PAR­TIC­U­LATE MAT­TERS

Diesel Power - - Contents - By KJ Jones

For what it’s worth

SOME OF YOU may re­call the “Do I Miss Mus­tang?” Par­tic­u­late Mat­ters col­umn, in which I ex­plained my dilemma of own­ing sev­eral Ford Mus­tangs (four at that time) and two diesel pick­ups and com­ing to grips with the re­al­ity that I might be los­ing in­ter­est in Fox- (’79-to-’93) and other late-model ’Stangs. I strug­gled to find an­swers to two very se­ri­ous ques­tions: “Do we keep our Mus­tangs?” Or, “Do we sell ’em?”

Here’s quick his­tory for first-time Diesel Power read­ers who don’t know me yet. I came into the diesel scene and my job as editor of this fine mag­a­zine by way of a long ca­reer in late-model Ford Mus­tang per­for­mance—first, as an en­thu­si­ast for many years, then as se­nior tech­ni­cal editor of 5.0 Mus­tang & Su­per Fords from 2005 un­til it was closed in 2014. Yes, for all in­tents and pur­poses, I was a “Mus­tang guy” through and through, and fully em­brac­ing diesel was a bit of a chal­lenge for me.

A lot has changed since I penned those mus­ings for our Oc­to­ber 2017 is­sue. First, I am a lot more com­mit­ted to diesel now. Not only do I

“get” diesel from a me­chan­i­cal stand­point (the trucks, driv­e­trains, mod­i­fi­ca­tions, and such), I’m also a lot more con­nected to and in sync with the diesel life­style, as well as the en­thu­si­asts, shops, man­u­fac­tur­ers, and or­ga­ni­za­tions who make this scene so cool.

Which brings me to the news I want to share and a new dilemma that seem­ingly goes hand in hand with it. I’ve fi­nally be­gun sell­ing our Mus­tangs. My black ’90 LX coupe is gone—iron­i­cally, it was pur­chased by a fairly well-known mem­ber of the diesel com­mu­nity (who, for this re­port, shall re­main name­less)—and it’s time for my green ’91 LX hatch­back, the project car I call “Cheaper Sleeper,” to make its way to a new drive­way or garage, too.

Round­ing out the liq­ui­da­tion is my wife’s su­per­charged ’02 Mus­tang GT. It’s a car that is heav­ily mod­i­fied with many of the best per­for­mance up­grades avail­able for ’99-to -’04 ’Stangs, and, based on its me­chan­i­cal makeup and over­all pris­tine con­di­tion, I think it has a higher value than a stock or lesser-mod­i­fied Pony of the same era. So, with that be­ing said, here’s dilemma num­ber two: To me—and long­time Mus­tang guys I’ve con­sulted with—it ap­pears to­day’s mod­i­fied-ve­hi­cle “buy­ers” are quick to look be­yond fair prices and of­fer ridicu­lously low amounts or trades that shouldn’t be con­sid­ered, un­less, of course, des­per­a­tion war­rants tak­ing short money (and this re­lates to equally out­fit­ted diesel trucks as eas­ily as it does with Mus­tangs).

I be­lieve there’s an el­e­ment of “buy-low, sell-high” men­tal­ity in ef­fect when this hap­pens, with folks more in­ter­ested in “com­ing up” and scor­ing profit from a flip than purely want­ing a car, truck, boat, or any ve­hi­cle sim­ply for what it is and to use and en­joy. Don’t get me wrong, I like get­ting a good deal as much as the next man. By truck-guy stan­dards, I got a fan­tas­tic deal when I bought my ’95 F-350 for $12,000 from its orig­i­nal owner in 2005.

Diesel Power’s staff back then all agreed it was a win. But, the ac­qui­si­tion didn’t come by way of me try­ing to un­der­cut the owner,

Mr. Kennedy, by sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars less than the amount for which he ad­ver­tised Big White. And, more im­por­tantly, I didn’t im­me­di­ately list the truck for sale af­ter we closed the deal to try and make the money that was left on the prover­bial ta­ble. I wanted the truck, needed it, and con­tinue to use my rig ev­ery day.

I’m not writ­ing this with a se­cret wish that some­one will con­tact me about Crys­tal’s Mus­tang GT. Not at all. I just want to say I hope those of you who are or will be shop­ping to buy some­one’s truck or other ve­hi­cle re­ally think about ex­actly what you’re try­ing to pur­chase. Con­sider the com­po­nents it has (mod­i­fi­ca­tions, up­grades, and so on) and its con­di­tion (low mileage, me­chan­i­cally sound). All of this fac­tors into what I be­lieve will ul­ti­mately be a fair price that will make both sides happy.

On be­half of all the sell­ers out there,

I ask that buy­ers stop try­ing to get some­thing for (the­o­ret­i­cally) noth­ing, es­pe­cially if your in­tent is to keep—not flip. Es­ti­mate what a truck’s true worth is and of­fer it. The low­ball stuff is a waste of time. Pay what it’s worth.

KJ JONES KJones@en­thu­si­ast­net­work.com

Diesel Power Chal­lenge 2018 Pre­sented by XDP’s Third Place fin­isher Trae Hut­ton’s ’03 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a great ex­am­ple of a de­sired truck (Drivers’ Choice Award win­ner) that, since DPC, has re­ceived pur­chase of­fers that are nearly $20,000 be­low the rig’s fair “value.” Does that make any sense? Hell no, it doesn’t!

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