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First time buyer/restoration advice

3080 Views 67 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Caper50
I have always wanted a Ford mustang from either 66 or 68. I now have the opportunity to buy one! It's a C code V8 coupe from 1966. For the most part, it's rust-free with one or two (badly patched) rusty areas. At some point in the 70s, the owner swapped out the V8 for an inline 6. In 2021 the owner decided to restore the car and swap back a V8 but only got as far as to take out the Inline 6. I have an appointment to check it out on Tuesday. The price is approx half of what running coupes go for here. He has a few V8 engines that he is willing to sell for anywhere from 500$ to 3000$.
A few more things about the car: Steering wheel, wheels, and front seats are ugly-looking aftermarket parts. In the pictures, it looked like there were one or two dents. The headlight buckets are either not fully screwed in or the fitment is just terrible because there are huge panel gaps. The car used to be burgundy red but was repainted with candy apple a while back. The paint job looks ok. Breaks, transmission (automatic), electronics, and suspension all are in good shape and have original V8 parts according to the seller. The Interior is in a state where I would be ok with not touching it but obviously not showroom quality.
My questions:
  1. Am I in over my head swapping the V8 back in? I have some experience working with older fords (Ford Taunus 1965) but am not a mechanic. I have access to most tools, friends willing to help as well as a car lift.
  2. Is there anything mustang specific I should pay attention to when checking it out? (Things that will end up costing me a lot of money/time to fix etc)
  3. Any other advice is also appreciated!
EDIT: A little bit of extra info
VIN: 6T07C158163
Asking price: 10990€ (In Germany this is a great price for a mustang. Driving cars go for around 20k)
I am really not trying to restore to showroom quality and am ok with subpar results as long as it drives and looks good from 6ft away!
It comes with papers.

A small update:
The seller never answered my questions because "i don't have time to answer so many questions".
I then asked him if there was any wiggle room on the price or not (I had no intention of paying 10990 but never got as far as to tell him). He decided to insult me because "i never discuss prices over the phone, you don't call the bakery and ask to negotiate the price of bread". Then he said he finally looked at my questions in the email and who I think I am to ask them and what am I expecting from his car. Following that conversation I of course informed him I won't be coming to check out the car.

All in all I am so happy I came here first and thank you all for your help. I really dodged a bullet imo.
I guess he was hoping he could sell the car to some unknowing idiot (me) and get away with it.
You guys just saved me a 7h drive, a lot of money and time, thanks!

In case you were wondering what kind of outrageous questions were in my email here are just a few of them:
Was the car in an accident
What happened to the I6
Why are the body panels so lose
What's that weird patch in the trunk
Are the original motor mounts included
What V8s he has on hand.

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That rear taillight panel looks as wavy as the ocean. I'd be very surprised if it wasn't filled with bondo. See that rust at the bottom of the rear may have a big surprise when you pull the rear window out. The car looks very thrown together for the purpose of selling it. It appears the last owner got in over their head on this don't want to be the next victim.
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Yeah the more I look at it I agree. Maybe I can get a good bargain on it for 5k, who knows. Would be cool to have a cheap running mustang even if half of it is Bondo haha.
But i probably won't end up buying it following everyone's advice here.
I 5K it would be worth considering. You could have a structurally sound car (maybe not pretty) to work on and have fun, and still get your money back if you decide to sell.
With the amount of flaws discussed here, realistically I might be able to talk him down to 6k or 7k at which point i might just have to buy it for fun and see how hard restoring it really is! If he throws in a V8 even better!
I'm not in it for the resell value anyway so a car held together by Bondo and duct tape is fine by me!
Just keep your emotions in check...there's a lot wrong with this car.
I hesitate to say exactly what someone should pay without a close inspection of the car. Like people have said, rust is like an iceberg, you only see the tip without closer inspection. The photo of the trunk shows something (bondo) smeared in the upper corners of the rear quarters. There is also some sort of patch on the left side trunk where the frame rail attaches underneath, with more rust holes in front of it. Who knows what is under the spare tire. In the US most states will not allow registration of a vehicle with extensive rust...don't know what your regulations are. Granted the underside "appears" mostly solid. What are all those screws in the passenger side floor pan? The engine swap, and the poorly assembled body panels are more issues to consider. Rear leaf springs are shot, but that's the least of the issues.
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Exactly...rust is often called "body cancer". So if you had skin cancer on your face, what would putting make-up over it do for the cancer? I think the seller knows why there's a bondo patch in the trunk...if he doesn't, he has no business selling cars.
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