Mustangs have been an iconic part of Ford’s lineup since the automaker first introduced the cars in 1964, but there’s one model that really stands out — the Fox Body model that ran between 1979 and 1993. As it turns out, the Fox Body is extremely polarizing: For every diehard fan, there is someone who can’t stand it. Why are Fox Body Mustangs so popular — and why are there so many people in the opposite camp?
Why the Fox?
Where did the Fox Body get its name?
There’s no definitive answer to this, but there are two theories. One is that Ford named the model in response to the Volkswagen Rabbit — a fox to hunt the rabbit on the highway.
The other theory refers to previous Ford models, and the fact that they weren’t as agile as they could be. Ford designed its new Mustang to be faster and nimbler than previous models.
Whatever the reason, the “fox” name stuck, and has become synonymous with ‘80s and early ‘90s Mustangs.
If you like being the one in control of your vehicle, the Fox Body is a car for you. It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles you see in modern Mustangs — no traction control, and no line lock or stability control to take over for you if you don’t know how to drive your Mustang.
Fox Body Mustangs are ‘80s to the core — sharp, square lines, a simple interior and a radio that may or may not even contain a cassette player. It also came with two options, but we all love the classic 5.0L V8 engine.
For this writer, the Fox Body is all about nostalgia — my dad had one growing up, so it brings back a ton of good memories, and some not-so-good ones of my sister throwing up in the back seat — but I digress.
Today, people love them because they’re cheap and easy to get parts for, and if you take care of them, they still drive like a dream.
The Other Side of the Coin
Of course, whenever there are devoted fans of something — and many people do love the Fox Body Mustang — you’ll have plenty of people who hate it, too. And they are very vocal about their hate, but not very specific.
Some people attribute it to the bad reputation Mustang owners have acquired over the years — but you’ll run into obnoxious Chevy and Dodge owners, too. Others attribute it to the ingrained rivalry between these car manufacturers and the people who own them, but there’s no definitive reason as to why people hate Fox Bodies so much.
As for me, I’m still trying to get my hands on one — hopefully in blue, the same color as the one my dad owned so many years ago. There are plenty of people who love this classic Mustang, and we count ourselves among their number. If you see a Fox Body out on the road, give a nod to the driver behind the wheel for keeping this piece of Mustang history running.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site offthethrottle.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.