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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Like the original Mustang, which had its foundation flown in from the economy-minded Ford Falcon, the third generation of the seminal pony car had borrowed its underpinnings from a rather humble source - the "Fox" platform 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr; truly forgettable automobiles that told the sorry tale of a car maker and an industry still trying to sort out a double whammy of mile-per-gallon mandates and emissions regulations.

But the times were about to change. Debuted in 1979, the new Mustang was, once again, stylistically more in line with the "pony" principle, and less the parody of itself that the Mustang II had been. Power was still on the anemic side, with a 2.3 liter four being the entry level motor and a 5.0 liter, two barrel-carbed 140-horse V8 on the options list, and that sad state of affairs got worse the next year, when the V8 was de-bored to 4.2 liters - and a truly sappy 115 horsepower. Fewer than 5,000 V8-powered units were sold that year.

For 1982, the V8 was once again at five liters, and was making a more-respectable 157 horsepower in four-barrel trim - which was only available if a four speed trans was on the build sheet. Shiftless slushers got bolted to a 120-horse V8 - but a light was dawning on the horizon. In 1984 Ford released a pony sired by the Special Vehicle Operations department, with a 175-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine under its specially wrought skin. The SVO Mustang was trick, fast, and exclusive - not to mention an honest-to-gosh performer, and arguably the first enthusiast's car to wear a blue oval in many years. Ten thousand were sold in the two years the SVO was made.

If the force-fed four could make 175 horses - exactly the number of percherons published for the V8 for the years 1983 and 1984 - then the eight holes punched in the GT's five-oh block needed to get busy. And they did; in 1985, roller lifters, tube headers and a rumbly exhaust got the number to 210. Fuel injection dropped in for '86 - and the rated power dropped down to 200, though with a bump upwards in torque, from 270 to 285 lbs/ft.

From '87 to '92, the 5.0 was a dialed-in unit, making a steady 225 horsepower. But just before the Fox-based 'Stang was retired in '93 (well, not completely retired- the '94 used Fox componentry under its swoopier skin), the Cobra got a 235-horsepower mill to complement the more sedate 205-horsepower V8 in the GT and LX models.

From SVO to Cobra, from GT to LX, the Fox Mustangs were pretty sweet cars, and the later variants that the basic shell spawned were desirable vehicles. We 1:18 heads had a chance, via GMP's first models based on the Fox, to shelve a memory or two. But though the GMP was a neat car in its time, it was a little off the mark, shape wise, and shy of the features most hardcore collectors wanted to see and experience.



All of that has been addressed in this completely new tool - and Ford guys in general and Mustang guys in particular should find the model a sweet addition to their pony lineup. It's a 1993 LX convertible in Chrome Yellow with a black interior, and like the '05 GTO we saw a few months ago, there's a whole lot of detail and features crammed into the car's still-modern skin; working parts include an articulated suspension, steerable wheels, opening doors, hood, and trunk, and poseable sun visors. There's a removable up top with a pop-on boot, a steel prop rod for the hood, plus a handbrake lever and console you can open and move.



Above all else, it's the car's great engineering and finish that grabs me. The taillights are multi-element units with great depth and clarity, and the photoetched badging all over the little 'Stang gets high marks. The finish is great, shut lines and panel fit is very good, and the doors swing on real aspect hinges with button magnets to hold them shut. Bright yellow paint, neat chrome wheels, and a pop-in steel antenna make a great first impression.

The interior is a nice effort in molded black plastic, with a carpeted floor, a nice dash with well-represented instruments and seat backs that tilt. Performing that tilt activates the model's gee-whiz retractable shoulder belts, an activity that got a giggle out of my wife. Hey - I get my giggles where and when I can around here.



The engine is as good a model of the modern 5.0 as I've ever seen, and it's detailed beautifully (I was the unfortunate owner of a '90 Mark VII LSC, and gazing on this little jewel is a reminiscence of the only part of that god-awful mess of electrical headaches that worked well - the motor.) GMP has really put the stones to this one - the soft vinyl hoses, correct-looking gray spark plug leads, and even the ribbed valve covers are all perfectly wrought and assembled with precision. To top is all off, there's a photo-etched "5.0 HO" badge on the intake and an eye-scrunching amount of applied labeling and tampos on the oil fill cap, air intake, and radiator brace. This is a ten out of ten, and rates as the very best late-model emissions-era motor I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.



Frame detailing is equally good, and the various pieces are mated with a great eye for detail and function. The right rear side balked a little when I compressed it - but something got back in line, and the car bounces smoothly now. There are brake lines at each wheel, and the bracing, sway bars, and linkages all look great in several shades and textures of titanium, silver, gray, and black. And the trunk is carpeted, with a lid that swings up on real metal hinges - just like the real car.

All in all, at a sub-$100.00 price, this is a killer little model. I'm dying to see where the GMP guys take it next; the Fox-based Mustang menu was a particularly tasty one. It's hard to pick a favorite - Mustangs had so many looks. Here's to hoping we get to see them all again. Nice job, GMP.

Added to the DX Model Review Database v2.0
 

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:goodpost :nicejob :coolpics ......great story....

......that special edition Mustang is very nice! It's gonna be a good seller!

I only wish that GMP will eventually release a GT version out of this mold.....
 
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