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Hey everyone! I'm purchasing an '66 Mustang Convertible C code 289 V8 automatic sight unseen (not traveling due to covid and will have vehicle shipped cross country)

I've been dreaming of buying this exact car since I was a kid and couldn't be more excited. But this is my first classic car purchase and I'm a novice when it comes to anything mechanical. Any advice for vehicle due diligence that can be done remotely? What kind of questions should I be asking the seller to root out problems and major repair expenses?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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Awesome. Congrats on finding your dream car. I too love the 65-66 Convertibles. I would definitely recommend having a qualified third party inspect and drive the vehicle. If they can send you videos, that would be great. With convertibles, I would particularly pay close attention to the floor pans and inner rockers for evidence of rust? Is the body all original or has any of its panels been replaced? I would look at the door gaps. Pull up the trunk matte. Have them put the car on a lift for a thorough inspection. How does the top frame look? Wide photographs can be deceiving, so be sure to request details. If the car has been restored, invoices and restoration photographs can go a long way to instilling confidence in a purchase. Best of luck!
 

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Welcome to the board!

I can't imagine buying a car without seeing it.

At least look into paying for an inspection from an independent company, familiar with Mustangs.
 

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Most here will strongly advise against your decision to purchase one of these cars sight unseen. Including me. The old cliché...pics are worth a thousand words...well in person is worth a thousand pics in this case. Just don’t do it. At an absolute minimum, do as Iz suggested and pay a professional to inspect the car for you. Tell someone here where the car is located. Maybe a member is close that would inspect it for next to nothing.
 

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Did you take the seller's word on the condition of the car? That's the worst thing you can do.
If you're afraid to travel (I'm not) pay for an inspection by someone local. You are setting yourself up to get seriously burned.
 

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Most here will strongly advise against your decision to purchase one of these cars sight unseen. Including me. The old cliché...pics are worth a thousand words...well in person is worth a thousand pics in this case. Just don’t do it. At an absolute minimum, do as Iz suggested and pay a professional to inspect the car for you. Tell someone here where the car is located. Maybe a member is close that would inspect it for next to nothing.
Yep, over my years here I've read plenty of horror stories of people buying cars sight unseen. I believe there is one of a guy buying a very nice looking vert and when he got it found out it was all bondo and bailing wire holding it together. Basically the car was just a parts car and he had paid for a very nice driver.
 

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Yep, over my years here I've read plenty of horror stories of people buying cars sight unseen. I believe there is one of a guy buying a very nice looking vert and when he got it found out it was all bondo and bailing wire holding it together. Basically the car was just a parts car and he had paid for a very nice driver.
Are you thinking about the guy from Australia where it also had 2x4's shoved in the frame rails to keep it from collapsing?

To the OP, I hate to echo the others, but get it inspected. We're talking about a 55 year old car designed and built to last 5-10 years. There are a lot of unscrupulous sellers out there that will sell a rust bucket car as being in excellent condition. My car looked great when I bought it. Beautiful paint. Would you believe that very little of the original sheet metal will remain when I'm done fixing it? Luckily for me I'm doing the work saving me a ton of money on labor.

Not trying scare you. I just would hate to see you get stung. It could be a really nice car without rust.

What it looked like when I bought it

778711


Some of the repair work I've had to do to it

778712


778713


778714
 

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Find a car closer to home and check it out with a car buddy who can give critical advise about a 50 year old car. There are some good ones out there, and many cars to stay away from. If there is a Mustang show and cruise nights near you go check them out. You might find out the right car is just around the corner. Good luck
 

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Please, stop right in your tracks....you must find and pay someone to inspect the car-and not someone the buyer recommends....if there is an internet ad posted, clue us in and you will be shocked at what the group sees and comments on..
 

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Covid will not last forever. There is always another car.

Also, unless it is a really special car, I don't see a reason to ship a mustang across the country. There are lots of them.
 

