As I had hinted before in previous installments, the auction did not exactly go as I had planned. Bidding was online only, so I was able to bid from the comfort of home, but that made it hard to juggle multiple bidding interests. Each car had its own ending time which was bumped an extra minute with each additional bid. So there was a real possibility that one would end while you were bidding on another. Scroll down to see what I ended up with…
The more “daily driver” cars were scheduled to finish first so that is where I targeted my attention initially. I had settled on the 1995 Cadillac as my primary target, with the 2003 Acura RSX as the backup choice. The bidding was going well with the price being a tick over a thousand dollars on each. As I was bidding on the Cadillac, my wife walked in the room to check on my progress. I tend to find things go better if she does not know every detail of my vehicle purchases or process. As she saw the big Cadillac on the screen there was much flailing about and gnashing of the teeth. My wife learned to drive on an early 80s Oldsmobile Cutlass and has remained solidly not a of fan of larger American cars. Trucks and SUVs are oddly exempt from this wrath, but preference is not always logical. This distraction meant that the RSX had closed and been sold to someone else. While she moaned about “what will the neighbors think” (I am sure they have seen worse) I hesitated upping my bid on the Cadillac. As a result, it sold for $1,325 + 15% buyer’s premium + 5% tax giving a total of $1,600Cdn (approx $1,200 US as of this writing), which I considered a bargain. Oddly, this was the exact same dollar value that the Acura sold for minutes earlier. I would have happily taken either at those prices.
I attempted to regroup with the Cadillac and Acura options gone and now had only seconds to consider what else to place a bid on, if I indeed wanted to. I briefly considered the Camaro with the V6 and 5 speed, but I had not really looked at it closely during the preview. I would imagine after sitting for a decade on a used car lot it was probably more of a light project than an immediate daily driver. At the same time, the PT Cruiser was trending higher than I wanted to pay. In the end it sold for $1,525 + fees + tax, and the only way I was getting it was if it went really cheap.
But what about the little blue Mustang? I had seen it briefly when my son had bought his Fiero several months ago. According to the paper on the windshield it had passed safety inspection and had low kilometers. On the negative side, there was some fender rust and that dreaded automatic transmission/small engine combination. Off the top of my head, I cannot recall the last automatic transmission car I have deliberately bought for myself. Screw it, I tossed in a low bid on the Mustang and was declared the winner a few minutes later. The whole thing was a very surreal experience. I had spent real money with just a couple keystrokes. It also felt rather frantic. I can see why people get caught up in the moment and over pay.
There was not much time to waste, so I swapped over to the project side of the auction. In the fury of daily driver bidding I had missed the 1975 Chevrolet Camaro, which sold for a very reasonable $857.36 including all fees and tax. It would take a couple multiples of that to get roadworthy and respectable again, but a solid project for someone (else).
I was now mostly interested in the 1983 Dodge Rampage and 1969 Ford F100 Custom Cab. Somehow I won a car I had not looked at in depth and was now bidding on two trucks. I figured the rusty Rampage would go for a couple hundred bucks, which would make it a feasible project. Quickly the bidding came down to myself and another bidder. They persistently bid me up before I threw in the towel at $550 without fees and tax. The other bidder promptly won it at $560 + fees + tax, for a total of $676.20, but who knows how high they were willing go. Perhaps they had not inspected it in person.
I turned my attention to the 1969 Ford F100 Custom Cab, which was in fantastic project condition but I was still internally wrestling about wanting to own a full size pickup or not. Plus, it would be another Ford and I am nothing if not diverse in my automotive interests. My waffling meant the hammer fell at $1,325.00 before fees to another bidder. I am still kicking myself for not going higher on this one. I bet it could be revived very easily.
Plenty of decent project vehicles went in the remaining minutes, but I let them slide as I did not want to make a foolhardy and forced decision. A project car is something you should have passion for, otherwise it becomes a chore. And who pays to do chores? So in the end I settled for just the win on the Mustang. My friend Rod narrowly avoiding winning the 1984 Buick Skylark station wagon that sold for $175.00 + fees + tax. He did, however, win the 1970 Datsun 521 pickup for a token amount. It is a little better than the photos show, and we are able to get it running with a few hours work a couple weeks later.
