Buy a Classic Mustang

Classic Ford Mustangs are some of the most coveted cars in the world. If you want to make your dream of owning a vintage Mustang a reality, buying one locally, in person, is the preferred option so that you can personally inspect the vehicle before purchasing it and save on delivery or pickup costs. However, if you can't find one in your area that you'd like to buy, you can also purchase classic Mustangs online from reputable marketplaces.


Buying a Classic Mustang in Person

  1. Search online classified sites for Mustangs for sale in your area. Go to online classified sites, like Craigslist, and search for “classic Mustang” to discover people in your region selling them.
    • It's free for sellers to list cars for sale on many online classified sites, such as Craigslist. This often makes them a more popular place for sellers to advertise. But be careful on these sites since some scammers also utilize them, looking for their next victim.[1]
    • You can also search for classic cars for sale at
  2. Find hard copy publications that list Mustang sellers in your area. Publications like these, such as your local newspaper and AutoTrader Magazine, can typically be found at gas stations or convenience stores. Look for them in the racks located by the doors or in wall racks along the outside windows.
    • Sellers typically have to pay to list their cars in the local newspaper or in AutoTrader Magazine, so mid- and high-end cars are usually listed here. Often scammers just trying to make a buck and keep a low profile won't bother with paid advertising, so sellers in hard copy publications are usually legit.[2] But you still have to approach any used car sale with a “buyer beware” mentality.
  3. Network with classic car enthusiasts to hear about vintage vehicle sales. Attend classic car shows or join Meetup groups for those interested in classic cars in general or classic Mustangs in particular. Chances are you'll be able to connect with someone there who is either selling a vintage Mustang or who knows someone who is selling one.[3]
    • If you're interested in attending a local classic car show, try searching online for something like "classic car shows in Boston" or "vintage car meetup groups near me."
  4. Narrow down your choice and talk with the seller. Contact the seller through email or phone, and ask any questions that you have about the car they're selling. If you like what you hear, make an appointment with the seller to see the Mustang in person.[4]
    • Buying a classic Mustang is a major purchase. Before you go see the car in person and spend many thousands of dollars on a vintage vehicle, make sure that you know a great deal about classic Mustangs. If you're not already extremely knowledgeable about vintage Mustangs, take a crash course by reading “The Complete Book of Ford Mustang: Every Model Since 1964 ½” by Mike Mueller.
  5. Inspect any cars you like in person before making a purchase. Since you'll be purchasing an older car, you want to make sure there isn't any significant damage that could end up costing you a lot of money in the future. While you'll also want to have the car inspected by a mechanic, it's a good idea to inspect the car yourself first so you can catch any major issues and save yourself time and money. Some things you should keep an eye out for include:[5]
    • Severe rust.
    • Damage to the body of the vehicle, including dents and scratches.
    • Damaged tires or tires that don't all match.
    • Leaking or corrosion under the hood.
    • Damage to the interior of the vehicle.
    • Doors, windows, and seats that don't function properly.
  6. Take the vehicle for a test drive before buying it. Especially if you're going to be driving your Mustang and not just buying it for show or planning to restore it, you need to know that it drives well before purchasing it. Consider bringing a friend along who is familiar with classic Mustangs to get a second opinion on how they feel the car drives as well.[6]
    • When you test drive the car, make sure the vehicle is stable and that it doesn't shake. There shouldn't be any resistance when you use the steering wheel or any loud clunking noises when you turn the car.
    • You should also listen for any grinding noises when you're applying the brakes, which would be a red flag.
    • Check that the headlights, hazards, windshield wipers, stereo, and air conditioner all work when you test drive the car.
    • If the seller refuses to allow you to test drive a car that they claim is in drivable condition, politely thank the seller for their time, and then walk away. Do not buy the car since an upstanding seller will have no problem allowing you to take the vehicle for a test drive before purchasing it.
  7. Have a mechanic inspect the car before purchasing it. Even if you know a great deal about vintage Mustangs, if you're not a mechanic yourself, and you're not an expert on the inner workings of automobiles, always have a mechanic who is familiar with classic Mustangs thoroughly inspect the car before you buy it. Have your own trusted mechanic or a qualified, independent, third-party mechanic inspect the vehicle before purchase. Don't be swayed by a mechanic friend of the seller.[7]
    • Most sellers will allow you to take the car to your mechanic for an inspection or agree to have a mobile inspection performed, where a mechanic travels to the car's location to inspect the vehicle.[8]
    • If the seller refuses to allow a mechanic to inspect the car before purchase, this is a huge red flag. Do not buy the vehicle since only an unscrupulous seller with something to hide would prohibit a mechanic from inspecting the car.[9]
  8. Verify that the vehicle is within your budget and has a fair asking price. Determine if the price is negotiable, and if so, start with a price that is lower than asking. This will allow you some wiggle room on negotiations. Set a spending limit, and be honest with yourself about what you can afford.[10]
    • Keep in mind that many classic cars are also in need of either minor or major restorations, so be sure to think about this when deciding how much you can afford to spend on a classic Mustang.[11]
    • Consult the Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of the vehicle you are wanting to buy. The Kelley Blue Book is a trusted vehicle valuation source that can help you settle on a fair price.[12]
  9. Pay for your Mustang and get a receipt and bill of sale. Especially if you are paying cash, cash should never leave one hand without you receiving a receipt in your other hand. You need to have proof that you paid for your vehicle and a bill of sale to show that you are the new rightful owner of your vintage Mustang.[13]

