Racer Stephen Cox shows how you can improve your 1979-1993 Mustang’s ride, handling and performance with this FOX-BODY MUSTANG ‘CHASSIS’ UPGRADE.


Fox body Mustangs (1979-93) have torque boxes for a reason. Ford’s sloppy Fox platform literally twists under acceleration and with every turn the driver makes. This “chassis flex” (technically the Fox Mustang is a unit body platform but you get the idea) robs the classic Fox Mustang of cornering power and good handling characteristics.

For the uninitiated, torque boxes on the Fox are located just ahead of the rear wheel wells. They are square, as opposed to the tubular torque systems on some others vehicles, and are frequently found cracked on 40-something year old Mustangs. This results in even worse handling, an age-old problem with Fox bodies.

My initial solution was to outfit my ‘80 Mustang – known as “Blue Thunder” – with standard subframe connectors. I’m thankful that Matt Laszaic (a friend who happens to be the Fox specialist at National Parts Depot) stepped in to recommend an even better solution. The FIT System from Stiffler’s Engineering enhances subframe connectors with side rails and a web brace to lock the unit body into position. It essentially builds a frame under the unit body. Better still, we didn’t need to reroute any lines or cut through the floorboard to install this product.


The results have been astonishing, but for the sake of brevity I’ll focus on three main areas of improvement, two of which really surprised me:

  1. Many of the rattles and noises I once heard have simply vanished. The entire car functions more quietly than it has in years. This is especially noticeable at highway speeds and when driving over minor bumps and potholes. I really didn’t anticipate this improvement, but it was obvious and instant. I can hear the exhaust note better. The audio system is clearer. Everything is quieter.
  2. Blue Thunder’s handling is vastly improved, as anticipated. Turn-in is quicker with less body roll. Power under acceleration transfers to the rear wheels better and can be clearly felt by the driver. The car rolls straighter with less pull and wandering at interstate speeds. My Mustang drives and feels like a car of a more modern vintage.
  3. It is infinitely easier to work on the car in my garage (another unanticipated benefit). Four stiffening rails run the length of the unit body and I no longer need to grope around for the jack points in order to raise the car. I can easily place jacks anywhere along the length of the car using the outer rails. Jacking up the car is a breeze and saves far more time in the garage than I expected.

Has the FOX-BODY MUSTANG ‘CHASSIS’ UPGRADE met expectations? Absolutely. Other than a new McGunegill racing engine, the chassis bracing has transformed my car to a greater degree than any other single change that’s been made.

Does the car accelerate faster? Yes. My 0-60 times dropped by nearly a second after installation. I’m obviously transferring power to the rear wheels far better than before.

Would I do it again? Yes, I would. The inherently flexible Fox platform needs this improvement desperately. Go beyond single rail subframe connectors if you can. Get the best system you can afford to bring real rigidity to your classic Ponycar. You’ll be glad you did.

Stephen Cox competes in the World Racing League, Historic Sportscar Racing, and is Co-host, Mecum Auctions on Motor Trend. His blog is presented by National Parts Depot,

Luxury London hotel treat for electric car drivers

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

We put the Royal Lancaster’s ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’ package to the test…

If you’re planning a trip to the capital and you drive an electric vehicle, there’s a new way to make your stay greener and more restful.

The iconic Royal Lancaster London, which overlooks Hyde Park and is a short walk from Marble Arch and Oxford Street, has launched a new package called ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’.

The overnight stay with breakfast includes free car parking, free EV charging and complimentary access to the hotel’s bicycles to explore the city.

Royal Lancaster London reception

What’s more, the Royal Lancaster London will plant one tree for each night of your stay through the Hotels for Trees initiative to compensate for any CO2 impact of your journey.

We tried out the package for ourselves, driving up from Somerset in Ford’s flagship electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E GT.

Not only did we arrive in style, but we avoided paying the £15 per day London Congestion Charge because the zero emissions Mach-E is exempt.

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

After a greeting from the smart doorman (complete with bowler hat), we were ushered up to the towering 5-star hotel’s secure, private car park. There we connected the car to one of the free chargers available.

The 411 guest rooms and suites at Royal Lancaster London offer classic style and spectacular panoramic views of Hyde Park and the City skyline, making it the perfect place to relax – and recharge your batteries too.

Since opening its doors in 1967, the Royal Lancaster remained mostly unchanged until 2015, when the prestigious family-run property underwent a two-year, head-to-toe, £83 million renovation.

It reopened in 2017 and everything from the modern open-plan lobby area to the redesigned, redecorated rooms and suites have been finished to a high standard.

Royal Lancaster London -Park Suite

We stayed in a Park Suite, on the 14th floor, which included a spacious living area with sumptuous velvet sofas, a lavish marble bathroom with twin sinks, shower and bathtub, plus a separate bedroom with king-size bed.

Despite the luxury, it was the 180-degree vista of London’s famous skyline that was the biggest treat – especially a night.

Frankly, it was hard to fault our stay – from the superb service levels via the friendly staff, the attention to detail and overall cleanliness, to the excellent breakfast quality and choice.

