|Thinking about buying a Montego? It will be a challenge, depending on what you are looking for. In fact, it took me about 2.5 years of searching. But that's because I has some specific requirements: bucket seats, front disc brakes, and center console. So if time is on your side, here's what I did:
1. Set up watch lists
Set up watch lists at every major collector car Web site, including: Hemmings, Collector Car Trader and Recycler. These sites will Email you when your specific criteria is met (e.g. - Montego, convertiable)
2. Search, search, search
Use the power of the Internet to find your Montego. Most national and regional newspapers have searchable classifides. Also use the Google and/or Yahoo search engine. Regional specific printed material (like the Diablo Dealer) is a good source, as is the national Collector Car magazine.
3. Ask questions
Find a Montego? Good, that the first step. Now ask lots of questions, like: Any rust? Exterior condition? Engine? Rebuild? Any rust? Documentation? How often was it driven? Any rust? Options and features? VIN number? Any rust? Door tag? See a theme here? Yes, be sure to ask about rust!
4. Check the history
Take the VIN number and decode it, the compare to the stated options on the car. This will tell you how modified the car is, and depending on your perspective that could be a good or bad thing. I was looking for a untouched (stock) car, which took even longer. Several sites on the Internet will do this for you, or look in a factory shop manual.
5. Look at the car
Don't buy sight unseen - that will get you every time. Drive or fly to see the car to be sure it's what you are looking for. You may even find that pesky rust. Check the engine, transmission, suspension, and get under the car to check the frame and torque boxes. Pull up the seats and carpet to look for rust. Look in the trunk for holes. And if you're driving the car home, be more through - your safety is paramount. Be sure to bring tools, gloves, and a flashlight for the inspection.
6. Close the deal
Pick up a collector car price guide to give you a rough idea of the going price, then determine what you are willing to spend. If the car is not local, be sure to factor in transport costs. Be sure to ask the owner for any documentation (service records, etc) and history. This will help with the restoration.
Now all you have to do is enjoy your Montego!