193 Mile 1989 Ford Mustang LX Convertible!

Apparently, the original owner of this 1989 Mustang LX Convertible purchased the car and immediately parked it in his garage next to his ultra-low mileage 1965 VW Beetle. The pair sat there unused until he passed away some years later. His son then inherited the cars and the situation remained the same for a few more years. Now the Mustang is ready to move to a new owner, having only managed to accumulate an amazing 193 miles throughout its lifetime. If this is a car that really takes your fancy, then you will find it located in Denison, Texas, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Mustang has worked its way to $22,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The combination of Black paint and a black soft-top makes for a very striking car. With the claimed mileage for this car, it would be easy to expect perfect presentation, but that actually isn’t the case. The rear bumper is showing some pretty significant fading, while there are also some minor marks on the front edge of the hood. I find this damage to be a bit surprising, and it makes me wonder whether the Mustang might have been parked in a position where the rear bumper was exposed to UV rays. The damage on the hood is more of a mystery, but it is hard to tell how severe it is from the photos. It might be possible to address the worst of this with a wet sand and a polish. The wheels look faultless and wear the original tires. The owner advises that these will need to be changed, as they have developed some pretty severe flat spots from sitting for so many years.

Some changes to hardware and electronics for the 1989 model year saw power from the 5.0-liter V8 fitted to the Mustang experience a minor drop over the previous year. The V8 was still producing 225hp, endowing the vehicle with reasonably brisk performance. Backing the V8 in this Mustang is a 4-speed automatic transmission, which sends the engine’s power to a Traction-Lok rear end. Given the fact that the car has been sitting for so long, there is probably going to be a pretty thorough inspection required before it can be returned to active service. However, there is evidence that some work has been undertaken in the relatively recent past. The owner holds a receipt that verifies that the Mustang received a flush of its brake fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid in 2016. It also successfully completed a Californian emissions test at that point. Beyond that, it isn’t clear whether any other work has been completed, so I’d be bracing for a fuel system clean and the potential replacing of soft components such as belts and hoses before I would be game to drive any distance.

The interior presentation of the Mustang is very much in keeping with a car that has traveled less than 200 miles. The combination of grey cloth and vinyl has a nice look to it, and there actually isn’t much to be critical of here. There have been no aftermarket additions made, and the car comes with a nice level of appointments, especially in a 1989 context. As well as air conditioning and cruise control, the Mustang features power operation for the windows, locks, seats, and mirrors. An AM/FM cassette stereo and tilt wheel would seem to round things out quite nicely.

The owner of this Mustang provides previous auction results for similar Mustangs, and they do make for interesting reading. The figures quoted range from $24,200 to $82,500. That’s a lot of money, and while the evidence is readily available to back the figures, the only thing that I will question is that none of the examples provided are specifically for a 1989 Mustang. He does say that if it doesn’t sell via the eBay listing, then it will be going to Barrett-Jackson in January. Therefore, if it doesn’t sell on eBay, it will be interesting to see what happens then. What I will say is that cars sold through Barrett-Jackson have a tendency to sell for higher average prices than in the private sector, so if you are seriously interested in this Mustang, I would consider bidding on the eBay listing pretty soon.

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Comments

  1. KSwheatfarmer

    I would like to hear from anyone who has revived any ultra low mileage older vehicle such as this.We all assume it could be a mechanical nightmare to get one of these back up to par.I know of two Lincoln Mark 5s with similar mileage but absolutely not been touched for 40 plus years,just the thought of owning either one scares me to death. Maybe this Mustang has had enough care and exercise over the years to keep it fresh.

    Like 10
    • Miguel

      The ad says they smogged the car in 2016 so they had to drive it to the smog station and back.

      I would guess this car runs just fine since it did pass.

      It has been a long time since I was a 1990 California tag on a license plate. I would ask, on this car, if the DMV fees are in order since the non op system came into existence while this car was asleep.

      Like 5
      • Steve R

        A friend recently bought a 56 F100 that had a California non-op since the early-1980’s. Luckily the owner had the firthiught to do so and was smart enough to keep all of the paperwork in a file folder.

        Steve R

        Like 2
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I too would be interested in real-life experiences with ultra-low-mileage cars. It may indeed be that just a little exercise is sufficient, assuming future duty will be similar.

