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Car has sat unstarted for over a year - ruined?

I own a 98 Ford Mustang. The car has sat in a garage for over a year unstarted. I have called mechanics. Half say push it out of garage jump start and drive all you want. Others say it must be towed in and fluids, lubed, etc first or I will permantly damage the car. Which is it?

Well you aren’t gonna ruin it. I suspect the mechanic wants to prime the oil system before you start it. There is a minuscule benefit from that IMO.

However it would be wise to charge the battery before starting it (assuming its dead), and probably a good idea to change the oil very soon after starting it up again. During the oil change, if the car has any lube points then they should be lubed. Then you might want to use some fuel system cleaner, the gasoline probably isn’t very pretty.

You might want to check the air filter housing to see if an animal has made a home.

Tire pressure is probably low, have a look at the sidewalls to make sure there isn’t any cracking.

But overall I think it is unnecessary to have it towed.

Some mechanics are more careful than others. I doubt if it would be damaged by starting and driving it. However it is possible. If you don’t know how to check all the fluids before starting it, I would suggest having it towed, if you know how to check them and do so and they are OK. I would drive it. The chance of damage is very small.

I would take care of the fluids.

However as a reference point my 2004 WRX Wagon was produced in June 2003 and I took delivery of it as a leftover in June 2004 with 40 miles. It likely was started here and there and moved etc. When I first test drove it, there were only 20 miles on the odometer.