The Fox Mustang: A Worthy & Valuable Classic Car?

When talking about value and “hey my 88 LX is a classic”, it can bring various opposing opinions. What is a classic? If you want some sort of objective number, most will agree with 25 to 50 years old, over 50 and we have an “antique classic” on our hands. In 2017, the newest Fox Mustang is 24 years old! So most Fox bodies are classics which is why most people can get classic car insurance for their 79-93 Mustangs. I think it’s safe to say your fox Mustang is a classic. </post>?

Ahhhh the good ‘ol days!

Much like my father would love to own a 50’s Ford to relive his younger years a lot of people who spent their awkward teenage years either driving a 5.oh or gawking at them are now in their 40’s and 50’s. Hey, Vanilla Ice is 49 years old today, maybe wanting to roll in his 5.0 again (just please let that song rest). My first time seeing a 5.0 ripping up the streets, I was 16 (Driving a 3.8L V6 Cougar, still a fox) and I remember it like it was yesterday (old fart phrase), it was a white GT, red stripe, turbines and a thundering 302 just killing the tires. Today, in my 40’s with some disposable income, I’m finally able to get a toy I don’t need to re-live my youth. I’m not alone and I’m not looking at the cheap fox deals anymore, I gawk at $20,000 low mile originals. I also see some younger guys buy into the fox because their dad’s owned one “back in the day”.



Born after the last fox was sold at a dealership?

The fox is also seeing a younger crowd… those born after the last fox was sold at a dealership. They see this as an affordable RWD V8 car and with a pretty strong following, lots of online communities, lots of junk yards specialising in the 79-93 Mustangs, etc… Part of that may come from all the attention the 5.0 got, what other pony car had so many dedicated magazines? And its reputation, that  “5.0” badge that hurt a lot of feelings at stop lights, a reputation that still seems to carry today, some 24 years later!

But they made BILLIONS of 79-93 Mustangs, they’re worthless!

falqmdlThe 79-93 Mustang is seeing a spike in value, rare unmodified ultra-clean examples are being put on auction blocks like Barrett-Jackson. I know, I know… Don’t let some drunken old rich guys spending nearly 100k on a early 80’s convertible make you think your 260,000 mile rusted 91 LX hatch is worth 20 grand or something.

But a lot of old-school internet flame wars start when talking a fox Mustang’s value. It’s true a car is only worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. But because you would only pay $3000 for a 8,000 mile original fox, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t pay 20 grand or more for it. I added a picture of a super clean rare mint original fox Mustang engine bay, those are the ones fetching top dollar right now (actually other than the special editions like Cobra, Saleens, the plain old cheap no-frills notches are getting the most value in the mass-produced fox Mustangs).

Let’s break it down in production numbers, I’ll ignore the 4 bangers for now and focus on the v8’s as much as I can (Yeah I know, I like the Turbo 4’s too but for arguments sake, I’m sticking to the V8’s and there’s under a million 5.0 fox Mustangs produced from 1979 to 1993)

  • 1979 – 47,568 5.0’s
  • 1980-81 – 453,874, keep in mind there was no 5.0 in 80/81 115hp 4.2 “V8” was offered. 
  • 1982 – 130,418 (all models)
  • 1983 – 29,165 5.0’s
  • 1984 – 141,480 (all models)
  • 1985 – 48,733 5.0’s
  • 1986 – 57,106 5.0’s
  • 1987 – 64,169 5.0’s
  • 1988 – 95,527 5.0’s
  • 1989 – 105,485 5.0’s
  • 1990 – 80,897 5.0’s
  • 1991 – 51,395 5.0’s
  • 1992 – 30,511 5.0’s
  • 1993 – 48,986 5.0’s

I know, these are some big numbers. No one goes “yay I have 1 of 50 thousand” but there are so many variations in the fox, even if just looking at the V8’s. I don’t think this is like having 4,000 hockey cards from the early 90’s worth a grand total of 82 cents. Researching these numbers, I found that Ford sold a lot of hatchbacks compared to notches and convertibles. For example in 1987 they made over 46,000 hatchbacks and 4,888 notches. [You know there’s a little over 6,500 340 Plymouth ‘Cuda’s sold in 73? Apples and oranges, sure but can make you think… Although the 73 Cuda may be my older brother’s thing, the mid 80’s Mustang is mine.] How many of those 4,888 notches built in 1987 survived, how many true factory delete cars weren’t taken apart or crashed in racing?

What else was there in the 80’s?

General Motor’s F-body saw a huge face lift in 82, although better than the Mustang in handling, it wasn’t much of a match for the 5 speed 5.0. GM had their G bodies one was a turbo 6, you know the murdered out T-type they called the Grand National, see the sweet GNX below and some other honourable 80’s mentions:

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Below an 86 Monte Carlo

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Redesigned 80’s Iroc-z below:

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In a sea of Dodge Spirits, K-cars and whatnot, Mopar guys had a front wheel drive Shelby Charger. Eventually Dodge had the R/T Dakota but they certainly did not provide any pony cars or even muscle cars in the 80’s (as far as I know).

1987-dodge-shelby-charger-04-05

There are others to mention but not as many as with the 60’s when the big three (ok 4 if you include AMC) were pumping out nasty RWD muscle and pony cars. The 5.oh Mustang represents the revival of the “muscle” era and helped trigger a huge aftermarket support. The Fox Mustang is as iconic as the first Mustang – follows the same mentality & spirit albeit not so much in looks. I left out the C4 Corvettes and Vipers because these are real sports cars, not muscle or pony cars. I know BMW 3 series and other imports will be a collector item but I wanted to stick to the American made cars of the 80’s.

In conclusion

As someone who obsesses and spends too much time crawling the classifieds, the fox Mustang is seeing a jump in value and this is a symptom of being a true classic car. Yeah, it’s “the 80’s” the time of Reagan, crack/cocaine, Rush had prominent lead synthesizer lines in their music and cheesy “feel good” mushy family shows played on television.  But a lot of us grew up in this and the fox is a good reminder of some of the good things the 80’s had to offer. In a sea of ugly boxy K-car like things, the fox Mustang was a simple pony car that kicked ass! What’s not to like?

Look, you may argue that the fox Mustang will never be a collector car. Although I think you may be wrong as rare ultra-clean fox Mustangs (like it or not) are getting a lot of attention. If you’re in your 40’s, you were driving age back when the 93 was in the showroom floor. Once you become at a point where the kid(s) are older, have some savings, a good job… you’ll start wanting some sort of “back in the day” car… that’s when the latest foxes will start being seen as a “collectable” more than ever. Sorry to say but it is happening. 

Here’s a collection of foxes that went for ridiculous prices at auction >

 

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