The Datsun is perhaps a story for another day, but here is a better look at the Mustang in “as bought” condition. The interior was actually quite good with only a tear in the driver’s seat. The shifter of sadness does not instill me with joy, but this is another chance to enjoy minimal cost motoring again.
The LX badge had gone missing at some point, but the dealership one is quite interesting. Kingland Ford from Hay River, Northwest Territories. That is quite far north and sparsely populated, so older cars from that area are not common either.
For comparison Hay River is roughly at the same latitude as the lower portions of Alaska. The dealership still exists but is now known as Aurora Ford. Perhaps a summer road trip destination?
Amazingly the car has only 84k original kilometers on it, which is roughly equivalent to 52k miles therefore it should have plenty of life left in it.
The final auction results are here if you wish to peruse them. Just remember each one was subject to 15% buyer’s premium then 5% sales tax on the total. A Canadian dollar is worth roughly 0.76 of an American one. Feel free to let me know what I should have bought or considered. There were definitely a few bargains that I am kicking myself for not snagging. Additionally, a few went for surprisingly strong selling prices. An auction can go that way, I guess. In the next installment we will assess the Mustang a little further and perhaps fix a few things.
CC Goes to the Auction: Part One – Daily Drive Fodder
CC Goes to the Auction: Part Two – Potential Projects
CC Goes to the Auction: Part Three – The Others
CC Goes to the Auction: Part Four – The Purchase
CC Goes to the Auction: Part Five – 1992 Ford Mustang LX Budget Makeover
Well, congratulations David. I’ve always maintained that the Fox body Mustang was just a brown paper bag that the 5.0 / 5 speed comes in, but hopefully you can have some cheap fun with the blue one.
I had a look at the results, I’d say it was ridiculously cheap across the board. My 66 Valiant went for only $255 and JCP missed out on the 67 Chrysler 300 for $180!
” 67 Chrysler 300 for $180!”
Gaaaaa!!!! I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t go looking closely at that one. It would have made the thing with Dave’s wife look pretty calm. 🙂
You bought what???? And it’s WHERE????? 🙂
One thing that deflated the prices of some of the classic cars is they did not have past Alberta registration. Without it you need to go through an out of province inspection to register. The inspection itself is expensive and strict. You basically need all new brakes, suspension, tires and windshield. Which adds up on a lower end classic car. Sadly it turns a lot of solid cars into parts cars.
The values of nice, clean V8 fox body Mustang are on the rise lately. Shocking even. Hopefully a tide that floats all boats when I go to sell my base engine car.
Sounds like some “green ” policy to get drivers in to new model vehicles. You’ll d love the UK. Cars over 40years old are inspection and road tax free. Then there’s the cheap insurance cover. The ratio of classic to modern cars on the next to nothing and the government found that the failure rate was so low, when they had inspection, it wasn’t worth the time checking . Most collector cars are maintained better than modern ones.
I’m right there with you on the automatic Mustang, but I guess the good news is that resale will be a lot easier.
Oh, oh, oh I have been there on the “You’re looking at WHAT?!?” thing. My ears still ring from the, er, talking to I got from my mother when I brought the 59 Plymouth Fury home. And Mrs. JPC was none too keen on the 84 Olds Ninety-Eight Regency either.
I get this a lot. I’ve snuck a few home before she has had a chance to see them on screen. I bought my first motorcycle when she was out of town on a girl’s weekend away.
The Mustang has actually got a lot of admiring looks so I suspect it would be easy to resell when the time comes.
I’m sorry for you guys about these issues. It’s hard to relate to, as Stephanie wouldn’t care whatever I dragged home. I guess it’s her ’60s upbringing in California. Freedom of expression is highly encouraged, including automotively.
I’m a 1970’s Vancouver Island Hippie Kid and I say that when it comes to cars, the wilder the better. In 1990, I had a Yamaha RZ350 and I had access to my Dad’s 1949 Chrysler Windsor. I met a rather nice lady and our first date, I showed up in the Chrysler. I am sure 90% of women would have freaked with that but she loved it. The next date, I showed up on the RZ and she was even more agape. I hadn’t told her I rode motorcycles.
