Shifty, I need your help!
Second, I just want to say that I've been on Edmunds Town Hall off and on for quote a while (4 years or so?) and I've been extremely impressed with both your general automotive knowledge and especially your quick, logical, accurate assessments of present and future used and classic car values. I've lost track of the number of times I've referred people to you and this board when checking on car prices.
Third, I've got a big fat problem. Not so much a problem but a general disillusionment with the current state of affairs when it comes to used Mustang prices.
About 2 or 3 weeks ago I decided it was time to get another toy, having been without one for several years due to the financial oppression inflicted upon me by college. So now I've got a little money and I want to have a little fun. I decide I want something I can drive on the weekends and take to the local drag strip without being embarassed. I decide on a Fox Body Mustang because of their modability, low price, and the fact that I've helped two of my friends do complete teardowns and rebuilds so I know quite a bit about the mechanics, and they owe me some help.
So I start poking around eBay, autotrader, stangnet and the Corral. Much to my dismay I see most of the asking prices seem to have been decided on after a hard night of heavy illicit drug use. To put it bluntly, these people are on crack (Can I say that here?). Let me give you an example or twelve:
Problem 1: LX Hatches are probably the LEAST desirable Mustang
Problem 2:Who knows how many miles are on this car. Many people selling Mustangs seem to think if its got a newer engine and a coat of paint then it doesn't matter if its got 250K miles on it and a salvage title.
Problem 3: 347 strokers are notorious, as is obvious from reading the ad and one of the replys, for oiling problems and the extreme rod angles are considered by most to be a very bad idea for anything other than a purpose built drag idea.
And the guy is asking 10,500 dollars for it.
122K miles and its an ex-highway patrol car. The patrol car package carries a small list of desirable options but it also carries with it the knowledge that this car was probably beat to hell for 118 of those 122 thousand miles. Plus the damn thing still has the spotlight and the pushbar on it. Who in their right mind wants anything to do with those?
It gets worse:
1989 5.0 Coupe. Certainly a nice paint job. Nice long list of repairs, which IMO doesn't really add to its value, just keeps it from being lower. Lower than average miles. Mostly stock. 10,000 friggin dollars!
Shifty, my wants are simple. I'm not looking for an ultra low mileage pristine one owner car. All I want is a 89-91 5.0 Coupe with a 5 speed in decent condition with under 100K miles for $4,000 or less. Preferably 3,500 or less. Am I wrong in thinking that that shouldn't be at all difficult to find? Or are they right and any Mustang that doesn't have a salvage title or over 150K miles is automatically worth at least 5 grand?
I've always been under the impression that the absolute BEST you're ever going to do selling a modified car is average retail plus 50% of the price of the parts, assuming the mods were done well and that you get back none of the cost of labor. And thats absolute best. In most cases its going to be more like 25%, if not less, if not negative in some case (I personally wouldn't buy any 302 stroker, or anything that has nitrous on it, or anything that has aftermarket forced induction, not that I really have anything against any of these things, I just think theres a good change that you'll be taking someone elses problem of their hands and paying them for it).
So what do you think? Am I wrong, or are they?
Please, restore my faith in the world of used cars.