2011 Ford Mustang GT: One and Done
July 09, 2012
Where is the best new home for a thirsty V8 that averages about 16 miles per gallon? How about Saudi Arabia? That's right, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT is going to a place where the gasoline is as cheap now as it was here some 35 years ago.
It took 21 days to sell our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT. We started the sale with the car priced at $27,500 and received zero calls in a week. Then I dropped the price to $26,500 and also received zero calls. I thought that $26,500 was a fair price (this was roughly $500 below TMV at the time), but the crickets chirping as I waited by the phone told me I needed another price drop.
On the third weekend, I dropped the price to $25,700. A day and a half later, I finally received a call. The man on the phone cut to the chase: "What's your best price on this car?" You can typically tell when the potential buyer is someone who wants to flip the car by his lack of probing questions. All a flipper wants to know is whether the car was in an accident and your rock bottom price. Of course, I wasn't going to reveal my hand over the phone. "I'd rather you take a look at the car first and then make me an offer," I replied.
We agreed to meet at a gas station in my neighborhood. The buyer, Belal and his friend pulled up in a late model Lexus GS.
Belal's friend asked if he could check the paint. I said that would be ok, and he pulled a small plastic device from his pocket and began pressing it against the car's body in multiple places. It turned out to be a paint thickness gauge that gave him a numerical readout after each press. "Anything above seven is not factory paint," he said. This was the first time I had seen something like that.
I mentioned that the car still had 12,000 miles on its warranty. "We don't care about the warranty," said Belal. "We will ship this car to Saudi Arabia."
As I suspected, Belal and his colleague were dealers. I typically avoid doing business with dealers because they tend to lowball you, but it was the only call I received on the car and it was worth pursuing on the off chance he made a decent offer.
After the paint checked out, they fired up the car and peeked under the hood. "OK, how much do you want for this car?" Belal said. The two didn't even test drive the car, yet they were prepared to make an offer.
I avoided giving my "best price" by saying I was looking for something close to my asking price, but if they wanted to make me an offer, I would let them know if it was in the ballpark. They made an offer of $24,000.
I countered with $25,000, saying it was a fair price that was well below Edmunds TMV. Belal said he had bought a Mustang similar to ours with navigation and fewer miles for $24,000. "That was a different car and a different owner," I said, but he held firm to his initial offer.
At this point I had to make a judgment call. There had been zero activity on this car in 15 days. This was a real offer, albeit one on the low end of what I was willing to take, and it was $1,000 more than the Carmax offer. If I passed on this, would it be another three weeks before I'd get another call? We didn't want the sale of this car to drag on for nearly two months -- which is what we experienced with the Porsche 911. I decided to take his offer, but before I did, I countered with $24,500. Belal didn't budge.
The final price was $24,000. We shook hands and made it official. A week later, they brought a cashiers check and took delivery of the Mustang. As we hammered out the details, we started talking about other cars, as car guys tend to do. The V6 Mustang came up in conversation. Belal gave me a disapproving look. As far as he was concerned, the V8 was the only way to go. "But you'll get better fuel economy with the V6," I countered.
In Saudi Arabia, "gas is cheap," he said. I asked him how cheap it was, but he quoted the price in Saudi riyals per liter, which went right over my head. A quick Google search revealed just how cheap the gas can be there: about 61 cents per gallon for premium gas.
Perhaps our Mustang will end up in one of those Saudi car clubs you see on YouTube (See video below. You can even spot a black 5.0 Mustang at the 21 second mark). American cars seem to have a big following in the desert kingdom. And whoever buys it can drag race it to his heart's content, since the price of fuel isn't really an issue. It just might be where the Mustang belongs.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 24,077 miles