RossD PowerDork
April 11, 2014 8:16 a.m.

So I went to look at a '85 Mustang GT last night... it's been in a shed since '97 and has never been driven in winter. The body seemed straight and clean but there was a bit of surface rust on the inside bottom of at least the passenger door. It has a 5 speed, A/C, PW/PL/PS/PB, hardtop hatchback, the exterior was some red color, the outside was covered in dust, louvers on the back window, the seats were in good condition (dark grey with red piping), the interior REEKED! like mouse piss, and the car was hardly accessible.

The guy wants $4k for it. He said that he would pull it out, clean it off, try to shampoo the interior, drop/clean the tank, and try to get it started. He said he put it in the shed for winter, and went to get a winter beater. But he bought a new truck instead and never went back to his mustang. I'm not sure how quick he will actually pull it out and get it cleaned up as he's not in a hurry to sell it; I'm the only one looking at and that knows its for sale. Part of me want to shoot him a lower offer and do it all myself...

So the guy is my mom's cousin's kid and I've known him for years, just not very well until recently. He has brain cancer. My wife and I already have been to his benefit/fundraiser, so we've already gave him money. I wouldn't have a problem paying a bit on the high side but I don't want to pay double what it's worth, when I could pay the same amount and have a decent driver off of craigslist.

If the car was cleaned up, running and priced at $4k, it would probably be worth it, right? The tires need to be replace and that would fall on me.

How hard is it to get the mouse piss smell out of a car that's been sitting since the late nineties?

What would be a good offer for the car if he just pumped up the tires to roll it onto trailer to get it to my place? $2500 or $3k. It really is pretty straight and other than cd player/amp/sub and hurst shifter knob, it didn't looked hacked up at all. The strut towers were nice and clean.

Talk me into a four eyed mustang. Oh, and the Miata would be out the door if a mustang came to live with us...

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
April 11, 2014 8:23 a.m.

I would look for another example that doesn't smell like mouse piss. Not because you can't get rid of the smell, but because mice like to chew on things like electrical wires.

N Sperlo MegaDork
April 11, 2014 8:24 a.m.

I'd offer 2K, but I'm an shiny happy person.

$2500 is a good starting point. The '85 is among my favorite Mustangs. May as well see where it leads.

Nothing against sellers/buyers with health issues, but I did sell a good running but salvaged truck to a neighbor who's wife had cancer. I sold it for $500. He changed the rear brakes and attempted to resell it to me for $800 using his wife's cancer as more reason to raise the price. Just because you know them and have helped them out doesn't mean they will do you favors.

N Sperlo MegaDork
April 11, 2014 8:25 a.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: mice like to chew on things like electrical wires.

That. Voles, too.

moparman76_69 SuperDork
April 11, 2014 8:35 a.m.

Sitting in a barn for 17 years makes it worth less not more. People look at low miles and no rust as value adding, which they are, but the damage caused by sitting unused exposed to mice and other vermin devalues it by much more. I would pass.

RossD PowerDork
April 11, 2014 8:36 a.m.

With regards to the stink, I looked up new carpet, new headliner, and a replacement taillights (one had a hole and figured a pair would look better) and it was just under $500 from some online resto place. I'm not afraid of wiring but not being able to find a wire that has been chewed on by mice could be potentially maddening. Definitely something to consider.

N Sperlo: I think $2500 with him doing no work other than getting it out of the shed would be reasonable. Although:

http://appleton.craigslist.org/cto/4401295071.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/4384551594.html

http://appleton.craigslist.org/cto/4401291188.html

Ranger50 PowerDork
April 11, 2014 8:39 a.m.

5k buys a nice runner with good paint and will go anywhere without breaking down.

Vigo PowerDork
April 11, 2014 8:46 a.m.

Based on its CURRENT condition (and not on a hypothetical condition it may someday reach if the seller does things they say they will do) I imagine myself thinking that car is worth 1000-1200$ at the most. If it was running and driving well it wouldnt be worth 4k unless the paint and interior clean up REALLY well.

RossD PowerDork
April 11, 2014 8:50 a.m.

I think you guys are telling me what I already know, but I need to hear it anyways.

aussiesmg MegaDork
April 11, 2014 8:54 a.m.

V8 manual Foxes are now on the rise, if it was running, driving and the paint restores to a reasonably good condition it would be worth $4K. I think Vigo is a little light at $1200 though, without seeing it I would say $2K is close

gofastbobby Reader
April 11, 2014 10:32 a.m.

The 85 mustang GT is a great year for the fox mustang. Roller cam motor, 600 holley carb, 5 speed manual. That's a very cool car and even better that it's not t-top.

Too bad it's in rough shape.

Petrolburner New Reader
April 11, 2014 12:17 p.m.

What does it cost to replace all the dry rotted oil seals, hoses and vacuum lines? Walk away.

Woody MegaDork
April 11, 2014 12:25 p.m.

You had me right up until mouse piss.

