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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, so here's my situation:
My SUV has served me well over the years living in New England but I am now at the Naval Academy and only get to drive anywhere on weekends or on leave, but driving is one of the few things I am able to do for fun (Annapolis is nothing but bars and boutiques... I'd rather just go out for a cruise with friends). So I was looking to replace my SUV with a classic mustang. I really love the 64-67 Mustangs but I would need one that I could leave parked during the week and would still start up and drive reliably on weekends. I would really prefer a V8 with manual transmission. If I had a budget of ~$25,000 is this even possible? I just love the character of these cars; their lines, the sound they make, and the history of the American pony car, but I need something that I don't have to constantly worry about either. Thanks for you help and your advice!
 

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I'll let the V8 experts chime in, but seems your budget is definitely within reach for a good condition V8 coupe. I'm a younger guy that loves these cars as well. The driving experience of the old car with the manual tranny is so much fun.
 

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first thank you for your service, and GO NAVY!!!! now to your issue, yes you can find a decent enough mustang to do what you want. it may take a bit of searching though. a few things to take into consideration, you may want to install EFI, not hard these days with kits that bolt onto the stock intake. you ma find that manual transmissions are harder to find these days, but still around. if you get a 65-66 car, definitely swap to a dual bowl master cylinder, 67 and pater cars already have that feature.

i would start by checking out hemmings motor news for mustangs for sale. you will pay a bit more, but the cars are likely going to be in better condition overall.

but understand that with vintage cars there will always be something that needs doing, minor though it may be.
 

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There’s usually Always something that needs attention on a 50 year old car. Some here Do put Many miles on their cars, but they’ve dropped a lot of time and money into upgrades.

25K isn’t a lot, don’t be swayed by a nice paint job.
 

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I daily drove mine for years until I needed and got a pickup, then my employer started providing a take-home vehicle, so it sees pleasure driving and good weather errand running. Wouldn't take anything for it. If I ever get too old to load and unload my truck, I'll still drive my Mustang.
 

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Hey everyone, so here's my situation:
My SUV has served me well over the years living in New England but I am now at the Naval Academy and only get to drive anywhere on weekends or on leave, but driving is one of the few things I am able to do for fun (Annapolis is nothing but bars and boutiques... I'd rather just go out for a cruise with friends).
Welcome to Annapolis (and nice description of DTA!).
 

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Yes. Your budget should be more than enough. I would drive mine everyday if I could, but I need a truck for work. It pays the bills. Sometimes reliable and simple are synonymous, just depends on what comforts you are willing to forgo. My truck is a ‘19 and it’s comfortable, but I dont feel anything when I drive it. A to B tool to get the job done. When I’m in my mustang I feel love. That’s right I love that stupid car I don’t know why. Good luck sir, and thank you for your service. Any car you find that may be of interest to you please post up for scrutiny. I hope you get what you’re looking for.
 

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Interesting enough, Sunday mornings a crowd of "car guys and gals" assemble "At The Docks" (next door to the academy) for the weekly Annapolis Cars and Coffee. There can be a any number of 1st Generation ( 65-66) Mustangs to see and chat up the owners for advice. Just so happens, I'm one of them that attends on any given Sunday morning from 8A-noon, or so. However, if you'e a "Plebe". I don't think you can get out until August? In fact, I'm looking to attend tomorrow (Sunday 14th), that is, if I can get the mattress off my back LOL. Yeah, $25K is doable.
 
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Congrats for being accepted to the Naval Academy! Go Navy, beat Army!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank goodness, I am not a plebe! Those days are long gone. @kenash I will be coming back to the Yard here soon, I'll have to swing by! I'd love to join the car community in Annapolis.

I have two ads I'd like to show y'all (Pretty please don't buy out from underneath me! I don't think anyone will, everyone has been super welcoming and helpful.) These are the two cars that I've found that I have gotten excited about and have talked with the owners. I'll post them each in their own replies below, but one is a 65 with a automatic 351 Windsor, seems to be used as a weekend car, the other is a 65 with the manual 289 but the guy put in a 5 speed transmission, and has been used only as a show car.

