It’s been a minute since the show wrapped, but Fox Mustangs were out in force at the 2018 edition of Ponies In The Smokies. Every year Fox was on hand for The 56 Years Of Mustang display, plus there were several rare examples in the Saleen display. Plus, a couple of cool Special Service Package law-enforcements cars were also featured inside, along with dozens of cool Foxes out in the show field.
While our beloved Fox ’Stangs might have been out numbered overall by the newer ponies on display, there was certainly no shortage of quality Foxes, which made the task of narrowing them down to our favorites difficult. However, we toughed it out and made it happen, and these are our five favorites…
5. 1989 Georgia State Patrol car
Any SSP Mustang is pretty special, especially one still in full-service dress. This 1989 Georgia State Patrol car was in service right down to the original driver. Rick Wilcox was issued this car on March 7, 1989 during his time with the Georgia State Patrol. Rick and his Mustang patrolled 110,280 miles together before she was finally retired in 1993. After going through several owners, he was finally reunited with his patrol car in 2000, making Rick the only former Georgia State Patrol officer to own their former SSP patrol car.
Rick Wilcox’s 1989 Georgia State Patrol SSP car features a unique history. The car went from being Rick’s patrol car to a stripped-down drag racer, back to patrol car status again thanks to a painstaking restoration. It finally made its way back to Rick to complete the circle. The car still features much of his original service equipment including his hat, jacket, ticket book, and gun belt.
4. 1989 Mustang LX Coupe
John Reaves’ 1989 Mustang coupe is definitely not your average Fox. This slick black coupe is powered by a different 5.0-liter engine than the factory intended. Donnie and the crew at Boosted Performance in Moorsville, North Carolina, fitted the LX with a VMP TVS-blown Aluminator engine and a 6R80 automatic transmission. A mini-tub facilitates a huge set of Billet Specialty wheels, 335/35/17s to be exact, to complete the sinister look of this coupe.
A simple and clean engine bay and an all-business interior make John Reaves' Fox coupe one of the cleanest we have seen in a long time. With the VMP-boosted Aluminator under its hood, we would love to take this clean coupe around the block just once.
4. 1989 Saleen Mustang Coupe
Fox coupes are highly sought after, but Saleen coupes are some of the rarest Foxes in existence. Mike and Loretta Johnston’s 1989 is one of just 59 Saleen such notchbacks ever produced. Painted in a beautiful red and gold color combination, this car is a real eye-catcher. The car was actually used in the 1989 Saleen advertising along with Steve and Liz Saleen.
This look is often imitated, but there were only 59 originals of the Saleen coupe. Certainly a look we are not accustomed to seeing, but it’s one we could definitely get use to.
2. 1993 Mustang GT
Just 1,200 miles are all that you will find on this near-perfect 1993 GT owned by Danielle Turley. From one end to the other, this car is as it came from the factory and is a true time capsule. Wearing original paint, wheels, tires, and the whole nine yards, Danielle’s GT did not disappoint. It is a real treat to get to see a low-mileage car such as this up close and personal.
The stock intake, stock air box, stock shifter, and stock radio are all parts we would have thrown in the trash can 10 years ago. However, as our beloved Foxes get older, seeing these original parts is a real treat. Danielle’s 1,200-mile time capsule was good enough to win her the Best Third-Generation, 1979-1993 honors at Ponies In The Smokies.
1985 Saleen Mustang
Our number one Fox is easy to overlook at first, but at second glance, you realize this is one special machine. Mike Charles’ 1985 was the fourth Saleen Mustang ever built by Steve and company. It was also the first produced in 1985. It features the “Big Wing” instead of the smaller Saleen wing found on the rest of the Fox Saleens. The car is in remarkably original condition and is really a special piece of Mustang and Saleen history, making it an easy choice as our top Fox from Ponies In The Smokies.
Reportedly one of only 20 to 25 "big wing" cars produced, this a subtle difference definitely gives Mike Charles’ 1985 Saleen a unique look. Not that it needs any, but the car definitely gets extra cool points for the original blue and yellow California license plate and the Towne Ford tag bracket.
With every top-five or top-10 list we put together, there are always those cars that almost made it. Check out some of our close calls from Ponies In The Smokies. We will feature at least two of these cars in the future, so stay tuned.