The operative term here being, until recently. With every other “good” Mustang climbing out of attainability, attention in the project car world has of late turned back to the Foxbody with questions of what might have been, and what could be. It’s a car regaining intrigue with a second wind that’s come on song getting on for forty years since its debut.
So with the Foxbody’s renaissance firmly at the forefront of grassroots enthusiasts' minds, you can imagine our intrigue when we clocked one sat in a corner across the way from a hoard of familiar boosted-up-to-the-gills Group A weapons. It had to be Group A, and upon closer inspection, all the tell-tale signs were there. Weird and wonderful turbine wheels, ground-hugging ride height, a curious trimming-inclusive approach to interior stripping and a camber setup conducive with maximum hook-up on the exit of Eau Rouge.
This car was commissioned by one Vince Woodman who took some of the last wins for the ageing Capri in 1982. It was to be the next great Ford touring car, at the dawn of Group A, with 1979-'80 Spa 24 winner, Jean-Michel Martin at the wheel. Its comfort zone was European and Australian rounds inclusive of larger-engined machinery. With a 5.0-litre V8 putting power to a live rear axle, this old bruiser is definitely that. Simple, brutish, under-stressed and therefore game to go for 24 hours. It saw service at the Spa 24 in ’83 where it qualified 13th with a respectable 2-minute 49-second lap, and was commendably reliable, but ducked out at the 9th hour due to an accident. A dabble in BTCC during a relaxation of engine legislation, and a few more years in ETCC, and the trail goes cold post-’87, as the monstrous Sierra RS500 Cosworth took president for Ford in touring car racing. The Fox never had its hour of glory.