Royal Lancaster London -Park Suite Bedroom

After checkout the following morning we returned to our car with zero range anxiety for the journey ahead because the Mustang Mach-E GT was fully charged.

Not that range is a huge issue when the battery pack of the Mach-E GT has been topped up.

Like most EVs, it may fall short of its claimed range (up to 304 miles), but 250 miles upwards is more than enough for most getaways. If you do have to stop off, a rapid 150kW public charger can deliver around 73 miles in just 10 minutes.

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

We took a more scenic route home, turning off the A303 before Stonehenge and heading over Salisbury Plain – the perfect place to let a thoroughbred like the Mach-E GT stretch its legs.

Blisteringly fast in a straight line (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds), it’s also a refined cruiser and delivers an engaging ride.

Not quite as dynamic to drive as its looks suggest, the Mach-E GT has a couple of party pieces. First, it’s fitted with a noise generator which simulates a combustion engine. Second, more spirited drivers will enjoy unleashing the GT’s more playful side, because the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system allows you to kick out the tail, should you so wish.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

The entry-level Mustang Mach-E is priced from £50,830. However, a GT will set you back £74,540. For that, you get a second 240bhp electric motor installed up front. Combined, the two motors deliver a whopping 480bhp of power and an equally beefy 860Nm of torque.

With room for five, plus a decent 402-litre boot capacity and space under the bonnet for cables, the Mach-E GT is one of the performance EVs on the market.

Did you know? Key scenes of the classic British crime caper, The Italian Job, were filmed at the Royal Lancaster in 1968 – not long after the hotel opened. Also, The Beatles held their Yellow Submarine film premiere after-party at the venue in the same year.

Get the lowdown on the Royal Lancaster London hotel’s Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge package.


All-New ’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSE is powered by potent fourth-gen Coyote V8!

’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSE“Mustang has always pushed the envelope. From Mustang GT to Dark Horse, this is our best 5.0-liter V8 yet. It’s naturally aspirated awesomeness,” said Ed Krenz, Mustang chief engineer. “And Mustang EcoBoost fans are also getting a boost in power to make every Mustang more fun and visceral to drive.”

For the pinnacle of 5.0-liter V8 performance and track capability, the Mustang Dark Horse features a uniquely engineered fourth-generation Coyote V8 engine with 500 horsepower and 418 pound-feet. of torque to set a new benchmark for Mustang street and track performance, and the most powerful non-Shelby edition ever.

The Coyote engine in the ’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSE was upgraded even further to produce 500 horsepower, delivering its most powerful naturally aspirated V8 yet These upgrades include a uniquely balanced crankshaft and forged piston connecting rods – the latter first introduced in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – to handle higher cylinder pressures and piston speeds. Mustang Dark Horse also sports strengthened camshafts for track-durability needs, including extended operation closer to its 7,500-rpm redline.

The fourth-generation Coyote V8 features a segment-first, dual intake and dual throttle body induction system that’s matched with structural improvements and upgraded oil pan. This helps minimize induction loss by enabling higher air flow rates.

“Every time someone gets behind the wheel of a Mustang, we know they want to feel that strong connection to their vehicle – and we’re just as invested in creating that bond,” said Suzanne Robinson, Coyote engine program supervisor. “With the increased responsiveness you get from the new dual throttle bodies, we’re wringing every ounce of performance we can out of our engine so Mustang enthusiasts can have that experience.”

At the core of making the all-new Mustang GT the most exhilarating and visceral Mustang yet is a new fourth-generation Coyote V8 engine. The available active-valve performance exhaust system enables the Mustang GT coupe and convertible to deliver 486 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque. Beyond the boost in power, the system’s free-flowing design delivers a custom-V8 sound with the ability to close the valves to restrict the amount of noise made by the car. Those opting for the standard Mustang GT still enjoy 480 horsepower – the most standard power in a naturally aspirated V8-powered Mustang ever. In addition, the engine delivers 415 pound-feet of torque for the most standard torque ever.

’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSEContinuing a tradition of affordable performance, the all-new turbocharged 2024 Mustang EcoBoost delivers on the nameplate’s legacy with its all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 315 horsepower, the most standard power in a four- or six-cylinder Mustang ever. In addition, the engine delivers 350 pound-feet of torque. It also offers the optional active-valve performance exhaust system designed for even more excitement from its turbocharged-soundtrack.

The Mustang EcoBoost coupe and convertible feature a new engine from the ground up, incorporating Ford’s new Modular Power Cylinder (MPC) engine architecture, driving prowess in design and function – and is targeted to have improved EPA-estimated fuel economy over the outgoing model year. It uses a new bore to stroke ratio, Port Fuel injection coupled with direct injection, variable cam timing, integrated Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Twin Scroll turbocharging technologies to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect.

The all-new 2024 Mustang coupe and convertible models, including the ’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSE go on sale in the U.S. starting in the summer of 2023 and are assembled at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, MI.

