While the S197 seemed to take the specialty or tuner Mustang trend to the next level, don't think that the Fox era didn't have its fair share of specialty rides. Of course, Steve Saleen picked up where Carroll Shelby left off in '84, but in the later '80s and early '90s the specialty Foxes were plentiful. I have fond memories of dreaming about cars like these in my youth, but at that time even a stock Fox was beyond my reach. However, the existence and variety of so many aftermarket Mustang variants not only showed how robust the aftermarket support was for the Foxes, but also set the stages for years of tuner Mustangs.
Like all the other lists in this story, narrowing my top specialty 'Stangs down was pretty tough. It also made me stick to the factory cars for my Top 10 Foxes list, when in reality I would have mixed them freely on any Top 10 wish list. In the end, here's a list with some brief descriptions, as I bet most of you don't recall all these cars:
1. '92 SAAC Mustang. The Shelby club presaged the '93 Cobra with this blend of looks and performance made famous by Steve Grebeck's Pro 5.0 version.
2. '89 Roush 25th Anniversary Prototype. Since it never made production, this insane twin-turbo anniversary wasn't available for sale like the rest of this list, but it should have been.
3. '93 Saleen SA10. Steve Saleen closed out the Fox era with this sexy, bumblebee hued small-volume Mustang.
4. '92 1/2 Steeda 5th Anniversary. Setting the stage for a new wave of parts and cars, Steeda's LX was a sharp-handling red looker.
5. '89 Saleen SSC. Likely the car most Fox fans would most like to clone, this two-seater Saleen was simply lustworthy.
6. '93 Crawford Quarterhorse. Amid a storm of street handling packages, this drag special from the original 347 stroker specialists was proudly pointed in a straight line.
7. '89 Kenny Brown Outlaw. Long on handling prowess, and short on flash Kenny Brown's Fox efforts showcased the company's handling and stiffening bits.
8. '88 Ronnie Sox Mustang. A blend of body kit and bolt-ons the short-lived Sox 'Stang had the flash to suit the time, but the kind of performance you'd expect from its namesake.
9. '89 JBA Dominator GTA. Now owned by Latemodel Restoration Supply's Shannon Guderian, this flashy widebody 'Stang also packed a performance punch.
10. '88 ASC McClaren. These two-seater convertibles shunned performance, but brought a Eurocentric flare to the Fox.
So there you have it, a trip back to a time when Fox options were plentiful, but the number sold was modest. Only Saleen really moved a significant number of small-volume 'Stangs in this era, but that doesn't make the other cars any less cool. If you see one of these cars at a car show or cruise night, take some time to check it out and take a few photos, they are true rarities. - Steve Turner