Third Generation Mustang - The Fox Body
The third generation Mustang is often referred to as the "Fox Bodied" Mustang since it was placed upon Ford's "Fox Platform" which was a lighter, more compact rear-wheel drive unibody chassis. In true Mustang style, this car shares it's underpinnings with the Ford Fairmont and Falcon sedans.
A convertible option rejoined the notchback and hatchback bodies in 1983 after being absent for almost 10 years. Engine options on this generation include a bunch of low-output 4 and 6 cylinder plants, a turbo charged 4-cylinder which produced 132HP, and the 302 V8 which produced 140HP. The peak of the SVO 4-cylinder Mustang was at 205hp in 1985. In 1980, Ford had dropped the V8 to 4.2 liters at 119HP, but by 1987 the 5.0 V8 rose to 225HP which is the most sought after and often mythically referred to as simply the "5.0".
This generation Mustang is just starting to reach it's collectible years. The market is soft for these cars, however finding a good one can be a task as many have been abused or forgotten. Good condition restored examples can bring over $10,000 in the right crowd, but on average, you wouldn't expect to pay more than $5,000 for one. As this generation heads to the junkyard and the generation that grew up with them age, we anticipate the price and collectibility to increase. They are already have a die-hard following of both purists and racers and we don't expect that to go away. Overall, this cars scores four out of five stars for reliability. It can be costly to maintain and gets three out of five stars for maintenance costs. Parts/support and market appeal get three out of three as well. If you own one, keep up on it, you may have a future classic. If you're thinking about buying one, go for the 5.0!
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