Show Car, Project Car, or Daily Driver: First off, you should decide why you are purchasing a used Mustang. Are you looking for a show car that you’ll garage and display at car shows, or a project car that you plan to restore in your spare time? Possibly you’re looking for a daily driver? Each of these vehicles has a specific use. Therefore, each specific purchase should be handled in a unique way.
When Buying Any Vehicle: Regardless of the Mustang you plan to purchase, always inspect the title carefully before handing over your hard-earned money. Buying online via Ebay or Craigslist might seem like a good idea, but make sure you live close enough to the vehicle to examine it in person. Buying a Mustang without examining it first is a risky proposition.
In addition, make sure the name on the title and registration matches up with the name of the person selling you the vehicle. The VIN can be found on the inner fender of 1965-1968 Mustangs. From 1968 and up, all original engines are stamped with the VIN at the back of the engine block.
I also strongly recommend using a service such as CarFax.com to determine where the car has been. Possibly it was in an accident a few years back.
Not long ago, I found a 'great' deal on a used 1989 Mustang GT. The car seemed to be in great condition. Unfortunately, the deal was too good to be true. A CarFax report found that the vehicle's current owner could not get the vehicle to pass state inspection. He had tried two times in one year and failed each time. If I had purchased the vehicle, I would have been in the same situation. A CarFax report can reveal the vehicle’s history and then some.
Also, always bring a friend with you when you go to examine a vehicle. Never go alone. And most importantly, always be wary of sellers who are in a rush to get rid of the vehicle. If they can’t wait long enough for you to inspect the vehicle and sleep on the purchase, move on and find someone who will.
All-in-all, there are plenty of used Mustangs on the market with many amazing deals to be had. Just remember to do your research, get the vehicle inspected, and always go with your gut feeling. If you don’t feel right about the purchase, chances are you shouldn’t buy.
Have fun and good luck!