FOX BODY MUSTANG - Everything You Need to Know | Up to SpeedFeb 29, 2020
(car engine revving) (tires screeching) - It's the smoking tire, ripping drag strip, the ultimate unofficial muscle car of the '80s. your passenger's tight briefs. (car engine revving) This European-influenced sports car reborn the American pony car and ushered in a new generation of drivers hitting Bernie's across from local Foster's Dairy Freeze. (car engine revving) (tires screeching) Buckle up, because this is all you
knowto get up to
speedon the Fox Mustang
body. (horse neighs) Wow! Whoa, whoa big, whoa big. Let's ride! (electricity crackles) (old video game music) Oh hi, glad you're here. Donut just crossed three million subscribers.
Thanks to each of you who have subscribed to our YouTube channel. To commemorate this moment, we are making a special edition of the three million subscriber sticker. It will only be available for the next 72 hours, it is proof that you were here with us at this moment. If you're in 78 hours, sorry buddy, you're late for the game. This is for you, we have no plans to stop anytime soon, now back to work. This is how we make videos. Back when we caught up with the Mustang, we gave the Fox
bodyless than a minute of love.
We thought of a car with such a huge following and honestly such an interesting story it deserved its own episode. So let's take a look at how the Fox-bodied Mustang came to be, how it brought muscle back to the American pony car scene, and why it has a cult following like virtually no other car. (car engine revving) Now, before the Fox body came out, Ford was selling the unimpressive but confusingly successful Mustang Two. Ford stripped the V8 from the original Mustang, made it smaller, and used the Pinto platform to build the new Mustang Two. Now, the infamous '73 oil crisis hurt people's wallets, and gasoline-guzzling V8 engines fell by the wayside. (jazz music) In 1974 gas only cost 55 cents a gallon, that's 2.87 in today's money.
Everyone pays that now! Though it lacked the sexiness of its big brother, the Mustang deuce was a big hit as buyers wanted more fuel-efficient, lower-priced, and less fancy cars, okay, no thanks. Fortunately, the oil crisis ended, and by the mid-'70s, people were back buying full-size honkers that drank gasoline like no one drinks milk. But the folks at Ford were smart, and they knew that all that drinking couldn't go on forever. And they moved to build smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, because they thought that would be the name of the game in futs. So Ford engineers set to work building a new platform on which to build their fleet of cars.
They called it the Fox platform. Just to be clear, this is not the Fox-bodied Mustang. We're getting to the Fox body, don't worry. Ford wanted its new multi-car platform to be smaller, weigh less, have a wider engine bay than the Falcon's predecessor chassis, and be versatile enough to put a bunch of different models on it so you could drive fast or you could haul your boring family around. Ford's vice president of product planning and research, Hal Sperlich, came up with the idea of a world car, a Ford product that would appeal to both Americans and Europeans.
Now, with the blessing of Lee Iacocca in 1973, Hal pioneered the Fox platform. There were to be two wheelbases, a long wheelbase, on which the Fairmont would be built, and a short version for the Pinto, Cortina, and Mustang. . There are a ton of cars built on the Fox platform, Mercury Zephyr, Ford Durango, Mercury Cougar, Lincoln Continental, Ford Thunderbird, and now that Ford was working on the new cross platform chassis we could start working on what was the Mustang. It's going to look like It took three different design teams, a bunch of concept images were put together, including one based on a pickup truck, but in the end, Ford went with the Jack Telnack style.
He was the vice president of design for Ford of Europe and knew that the smaller, more European-looking cars from the East could work well in the American market. The new third-generation Mustang debuted in 1979, the first Fox-bodied Mustang. (car engine revving) The new 'Stang features square, cube-shaped headlamps within a slanted grille. It had cursed blinds on the side windows and a wedge-style hood. It was lighter, safer, more aerodynamic, a complete departure from the look of its predecessor. You've got five different engine choices, from an 88-horsepower 2.3-liter four-cylinder, to the most coveted and beloved Mustang engine of all time, the damn five-oh. (car engine revving) Although this early version of the five-liter V8 only produces 140 horsepower.