She loved it and we spent a wonderful few years together.
Nothing wrong with having an automatic in that Mustang; It looks like a sweet ride that will clean up nicely. It probably would have made a more practical choice as a first car for your son than the Fiero you guys selected (though yes, the Fiero is cooler).
I would have gone up higher on the Rampage. You’re not likely to see one of those on the street or in an auction anytime soon, whereas Fox Stangs are still quite common.
The Rampage was pretty rusty.
I would have bought both the big Chrysler and the little wagon in a heartbeat!
Wow, some excellent values there (of course I’m here at my desk looking at pix, not on the ground there poking the rust and brushing the mouse turds off the upholstery). The Fox for $175 would be very compelling after all is said and done but looks like you did well on the Mustang! Congrats!
I can hear your wife from here, when mine walks in the door and I’m on Craigslist somehow the springs on the laptop screen mysteriously weaken and the screen folds a lot lower…
The Fox looked a little “mucked with” by a previous owner in overall vibe if that makes sense. My friend Rod has seen the orange Jetta behind it back on the road since.
Wow… the Mustang for a come-from-behind win! An unexpected ending for sure. And ultimately you can consider yourself in the very small group people who have comparison-shopped an Acura RSX and a Cadillac Brougham.
The part of the story here with your wife’s opinions is very amusing. I like how she was concerned with what the neighbors would think regarding the Cadillac… did she consider it better or worse than your various Great Beater Challenge cars?
I like the Mustang, and for the price it’s fantastic. Actually, I think it’s worth it just for the fact alone that it originated in the Northwest Territories – not quite the type of car I really associate with the NWT.
And I’m extremely impressed that you all were able to get the Datsun running so quickly. I enjoyed looking over the auction results too… generally very reasonable prices, maybe with the exception of the Jeep and the VW.
She dislikes the GBC cars very much which is why two of them (Civic and Tercel) were the kids cars as well. The others were hidden in the garage and sold shortly after.
Someone has already offered to buy the dealership badge off me but seems wrong to separate it from the car.
We were a little amazed on the little Datsun as well. We had to rewire it first as a lot of it was disconnected or missing. I think a previous owner was planning to engine swap it as the engine was just sitting on motor mounts with no fasteners.
There’s a pair of Kingland Ford dealership badges on eBay right now, for $44.95.
By weight, this may be the most valuable part of your Mustang!
Did not expect you to bring home the Mustang, but I think you did well and it should serve as a reasonable daily driver for a while. I’d think about the timing belt as who knows exactly how old it is.
Here is an idea for your buddy of what to do with the Datsun pickup since I’m thinking new front end sheet metal isn’t going to be easy to find.
Congrats and those are some awesome prices! All the classifieds (craigslist and facebook marketplace) have gotten absurd these last few years. I gotta try “going to the source” myself sometime.
If you want to tinker, that Lima motor could really wake up with a junkyard turbo setup, if you’re willing to hack up an original time capsule like that.
From what I understand the turbo motors have forged internals so it is best just to swap in a 2.3L turbo rather than hop up a standard one.
Yup, quite different all the way through. And they depend on their specific EEC-IV engine computer.
From what I’ve read it’s mostly down to the forged and dished (lower CR) pistons. But hell for a $175 play thing I’d be willing to live life on the wild side :p How much is a generic Lima turbo manifold on Amazon and a junkyard turbo? We had a Honda mechanic back in the day who threw together a junkyard setup on his 2nd gen Prelude Si, welded up a log manifold, his only fuel management was a manual FPR. Set to 5PSI it was fine. But you know how it goes… started to get greedy with boost and she popped.
Too bad you missed out on the F100 but the dealer badge makes the Mustang pretty special. When I travelled up through the Yukon and NWT and Alaska on my motorcycle back in the eighties, I noted the prevalence of Ford pickups the further north I went. Although there was a Ford dealership in Inuvik at the time (Delta Ford, they also sold Honda bikes, ATV’s and equipment) I also remember seeing a lot of badges from the Hay River dealer … apparently many customers were very far away and received their truck in winter over the river ice roads. I think in the whole region only Yellowknife had a GM dealership. And of course, at the time, GM didn’t have an extended cab pickup which was very popular for family use.