    On a similar note, at the Mustang Club of America show in Houston earlier this year, there was a triple black 1983 GT convertible with 7 miles. I got to examine it closely. It obviously was an essentially untouched-from-new specimen, but it did have tarnish on surfaces, and was very dirty. It must not have had supreme storage conditions, I’m guessing it had merely been sitting in a warehouse for all these years. (The owner had a whole group of low or ultra-low-mileage Mustangs). For a humid place like Houston, proper storage would be important.

    I don’t know for sure if the car was driven or pushed into its place (it was indoors), but when I looked it over it actually had 8 miles, not the advertised 7.

    Like 6
    • ccrvtt

      Whoa! 8 miles and not 7?

      That would be a deal-breaker for me….

      Like 10
  3. M vickery

    Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t want a car with such low mileage. I’d want to use it, and using it would mean putting a lot more miles on it, which means in a few years it would have maybe twenty thousand miles on it. I’d just as soon buy one that had say forty thousand miles on it. As a matter of fact I bought an 86 Mustang similar to this four years ago. It now has about seventy thousand miles on it. It still has had age related problems, but I don’t have to worry about putting miles on it. I’m glad such cars exist, of course, but they’re not for me.

    Like 9
  4. art

    This car would benefit from complete fluid changes, brakes, engine, radiator, transmission and even the rear end. Years of sitting does not benefit a vehicle. Gaskets dry out, seals dry out, brake hoses, belts, radiator and heater hoses, A/C seals, power top cylinders and hoses, master cylinder, calipers, wheel cylinders, all drying out. Bearings and engine parts aren’t fully lubricated and even plastic parts, upholstery, weatherstrips and the top become brittle. Buying and merely parking a car in a garage without thought to proper long term storage can result in a lot of costly surprises when revived umpteen years later. It seems the new owner suggests it “needs new tires” uh, yeah and more to come. I think some times, folks see 193 miles and think..”oh boy, a new car”, not quite. Anyone bidding needs to consider the costs of freshening and reviving this car for the road.
    In California, DMV fees are due every year unless the vehicle is placed in Non-Op status also referred to as PNO, Planned Non Operation, (you declare the vehicle will not be driven or parked on California roads) and pay a fee each year. If not, regular registration fees and penalties accrue and be due but only if you re-register in California. Non-op has been around for many years.
    Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 9
  5. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    A 5-speed woulda’ve been sweet…

    Like 15
  6. CCFisher

    What a waste. These were among the most entertaining cars of their day, even with the automatic, and to think of this one just sitting there all those years makes me sad. This car would have been right around $20,000 when new. The Dow Jones average has increased about five fold since 1989, so using that admittedly rough estimate, unless this thing sells for upward of $100,000, it was a poor investment.

    Like 13
    • AnalogMan

      I suspect that many people that squirrel away moderately interesting cars as an ‘investment’ don’t benchmark their returns against the stock market. If the owner paid $20k and sells it for $40k, he’ll probably be doing cartwheels and congratulating himself at having ‘doubled’ his money. “Investing” in a car can be a great way to make a small fortune – out of a much larger one.

      Like 11
      • SusanOliver

        My guess is if you have that much money, you got other cars around to get your giggles. Do not feel so sorry for them. Now, the car is going to end up in another rich person’s collection, and not get driven again. We should be ignoring these stories as to not encourage stupidity.

        Like 3
      • Steve

        I refer to them as stillborns. Never got to be enjoyed.

        Like 4
      • CCFisher

        Who feels sorry for the people? If anything, I’d feel sorry for the car if that made any sense.

        $20,000 really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things, even by 1989 standards. I’ve always maintained a fair weather car or two, but at the first sign of nice weather, they come out of the garage into the light. To each his own, I suppose, but to me, this seems like a waste of money and a waste of a nice car.

        Like 4
  7. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I enjoy seeing ultra-low-mileage cars. They fascinate me, seeing exactly what the car looked like when it was built. Some people enjoy owning such cars, and I’m glad they do, and that they occasionally bring them out for others to see. These folks may or may not be “rich,” and I don’t consider it stupid…. it’s simply the way some people enjoy the hobby.

    Like 4
    • Mountainwoodie

      I too enjoy seeing ultra low mileage cars in their almost original state. A 1934 Duesenberg, A 1938 Packard120, hell maybe even a 1941 Ford. But a slushbox 1989 Mustang? Next……….

      Usually I’m a different strokes for different folks kinda guy but….

      SusanOliver hit the nail right on the head. Dont encourage such stupidity ! lol

      Like 4
      • RCinphill

        Its all generational. If you are between the ages of 65-100 then this Mustang would make no sense but the cars you mentioned would. I would agree that these modern cars are crude and insignificant compared to the cars you mentioned but are strong sellers based on nostalgia.

