Jeff Ford
July 1, 2002
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives

How They Have Done
CPI has kept track of collector car prices for the last 27 years, and have a wealth of pricing info on the Mustang market. Below are charts showing the various rates of increase or decline for five vintage cars we've picked.

The cars were chosen because they are among the most desirable of the breed. Most, with the exception of the '65 hardtop and '93 LX hatchback, are the cream of the price crop in the Mustang and Shelby sections of the CPI value guide as well as with the buying public.

What's The Best?
What is the best kind of investment? Well, after looking at everything else, we've concluded that the vintage car as a daily driver is one of the best ways to "invest." Its value does not nosedive as badly as a 2001 or 2002 Mustang, which can fluctuate wildly and mostly in a negative way within the first few months of ownership.

You're less likely to get "upside down" on a vintage car. A late model Mustang ('97 on up) can kill you financially if you want to unload it and get into another one. However, a vintage Mustang, if bought right and maintained, can bring in more cash than the initial investment.

Best & Worst Investment Mustangs
Early Cars
The very first Mustangs are a class by themselves. They've held their value better than most cars from the era. Although early production Ponies built between March 9 and the end of August 1964 can command slightly better prices than later '65 Mustangs, the whole of the '65 production has a good value-but not staggering.

The problem with the early-build cars is that the buyer has to be in the know on the peculiarities of these cars for the value to be there. Below are the best bets as we see them.

Convertible ('64 1/2, should be a V-8 convertible, preferably a 289)Fastback (early production, should be a V-8, August throughOctober 1964)

Shelbys
Although the whole of Shelby production is pretty hot, dollar-for-dollar, the '65 or '68 UR Shelby is the best investment car. Values on these have remained steady but climbing after the market fall in '92. That, of course, is a problem; since the values are up and these cars are rare, you won't get any great deals. You might not be making much money on the resale-but boy will the interim be fun! Below are some standout Shelbys.

'65 GT350 (best bet for holding its value)
'67 GT500/350 (if you're looking to sell at a big profit, do it now; Eleanor will fade away)
'68 GT500KR (like the '65, it's a high-in, high-out machine, cost-wise)
'69 GT500 (up and comer, prices keep going up)

"Muscle" Mustangs
Definitely the cream of the investment crop where Ford ponycars are concerned. The musclecars outperform most of the other types of cars and are, on the whole, well known. Even the latter-day muscle Mustangs like the Cobras (both Rs and regular) are seemingly holding onto their value better than the average family sedan. Early cars like the 428- and 429-powered Mach 1s seem to only increase in value. Obviously, the more rare the muscle, the higher the value. Witness prices on the '93 Cobra next to a '93 GT; the GT is almost half of what the Cobra will run you.

Mach 1s (428 CJ with Shaker "R code" or '71 429 SCJ)
Boss cars (especially the Boss 429)
GTs (289 Hi Po, 390 or 428)
Cobras ('93 or '93 and '95 Cobra R)

We've gone over this before, but in light of the story this month, we figured we'd attack it again. This time, though, we'll attack it from style groupings and makes.

Best & Worst Investment Mustangs
Bad Boys
Well, we have to bring it up: Mustangs that are nags as investments. This does not mean we feel they are worthless or any less a Mustang, but they don't make good investments because the return is not there.