Our Top Ten From Foxtoberfest 2019

Another Foxtoberfest is in the books and once again, some of the finest Fox-bodies in the country came out to Kanapolis, North Carolina’s Intimidators Stadium on October 19th to take part. The event, hosted by Fox Mustang Restoration from just down the road in Locust, North Carolina, annually draws around 400 Fox-body Mustang and Fox-chassis cars to what has quickly become the biggest and baddest Fox-body event in the country. With all those Foxes in one spot, picking a couple of dozen favorites would be a difficult task! Picking our usual top five? Impossible! So here you are with our top ten favorite Fox-bodies!

#10- Sleeper Turbo Coupe

The cool thing about Foxtoberfest is that it’s not all about perfect, shiny show cars. In fact, they even give awards for the best daily driver, most in need of a convertible top, and most in need of interior. It is not uncommon over the years to watch a car go from a rough project to a show winner. Seeing the transformation of the cars and the welcoming atmosphere to those less-than-perfect foxes is what makes this show so great.

That leads us to our first Fox on the list! While the outside is not perfect, the build is just too good not to highlight. This simple white coupe has a bit of a “swap meet parts” built 408 stroker that makes tons of power. The other thing we really like is that according to the build sheet, it appears to be home built! The owner states that most of the work was done on jack stands in his driveway. The power plant is certainly no joke, and the turbocharged 408 made 511 horsepower at the rear wheels on the dyno. It’s builds like these and cars like this that make the Fox-body hobby the fun that it is!

#9- The Grandpa Vert

Harris Lue’s 1987 convertible is affectionately nicknamed “The Grandpa Vert” for its old man-appealing looks that the car featured when Harris first bought it. The car was bone stock down to the stock turbine wheels. However, as the saying goes, this isn’t your grandpa’s Mustang anymore! Harris has mixed in some NASCAR-inspired treatment to take its attitude up a notch. Those changes include race-inspired white seats, a roll bar, and a NASCAR-inspired rear spoiler.

Two things drive Grandpa 'vert owner Harris Lue in real life: NASCAR and Retro. Harris and his company, Lue Creative, are responsible for the annual Retro Meet at Mustang Week each September. They also gave a Best Retro award out at Foxtoberfest this year. And NASCAR? Harris does graphic design for them. Not a bad day job! Both NASCAR and Retro heavily play into the theme of this Fox-body, as you can see! Is that a Surge? Wait, is that a cup holder in a Fox-body? Very well done, Mr. Lue!

#8- Project 55

If you have spent any time in the Mustang world, chances are you have heard the name Bill Tumas. Bill is a lead man at CJ Pony parts, and probably most famous for his YouTube how-to Mustang videos. Bill was at Foxtoberfest debuting his latest creation, “Project 55”. The teal 1993 Cobra was set to debut at Mustang Week 2019, but Hurricane Dorian had other plans. The car wears the name Project 55 for a couple of reasons. The main one is that this is the 55th Mustang that Bill has owned — a pretty cool feat! For more on this build, check it out online here!

While the Vortech-fed 302 Cobra engine is sweet, it's the interior in this car that really sets it apart from the rest. The TMI Opal Grey R1000 sport upholstery mixes the stock look with a modern touch. Tons of other small touches complete it to make one of the sharpest Fox-body interiors we have seen in a good while.

#7- “The Trailer Park Queen”

It’s been a minute since we have seen Michael Clark’s 1985 Coupe, better known as “The Trailer Park Queen,” out and about. Michael just completed a new engine build for the car in the form of a 408 stroker. This car may be called “The Trailer Park Queen,” but please do not mistake that for a “trailer queen”! This car gets driven and abused all the time, just the way it should be!

A rare color combo, custom TMI seats, and an all-business engine bay are just a few things that set Michael Clark's "Trailer Park Queen" out from the rest. She's not perfect, she's not a show car, but she is pretty dang sweet! We would love to have her sitting in our garage for sure!

#6- Super Clean Fox-body Wagon

One cool thing about Foxtoberfest is that it’s not just Mustangs, but anything with a Fox chassis is welcome at the event. Some of them are stock, some of them built, and there are always a couple that really catch our eye. Brent Doig’s 1986 wagon is one of the cleanest, well-built cars we have run across in a while. The car is nothing too wild or extravagant, and uses mostly stock-style parts to create something that Ford would be proud of.

To the naked eye, the car has a set of 93 Cobra wheels, a fuel-injected 302 with GT40 heads and intake, and a T5 manual transmission. A closer look reveals a TFS Stage 1 cam, Cobra front and rear brakes, and an 8.8 rear with a 3.55 gear. Dig deeper? How about a 140 mph speedometer, factory tach, turbo coupe seats, and a removed 3rd brake light to create a smooth, flowing roof. Yeah, we told you it was a super cool wagon!

#5- Procharged Coupe

We were not able to track down a ton of information on this beautiful green coupe, but here is what we do know. The cleanliness, execution, and work is first class. Up front it’s got a healthy looking Procharger-driven small block Ford. It also features a no-nonsense race-inspired interior and Saleen styling cues (including a killer set of Sterns). The car also won the Ponies In The Smokies “PITS Crew Pick” at Foxtoberfest. All of this is enough to drive it all the way up to number five on our list!

So what really sold us on this beautiful coupe? It was a toss up between the awesome deep dish Sterns out back and the kids booster seat behind the two front race seats. Anytime someone gets the next generation to a car show, it's good for everyone! Be sure and check out our gallery at the end of this article for a couple of killer shots of the "little Mustanger" celebrating his award with Dad!