The dilemma is this; the 289 (the blue one) is asking $24000 but it has been rotisserie restored with completely new-old stock still in boxes from the factory, allegedly not a single spot of rust on it since its restoration, anything with rust was replaced but is a numbers matching car. The current owner is the second owner and used to own/run a car restoration business so is very knowledgeable about the car having done much of the restoration himself.

The 351 (the red one) is only asking $18000, but the owner knows less about it. Was an Arizona car previously and says he has never driven it in the rain so its low-to-no rust as well. The interior has been completely replaced with the TMI pony tribute interior (which looks great), but thinks the engine may have been put in by previous owner to get extra power for racing-- a little concerning. He claims the frame is straight and solid but doesn't know if there were any suspension upgrades etc to accommodate the heavier engine and racing etc. Also a bummer that this an automatic, but the $6000 price difference makes me think I could get over it. Not nearly as knowledgeable about the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
#1) Automatic 351 Windsor, aftermarket partial restoration, $18,000

#2) Manual (5spd!) 289, complete restoration, $24,000

Thanks everyone, look forward to you thoughts! Keep in mind, what I'm looking for is something I can reliably drive every weekend. Also, I believe both have been upgraded to disc brakes up front as well.
 

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I'd go with the blue one. If it's a rotisserie resto, then you can be confident that whatever work you'll have to do to it will be maintenance. You could go with the red one and swap the auto for a T5 manual, but to do that you'll wind up spending the time and money relatively close to what you'd pay for the blue one... and you'll also find out what "partial resto" issues you'll have to fix when you take it apart.
Documentation is also a factor. Rotisserie? Who did it, and where's the paperwork? Where's the paperwork on the engine? If you're going to drop 24G, paperwork is important.
 

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I'd go with the blue one. If it's a rotisserie resto, then you can be confident that whatever work you'll have to do to it will be maintenance. You could go with the red one and swap the auto for a T5 manual, but to do that you'll wind up spending the time and money relatively close to what you'd pay for the blue one... and you'll also find out what "partial resto" issues you'll have to fix when you take it apart.
Documentation is also a factor. Rotisserie? Who did it, and where's the paperwork? Where's the paperwork on the engine? If you're going to drop 24G, paperwork is important.
^^^+++. Paperwork and pictures.
 

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For a coupe, especially a '65/'66, $25K is a very good budget. You should be able to get a nice car for that.

Some things to consider:
(1) As an owner of a classic car you should either already know how to work on cars or have the desire to learn and the time to do so or the money to pay for repairs. These cars are ~50yrs old. In most cases, they have a myriad of small (and sometimes, large) things that will need fixing. This won't be like owning a 10yr old Camry. Given the quality of the Naval Academy in engineering education, hopefully you're majoring in an engineering field. That would help ;-)
(2) You should have a relatively safe place to park/keep the car.
(3) Given the rigors of your academic schedule and restrictions on your free time, I think your main goal would be to get the most reliable car you can get (regardless of number matching, etc). If you can, get someone who knows classic mustangs to check it out. And at a minimum, have an compression check done on the engine and pressure test the cooling system.

One last comment, a numbers-matching car with 5-speed transmission swap is not a numbers-matching car... by definition ;-) Do you get the original transmission with the car?
 

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From the limited pictures and brief descriptions, the blue one looks better. I have a physical aversion to those universal radiator hose things and he spelled Cragar wrong. Like others have said, documentation is everything. If they can’t show you proof, it didn’t happen. Ideally you should have someone with experience in Mustangs look at these for you. Talk with the owners and ask lots of questions. Buy the owner as much, if not more than the car. Good luck.
 
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So the Blue car is a rotisserie restored, Numbers Matching, car?

Numbers Matching to me is Always a red flag, as these cars aren’t number matched,......

Rotisserie restored cars should have receipts and other documents.
 

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Two weeks ago bought this ‘66 convertible, original 6cyl, but upgraded with 289 4bbl, 4 spd, pony interior, “sorta” GT trim, for $18,500. Quality of body work was pretty good and it drives nice. The market is soft right now, and I don’t think many people are getting the high prices they’re asking. Don’t be afraid to make low offers.
758273
 

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"Numbers Matching" on the early cars usually just means it has the same type engine, transmission, rear diff, colors and trim type but can be as particular as date-code correct, if not truly original components.
 
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