The Fox body Mustang was once one of the best bang-for-your-buck cars around. Could today’s Nice Price or No Dice GT keep that tradition alive?
A number of you were put off by the styling of yesterday’s 2010 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid. A few others offered a more broad assessment, claiming the car’s complex mechanical and electrical systems foretold a future of expensive repairs and maintenance on top of its questionable aesthetics.
Those were all astute observations, and as is typical of certain non-M BMWs, such a combo can prove deleterious to a car’s value. In fact, at $18,888 Canadian, yesterday’s ActiveHybrid was valued by its seller at a mere fraction of its original out-the-door price. That seemingly wasn’t fractional enough, however, as the X6 was awarded a decisive 65 percent No Dice loss.
When Ford released the 1979 Mustang, it turned a new page on the marque’s fortunes. The new generation replaced the unloved Mustang II, and styling-wise was a radical departure from both its immediate predecessor and the original pony car aesthetic.
The new car still shared certain aspects — a reasonably roomy four-place cabin, sporty styling and an options list that could make the car fit just about anyone’s tastes. Gone, however, were many of the Mustang’s traditional styling tropes. No more side scoops, shark-nose grille or haunched rear fender lines. The only backward glances Ford allowed the ’79 Mustang was the galloping pony on its badge and the vertically-segmented tail lamps at the back. This new forward-looking Mustang was built on the then-new Fox platform, which and been originally developed for the mainstream Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr lines that debuted a year earlier. To date, the Fox platform Mustang has been the most successful and longest-lived edition of the model.
Today, Fox-body Mustangs such as this 1992 GT convertible remain highly sought after because they are considered cheap and easy to maintain, with a modicum of style and performance. The only real problem is that cheap cars tend to be bought by cheap owners, those who can’t afford the more expensive aspects of car ownership.
Because of that, you see a lot of Foxstangs that have been poorly maintained and hence are utter junk. Finding a nice one can be a challenge, and worn-out cars tend to go to the scrapper rather than to the restorer. It’s only going to get worse as time goes on, so this might very well be the end of the car’s era as a cheap performance car option.
This red-over-gray convertible does look to be in really nice shape. The ad spins a sad story about how the car suffered a battery drain which resulted in it being parked in a garage for nearly a decade and allowed to go fallow. The current owner rescued the car and has invested a good bit of effort in getting it back up and running, fixing things like the fuel system, ignition bits, tires and fluids. The clutch and T5 transmission have also been refreshed, along with the rear main seal. There’s plenty more detail in the ad, and considering that the car has just 70,588 on the clock and looks as nice as it does, it all seems to have been a worthwhile investment.
Is it all Peaches and Herb here? Well, no. The ad notes a few issues, including some broken interior trim pieces, a nonworking heater and an intermittent airbag warning light. The ad goes further to recommend a color correction for the paint, and the interior shots indicate that the upholstery could use a good cleaning too. At least that’s better than it being ripped or missing. On the plus side, the top looks to be in great shape, as do the factory alloy wheels and all the gewgaws of the GT-specific bodywork.
This GT has the goods under the hood too. There you’ll find Ford’s stalwart 302 V8 and while this car isn’t Vanilla Ice white, that engine’s 225 horsepower should still let you go rollin’ in your 5.0 without embarrassment. The manual gearbox here is a plus as well. It’s debatable whether the same could be said about the convertible top. Understanding that this is a car for cruising not for attacking the gymkhana should help. If taken at that face value, it should prove a capable and reasonably comfortable ride.
The asking price to get into this Mustang is $15,000 and before you ask; yes, that much money will get you a much newer and more capable pony. The thing is, many folks always wanted to get a Foxstang but perhaps never had the wherewithal or the opportunity. As we discussed, that opportunity may not be around all that much longer.
What’s your take on this Mustang and that $15,000 price? Does that make this a GT that’s good to go? Or, is the Mustang mystique just not magical enough for that much money?
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