Transport Damage: 1991 Ford Mustang LX 5.0

The listing for this very clean 1991 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 describes it as a “barn find”, but I’m not exactly sure how it qualifies. It doesn’t really matter, as the Fox Body is a survivor in excellent shape – aside from some painful-looking damage incurred during transport. The Mustang is otherwise quite clean with a minty interior and no modifications. Find it here on eBay with a $7,700 Buy-It-Now.

Red with black trim and the five-spoke “GT” wheels is a great look for a car like this, and it just looks lighter than the liftbacks that preceded it. The late 80s GT hatches always looked heavy to me, perhaps due to the side skirts and bigger rear spoiler. This 1991 model lost the body cladding in favor of a more subdued appearance that makes it a bit of a sleeper if you’re unaware the LX could be spec’d out with the 5.0L V8.

While we love to see the manual gearbox in these cars, I can get over that thanks to the spotless interior. Mileage is reported as a hair below 90,000, so this Mustang hasn’t been sitting in a bubble waiting to be discovered – making the condition of the interior all the more impressive. Sure, gray cloth loses to black leather every day, but it also reinforces this car’s nature as a mid-tier model that happened to get the big firepower under the hood.

Now it’s time to play, “What caused this damage?” The second photo down shows how the hatch is tweaked pretty substantially, with the damage incurred sometime during the shipment process. Did a ramp come down on the car’s roof? Possibly, but the cause is not fully explained. The listing says the title is still clear, so whatever happened wasn’t so bad that insurance needed to get involved. $7,700 seems like a reasonable deal to me, but I’d hold out for a manual – would you make an offer on this sleeper Mustang?

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Comments

  1. Mike H. Mike H. Member

    Nah, hatch was open and they backed it into something or hit it with something. The hatch was over-extended and crumpled the roof, bent the hinges, tweaked the upper edge. This is why the hatch doesn’t close in the photos.

    Very costly to repair and could require a donor body to supply its roof section. Price seems high considering.

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    • whmracer99

      Agree with your assessment. Roof section was moved enough to pucker the front edge over the windshield. Someone with talent and a frame machine might be able to get it straight enough to use but this is not a repair job for amateurs. Roof section with structure is the correct way to fix it. Not sure how this would have escaped the salvage designation BUT several states now allow vehicles that have been “totaled” (ie — the insurance company has paid the owner for the damaged car instead of repairing it) to be re-titled with clear (unbranded) titles by the insurance companies. It gets muddy as some states will accept those titles as clear, and some require the cars to go through an inspection process like salvage/rebuilt cars. Either way the CarFax reports will report salvage history for those vehicles.

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      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        I’m of the opinion (based only on looking at the photos) that the damage behind the windshield was not caused by what happened at the rear. Could have been in the same time frame, or been another incident entirely. Those dents appear to be very equal in appearance, like something with that spacing (ramp?) was dropped on it, or the car rolled into a support structure on the truck.

        In any case, I also look at this car and think that the repair of the roof and hatch constitutes a huge job, requiring exacting fit to get right and prevent air/water leaks.

        The $2500 crowd is in the right ballpark.

        It just occurred to me… Sometimes loading/unloading cars in and on some transporters is problematic. If for instance the driver’s door is closed and the window up, entry might be impossible for anyone but a 50lb. kid. I have seen someone resort to being a trunk monkey on a hatchback car, climbing in that way to get to the driver’s seat. If the hatch weren’t closed afterwards, and the car backed up….

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  2. Bob_in_TN Member

    Sad to see the extensive damage on what is otherwise a fairly desirable Fox Body, though a manual transmission notchback would be better. This car represents a unique situation that is not often seen: for late Fox Mustangs, the lower option plainer model (LX) is more desirable than the higher option fancier model (GT).

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  3. Mike H. Mike H. Member

    A clever fabricator could probably cut it up and make a ute out of it. Seems like a waste of an otherwise really nice car, but that roof repair won’t be easy, or cheap. Could also be parted out for a variety of other projects, but at that price it’s prohibitive.

    There are plenty of nice LX hatches out there for approximately the same money that don’t need what this one does. I’d imagine the guy who owned this thing prior to it getting wrecked pitched a major fit when he found out. I’ll bet that the $7,700 is right about what the freight company paid him.

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  4. Steve R

    It’s a $2,500 due to the damage. This was a nice car prior to the accident.

    These are hard to find in good original condition. Value wise, these will follow the same trajectory as the late-70’s Trans Ams. Any LX, especially notchbacks with a manual transmission are the ones to get.

    Steve R

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    • whmracer99

      I’ll have to pull the estimate out of Mitchell but I’d bet that it is a bunch higher than $2500 by the time you buy the part, remove the interior, replace the roof and structure, and reassemble everything.

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      • Steve R

        I think the car is worth $2,500 with that damage. It’s too bad, this car was on a path to a long comfortable life. Now, who knows what it’s future will be.

        Steve R

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  5. Ted

    Something dodgy on this one escaping a write off/salvage designation. That car is done, and I truly cannot believe someone has the audacity to think it’s worth more than a couple of grand. Yeah it’s sad that the car was clean but short of 15K worth of work on a 2 grand car to make it worth 7 grand with a rebuild status why would you consider this anything other than a parts car?

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    • whmracer99

      I rebuild insurance salvage cars for a living and there are a couple of ways they could have kept it with a clean title — could be the state laws allowed the insurance company to do it or could be that the trucking company simply bought the car vs. filing a claim and then auctioned/sold it off so their insurance premiums didn’t take a big hit. Depending on how it got to this point with a “clean” title, Carfax may, or may not, show a salvage history or even an accident in it’s report. I agree with Steve R that this is a $2500 max car — I can see someone purchasing this and rebuilding an empty shell with the parts since the prices on these have started rising.

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