Used Car or Collectible Classic? 1988 Mustang GT Convertible

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Fancy yourself cruising top-down in a menacing black 1988 Mustang GT convertible? Keep your eye on this one, available here on ebay. It’s currently at $5000 with no reserve, and you have until Tuesday to make your play. You’ll then make your way to Phoenix, NY (yes, New York) to collect the purchase. Hopefully you won’t care that the car was originally red and that that color can be seen when you open the hood on cruise night.

The collector car market is largely driven by people wanting to own and drive what they couldn’t have when those cars were new. Maybe they are too young, born when their car of choice first came out. Maybe they were too bereft of funds. That’s me and this Mustang. I’ve always wanted the coupe GT version of this car, because when those were new, I test drove one. But I was a college student and couldn’t possibly have afforded to buy one. My priorities for any money I did have demanded I buy things like books. Boring!

But low and behold, in the past few years, 1980s Mustang GTs have begun to work their way out of garages and into collections. The car in question here thus represents a chance to fulfill a dream you might have deferred for reasons similar to mine. The only problem with this as a dream ride is that it has 145,000 miles on the clock. Further, this unit has a slight ding on its record, which the seller fully discloses via an Auto Check report. Two issues, in fact: accident damage and an odometer issue. The accident occurred in 1997. The odometer history is all over the place. Look at the Auto Check information for a fun exercise in trying to decipher what’s happened, mileage-wise, over the years, and good for you if you can make sense of it. In right-now terms, there is no word as to what might have been reconditioned mechanically, only the statement that the car “runs and drives very well.” Perhaps one benefit of buying a car with such high mileage is that it hasn’t had time to develop “sit-around” problems. But the history of this machine is largely a grey area.

There are also signs of its cold-climate roots (New York but also Ohio, according to the titling information), namely surface corrosion on the underside and on many of the pictured suspension components. The interior, further, is worn in places, not surprising given how much the car has been driven.  In sum, would-be collectors can decide whether this is a long-delayed fantasy fulfillment machine or just a repainted 1980s used car.

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  1. CCFisher

    It’s a 35-year-old Mustang convertible. It’s definitely not just a used car.

    It’s definitely had some attention. That interior is too clean and bright for 35 years and 145,000 miles. Also, it appears as though it was originally “Cabernet Red,” likely with a titanium lower body and a red stripe in the bodyside moldings.

    Like 4

    I like and respect the Fox Mustangs. Ford didn’t play games with the performance buying consumer. Over at GM you could get a manual with a V6 or special order one with a 305 in your Camaro. You had to know someone that knew a secret code to get a 350.

    Ford had the fun factor figured out. EFI 5.0 and were handing out manual transmissions like candy. In fact were standard equipment. An AOD was extra cost. That meant a lot of hurt feelings in the real world of the streets. A magazine dedicated to the Fox and a huge aftermarket meant Mustang fever.

    This car a convertible is nice. These had a solid well made feel. The Gen 3 Camaro cost a ton in rag top format and sold poorly compaired to the Mustang. I don’t know the numbers but have seen more Renault Alliance convertibles than the Gen III in drop top.

    Although This is a GT it has the AOD. My experience comes with age and the Ford automatics shifted wonky and due to that age should be no different now and needing a rebuild. The quick color change (black is better) but the details were skipped.

    I say used car.

    Like 5
    • Maggy

      Ford aod’s as well as aode’s were solid transmissions.Seen em with over 3 to 400k all the time on the limo fleets we serviced back in the day and those cars were tortured 24 7.

      Like 3
    • douglas hunt

      it’s funny you mention manuals were handed out willy nilly …..88/89 I went to the local Ford dealer with my gf, and test drove a white Mustang vert, but it was automatic, and had a white top. I wanted a black top, external color not so picky, but def wanted a 5speed, but the guy wouldn’t try to get me one… since I was driving a company car, I waited for a while, and then picked up a nice used 280Z

      Like 1
  3. Chris Cornetto

    One of the few 80s cars I wanted when new. I wanted an LX. They were around 15 grand in LX form with the 5.0 and the T5. I waited and bought a very nice white version which I have enjoyed the last 25 years. Aside from brakes, tires, and an alternator my car has about 10 thousand less miles on it than this one and gives me no issues. Sits in the garage for months,a couple of cranks and away you go. Love these, it was my first convertible with non vinyl or leather seats and you can’t beat it on a hot summer day, no towel needed.

    Like 1
  4. Motorcityman

    9 Owners….
    I say used car.

    Like 5
  5. SD400

    I’ve bought em like that in the 90’s at auction/ruined in the 2500/3500 hundred range……..

    Like 0
  6. Keith Hagerty

    For me, it’s a mustang and will always be collectible. The question is – is this one that someone wants to spend the time and money on making it right? I like it in black with the red interior more than the red on red, but would work to clean up the engine compartment and paint it black to match and suspect may need to do the same in the trunk, and put in a T-5 and enjoy the hell out of it. I had a 90 7-Up edition 5.0 convertible with the T-5 and some suspension mods and it was a really fun car.

    Like 1
  7. Maggy

    I was always an LX 5 speed guy.Never cared for the body add ons of the GT.That’s just me though. That efi 5.0 was a great engine even though I prefer the 4.6 modular in later times. I almost bought a white 89 lx convert.with 44k on it and a 5 speed , shorty headers,cold air kit and a Hurst short throw shifter for 10k 3-4 years ago.Florida car , was mint.Car is probably 20k now.My how classic car prices have changed these last few years.Glwts.

    Like 2
  8. Danny

    Nice mustang, nice price. Car could be a driver or collectable,The market on these cars are starting to elevate, as collectors priced out of the market are starting to purchase these cars at entry level cost. These cars will be the next to move into the upper tier prices of the industry, great investment!

    Like 1
  9. Troy

    9 owners and over 100k miles by 1997 per the report I’m going to say the 5 digit odometer has rolled at least twice but if you’re just going to drive it hard and put it away not bad for the money

    Like 0
  10. Jay McCarthy

    Sold at $5200 today

    Like 0

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