This is the car I had wished I had when I was a teenager in the late 1980’s / early-90’s. It is as far from my same-generation, 2.3L four-cylinder Mustang in concept and execution as could be humanly (automotively?) possible. Not even Vanilla Ice could ruin these for me. It was boxier and stubbier than a Camaro or Firebird. And yes, it was also a hatchback. But the GT was the ponycar of choice for those who wanted some extra visual spice with their speed over the stealthy LX 5.0. And it still rocks.
Fall is in full swing here in Chicago, and the crunching sound and bitter scent of dried leaves is everywhere. Those sensations remind me of this time of the school year, and the memory of the realization I was smack-dab in the middle of the first semester and had to get my grades together ASAP. By this point in the year, there would be only so much time to fix things before the holidays. My late father was a professor, so there wasn’t a lot of foolishness allowed where grades were concerned.
It seems this particular generation of Mustang was everywhere about twenty years ago. I considered the ’87 restyle to be something of a miracle in modernizing chief stylist Jack Telnack’s basic design(s) which rolled out for ’79. These cars were truly ubiquitous at one point – so much so that I learned to ignore them by probably around the turn of the millennium. Later redesigns made the Fox-platform Mustangs look more like big Escorts by comparison, adding classic styling cues, substance, and performance to even the base models.
I hadn’t paid much attention to the Mustangs of the 80’s for a really long time…until recently, thanks to a neighbor who uses this one as his daily driver. Looking at this car was like finding my favorite CD from college that I played incessantly back then, had shelved ten years ago after reaching my saturation point, then recently rediscovered – and put back on repeat. There’s a crisp lightness about these cars that’s lacking from some overwrought, recent models. The missing center-caps on the five-spoke “Pony Wheels” (introduced for ’91) make this example look a little unkempt, but let’s hope the owner continues to keep it rollin’.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Thursday, October 22, 2015.