        Nostalgia is based on what you wanted in high school. I graduated in 1986 and all we had in modern cars was the 5.0 Mustang, IROC Camaro and Grand national. The general collector buying years are between the ages of 50-65 so anything that was popular in that groups high school days is what is going to be hot. Hence, this Mustang.

        I have owned a classic car dealership for 21 years and for the first time am not accepting consignment cars prior to 1950. That age group is not buying but in fact unloading at an alarming rate.

        I think these cars are going to be strong and stronger for at least 15 years.

    • steve

      I do too, in fact, when I win the lottery I’m going to buy the lowest mileage Wimbledon white boss 429 I can find. Then I’m going to drive it home. As I leave, I’m going to pull the biggest holeshot the car will do down the street.

      Like 4
    • Jim Smith

      Bob, I’m very happy to see that I’m not the only one to see cars as do you. I ordered and purchased a brand new 2013 ZL1 Camaro in November of 2012. It has become a garage queen, with only 24 miles on the odometer (39 kilometers actually, as I’m Canadian, but now live in America). I absolutely love simply just looking at her, and enjoying the pride of ownership that I get from doing so. I enjoy our hobby in my own way. It makes me happy, and that’s all that matters to me personally.

  8. A-body Fan

    My family bought an immaculate, lpw mileage unrestored 1965 GTO in 1987.
    If judged as an investment it was a poor one but the joy of showing, nostalgia drag racing it and simply going for Sunday morning coffee with that goat is priceless.

    Like 9
  9. D Stapleton

    I had a 1989 convertible with automatic and 5.0. Drove it over 350,000 miles. Never did anything to the engine or transmission. Great car.

    Like 5
  10. Hemidavey

    lots of fun to drive!

    Like 4
  11. stevee

    There are some serious costs to auctions. Entry fee + commission due by seller. And the buyers fee. It’s not all the big bucks in the pocket that you see on tv. Shipping and prep. Motel, hotel, food and drinks. High risk poker game, and signif expenses if no-sale.

    Like 2
    • RCinphill

      Not to mention the fact that owners can bid on their own cars in non-reserve auctions.

  12. Paul

    Was the LX available with GT seats in ’89? It must have been, right?

    I had an ’87 hatch, my first new car. I’d love to pick another one up someday.

    • Steve

      1989 was the first year the LX 5.0 received the GT sport seats.

      1989 is the high water mark for the fox era. mass air, 140 mph speedo, good seats and tilt wheel.

      Like 1
      • A-body Fan

        That’s wrong, with all due repect a 1989 LX 5.0 had base seats. I lived and breathed these cars. Such fun they were!

        Like 1
    • CCFisher

      Articulating seats were standard on LX 5.0 convertible and hatchback. The LX 5.0 coupe had basic LX seats.

      Like 1
  13. Frank Delia III

    I really wonder why people do this. This is a nice Mustang, but honestly nothing special. If it were a rare race Cobra or something I could see it, but this is a fairly common Mustang.

  14. Russell Ashley

    I too would like to speak with someone who has purchased a vehicle such as this after long storage, and with minimal miles. I realize that not all stories would be the same but I’m curious about what all they did encounter if they did service it and drive it occasionally.

  15. A-body Fan

    I bought mine new with an automatic. With nothing more than slicks and a timing-light that car went a best of 12.95@ 105mph.
    That was very fast at the time.

  16. w9bag

    I got my low mileage ’85 Grand Marquis LS, 2 years ago, with 8,024 miles. She now has turned over the 10K mark. Probably not considered to be “ultra” low miles, but low mileage for sure. Be prepared to spend a bit of $ to make it road worthy. The seller had spent a little over $3K for the refurb. 3 pages of repairs in very small print. I thought that he had everything covered: ALL new gaskets, including oil pan, valve covers, tranny, every component of the braking system, as well as the cooling system, belt & hoses, rear main seal, you name it. Converted the A/C to 134A. Shocks, tires, exhaust, etc. After driving it about 1,000 miles, the car just quit. Reason ? The fuel tank had not been cleaned, and the fuel sock just imploded.
    After that, the throttle body died, and had to be rebuilt. She’s in good shape now, but I guess that you can’t think of everything. Understand what you need to do to make a low mileage car road worthy and trouble free. And foremost, don’t be afraid to drive it !

    Like 2

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