Buying A Fox Body Mustang: Complete Guide

Created by Tyler Rodriquez / 10 min read
Date Created: 6/26/2018
Last Updated: 3/4/2024

Buying a Fox Body may sound like a daunting task, but luckily, we here at Late Model Restoration have put together a complete Fox Body buyer's guide to help you make the decision.

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Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide - Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide

If you’re interested in purchasing a Fox Body Mustang or even if you simply want to learn more, take a look at this Fox Body Mustang Buyer’s Guide for more information. After all, there’s no better way to keep your Fox Body Mustang maintained properly than with a wealth of knowledge. With this Buyer’s Guide, you’ll learn how to buy a Fox Body, an overview of various models, a history of the Fox Body Mustang, and much more.

A Short History of the Fox Body Mustang

If you’re interested in learning more about the Fox Body Mustang, we must look at its evolution. The new Fox platform was introduced to the Ford Mustang in 1979, along with a redesigned interior. The Mustang was now almost 200 pounds lighter as well. Almost instantly, the Fox Body Mustang became a hit, with drivers finding themselves drawn to the car.

In 1980, Ford replaced the Windsor V-8 with a small block 4.2L V8 that produced only 119 horsepower and 194 lb-ft of torque.

Throughout the 1982-1986 model years, the Mustang GT became a favorite. The GT version was seen as sophisticated and stylish. Drivers fell in love with the extra features offered as well.

From 1984 to 1986, Ford introduced two new models for the Fox Body. The SVO Mustang was a hatchback while the GT 350 came in either a hatchback or convertible.

1985 saw several changes to the Fox Body with the addition of a new nose design. In 1987, the Fox underwent an intense redesign including a new interior as well as exterior element updates such as moldings and lights.

By 1991, sales of the Fox Body slowed and continued throughout 1992. This eventually led to the last year of production for the Fox Body Mustang – 1993. That year, however, Ford released an LX convertible Limited Edition as well as the 1993 Cobra.

While it’s been decades since the Fox Body was in production, this Mustang has maintained its appeal from enthusiasts around the world. In fact, some might say that it has reached cult status. For some drivers in the Mustang community, they see the Fox Body as a symbol of their past. Others find the Fox Mustang to be a classic and simply enjoy collecting them.


An Overview of Different Sub-Models

As previously mentioned, the history of the Fox Body Mustang lasted from 1979 to 1993. During this span, the Mustang underwent numerous changes and redesigns. Throughout the Fox Body generation, you could choose between coupe (notch or notchback), convertible, and hatchback. Some of the sub-models of the Fox Mustang are:

  • Cobra
  • SVO
  • GT
  • GT 350
  • Turbo GT
  • LX
  • Roush
  • Saleen
  • Cobra R

As you can see, several options were available throughout the Fox Body Mustang’s production. That’s another reason why drivers are so attracted to the Fox Body – due to the various trims, there’s a wide variety of Fox Mustangs out there. For collectors, this is the ultimate appeal. With so many different and unique models, collectors never get tired of searching for that diamond in the rough or those hard to find trims.


Are Fox Body Mustangs Increasing In Value?

Throughout the years, drivers keep coming back to the Fox Body Mustang and it’s no wonder why. Its popularity continues to soar, even after all of these years. If you’re considering purchasing a Fox Body Mustang, there are several reasons why we suggest you do. For starters, it’s become a cult-classic among not only Mustang lovers but all drivers.

Additionally, Foxes are a cheap alternative to buying a new vehicle. Sure, you may have to spend some money on repairs to fix wear and tear with age. You might also spend extra to customize the Mustang the way you want it. Either way, you’ll probably pay less than if you bought something brand-new.

Because the Fox Body is increasing in popularity, the value is going up. This means that you’re making a good investment when you decide to go with the Fox Body Mustang.

Purchasing a brand-new automobile might seem appealing, but when you decide to go with an older car that might need some work, there’s a sense of satisfaction and pride that goes along with it. Since a clean Fox Mustang is rare and hard to find, the chances are that when you’re ready to buy a Fox, it will be in need of several repairs. This wide variety of repairs is where the fun comes in.

Picture yourself teaching your kid about car maintenance and repairs. Or maybe you might enjoy tinkering around on the Mustang with your buddies. No matter the scenario, a few things are certain — You’ll enjoy your new hobby of fixing up the Fox Body, those you love will get to share in on the experience, and the sense of satisfaction you’ll experience once you've completed the project can’t be matched.

What to Look for When Buying A Mustang

When it comes to buying an automobile, everyone knows that it’s important to do research. No one wants to regret a purchase. If you have your eye on a Fox Body Mustang, but you’re unsure where to begin, it will help you to know what to look for when buying a Fox Body Mustang.

First and foremost, you want to find a Mustang with the right body that appeals to you. Since you’ll presumably be spending many hours in your Fox Body, you’ll want a model you can own that doesn’t get old.

The good news, though, is that Fox Body Mustangs provide many options for customization. From engine swaps to different fender flares, drivers can truly make their Fox Body unique. Once you’ve found the Fox Body Mustang you’ve fallen in love with, the next step is to thoroughly inspect the vehicle.

When purchasing a Fox Body Mustang, it’s important to examine parts that were added by the previous owner. If the previous owner of the Mustang purchased poor-quality parts in the past, this might come back to haunt you later down the road.

