The Ford Mustang has become synonymous with the phrase “muscle car.” These iconic cars have been in production since April 16, 1964, when they debuted on Ford sales floors across the nation. The car has gone through years of changes, starting out as a top-line muscle car, and ending with a fresh look and feel, while being able to burn a set of tires off within a block. You will find models with small economical engines to please the drivers that want the look with the economical duties of a daily driver.
The argument among Ford Mustang enthusiasts begins when they start discussing whether money should be spent on an older model or save up for a brand new one off the lot. It all comes down to personal preference in the end, but there are legitimate reasons to argue both sides of the case.
11 Older Is Better: A Great Investment
If you stay away from the mistakes of the second generation (1974-1978 Ford Mustang II), a car that is coveted by collectors and gearheads alike is always going to be a great investment. Restoring a used Mustang can net you a return of up to 3.5 million dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. These rides can sell for millions of dollars, even if they are not fully functional.
The world of used cars is currently in a state of unrest. Used prices continue to rise to the point of making it a better option than to buy it new. Fortunately for used car buyers, a recent study showed that it is still a better investment to buy a used model. Drivers can still get a 31% savings on a comparable used model.
10 Older Is Better: Cheap Maintenance
Maintenance is something that all car owners must deal with. Ford Mustang’s of all ages have been “Built Ford Tough” to give buyers bigger incentives. There are Mustangs that need help to get back to their original glory days, but if the high mileage, over abused used cars are avoided, no big issues will have to be dealt with right out of the gate.
The older classic Mustangs are super easy to work on. They have plenty of room to get their hands in and out and they lack the modern wiring harnesses of the later years. The newer the car is, the more complicated repairs will become. The more complicated the repairs are, the more expensive the maintenance will be.
9 Older Is Better: Modding Potential
Engines Revving. Tires smoking. Blower noise thundering. Nothing can get the adrenaline pumping more than an all-out drag race between two muscle cars that have been built to the max. The newer Ford Mustangs that have turbochargers and optimized motors may be impressive, but they’re not even close as cool as a blower screaming down the track.
The Mustang is easy to build into a beast on wheels because there are so many aftermarket parts available for them. If a smooth, original ride on the city streets is more appealing, sporty body kits can easily be installed. New models can come off the lot with cool engine mods and body improvements, but the older the car is, the easier it is to customize.
8 Older Is Better: Solid Rear Axle
Muscle car owners will know what this means. Having an upgraded engine can cause a ton of damage to the drivetrain, especially the back axle. The quarter-mile drag strip demands the maximum amount of power from the engine to the pavement. A solid rear axle allows that to happen without the car trying to automatically adjust for traction control.
If drifting is the race of choice, the modern setup is better suited. Independent suspension helps grip going through the turn and will propel the car forward as it comes to the point of needing to gather speed for the next straightaway. This rear end was put into every version of the Ford Mustang starting in 2015 and has continued throughout the years to models coming off the production lines today.
7 Older Is Better: Depreciation
Cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot. A Ford Mustang will depreciate up to 43% within the first 5 years of owning it. As they age various models become classics that are sought after by collectors and modifications experts around the nation. Others may increase in value after a decade or two, but when talking about depreciation a model that is a year old is a better buy than one straight off the transport hauler.
Getting that new car look and feel straight off the lot is an exhilarating experience that consumers cannot seem to get enough off. For that adrenaline rush premium amounts of cash trade hands. Used Mustangs can be owned at less cost and will still have the new gadgets and gizmos that are expected on new vehicles.
6 Older Is Better: Timeless And Intergenerational
Car designers do their best to keep up with what is new and innovative. Every generation has its own idea of what a muscle car will look like. Ford has always been at the forefront when it comes to keeping ahead of the game. Mustangs, even though they have changed a few times throughout the years, are still geared towards the public, and not one specific gender or generation.
The Ford Mustang appeals to all ages. Being Intergenerational is one thing that the manufacturers have gone for when promoting innovative designs, and even though some say that the seventies models were bad and should be forgotten, there are still those people out there that love them.
5 Older Is Better: Classic Looks
Eye appeal is a top aspect of owning a used car. A properly-maintained classic Mustang can go down the road and turn heads of all ages. The look is unique and not easily mistaken for any of the competition’s versions of a muscle car. The farther back in history you go, the more eye-appealing they are because their one-of-a-kind appearance automatically pops out.
Arguments can be started, and points will be made. Younger consumers like the newer look and style, while classic lovers, and people from older generations, appreciate the older square style Mustang that looks meaner and leaner. There is absolutely nothing more eye appealing than a classic Ford Mustang that has been restored and decked out with chrome mags and fresh paint. Except for maybe a newer model that has been designed for tech and power, the best of both worlds.
4 New Is Best: High Tech
The blunt truth is that the newer the Mustang, the more advanced the technology will be in it. The Co-Pilot 360 has been installed since 2015, with each year adding more advanced applications and higher efficiency streamlined into the programs. The system allows hands-free driving if the front-facing monitor senses that the driver is paying attention to the road. All total there are 12 advancements to aid driving and safety, with more technology expected to be added in the near future.
Safety features are top-notch and J.D. Power has given the 2022 Ford Mustang a safety rating of full 5 stars. That is five stars in both impact areas, front, and side. The older models have had good ratings throughout the years, but not top-notch in every test like the brand new models.
3 New Is Best: Warranty
Upkeep can be expensive at times. A warranty that covers the Mustang for 3 years or 36,000 miles for basic issues, and a 5-year or 60,000 miles on the powertrain components, comes automatically with a new Ford. These guarantees will pay for the repair costs of anything that fails within the covered time frames if it is due to defective materials or workmanship.
Used Mustangs may also have warranties left on them, either manufacturer or extended types. It is important to make sure that they are transferred over to the new buyer to keep them active. It may be a pain to get them switched over, but with a new car, the warranties will immediately go on the name of the buyer.
2 New Is Best: Dependable
Reliability is one thing that all Ford Mustangs lovers can agree upon. As the car gets older, more things can go wrong with it. We mentioned earlier that the older versions are easy to work on, which they are. The problem is that after 14 years, annual repairs can cost a couple of thousand dollars and have an almost 50% possibility of having serious issues that will need addressing.
A new model will not have any issues that the older models may have. As a rule, a used Mustang will have been driven hard. That is what having a muscle car is all about. A new model will be covered if a problem rears its head, but unless the car is used as a mud bigger, it should easily manage having some fun without breaking down.
1 Wrap Up
The Ford Mustang is the most iconic muscle car ever built. Ford enthusiasts can spot one a mile away. Mustang bashers see them everywhere they go, regardless of their disapproval. Racetracks are filled with the newer beefed-up versions, competing head-to-head with their ancestors of old.
New or old, the Mustang is a car that will never be forgotten. Each decade has its own positives, and as the world moves further into the age of technology the muscle car of today will become the classic, while the current classics will become dinosaurs. But no matter how old they get; the Ford Mustang will always have a place in history.
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About The Author
Chad Daw (6 Articles Published)
I have been a professional freelance writer for over twenty years. Mostly ghostwriting for other people but I do have a couple of websites that I run. I specialize in articles about the automotive industries, and on the side I take cars from the junkyard, rebuild them, and sell to people in need.