should be looking for as I do my research.
Any help offered is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Hi, welcome to the Forum. I can't provide you mustang-specific advice, as I've just recently bought one myself, but I have bought and sold my fair share of classics, so I'll give some general advice, hope its helpful.
1) Make sure you love how the car rides, feels and "fits" you - don't just fall in love with how it looks. Classic cars are great and all, but they generally lack most of the creature comforts modern cars offer - even basic things like seats that recline, steering wheels that have tilt and telescope, can be rare depending on the model. There's nothing worse than getting a classic car, that becomes a lawn ornament, because you just cant stand being behind the wheel. I'm 6'1, long torso, long arms....sort of a lanky thing that can't ever seem to find a dress shirt that fits....so I've lowered seats, moved them back, padded them up for lumbar support, etc - but you need to assess whether you have those talents and time. The allure of a classic car is is strong, but remember that its behind the wheel that the magic really happens, so make sure your back, legs and arms love the car as much as your eyes - or at least take note of the mods you'll need to make.
2) Even if you are looking for a top-tier restored example, go armed with data and a check list. I usually buy the classic (no pun intended) 20-footer, but regardless of condition, I take my spreadsheet and I score the car. It makes sure I don't get carried away and make a dumb decision, and it helps remind me to check things. Once you are face-to-face with your 67 or 68 potential dream car, you need to adopt a logical approach and purge the emotion - they'll be time for that later, if its the right car, because if you get lost in the "idea" of that car, and how "cool" it will be, but its the wrong car....you'll have plenty of emotions in the other direction. Once somebody more knowledgeable on 67/8 mustangs chimes in, you may be able to add specific areas to check and examine to the list.
3) Decide what you want, determine how much you are willing to pay, THEN go looking and stick to your plan. Its very easy to start making exceptions and compromises once you get into the search - you start out demanding "no rust" and pretty soon you're researching the best way to replace a quarter panel. Its fine to adjust expectations, but make sure they are adjustments to the reality of the market, not compromises to make the car you found one state over fit your needs - square pegs, round holes, etc. You will probably find many cars, only a few will really be right, and fewer yet will be in the sweet spot - whatever that is for you . Generally speaking though, its a mistake to overly erode what you really want, to fit what you've happened to find. There's always another car...(unless you're after something pretty specialized).
4) Know your limits and don't be a damned fool. If you have the mechanical skill of a gopher and the bank balance of Oliver Twist....take care with classic cars - they eat cash about as fast as they do gasoline. If you are mechanically inclined, great, but be realistic about what's "in your wheelhouse" For example, I can do engines, electrical, interiors - all pretty well. Body work and paint though? I suck like a Dyson vacuum - seriously, I can make any rust repair 45% worse, just looking at it. I've PUT dents into fenders that were BIGGER than the one I was trying to fix. As a result, I look for cars that don't need body work, or, I at least try for minimal issues where I can estimate the repair cost and get it to my body guy. If the interior is shredded, that's no biggie for me, because that sort of work is 100% in my capability. So don't buy yourself into a problem you can't fix, or cant afford to pay to have fixed. The only exception I'd make is if you are buying the car for the express purpose of doing a project, and learning.
5) Understand that unless you buy a restored or really well-cared for example, these things take time and tinkering. I mean no offense, I obviously have no idea who you are, what cars you drive or what experience you have, but classic cars are not Honda Civics. Its a whole paradigm shift when it comes to classic motoring - oil will disappear, you plugs wont last 100K, the computer wont tell you exactly what is wrong, they'll decide to work one day, and blow a gasket the next and there are times when its one darned thing after another...all while your modern car sits there....just working.....for 200K miles..... For me, the tinkering is half the fun, but its a double edged sword. I mention this because I've known people that were in love with the idea of a classic car, but completely unprepared for the TLC required to keep them on the road. Classic cars have "personality" and it often expresses itself in terms of "what odd thing will I do today, and when do I want to have that part stop working".
All said though, its totally worth it - just go in with your eyes open, expectations realistic, and a well-grounded opinion of your capabilities and finances. Good luck in your search, welcome to the "hobby".