Mustang Library – A Wealth of FoMoCo Knowledge!

June 8th, 2010

Mustang owners are a rather dedicated group and tend to relish learning as much as they can about their cars. Besides obtaining the original factory literature, reference photographs, technical data, and related information on their particular year and model Mustang, the owners love to read about “all things Mustang” as evidenced by the high number of Ford Mustang-specific books that have been published over the years.

Retail bookstores are an obvious source for automotive books, and besides the big book chains there’s places like Wal-Mart, where you might find a book on Mustangs at a discounted price. Certain mail-order businesses that specialize in Ford parts offer a selection of Mustang books, and many of the major automotive swap meets across the country have vendors that sell automotive books of all kinds, including those that specialize in pony cars and Fords in general. Of course there’s always garage sales and brick-and-mortar used bookstores for locating Mustang books, however sometimes it can be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

The Internet has really had a major impact on book sales in recent years and is considered the best place to find a variety of automotive publications, and places like Amazon.com (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/) are great resources for finding these. In addition, Motorbooks.com (http://www NULL.motorbooks NULL.com/) sells its new publications direct, and there are also loads of books on eBay (http://www NULL.ebay NULL.com/) listed in both the auction area as well as eBay Stores, where they are purchased (often at reduced prices) via a “Buy It Now” feature.

One specific Web site that has helped me find a large number of the pictured Mustang and Ford books is Bookfinder4U.com (http://www NULL.bookfinder4u NULL.com/), a Web site that searches 130 bookstores and some 80,000 booksellers to find the best selection as well as the best prices on any particular publication you’re looking for. The key to finding books is using the search engine of a site like this, and searches can be done by title, author, keyword (like Mustang), or ISBN number (International Standard Book Number), and this method provides perhaps the easiest way to really find out what is available online.

Books that are out of print are often more challenging to find, and the search engines are great for digging up the rarest of the rare. However, there’s also the supply-demand situation with older books to consider; in many cases, they can be purchased at extremely low prices (1-cent!) with the only cost being shipping and handling (typically $3.99 or less.) Other books on topics like Boss 429 Mustangs that were originally printed in very low numbers are in extremely high demand and can cost several hundred dollars, if you can even find one for sale.

This article highlights a selection of Mustang/Ford books used for feature car magazine writing; this particular collection has been an ongoing effort, with the vast majority being purchased online. Because the goal was to obtain a high number of titles, price became a priority, and in some cases the book may have had a slightly damaged (or missing) jacket cover, but nearly all of them had clean, tight pages and are perfect for the research work for which they were originally obtained.

Anyone can go out and buy brand-new books at full retail prices; the trick was to shop around for the best deals! Rule of thumb on eBay is to avoid participating in “bidding wars,” it’s often better to wait for the item to come up again, without high competition from other bidders. If you really are serious about eBay, it’s in your best interest to wait until the final moments of the auction to avoid showing other online bidders your “hand,” and to bid once with your highest price to eliminate drama.

Also, the beauty of eBay is to use it as a tool to locate the names and descriptions of books you desire, but then to use that information to locate it elsewhere at a set price. Here’s some general information on the books I’ve found and the prices paid for them:

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