Unfortunately, after buying this Mustang, if the previous owner skimped out on quality parts, you might find sudden costs added to your Fox Body investment. You’ll want to be certain of the parts previously used on the automobile before you complete your transaction. You definitely don’t want to purchase a cheap vehicle only to have it break the bank with unexpected repairs.

Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide - Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide

Potential Problems to Expect

Although there are many reasons to love Foxes, there are some struggles that owners face throughout the life of the vehicle. When it comes to choosing your Fox Body Mustang, it’s absolutely necessary to rigorously inspect the automobile. This will help you cut down on issues later down the road. To help you get prepared, let’s take a look at some of the common problems that Fox owners face.

  • Failing clutch cables
  • Leaking rear main seals
  • Rust through the floor pan
  • Strut towers that have rusted
  • A warped frame
  • Leaks around the headlight housing
  • Interior wear and tear
  • Failing water pumps
  • Discoloration of exhaust smoke

As you can see, there are several potential problems you might encounter during your search for the perfect Fox Body. One of the most noticeable signs of damage is a warped or shifted frame, indicating abuse. If there are cracks near the pillars by the windshield or the rear quarter windows, it’s possible that the frame is warped.

Another sign of damage that you’ll instantly recognize is wear and tear of the interior. If it looks like a tornado has hit the inside of the vehicle, you might want to reconsider your purchase — or at least be prepared for extensive repairs.


Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide - Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide

Rust Everywhere

Rust is a serious problem and you should take extra time to inspect for rust. Not only can rust affect the strut towers and the floor pan, but it can also infect common areas and parts that there’s only one solution for – it must be replaced. Replacements can be costly and when it comes to rust, it’s hard to stop the infection once it starts.

Since Fox Body Mustangs have quite a few years on them, rust is one of the key things to look out for when examining the Mustang. Some of the important areas that require a rust inspection are:

  • Floor pans
  • Strut towers
  • Windshield Channels
  • Floors
  • Sunroof/T-tops
  • Fender wells
  • Door hinges
  • Around windows

Rust is a serious issue that shouldn’t be neglected. If you see rust anywhere, be sure the area undergoes a thorough inspection. You want your Fox Body Mustang to flourish and thrive, not decay due to rust.

Rust continues to be a problem even with newer cars. Due to snow and freezing rain, transportation departments frequently use salt to help de-ice the roads. However, this can cause problems.

According to a AAA survey, between 2012 and 2017, 22 million drivers in the United States had salt and liquid de-icers cause rust damage to their vehicles. Additionally, rust repair can be expensive, usually averaging around $500 per incident.

Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide - Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide

Owning a Fox Body Mustang

Now that you own your prized Fox Mustang, you’ll need to get accustomed to all the things that go along with that. For one, if your new Mustang requires maintenance or repairs, you’ll want to review this guide to remember all the important things to look out for when it comes to repairs. Also, to extend the life of your automobile, you’ll want to keep it in top-notch shape.

Taking care of something you love isn’t a foreign concept to anyone. Similar to a vehicle, plants, pets, and even houses require some type of maintenance and care. The same is true for your vehicle.

So, the most important thing you can do once you own your Fox Body Mustang is to take care of it. This collector’s car will only increase in price and by continuing with upkeep, you’re well on your way to owning an attractive, stylish Mustang.


What to Do Now?

Now that you own a Fox Body, you should get acquainted with groups and communities that share your same interests. After all, there are numerous Fox Body Mustang enthusiasts who would love nothing more than to spend hours discussing the Fox Body.

There are online forums and even Facebook pages dedicated to the Fox Body. You can interact with fans of the Mustang from all over the world. Not only can you discuss your love for the Fox online, but you can also attend events, drives and car shows all across the country where you can meet up with other Mustang lovers and check out their models.

Fans and owners of the Fox Mustang are plentiful, with drivers coming from all over the country to join events. For instance, the Mustang Club of America hosts national events throughout the year. There are also numerous car shows and drives that owners of the Fox Body Mustang can participate in and enjoy.


Finding Parts for Your Fox Body at LMR

Now that you’ve learned all you need to know about buying a Fox Body Mustang, where do you go from here? While most think the next step is hitting the road, on the contrary before you get those wheels moving, you’ll want your Fox to be in tip-top shape. The best way to upgrade your Fox Body to the quality you want is where LMR comes in!

At Late Model Restoration, you’ll not only have access to loads of information regarding the Fox Mustang, such as how to install a Mustang emblem, but you’ll also be able to purchase parts as well.

LMR takes pride in being the only brand dedicated to the Fox Body Mustang. This dedication is clearly shown on our site by providing a wide array of necessary parts that drivers will need when it comes to owning, repairing, and maintaining your Mustang. Whether you’re searching for brakes, lights, wiring, accessories, or anything in-between, we’ve got you covered.

We also offer customers a 30-day limited warranty policy. We know that your automobile is something you have invested the time and effort to take great care of and we want your Mustang to last as long as it can, giving you memories to last a lifetime.

Throughout the years, the Fox Body Mustang has given drivers a fun and memorable experience on the road. To extend the life of your Fox Mustang, you need to have the proper parts available and know as much about the Mustang as possible. Be sure to reference this Complete Fox Body Mustang Buyer’s Guide for all of your Fox Body Mustang needs.

Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide - Fox Body Mustang Buyers Guide





Thumbnail image of the author of this article, Tyler Rodriquez.

About the Author

Tyler has written content for Late Model Restoration for nearly 8 years, producing over 300 articles. As an avid New Edge fan, Tyler has owned 4 2004 Mustangs and an 88 Convertible Fox Body. Read more...