Monday, October 21, 2013

Found in the Yard: '80's Icon

Vanilla Ice had one. And if you were in high-school during the 80's you wish you had one. Only slightly less desirable than Farrah Fawcett in a red one-piece bathing suit is a 1987 Ford Mustang Cobra 5.0 like the one we've found today. One of the few truly capable affordable sporty cars of the day, the "Fox body" 5.0 Mustang was a hero car most could afford. But how did ours end up here?

This well picked over example has taken a front end hit hard enough to buckle the roof. Not that it's deterred salvagers who have already picked this one of most major assemblies including the rear axle.

Under the hood we can see the gaping hole where the 225 horsepower 5 liter V8 used to live. When backed by a five-speed manual (as this one is was) this quick Cobra was a fair match for Corvettes and Trans Ams. The compact and light car was also surprisingly capable on twisty roads. Today, the engines and drivetrains from these cars are almost immediately picked to provide new life to project cars. The highly desirable V8/manual trans combo was probably scavenged the first day of this car's arrival.

Like many affordable, sporty cars, the majority of these were badly modified, raced and abused early on and few unmolested examples remain. This one appeared to be stock down to the mufflers until someone gave it this rather unfortunate fortune cookie shape.

This car must've been quite the looker in 1987. Though covered in dust and partially gutted, we can see the striking original red interior. And check out the plaid seat inserts! Those are always cool. 

It's nice to imagine this car rumbling along with shiny black paint broken only by red accent stripes and rolling on attractive 'turbine' aluminum wheels. My mind wanders to the sound of that fuel injected V8 lazily burbling away at idle. Of course everybody salivated over the Countach in those days but the Mustang was something tangible. It was a working class hero that could be bought by you or your cool older brother.

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