But there was a beast inside, he just
needed a little massage. We're going to talk about that in a moment. The Fox body also got three different trim levels during its initial first year. The first one was called basic (beep), not really, it was pretty basic. Then there was the more luxurious Ghia trim, which after some research doesn't look very luxurious. It had fancy seat belts, map pockets, and a carpeted trunk. Which I suppose would be a nice gesture for all the people you kidnap, because anyone who has spent more money on these options is probably a psycho.
The third and final trim was the Cobra. (cracks of thunder) Not the kind of cobra you're probably thinking of. The first Fox body Cobra was another appearance package that had a non-functional, center-mounted hood, pinstripes, and slightly different bumpers. If we were to rank Cobras, this is one in five whistles. A year later, the '80s were upon us, and with them came a McLaren-built Mustang. You heard me right, there are Fox-bodied McLaren Mustang M81s, 10 production versions to be exact. Sketched out while I was at a Mexican restaurant in California, the story goes like this, well, this guy, Gary Kohs, from the Marketing Corporation of America, went with his friend Roger Bailey, who worked at McLaren.
And he said, we want to build a McLaren Mustang. Good fellow, rock and roll. But first, we'll build some race cars and with your guys' name attached to them, they'll sell like hot cakes, man. Sounds great (burps). True story, that's how it happened. Competing in the IMSA series, the McLaren' Stang had a four-cylinder Cosworth BDA engine, Ford four-
speedmanual transmission and a quick-shift rear end. Of the two race cars built, chassis number two ran in the GTX Class at the 1981 Daytona 24 Hours. The car finished 21st overall, which isn't so great, and eighth in class, which isn't that great either.
It's so good. But they did crash, so I guess they did pretty well. From those race cars came the production McLaren Mustangs. McLaren took the 2.3 liter turbo engines and gave them a good old hot rod boy trim with some head ports and blue print for durability and performance. They make a respectable 190 horsepower when you crank the dash-mounted boost control all the way up. The M81 has BBS wheels, a WayScape hood, has all sorts of suspension accessories and front and rear sway bars, and inside, it even has a roll bar. Only 10 of the hand-built M81s have ever been sold, and at a price of 25K, which is around 70K in today's money, they weren't cheap. - Pressure is mounting again in Washington for a new look at gasoline rationing. - In 1979, a second oil crisis hit the United States, and trying to catch up, Ford ditched the five-liter V8 to save fuel and meet consumer demands.
And it was succeeded by the 255-cubic-inch V8 for 1980 and 1981. The only V8 option for the Mustang produced 120 tiny little horsepower, the lowest horsepower ever for a Mustang V8. Ford also dropped the 2.3-liter turbo, so if you wanted a true performance engine in your 'Stang in the early '80s, you were SOL, unless you were the cops. (engine revving) (tires screeching) In 1982, Ford produced a few SSP models. SSP stands for Special Service Package. The California Highway Patrol ordered some Mustangs for testing as fleet vehicles after they tested some 79 Chevy Camaros for 18 months and they didn't fit well.
The five-liter, four-speed must have ticked a few boxes because the CHP bought 406. - Fasten your seatbelts now. - And a year later, Ford opened the SSP to other law enforcement agencies. And these cars were made until the Fox body was removed. Fox police car bodies are so sick. - The boss is back. (Tires screeching) - After a 13-year hiatus, Ford finally brought the GT back in 1982. Ford marketed the new GT as the boss is back. A tribute to the Boss 302 of the 70s. The new boss 5.0 received a power increase with new valves, cams, exhaust and intake.
The popular five liter was back and here to stay, baby. (car engine revving) The five-year-old Fox body received some cosmetic upgrades a year later with a redesigned front shelf that was more rounded and a new front grille. If you change the front, you have to change the rear, duh, bloody plastic surgery 101. And the rear has new taillights and a new blue oval Ford emblem stuck on its trunk. After nine years of not being able to let your hair blow in the wind, you can finally have your little pony in a convertible. (car engine revving) 1984 marked the 20th anniversary of the Mustang, and to draw attention to 20 years of the 'Stang, Ford brought back the namesake 350 GT.
Now, if you were an '80s dude or duo and heard that Ford was bringing back the beloved '70s GT 350, you probably clenched your buttocks with excitement—well, relax those buns, because again, it was basically another cosmetic package. It got some upgraded suspension components, but overall it didn't really do much to match the legacy of the original GT 350. That same year, a household name on the Mustang scene hit the road. They go out. Ford Saleen went off and built their own American supercars. They were hopping Fox-bodied Mustangs. Steve Saleen was looking to harness the full potential that the Fox body had and turn it into a race car of gold.
