We’ve all seen the films. You know the kind – Nicholas Cage redlining a beautiful Shelby GT500 as he soars (somewhat unrealistically) over dozens of cars and lands with enough grace on the other side that he can keep driving. Tilly Masterson racing a Mustang Convertible against James Bond’s Aston Martin, marking the on-screen debut of the iconic American Muscle Car. The highland green 1967 Fastback zooming through Tokyo in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Those movies. The ones that transport you to another place, and make you feel as though it’s actually you behind the wheel of that V8 engine that’s roaring that signature, head-turning Mustang growl.
Perhaps, though, you are the type of person who does not want to simply live vicariously through major Hollywood films. You might be the type of person who wants to slide into that driver’s seat, turn the key and feel the throaty rumble of the engine as it comes to life. You don’t just want to watch it. You want to own it.
And who could blame you? Certainly no one here. There are, however, a few pragmatic things to be discussed before one hunts down and lays out a considerable amount of money on a classic Mustang. So, we have compiled a few of these questions, and set about answering them.
Should I Buy a Classic Mustang?
As easy as it would be to say, “Of course!” the answer is actually, “It depends.”
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to deciding if a Mustang is right for you. Questions like:
Can I afford it?
Mustangs aren’t cheap, and most of the old Mustangs you can buy require some serious Tender Loving Care, which has its own financial repercussions. Does it need a complete engine rebuild? Is it roadworthy in its current state? Does it have all or most of its original parts? It’s worth considering the total cost to get a classic Mustang on the road, if it needs a little help.
Is it suitable?
Many a father of three has considered the purchase of a Mustang. But chances are, for families, it’s not an ideal sole vehicle for the family, especially considering they can be serious gas guzzlers, and the older ones do tend to lack some of the safety features we’ve gotten used to as standard with modern cars. So, it might be a good idea to consider a Mustang as a second vehicle, more than the main family runabout.
Do I really want this?
It’s a tough question to ask yourself, but a classic muscle car doesn’t handle like any of the modern cars you are likely used to driving. If you can’t live without air conditioning, power steering, and ABS, then be conscious of the fact that any classic muscle car isn’t likely to have these things, and that means an added expense of trying to add them. As idyllic as it might seem, life with a classic mustang might not be as dependable as you think!
How Much Is It Going to Cost?
Let’s just say it’s not all that common to find a classic Mustang for less than around $15,000. Keep in mind, these $15,000 classic Mustangs are likely in need of some love and affection, so you can expect the investment will be considerably more than that. You can pay over $275,000 for a 1967 Shelby GT500. Typically, the less famous the model, the less you’ll pay, and the same is true for the opposite.
Keep in mind the additional costs of fuel, registration, and making it roadworthy, if required. It’s a good idea to get an idea of your all-in costs before you buy your Mustang.
How do I Maintain a Classic Mustang?
Ah, the big kahuna. Classic Mustangs require a lot of maintenance to keep them up and running and in good condition. These cars aren’t low maintenance, by any means. When you take on the responsibility of a classic Mustang, it’s worth remembering that they’re just like people – as they get older, they tend to need a bit more looking after.
So, how do you go about maintaining a classic Mustang?
Let’s have a look.
Regular trips to the Mechanic
Even if you’re pretty handy with cars and want to perform most of the mechanical maintenance on your Mustang, it’s recommended that you still regularly take your Mustang to the mechanic to ensure it’s in the best possible condition. This can help you to avoid any major disasters that can occur from something you might have missed or are unable to handle on your own. It’s also good to have a record of mechanical maintenance performed by a professional for insurance reasons, as well as if you ever want to sell it.
Make sure your car has plenty of its necessary fluids, like oil, water, and brake fluid. Without oil and water, your new Mustang isn’t going anywhere. Lubricant and water ensure the engine doesn’t overheat, and in an older car, making sure you’ve got the right liquids in your car is vital. Regularly check your levels to make sure you’re not putting any undue strain on the engine.
Brakes, Brakes, Brakes
When you’re driving a couple of tonnes down the road, you want to know that when you need to stop, you can. Make sure that you stay on top of the maintenance required for your brakes.
Use it Regularly
This is a fun one. Make sure that you use your Mustang often, to blow out the cobwebs, so to speak. Leaving a car dormant for extended periods of time can cause issues. So, take your new ride out for a Sunday Drive, and enjoy.
When your Mustang is not in use, it’s a good idea to cover it with a good quality car cover or simply park it in the garage. Exposure to the elements, like the sun and rain, can cause faded paint or even rust. Simply parking it under a tree can be disastrous for the paint, with things like tree sap and bird droppings eating away at your paint. Avoid the unpleasant cost of a respray and cover your car to protect it from unwanted damage.
There’s no better way to maintain the exterior of your vehicle than with a professional detail. Using a professional service, like Clean Getaway, can increase the life expectancy of your paint job, and ensure your car is looking its very best. With Full Shampoo Washes, bug and tar removal, door jambs flushed, tyres rejuvenated, and windows cleaned, the outside of your classic Mustang won’t ever have looked better.
Clean Getaway can also protect your paint, with Ceramic Paint Protection, like the GTECHNIQ C1 Crystal Lacquer. After thoroughly washing your car, we’ll decontaminate the paint, perform a clay bar treatment, and apply the ceramic coating. With a 3 Year National Warranty, the GTECHNIQ protects against bat and bird lime and has a strong UV shield to protect your paint from the intense sun.
Maintaining the interior of your classic Mustang is more than giving it a vacuum every now and then. Your car can build up with grime, food particles, hair, and other nasties that can cause an increase in bacteria. Having the interior professionally detailed by Clean Getaway will mean your seats, mats, and carpets will undergo Machine Shampoo Extraction, every surface will be cleaned, every nook and crevice will be dusted and cleaned, and your car will experience a full vacuum, including the boot.
Why Should I Maintain my Classic Mustang?
Chances are, if you have invested in a classic Mustang, maintaining it is going to be one of the little joys that come with ownership. You might know how, but have you ever thought about why?
Properly maintaining your Classic Mustang is not only good for the car, but it helps to keep its resale value nice and high when or if you ever choose to sell it.
It’s simply more enjoyable to drive a clean, gorgeous-looking car. One of the things you can expect from owning a classic Mustang is that heads will turn wherever you go. You want those heads to be turning for the right reasons.
Health and Safety
Properly maintaining your car is a great way to keep it safe and in good condition. Neglected cars can be unsafe cars. Ensuring that your engine is in good condition, the tyres are safe, and the brakes are fully functioning is a great way to keep yourself as safe as possible on the road.
While owning a Classic Mustang isn’t without its responsibilities, it’s safe to say it’s a pretty irreplaceable experience. They can even become an investment, increasing in resale value with the appropriate maintenance. Once you’ve decided if a Mustang is right for you, there’s really only one thing left to do – enjoy it!