Purchasing a Vintage Mustang Online

  1. Search online marketplaces for Mustangs for sale across the country. Whenever possible, it's preferable to buy from a well-known marketplace rather than an individual seller since some marketplaces offer added protections for the buyer. This is the best option for buying a vintage Mustang if you cannot find any being sold in your area that are to your liking.
    • Some reputable places to purchase classic Mustangs online include,,, and eBay.
    • Check with each marketplace to see what, if any, buyer protection they offer for vintage Mustangs. eBay, for instance, protects vehicle buyers, and if the actual vehicle condition is materially different from the listing description, car buyers may be eligible to receive reimbursement up to the amount they paid, up to $100,000.[14]
  2. Examine the photos and descriptions of the vehicles very carefully. You need to be extremely clear on the condition and features of the cars that you're considering. When purchasing a vintage Mustang through the Internet that you cannot see in person, the photos and online descriptions of the vehicles will be the key factors that will help you select the car you want to buy.[15]
    • A good description of a vehicle should provide the make, model, body style, and mileage of the vehicle. It should also include any modifications that have been made to the car, as well as any issues that may need to be fixed.[16]
  3. Select the classic Mustang you like best, and talk to the seller. Contact the seller through phone or email and ask any questions you may have about the vehicle. If not many photos of the car are posted online, see if the seller will send you additional pictures so that you can better gauge the condition of the entire vehicle. Also see if there is any room for negotiation on the price.[17]
  4. Have the Mustang you're interested in inspected before buying it. Just because you're purchasing a car long distance doesn't mean that you can't have it inspected before purchase. There are a number of vehicle inspection companies that have crews of nationwide mobile inspectors which travel to the seller's location to inspect and test drive the vintage car for you, since you're not able to inspect and test drive the car yourself. They will then send you a report on their findings.
    • Road Ready Inspections is a company that travels to vehicles to conduct inspections and specializes in classic cars. Lemon Squad also offers a vintage car inspection package.[18]
    • Inspections typically cost several hundred dollars, which is a small price to pay to help ensure that your thousands of dollars are well spent on a quality classic car, rather than a fraud or scam.[19]
  5. Order and pay for your vintage Mustang online. Make sure to clarify the pick up or delivery process and shipping costs with the seller. Know where and when you have to pick up the car, or know where and when your Mustang will be delivered so that you can arrange to be there in person when it arrives.
    • There is no standard as far as whether the car will be shipped to you or whether you will have to pick it up yourself. Each transaction is unique, and these details need to be negotiated between you and the seller.[20]
    • When ordering your vehicle online, some marketplaces, such as, even allow you the option to finance your car if you don't want to pay for it all at once.[21]
  6. Inspect your classic Mustang in person as soon as you receive it. Inspect the car personally, and also have a mechanic knowledgeable about vintage Mustangs thoroughly inspect the car to make sure that the vehicle you ordered is the vehicle you received, rather than a bait and switch. Check over every large and small detail of the car to ensure that all the features of the Mustang that you received are as described in the online listing.[22]
    • Hopefully you'll be thrilled with your purchase, but if you discover any unexpected problems in your inspection, immediately notify the seller and the marketplace where you brought the vehicle to discuss possible remedies.


  • Consult with your car insurance provider to discuss the pricing and ramifications of purchasing a vintage vehicle. Also ask whose insurance the vehicle falls under while it is in transit. If something unfortunate happens, you don't want to be left with a damaged vehicle and no recourse.

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