The Market for Fox-Body Mustangs Is Maturing
If ever there were a poster child for cheap speed from the last decades of the 20th century, it’d be the Fox-body Mustang. A 14-year production run that wrapped in 1993 turned loose about 2.6 million of them, and a massive, affordable aftermarket sprung up to support Fox-body drag racers, road course addicts, and stoplight ne’er-do-wells across the country.
The 5.0 smoke show was long and glorious. Even today, Fox-body Mustangs are still a great way to go fast, but all those years of cheap thrills also made for a lot of attrition. It’s getting harder to find a Mustang of this era that isn’t incredibly modified, incredibly beat-up, or both. That, plus the fact that the youngest ones are now over 30 years old means that good ones are beginning to be collectible. The sale of this clean 1993 Mustang LX 5.0 for $25,200 (including fees) on Bring a Trailer last week is an example of where the market appears to be headed.
By the time this one rolled off the line in ’93, the Fox body was fully evolved (you can find our detailed, year-by-year Fox-body Mustang buyer’s guide here). The 5.0-liter V-8 would see further development in other models, but by 1987 it offered a stout 225 hp and propelled the Mustang to low 14s in the quarter mile. Despite a 205-horse rating for ’93, it wasn’t any less strong—Ford knew the new-for-’94 SN95 would make 215 horsepower, so they made the ’93 models a little weaker on paper.
Though the GT sat atop the lineup and offered more standard features, choosing between an LX and a GT was as much an aesthetic decision as anything else. Later-year LX 5.0s offered a clean, trim look, and those long dual exhausts were an assertively subtle hint of what this otherwise understated pony was packing.
The $25K sale price of this oh-so-’90s Reef Blue example falls about $3K beneath its $28,100 Hagerty Price Guide #2 (Excellent) condition value, and roughly where our analysts expected. Values are up across the gamut of Fox-body years and trims, but the higher quality the car, the more valuable it has become. The days of good-example Fox-bodies being merely used performance cars are well and truly gone. In fact, #2-condition cars have nearly tripled in value over the last five years, and they are up 15 percent in the last year alone. In contrast, driver-quality #4-condition (Fair) cars have doubled in value but sit at a still-affordable $7900.
The keys to this particular car’s success were its relatively low (21K) miles and a stack of documentation. The mileage is in that sweet spot, just above “so low you’d be afraid to drive it” territory. A recent service that replaced a number of underhood items, along with a slew of additional paperwork, verified that this LX has been well taken care of. These attributes would have been a benefit in prior years, but buyers now clearly place a significant premium on them—a sign of a maturing market for the Fox body.
One thing that separates this generation of Mustangs from prior ones as they’ve reached collector status, however, is that buyers don’t appear to shy away from modifications, at least as long as they’re tasteful. The tweaks on this car aren’t significant—wheels, lowering springs, a shifter, rocker arms, headers, and exhaust are the primary changes—and this car’s sale didn’t appear to suffer from them.
Given how many Fox-bodies were made, it’s unlikely that garden-variety LX 5.0s and GTs from this era will ever be truly expensive. But, between the ever-decreasing count of quality examples and the increasing number of people lusting after the car that was top dog in their high school parking lot, the 1979–93 Mustang is well on its way to collector status.