#4- 3,000-Mile Four-Eyed Saleen

A whopping 3,486 miles grace the odometer on this gorgeous four-eyed Saleen Fox-body Mustang. The white paint with the triple blue side stripe and gold wheels is about as classic mid-’80s Saleen as you can get. This car was bought new at Skyline Ford in Floyd, Virginia, and still features all the original invoices and paperwork. It is always a treat to get to see such a low-mile, original, and well-preserved Saleen Foxbody!

How do you stand out in a world of modified Fox-bodies? Be an extremely low-mile Saleen of course! This car is full of awesome original paperwork, rare Saleen parts, and other goodies, all the way down to the original dealership license plate holder! Of course, with just over 3,000 miles on the odometer, it was not too many miles ago that this car left that dealership!

#3- Coyote-Swapped Bird

Adam Delamlellure’s gorgeous black 1988 Thunderbird was certainly one of the most eye-catching non-Mustang Fox-chassis cars at Foxtoberfest 2019. Long gone is the original 5.0 engine and in its place is the modern Coyote 5.0L. The car has undergone basically a complete restoration with most of the work done by Adam himself. Check out more of this sweet T-bird on Adam’s instagram, @adamdelamlellure!

On another note, we could not talk about the top Fox-bodies of Foxtoberfest without showing you what won Best Of Show. Walter Ziffer's wild 1988 LX took the top spot in the participant-voted competition for the prestigious award. Featuring a unique front tilt front end and a nasty Kenne Belle blown Ford engine, this is one over-the-top Fox. This car also won the Powercurve Motorsports High Horsepower Award with an impressive number of 776 horsepower at the rear tires. Walter says the car was de-tuned for the event and is capable of putting up four digits, with the car's highest pull being 1,008. That should draw quite the crowd for its pull at the Powercurve Dyno in 2020!

#2- 1 of 59 Saleen Coupe

Too often these days the term “Holy Grail Foxbody” is thrown around. Dennis Collins has his idea, others have different ones, none of them necessarily right or wrong. While the exact correct answer is a bit hard to pinpoint, there are names that always come up in almost each and every Holy Grail conversation: T-top coupe, Cobra R, SAAC, SA10, and Saleen Coupe. The last is what we have here in front of us, coming in at number two.

For whatever reason, only 59 of these beauties rolled out of Saleen’s doors during the Foxbody era. Larry Hill’s red and gold 1989 Saleen Coupe has to be one of, if not the ultimate, nicest example of these cars out there. The car is near perfect in every way, and of course full of rare Saleen-only goodies. Larry has so much paperwork and memorabilia with the car that it takes both the windshield and front and back seats to display it all! Seeing a rare Fox-body like this out in the wild is definitely a treat!

Like it or not, that big Saleen wing hanging off a coupe decklid gets your attention! It's a look that has been copied dozens and dozens of times over the years, but rarely do you get to see the real thing! Add the gorgeous red paint trimmed in traditional Saleen gold, topped off with beautiful tan Saleen interior, and you've got what makes this Saleen coupe a thing of beauty.

Before we show you number one, we had to throw in four Fox-body Mustangs that almost made the list! From left to right, top to bottom: Jason Smith's immaculate low-mile(less than 3,000) 1993 yellow convertible; a gorgeous Coyote-swapped GT with a set of perfectly matched gold wheels; Brian Drumms' all-business 1979 Indy Pace Car (see more on this car and its killer story by following @drummstoolbox on Instagram); and finally, Mustang Week Staff Member Mike Clay's gorgeous blue 1981 Cobra.

#1- Show Stopping Retro Ghia

Sometimes choosing number one is hard, but sometimes, number one begs to be picked and refuses to be anything else. The second was the case at this year’s Foxtoberfest. Early in the week, Matt Heimer debuted his just-finished 1979 Ghia build on Facebook and the buzz never stopped. By the end of Foxtoberfest 2019, Matt’s unique retro-themed coupe had taken home not one, but three top awards! The second award of the day given was the Southeastern Fox-bodies Pick, which Matt won. From there he could stay close to the stage as he picked up the next two awards, the Foxcast Media Pick and the Lue Creative Retro Award. Not a bad day to take home three major awards at the biggest all-Fox show in the country!

Matt’s car is a perfect mix of original and modern. The car started out as a 54,000-mile V6 coupe with the original paint. Over the course of eight weeks, Matt upgraded the drivetrain from one end to the other, with the heart being an original 1993 Cobra engine and transmission. The interior features a set of SVO seats with some period correct covers. Finishing off the look is a set of 17-inch Crown Vic police wheels. Matt did a great job thinking slightly outside the box to create a Fox-body people will certainly be talking about for a long time to come!

While the retro styling, upgraded powerplant, and killer period-correct interior are all nice, the coolest thing about this Ghia is the fact that owner Matt Heimer plans to daily drive this jewel! Look for it on a Florida road near you!

Still haven’t got your Fox-body fix? Check out our huge gallery for over 500 photos of all the best Foxes from Foxtoberfest 2019, as well as the awards ceremony!

Photo gallery


About the author

Jeff Southard

Growing up with a dad who loved Corvettes, I was destined to be a gearhead from day one. Beyond that, my dad owned an auto parts business for over 25 years. There, I learned the automotive basics as a child, then began my professional career working there after high school. From Corvettes and Superbirds to Hemis and Cobra Jets, my dad has owned a little of everything over the years, so I've had my chance to get some quality seat time behind the wheel of some rare, unique, and sometimes, just odd automobiles. I have owned my share of toys, including over 20 Mustangs. I guess to make a long story short, if you look up "car crazy" you will probably find my photo listed pretty close to it!
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