Check out the ’24 MUSTANG 500-HORSEPOWER DARK HORSE video @–all-new-mustang-dark-horse-delivers-500-hor.html

For more information, please visit


Does the ’24 Mustang keep the theme alive? Do the ’64 and ‘24 Mustangs compare on any level? The editors at OVER-DRIVE Magazine do a deep-dive into MUSTANG EVOLUTION:1964 VS. 2024, with reader access to original documents and archival articles.

MUSTANG EVOLUTION:1964 VS. 2024Cars have changed big time since the day “The Unexpected” Mustang was introduced in April of 1964. The original car was “unexpected”, not because it was a huge departure in engineering, manufacturing, and technology, but because the concept of a smaller, room for four, inexpensive mini-Thunderbird, affordable sporty car hit the market spot on.

MUSTANG EVOLUTION:1964 VS. 2024Was it really that radical that Ford could call it “the unexpected”? In reality, the Mustang was based on the then popular Ford Falcon – using a good deal of the tooling, power trains, and even interior parts and pieces; with the most noticeable, the Falcon’s dashboard.

But it was unexpected, because it delivered a car to a whole new segment of buyers, much like the Pontiac GTO did for mid-sized cars. And like the GTO, it was designed and built using the parts bin.

History shows that the styling and market niche the Mustang attacked was spot on. And no one has ever argued that, with a million cars produced from April 1964 to mid-1966. That’s astounding for any new car introduction – or any production car at all.

Continue reading MUSTANG EVOLUTION:1964 VS. 2024 @


In 1964 at the New York World’s Fair, there was one car that caught Joe Amabile’s eye: A ‘65 Ford Mustang 2 2 Fastback GT, displayed on a rotating platform at Ford’s Magic Skyway ride. Decades later, he owns this ’65 MUSTANG GT: RANGOON RED & RESTORED.


“I waited in line for three hours to ride in the newly introduced Mustang,” Amabile, said. “They had a red ‘65 GT up on display, Rangoon Red, and it just stuck in my mind.”

Over time, Amabile went searching for a Mustang, but it had to be a fastback model with a V-8 and four-speed transmission. He wasn’t in the automotive business, but he had always wanted to restore a Mustang.

Through research, the Amabiles found a Mustang GT that checked all boxes in 1992. Located in New York, about 90 miles south of their home town of Woodbury CT, the Amabile family discovered the car had not only the owner’s daily driver, it was inoperable due to the owner attempting a full restoration.With the engine and transmission uncoupled, Joe Amabile purchased the GT for $1,200, loading the engine in the back of his truck while loading the transmission in the trunk of the Mustang, and left for Woodbury to open his shop. The Mustang family project was impacted by busy work schedules as well as Joe having to fine-tune parts and components twice to ensure a quality fit. He ended up nicknaming the Mustang Two-Time Sally, because few parts seemed to work the first time around!

“If you ordered a part and it wasn’t the original part, I always had to tweak it and take it on and off,” Joe Amabile said. “I either had to bend it, cut it, drill it, hammer it, or do something with it, and then put it back on. It was always at least two times on everything.”

Now restored, the Mustang GT continues its journey to car shows far and wide, winning countless awards locally, statewide, and nationally. The first time out at the Watertown, CT Lions Club Show, the Amabiles took a First in the Mustang Class. “I didn’t restore the Mustang to be a Concours show car, I just wanted to display a fully restored classic that was as factory original as possible.”

’65 MUSTANG GT: RANGOON RED & RESTOREDOne memorable car show Joe and his wife Pam attended in 2014 was the Klingberg Motorcar Series car show featuring over 1,000 cars, in New Britain, CT. “John Juliani, the CEO of the Eastern States Exposition in MA, asked if we would enter the GT in his Collector Car Exhibition, an event showcasing historic cars over the years.”

“It wasn’t a contest, but rather an exhibition. Featured were car TV personalities Wayne Carini from Chasing Classic Cars, Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers, Danny “The Count” from Counting Cars. The mass recognition of our Mustang was truly heartwarming.”

From every angle, this ’65 MUSTANG GT: RANGOON RED & RESTORED appears as brand new. Among its eye-grabbing details are, rocker panel GT stripes, fog lights, exhaust trumpets, TASCA FORD badge, and styled steel wheels. The fender-mounted GT and 289 engine badges add status. Its interior has been restored to a high-degree of quality and the dashboard is sporty and boasts easy-to-read instrumentation.

The A-Code 289 engine’s original gold-toned air cleaner and valve covers were upgraded to the factory optional Appearance Package featuring a chrome air cleaner and valve covers. The hydraulic-lifter, four-barrel 289 small-block V-8 in the Amabiles’ GT was rated at 225 horsepower at 4,400 rpm, and 305 pound-feet at 3200 rpm.

The Mustang 2 2 is the kind of car that attracts traditional car enthusiasts to admire with great interest, and a provoker of endless arguments over whether it is the greatest Ponycar ever built. For people like the Amabiles, few cars measure up to their Rangoon Red GT that is showcased in Mustang Special Editions, by Jeffery Klein and Jonathan Klein. A copy has been on the coffee-table in the Amabile home since it was published in 2018!

Words & Photos: Dan Fisher