The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are the archenemies of the muscle car culture. For more than 50 decades, those two cars battled each other on the streets, drag strips and racing circuits all over the world. But during the ’80s and early ’90s, this battle was particularly fierce with the addition of the Pontiac Firebird and Trans Am.
From this perspective, the Fox-Body Mustang turned out to be a better car, and for a few significant reasons. It was more affordable, better built, lighter and a bit faster than the Camaro and Firebird. Although the GM Fox-bodies had larger engines, stiffer suspensions, and more power, they weighed over 200 pounds more and were significantly more expensive.
The 1993 SVT Cobra
Even though most people tend to dismiss it as another Fox-Body Mustang, the SVT Cobra is much more than that. It is a proper performance car, blurring the lines between classic muscle cars and sports coupes.
Ford produced the SVT Cobra for one year only, in 1993. Sadly, it marked the end of the Fox-body Mustang generation. Under the hood was an SVT-prepared 5.0-liter HO engine with trick GT40 heads and various other upgrades. The 0 to 60 mph time was well under six seconds, and 1993 Cobra handled perfectly thanks to the revised suspension. Ford made just 4,993 examples in 1993, so if you want one, hurry before they become the Shelby GT350 of the 21st century.
Due to the immense popularity of the third-generation Mustang and its presence in the media, the Fox-body is one of the most recognizable cars you can own. Back in the day, it looked quite ordinary with its ’80s styling and “cheese grater” taillights. But today, most Fox-bodies stand out on the street and look super cool.
If you happen to drive your Fox Mustang daily, you will get a lot of thumbs up. You’ll have lots of people telling you how nice it is to see an old Mustang still cruising the streets. If you take your Mustang out daily, you may make a lot of new friends.
The SSP Mustang
One of the coolest members of the Fox-body legend is the famous SSP Mustang. The SSP stands for Special Service Package and it includes a 5.0-liter V8 engine, heavy-duty suspension, engine cooling, brakes and lots more. This is a special order package for Fox-body Mustangs they produced from 1982 to 1993, selling them to various agencies and military organizations.
The package became so popular, that when they ceased production in 1993, Ford had sold more than 16,000 Mustangs SSPs. They sold them to numerous fleet buyers in almost all the U.S. states as well as Canada.
The 5.0 HO V8 Engine
As one of the best-known muscle car engines, the venerable 5.0-liter V8 is a great reason why you should buy a Fox-body. The 5.0 V8 was available right from the start, but it delivered only 140 HP in 1979 Mustang. However, when the engine returned for 1982, it came with the GT package with 160 HP. Due to some fine-tuning, it gradually rose to 225 HP and 300 lb-ft of torque for the 1987 model year.
But despite that, those were great performance numbers for the late ’80s. The real benefit of this engine is that it’s highly tunable. Also, there is a lot more power coming from the stock block and internals. The reason so many Fox-body Mustangs have tuned engines is because the owners added performance parts as soon as they left the dealership.
Today it is even easier to raise the horsepower from your 5.0 V8. However, be careful since the stock blocks are known to crack at around the 450-HP mark.
Now that you know the 25 reasons why the Fox-body Mustang is the perfect muscle car, do you want one? If you do, you should hurry up before prices go sky-high. As the years go by, these cars will become more collectible and desirable, and so will their costs.