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Advice needed on sale of 1990 Saleen Mustang


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My sister in law is in need of selling her deceased brothers car. It has only 8900 miles on it and has been parked in the garage for over twenty years. It’s not a fire sale situation either. What would the value of this car be in top shape? Any ideas on the best way to go? 

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I don’t mean to bad mouth it, and I am certain it has a devoted following, but I think you might want to get an appraisal from someone familiar with the exact cars. It appears to have some unusual equipment options that could greatly add to the value but might also have suffered from sitting. If nothing else you need to get It out for better pictures because what I see above is a far cry from your description of a car in “top shape” not to mention it hasn’t run in 20 years introduces a whole Pandora’s box of issues. I wish you luck with helping out your sister in law.

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18 minutes ago, Mark Wetherbee said:

I don’t mean to bad mouth it, and I am certain it has a devoted following, but I think you might want to get an appraisal from someone familiar with the exact cars. It appears to have some unusual equipment options that could greatly add to the value but might also have suffered from sitting. If nothing else you need to get It out for better pictures because what I see above is a far cry from your description of a car in “top shape” not to mention it hasn’t run in 20 years introduces a whole Pandora’s box of issues. I wish you luck with helping out your sister in law.

Please reread my description. Nothing says it is in top shape. I only posed a question.Thanks for your input.

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I havent sold through 'Bring a Trailer' (BAT), but I have heard that they can be particular and this car may not fit their standard.

Fox body mustangs are extremely hot right now, and probably will be in the near future. I would suggest joining a Mustang group. An online search will turn up a dozen, find one that specializes in Fox body cars. There WILL be someone there looking for this car. The Saleen was a special edition car and is quite desirable. Having said that to mirror what wetherbee has stated that car is a bit far away from 'TOP' shape. It doesnt look to have been stored very well and not running for any length of time does more harm than good. A nice barn find (what it looks like to me) low mileage Saleen Mustang may very well bring $10k, or more. You have 2 bonus' for that car right now, its a Saleen, and its in original condition. A lot of these were rode hard and put away wet. I would find a reputable local mustang guy to take a look and see what needs to be done to at least get it cleaned up and running. I dont think I would do any more than preservation, i.e. clean up, change fluids, air in the tires, belts, etc. before the sale of the car. Leave the condition of the paint as is and everything in place.  The more original the more value it will have.

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Steve, I offer my humblest of apologies. I see you are a long standing member, so you know about condition and cars in general. I did not look at your profile at first, only that someone was selling a mustang. But I do stand by my statements above. I dont think there will be any problem selling this car pretty much as is. Like I stated before it is a very desirable model.

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It does not appear to be a real Saleen, just a GT with Saleen wing and decals. Hood is aftermarket, wheels from a 94 Mustang, standard seats instead of Flo-Fits that came in Saleens. Turbo gage is a puzzle since Saleen never offered a turbo. 5.0 Mustangs are getting popular but they have to be exceptional originals to bring top money. Modifications by owner usually hurt values. Great 5.0s can bring $20-25k but most are still under $10.

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8 minutes ago, Steve9 said:

Please reread my description. Nothing says it is in top shape. 

Here is what you wrote in the description: What would the value of this car be in top shape?

 

From that line, Some readers may construe; that You are stating a condition of your car.  Why ask about a perfect example? Knowing your car may be made to be perfect; but it not in that condition as it sets now.

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I will concur with the above statement that it looks like a GT with a few Saleen parts. Ground effects are standard Ford not the Saleen pieces that are the Saleen's most distinctive feature and not optional--nobody would remove Saleen parts to reinstall Ford stuff. Same with the taillights--all Saleens used the LX taillights because the cars were built from LXs. The workmanship that's visible is not Saleen-grade (the gauge held in place with a pop rivet is a big clue). Speedometer is Saleen, but that's a popular change since the Ford speedo was a pathetic 85 MPH unit. The automatic transmission is going to be a big hindrance to value and marketability--everyone wants a 5-speed. I don't quite agree that the day of the 5.0 has arrived yet, although a few low mileage LX 5.0 cars have brought strong money on places like BaT. However, I have a gorgeous all-original, 26,000-mile, 1-female-owner, 5-speed GT convertible for sale for around $20K with no takers and it puzzles me.

 

 

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Something like this is probably in the $5000-8000 range if it's clean and running, despite the low mileage (which, of course, might be since the speedometer was swapped, not since new). You should get it running, which should be easy, and determine the extent and type of modifications which may appeal to some people. It has a very dated look with the white painted trim and 3-spoke wheels (they look aftermarket to me, not 1994 Mustang GT) so if she wants top dollar, there might be some investing to do there or just cut it loose and let someone else worry about it.

 

I'll bet you lunch that it's not a real Saleen and the mileage isn't correct, but that doesn't mean a clean 5.0 isn't going to find a home. Just not for a big pile of money.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 However, I have a gorgeous all-original, 26,000-mile, 1-female-owner, 5-speed GT convertible for sale for around $20K with no takers and it puzzles me.

 

 

079.thumb.JPG.faf0c6612f1ef68363e667498eb72bbd.JPG 

It's that NAPA battery!😛

 

That's nice car though.

