5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1988 Ford Mustang LX Fox 500 Project Part 2
It's Time To Revitalize The Fox 500's Sorry Sheetmetal
At the time of our last report ("Late Boomer," Mar. '10, p. 92), Editor Turner's long-running Fox 500 project had finally proven the merit of injecting a muscularly modern GT500 powertrain and some seriously athletic chassis hardware into an '88 LX T-top carcass, upon which some 22 years of duty had inflicted a heavy visual toll. As you likely noticed in that report, this new-age muscle was in sharp contrast to our hatchback's rat-rod looks. In short, while the Fox 500's power and reflexes were now world-class, even an Olympic athlete can't make a good impression when swaddled in hobo's clothing. So we packed the whole disreputable-looking affair off to Motor City Solutions for a major cosmetic makeover.
As its name might suggest, Motor City Solutions is located in a Detroit suburb, namely Taylor, Michigan. This close proximity to Detroit is relevant to our story because Motor City Solutions' (let's just call them MCS, OK?) main gig is riding herd on Ford's press vehicles, by which we mean that every single car or truck headed into FoMoCo's huge and ever-evolving North American media fleet must initially pass through the MCS shops for intense scrutiny and detailing before shipping off to the grubby paws and leaden feet of the continent's automotive press. MCS also has complete ongoing responsibility for maintaining, housing, dispensing, and managing Ford's Midwest-area press fleet, going over and repairing/detailing as necessary every vehicle in between each and every media test drive. These cars have to make a good impression.
As such, MCS has world-class personnel and facilities when it comes to body, paint, and vehicle preparation. In other words, the staff consists of detail freaks-just the kind of guys our pony-tailed leader wanted working on his beloved but beleaguered old hatchback. Besides, one of MCS' owners, Bill Deister, is a genuine car guy with a modified Fox in his own garage, so we knew the Fox 500 would be in good hands.
This time around, we'll have a look at some of the challenges the crusty, old LX presented once its grungy white paint was stripped. We'll also bolt on some new fiberglass parts from Cervini's and Steeda, and generally get the project ready for the paint booth.
Next time out, we'll check out our project's new hue, and start bolting it all back together using the boatload of essential parts we ordered from Latemodel Restoration Supply. After that, it'll be off to the interior shop-someday the editor might even get to drive it ...