Super Piston Slap: Poser Perceptions Vs. A Fox Reality

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
super piston slap poser perceptions vs a fox reality
Jeff writes:


Your “Panther Love” is so well known that it could be termed Legendary. But until your recent comments in “The Ultimate Commute” I did not realize you were also a Fox Body Mustang owner. Definitely my lack of perception and close reading or your articles!

I recently purchased a Fox Mustang: a 93 Hatchback LX with the 2.3 4 cylinder engine. I knew that if I bought a 5.0 I would get many Speeding Tickets & also be tempted to Race.

I would much appreciate it, if you could provide an update on your own Fox Body experience.


Sajeev answers:

I always wonder if I’m sharing too much about myself on Piston Slap, aside from the narcissistic rants about Panthers or whatever else the B&B gets me worked on. It’s all good, but shit Son, I don’t even own a Panther! And no, my Fox-ination has little to do with the Fox Mustang. But it all started on December 31st, 1986.

That’s the day my parents took delivery of a 1983 Lincoln Continental Valentino. It completely changed this 9-year-old’s perception of cars, since I was primed to learn by this age. “The Lincoln” is a proverbial buffet of automotive uniqueness: style, surprisingly competent craftsmanship, period technology, and sleeper resto-mod potential. As the years went by I couldn’t stop absorbing more about cars and either applying it or witnessing it on “The Lincoln.” It’s so intense, so unique, that I am still researching it’s mysteries to this day. And spending tens of thousands on a complete rotisserie restoration and a significant resto-mod power train upgrade.

The money is a sunk cost on a fool’s errand, but I’m just a 9-year-old in a man’s body.

When you combine a stylish luxury car signed off by Valentino himself with the endless possibilities of the Fox Body, you have a car that appeals to the designer inside you and the classic Ford Hot-Rodder you always wanted to be since the days of the Flathead V8 powered Model A. This is the car I drew in the margins of my grade school notebooks. It “took” me to Detroit on a misguided journey to be a car stylist. Perhaps “the Lincoln” is the foundation for both Piston Slap and Vellum Venom.

Damn, I just blew my own mind.

If you like my work (which I appreciate more than I can put into words) thank your lucky stars that Ford used this car for a ton of later-Mustang upgrades, and that Valentino Garavani was hungry enough in the 1980s to license his valuable name to a modified Ford Fairmont.

And once you get one Fox, you kinda can’t stop. My parents loved the Lincoln so much more than their previous GMs (which where truly horrible) that they got a new Cougar XR-7 the next year. We loved it. So it continued: a 1985 Thunderbird 30th Anniversary Edition, a 1991 Mustang LX 5.0 notchback, a 1991 Lincoln Mark VII LSC, a 1984 LTD “LX”, etc…

And as the Fox disappeared into cult classic collectible, we turned into Collectors of the Breed. Our garage now has eight of them, in various states of repair. The Lincoln pictured above is disassembled, floating on a rotisserie. After four years of frustration, the Cougar is turning back into a daily driver for yours truly. My how time flies.

I doubt a day has gone by since the Fox wasn’t on my mind…since December 31st, 1986. When I’m old enough to write The Book of My Life, the Fox will likely intertwine itself in every chapter.

Jeff: so there you have it, you have my “update on my own Fox Body experience.” Thank you all for reading, have a great Sunday and a fantastic week come tomorrow.

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2 of 90 comments
  • LTDScott LTDScott on Oct 30, 2012

    Preach on, Brother Sajeev! I have only owned 6 Fox bodies (five LTDs and a Mark VII) but you know I share your love.

  • Ushocker Ushocker on Oct 31, 2012

    The comments on this discussion sadden me. The Fox Mustangs were a glory of their times. They were affordable and fast. In their day, their power and lightness made them nearly as fast as the exotics. For $11,000 to $14,000 they were a steal. Yes, v6 Accords can equal them now but that is a mark of the wondrous efficiencies of our information age. Fox Mustangs ruled roads the 1980s as the Corsair, Hellcat or P-51 dominated the skies in the mid-forties. Yes, an F-4 Phantom or F-22 could shoot them down in an instant but if you think that is really saying something you are a nitwit. In the same way, the thoughtful will see the foxes as something special. I own an 1988 Mustang GT which is a hand me down from my brother. I was there when he bought it new and it remains stock. It can probably get to 60mph in around 6 seconds - about the same as an Accord or Camry. Unlike those soft cars the Mustang is raw, brutal and real. There is no computer to guide or protect you, no airbags to save you when you make mistakes. There is nothing to save you. It is the last of its kind. When those cars stopped coming out of the River Rouge plant, computers began to pacify the automobile. The modern car is wonderful, the new Mustang marvelous- but they lack the crude beauty and rawness of the Fox. So enjoy your computerized toys. My Fox Mustang has something you can't understand. Something raw and crude and glorious that the haters can't understand. It represents the end of a breed, a glory of it's time. For all it's faults, it is the real thing. It's a real car. Nothing less, nothing more.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.