Over the past 5 years, the Fox Body Mustang has exploded in popularity, especially with the younger generation of “hot rodders”. The funny thing is, most youngsters don’t even know what a Fox Body Mustang is, and I don’t blame them. Fox’s are a hidden gem in the automotive world, and now is the time to get your hands on one, before they’re all gone. Before we jump into why you need a Foxbody Mustang, i’d like to quickly cover what a Foxbody is.
What is a Fox Body Mustang?
A Foxbody Mustang, is a Mustang produced anywhere from 1979 to 1993. It doesn’t matter if its a coupe, convertible, or a hatch. It also doesn’t matter what engine is has either, or transmission. As long as its between the ages of 1979 and 1993, its a Foxbody.
Why is it called a “Foxbody”? I know, its a really weird name to give to a car. But, its called a Foxbody because its on the Ford Fox platform. The Fox platform was a unibody chassis design that was used widely across Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicles. The Fox platform was designed to downsize the massive cars that Ford produced the 70’s.
Why is it called the “Fox” platform? I am unable to find a sure reason as to why Ford identified this chassis as “Fox”. But, I assume it has something to do with the fact that it downsized their vehicle significantly. Their vehicles went from being big like a cow, to small and nimble like a Fox.
So now that you know a little bit about why a Foxbody is what it is, lets talk about the seven reasons that they’re awesome.
7. 80’s Goodness
Ah the 80’s, something that the Fox Body represents strongly. No other car can you drive today without previous owners of Fox Body’s striking up conversations about how much fun they had in these cars back in the day. Hell, even my mother had a Fox Body back in the day, although she ended up totaling it. But regardless of what happened to her Fox, when I came home in mine for the first time she was absolutely dying to take a ride in it. What other car can bring people from completely different generations together? The only vehicle I can think that brings people together like a Fox can is a Jeep.
Fox Body Mustang’s also represent vehicle styling from the 80’s and 90’s. The long horizontal tail lights, the factory GT body kit, the simple body lines. Look at a BMW E30 and try to tell me it doesn’t look like a miniature Fox Body coupe from the side and the rear. Even the interior screams 80’s, which is awesome because back then interior’s weren’t cluttered with fancy junk, just a steering wheel, some pedals, and half way decent materials on everything.
Another great thing about 1980’s cars is the fact that you have to drive it yourself. What do I mean by this? Modern Mustangs will save you if you suck at driving, they come equipped with traction control, stability control, line lock for burnouts, and ABS. Fox Body’s have none of the above, if you get on the gas mid corner you better know how to control a drift or you’ll end up wrapped around a pole, if you want to survive driving a Fox Body you’d better learn how to drive really well.
6. Camaro Killer
Back in the 80’s and 90’s when Fox Body Mustang’s and 3rd gen Camaro’s were new, there was always stoplight racing between these two cars. Pretty much anytime they pulled up next to each other there was bound to be a race. However, the Fox Body was almost always faster in a straight line. They both have similar power and torque, but the Fox Body’s low weight give it an advantage on the Camaro. The Fox Body weighs in around 3,000-3,100 lbs depending on the model and body, whereas 3rd gen Camaro’s weigh in around 3,300 lbs. A few hundred pounds might not sound like a huge amount but its a huge advantage especially when drag racing. Like the Chevy vs Ford debate? Then be sure to check out our Ford Coyote vs Chevy LS article.
The Camaro had a more advanced rear suspension and braking system, which makes it stop and handle a little better. But, these are American cars, and most people never take their cars to a road course or autocross. However, if you are the kind of person who enjoys Autocross or circuit racing, the biggest thing that holds the Fox Body Mustang back is the fact that it doesn’t come equipped with a pan hard hard bar on the rear axle. Simply adding a pan hard bar to the rear axle will allow your Fox Body to shred Camaro’s on and off the track.
3rd gen Camaro LT engines are also pretty weak on the aftermarket side when compared to the Fox Body’s 5.0, which means when comparing modified to modified the Fox Body also edges out over the Camaro. Both the Fox Body Mustang and the 3rd gen Camaro are unbelievably fun to stoplight race, even in stock condition they’re an absolute riot, however, the Fox Body will almost always take the win. 3rd gen Camaro’s also have this weird stigma, if you drive a 3rd gen everyone thinks that either you’re a hillbilly, or have a mullet.
5. They’re Sexy as Hell!
Whether you love or hate the style of the Fox Body, you’ll probably agree thats its interesting. It doesn’t really resemble Mustangs of the past, the lack of “tri-bar” tail lamps, and the wonky front end definitely set it apart from the typically Mustang, but thats totally okay. However they’re not perfectly sculpted, the GT’s rear bumper is hideous, it’s literally a giant square with a weird lip at the bottom, the LX’s rear bumper is a little to short and ends up exposing the fuel tank.
Like I said earlier, the Fox Body represents vehicle styling of the 80’s, cars the the BMW E30 look similar to the Fox Body and the E30 is regarding as one of the best looking cars ever. I think thats partially why the Fox Body is becoming really popular with the younger generation. Just look at the Fox below and try tell me its not a good looking car. If you decide you need to buy a Fox Body, be sure to read our Fox Body buying guide.
The Fox Body Mustang came in a Fastback, Coupe, and a Convertible, this was the last generation fastback mustang before the 2015 Mustang. In the eyes of the younger generation, the Fox is incredible good looking. This is probably because of its size, its a small car compared to 2015 Mustang’s, and its simple body lines. Different major modification companies such as Saleen put their own twist on the body styling of the Fox Body.
Saleen Fox Body
Generally the Notchback (Coupe) is more desired, mostly because of its rarity, but also because it has cleaner body lines and looks better to most people. The coupe is also about 100 lbs lighter making it much more popular with drag racers. I’ve always personally liked LX hatchbacks more, but thats probably just my 17 year-old self remembering all the awesome memories I had in my Foxbody.
4. Factory Performance, 300 LB-FT of Awesomeness
Now, by no means is a Fox Body Mustang a sports car, in stock form they’re known for their boat like handling, and tail happy rear end. However the Fox Body Mustang was the first car Motor Trend ever tested that pulled over 1G on a skidpad, pretty impressive for a muscle car that “can’t turn”. The infamous 5.0L doesn’t make large amounts of power by todays standards, but made respectable power back when they were new, putting 225 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque to the ground.
Although 225 horsepower is pretty lack luster in todays world, 300 lb-ft of torque isn’t. Thats what makes these cars so much fun to drive, the fact that you don’t even have to rev them out to have a great time, they just want to spin the tires at all RPM’s.
Luckily, 225 horses is actually a good amount considering the Foxbody weighs in at 3,100 lbs in stock form, and with a little bit of weight reduction (fiberglass hood, a/c delete, etc.) can achieve a weight of under 2,900 lbs, less than a modern VW Beetle. My personal Fox Body Mustang had a pretty significant amount of weight reduction; gutted interior, A/C delete, aluminum heads, and an aluminum manifold. It could achieve 0-60 in about 5 seconds, that puts it on par with a 2015 Mustang. For specifics visit: Foxbody Wikipedia
My personal 1991 Mustang LX
Check out: Top 5 Must Have Mods For Your Fox Body
With such a light car, you can imagine how fun this car is to drive around. They’re not a role-model when it comes to handling, mostly thanks to their “live axle” rear end, but thats okay because they’re cornering characteristics are fun, not fast.