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February 28, 2022

9 Reasons Why I Love the Fox Body Mustang

The Fox Body Mustang is the third generation of the Ford nameplate produced in model years 1979-1993. Over 2.6 million Fox Body Mustangs were sold and many of them are still out there on the streets or racetracks today.

The Ford Mustang is and always has been a super popular and widely recognized car but there are some that are more notorious than others. What is it that makes this car so special? I’m glad you asked because I came up with nine different reasons why we should all love, or at least appreciate, the Fox Body Mustang.

dave_7 / Wikimedia Commons / BY CC 2.0

Reason 1- Nostalgia

Who doesn’t love a good throwback or a walk down memory lane? Those that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s remember high school parking lots full of Mustangs, cruising around on the weekends with the T-tops off, listening to hairband music, having a mullet, and watching music videos on MTV (remember those?!). We car people like to collect what takes us back, and the tail end of Gen X and very first Millennials have spoken and declared the Fox Body Mustang a memory they don’t want to part with.

dave_7 / Wikimedia Commons / BY CC 2.0

Reason 2- Collectible classic

The Fox Body is so widely loved that this generation of Mustang is considered the second most important (number one being the first generation, of course). With that being said because of the sheer volume of Fox Body Mustangs produced, you can still find them out there for restoration projects or whatever you have in mind. They’re not cheap anymore and many have already been thrashed on and modified beyond recognition, but if you want a Fox Body Mustang, you should be able to hunt one down relatively easily and for less than what a first generation would cost.

(Hint:  Just between the two of us, the value buys are the 4-cylinder models that the church ladies drove.  You’re going to change the engine anyway, right?!)

Greg Gherdingen / willmarcarclub.com / CC BY 2.0

Reason 3- Finally, the convertible is back!

For several reasons, including the new option of factory A/C in the Mustang, as well as pending legislation with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Ford stopped offering the Mustang with the convertible option in the 1974 model year. It wasn’t until 1983 that Ford offered another convertible Mustang and it was welcomed with open arms. These new convertibles were born at the factory as modified coupes and convertible top upfitting was outsourced to a company called Cars & Concepts. You can still find many of the “Cars & Concepts Convertibles” on the market.

Trekphiler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Reason 4- It’s Racy

If you frequent your local or regional drag strip, you know you see at least one Fox Body Mustang (if not dozens) at each event without fail. Why is that, you may ask? Well, they’re very lightweight, mechanically simple, and they have a great suspension design, making it easy to add new performance parts. Plus, there’s tons of room under the hood so you can put almost any engine/transmission combo in there (remember my value hint). With so many aftermarket performance parts available, you can make specific mods to wear out any opponent that pulls up to the line.

Reason 5- Did someone say project car?

Speaking of the aftermarket, part and product support for the Fox Body Mustang is amazing. You can find all kinds of performance parts, crate engines, interior parts and upfit kits for modern conveniences readily available in the marketplace. And, if you want to make it a DIY project, there are hundreds of how-to videos teaching you step-by-step how to work on this car. This makes the Fox Body Mustang an ideal project car that you can make your own no matter what your vision.

Sicnag / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Reason 6- License and registration, please

Arguably the baddest patrol car of its time, the Ford Mustang SSP (Special Service Package) definitely makes the list of reasons to love this platform. This special trim package was made exclusively for law enforcement and toted a wide range of added features including a certified calibrated speedometer, engine oil cooler, relocated deck release, and many more. Roughly 15,000 of these SSP units were produced over the 11-year life of the model and was used by numerous US Federal government agencies as well as law enforcement agencies in more than 25 US states and Canada. Plus, it just looked SO cool!

Reason 7- Saved the Mustang name from extinction

Many say that the Mustang somewhat lost its identity thanks to the Mustang II (or no thanks to the Mustang II). We’ll just call the 70’s a ‘transitional period’ for the Mustang. Although a huge success for Ford as far as sales were concerned, the performance aspect of the car suffered, and in the opinion of many, so did the styling. But in its third generation, the Mustang returned to its beloved pony car roots. Performance and looks in a lightweight, economical design at a bargain price made this generation of Mustang legendary. The people spoke and Ford listened. Long live the Mustang!

Reason 8- Perfectly practical

Looking for a stylish daily driver? A fun date night car? A convertible to cruise to the beach in? A car that’ll give you an 8 second ¼ mile? An “easy to work on” project car? A Fox Body Mustang will fit the bill for all these different things. It’s small but roomy with a decent sized back seat, and the hatchback models have exceptional trunk space. It’s easy on gas while being quick, and most of all, it’s affordable. It’s not all things to all people but it comes pretty darn close.

Sicnag / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Reason 9- Community

As you probably know, car people love a good community and Fox Body Mustang enthusiasts are no exception to this rule. You can’t type in Fox Body Mustang on Google without coming across a handful of forums, websites, car clubs, and videos. It’s not hard to find events or shows specific to these cars no matter where you live. If you’re a Fox Body Mustang fan, you’ll have no shortage of likeminded people to chat with, cruise with, or events to bring your ride to.

Are you a Fox Body Mustang fan? What’s the reason you love them? Share it with me below.

Steele Rubber Products, located in Denver, NC, is a manufacturer and seller of high-quality rubber parts and weatherstripping products for classic and vintage automobiles, hot rods, RVs and Boats. Steele offers more than 12,000 parts for cars and trucks as well as a large line of universal weatherstripping and rubber parts to be used on any project. Established in 1958, Steele is a trusted name in the automotive restoration industry. 

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