What Is a Fox Body Mustang?

Even if you’re a car enthusiast who doesn’t care about Ford Mustangs, you’ve probably heard of a Fox Body Mustang. The little third-generation car came long before the beloved S197 or the S550, but the pony car wouldn’t be what it is today without it. Today, it stands ready as a do-anything project for people who want to drag, drift, or corner. Given all of its merit, what makes a Mustang a Fox Body? 

What does Fox Body mean on a Mustang?

When people refer to a Fox Body Mustang, they refer to the third generation of the Ford muscle car. The third generation saw a revolutionary departure from the styling of the second-generation car. 

Gone were the round headlights and old-school style. Instead, Ford built a short wheelbase, unibody pony car based on the Ford Fairmont. The result of the refresh was the longest-running Mustang body. 

What years was the car made? 

The Fox Body ran from 1979 to 1993 and replaced the generally unlikeable Mustang II. After its predecessor’s unfortunate oil crisis-ridden tenure, muscle car fans were ready for a game-changer. 

Available as either a coupe, hatchback, or convertible, the car was versatile. So if you want a practical vehicle, you can buy a hatchback. However, if you want some sun, you can buy a convertible. Also, the Mustangs are relatively inexpensive, so getting your hands on a decent example shouldn’t break the bank. 

The Fox Body Mustang is the third generation of the pony car and an icon
The 150 millionth Ford vehicle was a Fox Body Mustang | Ford

Next, the Fox Body is a blank canvas for car builders. The lightweight, rear-wheel drive (RWD) application and great numbers of the car make it a popular choice for drag racers. However, it’s not just drag racing, the little Mustang makes a decent drift car, and many enthusiasts also set them up for autocross. 

How much does a Fox Body Mustang cost?

Savvy shoppers can find a Fox Body Mustang for less than $10,000, especially if they don’t need an example in good shape. However, not all models are performance project bargains. According to Hagerty, Fox Bodies in excellent condition can fetch anywhere from $7,100 to over $90,000. 

Some specific models, like the LX notchback variation, are popular. The fastest appreciating vehicles are the SVT models, and the Saleen models often net big money.

The Mustang Fox Body like this convertible is the third generation of the pony car.
1987 Ford Mustang 5.0 Convertible | Getty Images

Are there any other Fox Bodies?

The platform didn’t just belong to Ford’s sweetheart pony car. The Ford Fairmont, Mercury Zephyr, Mercury Cougar, and Ford Thunderbird were just some of the vehicles with Fox platform variations. 

Should you buy one?

The little Mustang offers a lot to car shoppers. Savvy hunters can pick one up for a reasonable amount of money and spend the rest of their savings building it to suit their needs.

If you want to build a racing-slicks-wearing dragster, buy a Fox Body Mustang. If you want a compact corner-carving weekend machine, buy the Fox. If you want an autocross weapon, well, you get it. 

Scroll down to the following article if you want to read about other Mustangs. 
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