 

I sure was glad Ford used those faux-louvered taillights for only one year. That's one styling touch I just could never get into, whether factory like Mustang GT, 74 Olds Delta or 75 Monte Carlo, or those cheap-looking overlays attached with velcro that every pickup truck around here wore.

 

I can't offer an opinion on the OP's car except that without full documentation a Saleen should be viewed warily. The type car it is opens it up to yahoo-style modifications. They're like my Hurst/Oldsmobiles- long as they're in the hands of their original owners they'll fare pretty well. But once they get in the used car pipeline...

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"speedo was a pathetic 85 MPH " Am I the only one who liked the 85 speedos. The were easy to read in a glance and above 85 I'd be watching the tach anyway. Somewhere I have a photo of the Sunbird speedo pointing a little past straight down.

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I will concur with the above statement that it looks like a GT with a few Saleen parts. Ground effects are standard Ford not the Saleen pieces that are the Saleen's most distinctive feature and not optional--nobody would remove Saleen parts to reinstall Ford stuff. Same with the taillights--all Saleens used the LX taillights because the cars were built from LXs. The workmanship that's visible is not Saleen-grade (the gauge held in place with a pop rivet is a big clue). Speedometer is Saleen, but that's a popular change since the Ford speedo was a pathetic 85 MPH unit. The automatic transmission is going to be a big hindrance to value and marketability--everyone wants a 5-speed. I don't quite agree that the day of the 5.0 has arrived yet, although a few low mileage LX 5.0 cars have brought strong money on places like BaT. However, I have a gorgeous all-original, 26,000-mile, 1-female-owner, 5-speed GT convertible for sale for around $20K with no takers and it puzzles me.

 

 

001.thumb.JPG.ad16b1c4f0cd03d22cbfe43eb91b48f9.JPG  049.thumb.JPG.c8c2b0be200d442c63e1aa9b0ea3bd73.JPG  079.thumb.JPG.faf0c6612f1ef68363e667498eb72bbd.JPG  096.thumb.jpg.80d632d69d61208b26b10835295b0cef.jpg

 

Something like this is probably in the $5000-8000 range if it's clean and running, despite the low mileage (which, of course, might be since the speedometer was swapped, not since new). You should get it running, which should be easy, and determine the extent and type of modifications which may appeal to some people. It has a very dated look with the white painted trim and 3-spoke wheels (they look aftermarket to me, not 1994 Mustang GT) so if she wants top dollar, there might be some investing to do there or just cut it loose and let someone else worry about it.

 

I'll bet you lunch that it's not a real Saleen and the mileage isn't correct, but that doesn't mean a clean 5.0 isn't going to find a home. Just not for a big pile of money.

Thanks for weighing in Matt. I was hoping to get your opinion. Thank you sir!

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I will concur with the above statement that it looks like a GT with a few Saleen parts. Ground effects are standard Ford not the Saleen pieces that are the Saleen's most distinctive feature and not optional--nobody would remove Saleen parts to reinstall Ford stuff. Same with the taillights--all Saleens used the LX taillights because the cars were built from LXs. The workmanship that's visible is not Saleen-grade (the gauge held in place with a pop rivet is a big clue). Speedometer is Saleen, but that's a popular change since the Ford speedo was a pathetic 85 MPH unit. The automatic transmission is going to be a big hindrance to value and marketability--everyone wants a 5-speed. I don't quite agree that the day of the 5.0 has arrived yet, although a few low mileage LX 5.0 cars have brought strong money on places like BaT. However, I have a gorgeous all-original, 26,000-mile, 1-female-owner, 5-speed GT convertible for sale for around $20K with no takers and it puzzles me.

 

 

001.thumb.JPG.ad16b1c4f0cd03d22cbfe43eb91b48f9.JPG  049.thumb.JPG.c8c2b0be200d442c63e1aa9b0ea3bd73.JPG  079.thumb.JPG.faf0c6612f1ef68363e667498eb72bbd.JPG  096.thumb.jpg.80d632d69d61208b26b10835295b0cef.jpg

 

Something like this is probably in the $5000-8000 range if it's clean and running, despite the low mileage (which, of course, might be since the speedometer was swapped, not since new). You should get it running, which should be easy, and determine the extent and type of modifications which may appeal to some people. It has a very dated look with the white painted trim and 3-spoke wheels (they look aftermarket to me, not 1994 Mustang GT) so if she wants top dollar, there might be some investing to do there or just cut it loose and let someone else worry about it.

 

I'll bet you lunch that it's not a real Saleen and the mileage isn't correct, but that doesn't mean a clean 5.0 isn't going to find a home. Just not for a big pile of money.

 

Is it just me or does it look like this Mustang had a right front collision at one time?

Sure looks like some damage near the strut tower in that under hood pic.

That would definitely hurt buyer enthusiasm is true.

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7 minutes ago, zepher said:

 

Is it just me or does it look like this Mustang had a right front collision at one time?

Sure looks like some damage near the strut tower in that under hood pic.

That would definitely hurt buyer enthusiasm is true.