He took the cars to several SCCA races and won along the way. His success on the track gave his new Mustang some street cred, and if you had the money, you might as well buy your own Saleen-equipped Fox body. So what made his conversion to Saleen so special? Well, he worked on the things that make a race car better, the chassis, the suspension, the brakes. He didn't even touch the engine, for two reasons, one, he didn't want any trouble with the EPA, they were still pretty strict at the time on emissions, and two, it allowed him to sell his conversions while maintaining the Ford factory warranty.
Elegant. (car engine revving) It used Racecraft suspension, custom wheels and a body kit that was very correct for the time. And in the early '90s, Saleen released the Saleen SSC and SC, his first crack at his own Fox body with a modified engine. Saleen pulled 290 horsepower from the beloved 5.0 for the SSC and got even more power from the SC with a buff 304 horsepower. While Saleen was away modifying Mustangs, at home, Ford was looking to put some muscle back into his production pony. The oil crisis was long over and the performance junkies wanted more horsepower to put back into their four-wheeled steed, and Ford needed a division of its own to do it.
So they decided to form a division that would oversee not only Ford's racing program, but would also spearhead the production of high-performance street-legal cars. Ford came up with the Department of Special Vehicle Operations, or SVO for short. His first task was to turn the Mustang into a more performance-oriented car. Surprisingly, instead of going the conventional route with the small-block five-liter, the SVO team used the 2.3-liter turbo, making 175 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The SVO 'Stang was the highest performing of the time. Now, remember when McLaren was making waves with its own turbo four banger? Well, the newly formed SVO didn't like that.
So they killed it, they killed the McLaren Mustang and they said "We're not going to do this." Now, it didn't take long for them to find the wrongs in their ways, about a year and a half, for Ford to make the switch and focus on the flagship V8, the five-litre. Gone are the days of the 140-horsepower choked versions of the infamous small-block, and here to stay was the 200-plus horsepower, high-output 5.0. (car engine revving) It will become the power plan that returnedthe muscle to the Mustang lineup. In 1988, the success of the higher horsepower engine saw more than 200,000 Mustangs sold annually.
One of the best American sports cars of the time. Just look at the movies that featured a Fox body. Caine's GT convertible over a gold 10-inch Dayton's in Menace to Society. Arnold Sshwarzenegger drove one in the Twins. Tim fucking Tool Man Taylor bought his son Brad a GT as his first car. Fox's bodies were wildly popular, from grandmas rocking them in church to 16-year-olds vandalizing Bernie's in church parking lots. The cities were full of square 'Stangs. But by 1990, Fox's own body was a bit behind the times. Ford continued to build special edition Mustangs for the next few years.
You got the Daylight Savings Edition and the triple white, but perhaps the best Fox body of all came with a three-letter badge next to it, SVT. (thunder rumbles) SVT stands for Special Vehicle Team, and they made some of Ford's sickest performance cars over the years. Like the damn Lightning and the Focus, but SVT started it all with the Fox body Cobra. The 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra was launched during the 1992 Chicago Auto Show as a way to showcase Ford's new performance division. The Cobra got an upgraded engine, with 235 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of twerks. He could go from zero to 60 in 5.9 seconds and run fourth in 14.5, this was a complete whistle of five out of five, with an upgraded transmission, rear disc brakes and the best looking wheels a Fox body has ever had. (engine of car accelerating) The Cobra was a damn beauty.
The only other Mustang that could outperform the Cobra was the Cobra R, why? Because R stands for runs. (car engine revving) The R was the swan song for the Fox Mustang body, showing the world that the team at SVT knew how to build performance cars. It was a complete race car with no radio, no speakers, no fucking air conditioning, no sound deadening material or a back seat. Only 107 Rs were built, specifically for IMSA and SCCA Class B racing. Although most of them are in the hands of collectors, they're just sitting in some old man's garage. The Fox body came to an end in 1993, but to this day it remains one of the best and most beloved Mustangs of all time.
It made the Mustang back into the muscle machine it once was and if you have a green notch-back Calypso five-liter with a manual, hit me up in the comments below. Wait a second, you're a fan of Donuts, but you don't even have Donuts merch? How will the other D-holes
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