A fascinating outcome! This Mustang is, to me, much more desirable from the realistic / driver standpoint than many of the others you considered.
Having put 80,000 miles on a similar, ’89 Mustang there are a few little gremlins to look for.
First, there is a bushing of some variety where the driveshaft meets the differential. If gone you’ll hear a clunk. The rear axle in mine was nearly dry when I looked into it all. This was around 40,000 miles or so on the odometer.
The factory thermostat went kaput at like 20,000 miles.
Fuel mileage wasn’t that great – 24 mpg was the best I ever got out of mine. But I also drove it hard in hilly terrain. It was also the 2.3 (but with only four plugs, not eight) with the four-speed automatic.
A quirk in the ignition switch rendered it inoperable to all but me. I had to lift as I turned; it was replaced easily enough.
Overall, these are solid and durable cars. Given that four-banger, its weight distribution isn’t horrible for driving in snow. In fact, I had very little trouble in snow and ice, if I took it slow and thought about what I was doing. But you also have experienced snow infinitely more than I have.
This is a good choice in a great color.
The fuel injected version should be significantly better in terms of performance and mileage.
My ’89 was indeed fuel injected. The combination of (lack of) power, the automatic, and my foot was as big a factor in mileage as anything.
EPA mileage is rated as 19 city, 28 highway, 22 combined for the five speed version. I have only run a single tank through it so far.
My first new car was an 87 LX that looked just like yours, except for a slightly darker blue and a stick. (Also, no airbag of course).
It was very reliable, still running well when I traded it
at 110k miles forr a new 96 Cherokee 4.0 (also stick!) to more easily carry #1son (who is now 24 yikes).
The only quality issue was that early on some of the blue dye bled up through the metallic and made it look kind of mottled up close. The throttle body injection seemed to care a lot about gasoline brand though, it ran like crap on Arco and 76 and liked Chevron. But it never failed me.
The Rampage is/was rare, but having worked on several of those in my youth in the repo lot, I found them flimsy, rusty, and put together with indifference. You did better with the Fox—and you’ll be able to resell it for a profit, I’d suspect.
The truck fan in me is crying that you didn’t go for/win the F100 though.
A dear old friend had a 1988 Mustang with the EFI 2.3 litre and the five speed manual. I drove it quite a few times and I can say it went down the road pretty well. The rack and pinion steering was good and the interior was well put together and of good materials.
The problem was, even with the 5 speed, it was just gutless and had terrible off the line torque. I had my 1986 Jetta at the time and VW motors are always about torque. Just to get the ‘Stang (as we called it) off the line took a lot of clutch slipping.
The clearcoat flaked off so we did a quickie paint job in his garage. After fifteen years and over 300,000 km it was given to another family member who put another 200,000 km on it. The first 300k was cruising the Island Highway at 90 km/h for 50 km a day.
That looked like fun. I loved the sheer serendipity of it. Nothing like buying at auction to keep you on the edge of your seat. The negotiations with one’s partner over the acquisition or cars is a skill honed over the years. I’m reading Neil Young’s book about his cars at the moment. He had one of those west coast wives who let him keep all the old ones as well!
A lot of couriers used to drive hatchback Mustangs with the 4 cylinder and automatic. Very durable combination. Somebody got a good deal on that 1975 Camaro.
You got my hopes up with the Brougham!
Mine as well although I am irrationally happy with my Mustang.
Many years ago I converted an ’88 Mustang LX four cylinder from automatic to manual. I thought the project would be quite simple, since I had a parts car for the manual parts. However, the pedal box in the automatic car had NO provision to hang the clutch pedal mechanism, and I had not pulled one out of the donor car.
I came up with an acceptable solution and expanded my fabrication skills, but the overall benefits probably did not justify the effort…
Well, I *did* advocate for the Mustang yesterday—and so am gratified by news of your purchase. Quite a story with the car’s way-up-North roots . Hope the car doesn’t give you more-than-minor troubles—-Congratulations—–and thanks for a nice series of CC installments!
Indeed you did. The stripes are still on it so far.
Keep us posted on what you do with this car.