HomeCar CultureCommentaryBook Review: Fox Body Mustang Restoration

Book Review: Fox Body Mustang Restoration

As the popularity of this Mustang incarnation grows, we found a great resource


I was never a Fox Body Mustang fan, per se. It certainly was a big improvement on the Mustang II, but it never made me want to own one. I would however discover in auto crossing that these cars were far nimbler in the F-Street Class than my Pontiac Firebird. Being here at the Journal, I am regularly exposed to them, as it is a growing segment of the collector car market, and now they are growing on me.

fox body

Considering Ford built more than 2.6 million examples between 1979 and 1993, there is still a plethora of the cars available and right now they fall into the “cheap speed” category – but not for long. Some are being successfully drifted and club raced. Beautifully restored versions of the Fox Body are finding appeal with the next generation of collectors who loved these cars in high school.

For the DIY owner or a potential or recent buyer of the Fox Body Mustang, here is a very well-written and logical resource for making good decisions: Fox Body Mustang Restoration, written by journalist and Ford expert Jim Smart.

fox body

Smart writes about the different techniques and procedures of restoration for body and paint, interior, climate controls, chassis and suspension, engine, driveline, electrical, and more. As mentioned above, the book is a great resource not only for someone who has a car to restore, but an even better resource for those who are looking to buy a Fox Body Mustang. Remember, these cars are up to 40 years old, and knowing what to look for when inspecting a potential purchase is golden.

Fox Body Mustang Restoration provides step by step, illustrated instructions on bringing the car back to whatever level the owner wants. Knowing what goes into these repairs is also a good resource when talking to shops if you decide not to do it yourself.

fox body

Chapter subjects include a history of the cars, tools and equipment required; body repair; interior refurbishment; the climate control system; wheels; engine and driveline rebuilding; electrical troubleshooting and repair; and finally a large index of Fox Mustang facts, including paint codes, production numbers, option codes, data plate decoding, and more.

According to a spokesperson for CarTech, “This is the first time Fox Body Mustang restoration has been covered in a full-color instructional format. If you are considering a full-blown restoration or would just like some good advice on how to repair certain sections of your car, this restoration guide is a valuable tool in your toolbox.”

fox body

He’s not wrong. Reading more about the history – including how it got its code name: design inspired by the Audi Fox – and the potential, I have come away with a newfound “Like” for this series of Mustangs. Thanks for that, Jim Smart; you made me a believer.

Five Stars

Fox Body Mustang Restoration

Author: Jim Smart
Pages: 192
Size: 8.5 X 11 (inches)
Format: Paperback
Illustrations: 626 color photos
Publisher: CarTech
ISBN: 9781613254363
Paperback $34.95
e-Book PDF format $29.95

Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.


  1. Sorry, you haven’t convinced me that this is a book worth investing in. You briefly mention the book covering body repair, but are you talking about collision repair, rust and corrosion repair or ? I also see no mention of the body buck tags that were often stapled in an obscure and relatively well hidden area on the radiator yoke. Decoding the printed tag on the end of the driver’s door is already widely available at no cost from numerous websites, further negating the need to buy this book. I’d really like to have a book on Fox body Mustangs that is useful and informative, but as I said, you haven’t made a compelling case for this particular book to be “the one”.


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