 

No, no damage, never hit. The discoloration you see isn't rust, but the remains of a thick layer of undercoating. This car was undercoated by the dealer when it was new and Michael spent a week cleaning it off the engine bay surfaces. I can see how it might look a little distorted there in that photo, but it's just Ford's indifferent quality control. My 1993 LX5.0 looks the same in that area. Just some factory holes, a dimple (that I presume is a fold point for crash absorption), and clean sheetmetal.

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36 minutes ago, padgett said:

Somewhere I have a photo of the Sunbird speedo pointing a little past straight down.

Had a 1970 Grand Prix way back when. I've seen that speedometer with the needle pointing to the K in the brake warning lamp at the bottom.

 

Car had 140mph speedometer. Prob not accurate but it was enough to make a buddy in the passenger seat curl up in fetal position and cry. Strange, he wouldn't ride with me after that. We went anywhere "I'll drive!!"

 

Oh to be young and stupid again. Prob a good thing Saleens cost what they did. Kept the young and stupid away from such outrageous machinery.

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44 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

It's that NAPA battery!😛

 

That's nice car though.

 

I sure was glad Ford used those faux-louvered taillights for only one year. That's one styling touch I just could never get into, whether factory like Mustang GT, 74 Olds Delta or 75 Monte Carlo, or those cheap-looking overlays attached with velcro that every pickup truck around here wore.

 

I can't offer an opinion on the OP's car except that without full documentation a Saleen should be viewed warily. The type car it is opens it up to yahoo-style modifications. They're like my Hurst/Oldsmobiles- long as they're in the hands of their original owners they'll fare pretty well. But once they get in the used car pipeline...

 

Actually, the "cheese grater" taillights were standard on the GT from 1987-1993. Yes, they are a "love it or hate it" proposition. They were a big part of the reason why my car is an LX.

 

 

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Good to know. Had always thought they were 89. Only one I was ever really around much was a 25th Anniversary a young friend bought in early 2000s and the first thing he did was put LX taillights on it. When he sold the car a few years later the GT taillights were in the trunk but the new owner didn't like them either.

 

As complicated (and probably expensive) as they were to produce they had a cheap faddish look. Not quite as bad as aforementioned aftermarket truck overlays.

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3 hours ago, intimeold said:

Here is what you wrote in the description: What would the value of this car be in top shape?

 

From that line, Some readers may construe; that You are stating a condition of your car.  Why ask about a perfect example? Knowing your car may be made to be perfect; but it not in that condition as it sets now.

I apologize for biting back on the statement in the original post. I am a victim of poor wording on the post. The very thing I was trying to avoid.

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15 minutes ago, Steve9 said:

I apologize for biting back on the statement in the original post. I am a victim of poor wording on the post. The very thing I was trying to avoid.

Appreciate your comments, I really did the same thing as TAKerry and assumed you thought it was better than the pictures...

 

Im also glad you are getting good perspective on what it truly is as I am not up on anything this new even though it was a Mustang where I started playing with cars, albeit many years older...

 

And looking at the condition of the front seat, I can fully believe the odometer is correct, it’s not even broken in going by the picture.

Edited by Mark Wetherbee (see edit history)
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I am very grateful for the education on this ‘Stang. I spoke to my wife and we will not just walk away from involvement, we will run!! The last thing I need is to flesh out that her departed brother was a flim-flam man or worse a sucker for buying a counterfeit car! Thanks to all for the input and Happy Holidays to you.

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I don't really think that you should regard her brother as having made a mistake or that he was trying to pass off this car as something it isn't. One of the great things about the 5.0 Mustang is the truly VAST aftermarket and finding an unmodified 5.0 is very rare. Even Saleen sold most of their parts over-the-counter so you could make your car look like a Saleen, including the wing, decals, and other parts. Their cars were assigned unique VINs (Saleen claimed to be a manufacturer, not a modification company or tuner, so technically the cars aren't Ford Mustang Saleens, they're just Saleens) so the "real" Saleens are always easy to identify. However, the sale of parts made it easy for hobbyists to get the parts they liked and build their cars their own way. I suspect that's what the deal is with this Mustang--her brother had a 5.0, he bought a Saleen wing and decal, a fiberglass hood from some other manufacturer, had someone paint the black trim white, as was the fashion at the time, and a few other details. No crime there.

 

My own Mustang is festooned with multiple modifications from various sources as I picked and chose parts that would make the car into what my ideal Mustang should be. I don't like body modifications, but a dozen different companies contributed to the mechanical upgrades I've chosen.

 

The mileage will probably depend on the title as much as anything. The speedometer has been replaced for certain but the question is when? What does the title say for mileage? Are there any other service records? I agree that the seats look awfully clean, particularly since they're leather, but then again, they could also be from a different car--I'm not sure leather was available in the hatchbacks in 1990. Hard to say just from their condition.

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Before you walk away - get the vin number and check it against the known SALEEN numbers. Matt is so knowledgeable about these things he is most likely correct. But it doesn't hurt to be sure with a simple numbers check. I'm sure he would agree that is the best way to be positive. Now where to find the SALEEN numbers are found could be another problem. Good luck. 

dave s 

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