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@classic kit someone here on VMF would probably be thrilled to go look at the car for you if you'd tell us the general area of the country the car is in . Some of us work for pizza and beer !
 
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I will echo what everyone else has said. I personally have never had the guts to buy a vehicle without seeing it. If I was in your place I would find a professional to check it out even though it will cost you, what, a couple hundred dollars, it could save you many thousands. I have bought enough lemons even after checking them out my self. And at the time, I was a pro mechanic. Not seeing and driving the car, NO WAY.
 

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Never trust the seller is a safe motto. If he's reputable he will welcome your due diligence. You could get lucky, but the odds are way against you.
There has to be a story behind someone buying a car sight unseen. Tell us more. Pictures? Is it a dealer?
 

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I definitely agree with everyone else about buying site unseen. Convertibles require extra due diligence underneath due to rust.
Other areas to consider..
History on the car
Previous owners that you may talk to
Receipts, bill of sale, and other documentation
Pics, video's.
Confirmation that fender Vin matches door data plate.

Ron
 

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Are you thinking about the guy from Australia where it also had 2x4's shoved in the frame rails to keep it from collapsing?

To the OP, I hate to echo the others, but get it inspected. We're talking about a 55 year old car designed and built to last 5-10 years. There are a lot of unscrupulous sellers out there that will sell a rust bucket car as being in excellent condition. My car looked great when I bought it. Beautiful paint. Would you believe that very little of the original sheet metal will remain when I'm done fixing it? Luckily for me I'm doing the work saving me a ton of money on labor.

Not trying scare you. I just would hate to see you get stung. It could be a really nice car without rust.

What it looked like when I bought it

View attachment 778711

Some of the repair work I've had to do to it

View attachment 778712

View attachment 778713

View attachment 778714
I can't say for sure but it looked about as good as yours did when it was assembled and I think the guy paid good money for it. Then he got it and found out everything was junk on it, and there was very little actually holding the car together. I'd love to see the 2x4 guy though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wow i'm overwhelmed by all of your thoughtful responses - thank you! I will absolutely hire a 3rd party to inspect before committing to anything

Here's the car in question, she's just outside of Minneapolis. I've been searching high and low for the past year and this is one of the only cars in my price range that fits my criteria: 289 Convertible, Tahoe Turquoise, Pony Interior, two tone paneling, wood inlay. I love it!

@myfirstcar66 @Mike the old grump @geicoman58 @Still workin' on my 66 @Maxum96 @cj428mach @awhtx @patrickstapler @Israel @image98
778715
 

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My car's cousin!
20190523_124212.jpg
 
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I'll agree with the previous comments but will throw y'all a curveball.

I bought my Fastback (and first Mustang) 9 years ago. I searched nationwide for almost a year for a '66 Fastback that fit my criteria. I wanted one of two colors, Tahoe Turquoise as a 1st choice and Emberglo as a 2nd choice. Also it had to have the matching "Pony" interior. Engine had to be a 289 with preferably a 4-speed. The car I found fit everything I was looking for with the exception it was an automatic. The car was in the greater Boston area, I was in South Dakota.

Correspondence with the (private) seller in my opinion was excellent. He answered every question I had and provided to me pictures/video of everything I asked for and more. I felt he was honest and truthful and a deal was struck. So, in a sense, I bought mine "sight unseen" having never laid eyes or hands on it in person but felt like I knew it inside and out. I arranged shipping and upon arrival to SD, I found a car that was exactly as described by the seller with no surprises.

Ask me now if I would do it that way again and I would tell you with what I know now, no way.
I'd spend the money to: A) Look at in person or B) Find someone in close proximity to the car's location to do an inspection for me.

This forum is a great resource. Utilize it to its fullest extent. There are so many members here that are more than happy to share their expertise and experiences and can guide you appropriately. I'm just thankful that I didn't have to share a horror story about my purchase.

John
 
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