Jim Smart
August 1, 2008
The '69-'70 SportsRoofs are plain in factory clothing. However, here's what you can do to change that.

Hot Collectibles To Keep Stock
What are hot Mustang collectibles, and should you invest in one? Although it's hard to lose money on a collectible Mustang, you should know what you're doing when it's time to write a check. In a soft marketplace, some sellers believe their classic musclecars are still worth what they were three years ago. Well, the musclecar boom is over for the time being, much like it was in 1991. This doesn't mean it won't take off again. Now is the time to find a musclecar bargain.

Cash tight? Go for the humble-yet-striking '65-'66 hardtop with six or base V-8. It doesn't have to stay humble; imagination can take you anywhere.

Buying a high-end classic Mustang is like investing in prime real estate or blue chip stock. At times, values are going to be below par, and that's when you buy. Hard times can create opportunity and the chance to find and buy what you've always dreamed of owning because there's always someone out there who has to sell. Here are some of the best Mustang investments:

Never count out the fastback. Although the Eleanor craze ran prices through the roof, prices are again under control thanks to the current economic recession and the passing (finally!) of the Eleanor trend.

Hot collectibles aren't always obvious. Any rare Mustang can easily be termed a collectible because they're challenging to find. Low-mileage, unrestored original cars can also be designated as collectibles. Other interesting cars include the '69 Limited Edition 600 SportsRoof and the '66 Sprint 200 hardtop. These were limited-edition dealer promotions with cool colors and graphics, as well as economical six-cylinder engines. Rainbow of Colors cars for '68-'69 in California fall into the same category. These kinds of cars make great investments and conversation pieces because they're unusual.

Others, like the '84-'86 SVO, are collectible because they're rare with a unique history. Yet resale values tend to suffer because few know what the Mustang SVO is today. The same can be said for the '84 20th Anniversary GT350, '94 30th Anniversary Indy 500, and even the '03 Ford 100th Anniversary and '04 40th Anniversary cars. These are the cars you buy and enjoy for modest cash outlay today and put away for tomorrow. As with any investment, there's no guarantee of what they will be worth in 20 years. Much depends on the economy and demographics of an aging population eager to relive its youth down the road.

Box stock or tastefully modified, nothing beats a classic hardtop for eyewash. This Wimbledon White '66 hardtop with accent stripes, Styled Steel wheels, and 289-4V V-8 is simply elegant. These remain one of the best Mustang values going because they will always hold their worth.

Best Builds
Great Values For Show & Go
Ford has provided us with 44 years of Mustangs. Some are expensive while others are cheap, and you get to choose. If you must have a classic Mustang but are on a limited budget, go for what's timeless and plentiful. If faced with choosing between '65-'66 and '67-'68, choose the latter for its wider track, smoother ride, and more deeply sculptured lines. The most affordable classic Mustangs out there are unrestored '65-'73 hardtops with sixes and standard V-8s.

Enjoy The Ride
Somewhere between disco and the Hillary/Obama campaign, we forgot the main reason to invest in a Mustang-to enjoy them. In this Wall Street-crazed, investment-obsessed era, we've forgotten how to have fun and enjoy the journey between puberty and retirement. An automobile's primary purpose is transportation. Its secondary purpose is recreation.