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Muscle Car Talk: Is A Car Ever Past Saving?

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By Mark Weisseg

By all appearances this Mustang has been sitting outside for one too many years. The question is it worth the time, money, and pain to fully restore?

Is it ever too late for a car?
I hate to see anything go to the crusher, but in this case, my vote would be yes. If I was the one that had to do this restoration, I couldn’t get past the amount of money needed for the restoration.
There is so much to do here the project would be a whopper. We all have seen worse become show cars but that usually means a bunch of professionals had a hand in it.
Most of us do not have a big garage space and all the toys you see on TV. Not many of us have a metal bender, a laser cutter, a big welder, a fork lift, a parts room, a big parts washer, an engine room, a room to do the interior and so on. That is why if I found this I would buy it but either try to sell it to the right person, or dig very deep and have a real restorer do the work.

On the flipside, if you have the willpower, time and vision, anything is possible.
If you’re dead set on turning this wreck into a sure winner, given enough time, it is possible. How much it will cost you and how much the car will be worth at the end is another factor.

It’s all about the money and resources
That brings me to my final point. I was watching the big league car auction a few weeks ago and the announcer several times said this car has $200,000 in it and then it sells for $45,000. That example with similar numbers was a constant. Now, I am not a math wizard but if I dropped 200k on rebuilding something and sold it for 45k plus fees I am under the belief I lost a lot of money. Auctions are one thing, restoring a car yourself is another.
You could argue that the majority of people who restore cars themselves do it for the hobby which means money is spent, because of the love of the car and nothing else, but you also don’t want to sink $200,000 into a vehicle to actually be worth a fraction of that.

If you are going to jump feet first into a project, please be aware of what you are really getting yourself into.

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