When it comes to restoration...
When it comes to restoration perfection, owners of Special Service Mustangs (SSP) search for every correct detail about their cars.
"It has quickly become our fastest growing segment," says TMI's Director of Sales and Marketing Dean Satterfield. "Throughout last year, we saw double-digit growth in the number of people buying Fox-body interiors. It's an encouraging sign, almost like there's a groundswell of pent-up desire for the product."
TMI has tripled its offerings for '79-'93 Mustangs. In fact, nearly 16 pages of the new NPD catalog are devoted to TMI, including seat upholstery, door panels, headliners, and sun visors. It's been a complicated process due to the variety of materials and colors used back then.
"The '82 Mustang alone has nine different seat styles and a myriad of colors and patterns," explains Satterfield. "I thought I was going to go crazy breaking that out, but I had help from some very good people in the industry, like Matt Highley from Fox Mustang Restoration in North Carolina and Matt Laszaic at NPD. We got original parts to work from and some of our initial patterns from Highley. And Laszaic took it even further by drilling down and getting everything identified for the charts in the NPD catalog."
Classic Auto Air is another well-known company in the classic Mustang restoration industry. For Fox-bodies, they already offer a Sanden compressor swap, along with an engine compartment upgrade that adds all-new parts, including hoses that eliminate the factory's troublesome spring-lock connections. CAA is looking to expand into more offerings for '79-'93.
Because many Fox-body Mustangs...
Because many Fox-body Mustangs were modified within days of their purchase, restorers are building them with period-type modifications like aftermarket wheels, K&N air filters, and Flowmaster mufflers.
"It's still an affordable car," says CAA's Tim Cordileone. "People can get into a Fox-body at the ground level. There are tons of them out there and now they are getting popular. We're going to offer a little bit of everything. Much of it is still being made, like replacement hoses and evaporators. Right now, I can't speak intelligently about the interior portions of those cars, but in another year, I'll be up to speed."
Another name from the vintage Mustang side, Kevin Marti at Marti Autoworks, is also ready for the Fox-body onslaught. Last year he began offering '79-'86 Mustang factory invoices, the same "Eminger" invoices that have been available for years for many first-generation Mustangs. The invoices provide important documentation info for restorations, like factory equipment and options.
Will the Fox-body Mustangs ever reach the same popularity as the '65-'73s? That remains to be seen. For the moment, it appears that mail-order companies and parts manufacturers will be ready if it happens.
"We're really excited," says CAA's Cordileone. "It's new for us, not the same old thing. We see Fox-bodies everywhere. Many of them are still being driven every day."