1966stang
1966stang Reader
April 11, 2014 12:26 p.m.
Vigo wrote: Based on its CURRENT condition (and not on a hypothetical condition it may someday reach if the seller does things they say they will do) I imagine myself thinking that car is worth 1000-1200$ at the most. If it was running and driving well it wouldnt be worth 4k unless the paint and interior clean up REALLY well.

Pretty much this. I love that Era of Mustang, but that car ahs majro downsides also. I would be ahrd pressed to give him more than $1000 for it. All of the suspension bushings are probably old/brittle, as are all of the seals and weather stripping, etc.

It would make one berkleying awesome drag car though.

1966stang
1966stang Reader
April 11, 2014 12:26 p.m.
Petrolburner wrote: What does it cost to replace all the dry rotted oil seals, hoses and vacuum lines? Walk away.

Not to mention that your time is worth something, my friend.

1966stang
1966stang Reader
April 11, 2014 12:27 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote: 5k buys a nice runner with good paint and will go anywhere without breaking down.

And there are a large number of other cars that will do much more from an automotive motorsports perspective than a Fox body also. I love them, but the suspension geometry is pretty much stone age.

April 11, 2014 12:32 p.m.
gofastbobby wrote: The 85 mustang GT is a great year for the fox mustang. Roller cam motor, 600 holley carb, 5 speed manual. That's a very cool car and even better that it's not t-top. Too bad it's in rough shape.

I agree, to me the 85-86 GTs are the best-looking of all the Foxes. I'd probably lean toward the 86 to get the 8.8" rear end and fuel injection. Yes, the heads are crap, but that's easily remedied in the aftermarket. And oh yeah, I'll take T-tops in mine, thankyouverymuch.

As for this one, too many unknowns. It sounds like the basic bones of the car are good (rust-free chassis, low-mile engine and drivetrain), but the rest of it can put you in the poor house or take more time than the car is worth to set right. Having said that, an 85 GT is a car worth saving. Just not at that price.

Maroon92 MegaDork
April 11, 2014 4:31 p.m.

That's a no-go car at $1000, and it's certainly not worth $2500.

I LOVE Fox mustangs, but that one is no winner.

bmw88rider Reader
April 11, 2014 5:41 p.m.

I absolutely loved my 85 mustang. Red with t-tops and a 5 speed. Not the best year to build up with the weakest T5 of them all and the 7.5" axle and ehh heads. All of those were tossed on mine along with a lot of other things.

I don't know if I would trust a car stored that long though. I had enough problems with my car's wiring and I didn't have mine sitting that long. The insulation would just flake off.

SeanC
SeanC New Reader
April 11, 2014 5:55 p.m.

Keep looking.

-Sean

ddavidv PowerDork
April 12, 2014 5:33 a.m.

Those things are hardly rare. For his asking price you can buy one without all the unknowns.

ls1fiero Reader
April 12, 2014 6:33 a.m.

In my four eyes 85 is the best year of the early foxes. It being the last year for the carb. Figure that most have been hacked/modded by now so a stock one is very hard to find. I have destunk a few cars now. It can be done. Lots of cleaning and application of the right disinfectants will do it. My fave is the stuff that you spray into HVAC systems. Parts are everywhere and cheap anyway. As for the suspension and brakes they are also very easily upgraded to make it truly fast car if that's what you want. Go for it. I think its a $2500 car and will appreciate in value... AND we are now just a few days away from the 50th anniversary of the Mustang on the 17th of April.

Mr_Clutch42 Reader
April 12, 2014 7:14 a.m.

The car is honestly only worth $1000 because they're not all that desirable. You also have to factor in that ALL of the fluids are bad. Oil, Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant, trans fluid, gear oil(for the rear end) and gas. There's the other problems everyone else mentioned, then you have to worry about some fixes that the owner didn't feel like doing before he let it sit, and the shocks are no good either.

TeamEvil Reader
April 12, 2014 6:03 p.m.

Around here, that would be $1,500 tops. Sitting that long, you can count on brakes, and exhaust. Radiator hoses, plug wires, random ignition parts and fuel problems sooner than later. Possibly a new radiator, definitely front end work.

There are any number of products that promise the world in ridding a car of odors, but really . . . mouse urine is forever. Clean it down to the bare metal, wait for a hot day, and it'll come right back again. You're going to have to completely strip out the interior and heater system/hoses/ducts/under dash/glove box/everything, even the headliner.

Then new seat covers and padding, carpets, and headliner minimum. Wash down the seat frames, inside of the doors, under dash metal, door cards, handles, steering wheel, again every single thing.

It'll take forever, cost a fortune and still the smell will return.

Really . . . honestly . . . you'll never get rid of it entirely.

Brotus7 HalfDork
April 12, 2014 7:13 p.m.

My Lemons Datsun say in a garage since the early 90's. Even with he entire interior ripped out, no fabric in the car at all, if you get close to the metal, it still smells like mouse piss. I would walk away.

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