Supercharged V8: 1988 Ford Mustang LX

As the values of 1st Generation Mustangs continue to skyrocket, many enthusiasts have turned their attention towards the Fox-Body examples. These were a sales success when they were new, and good examples generate plenty of interest when they hit the market. That is the case with this 1988 Mustang LX, which has already attracted an incredible 54 bids since it was listed for sale here on eBay. Not only does it present well, but as you will see, it possesses the performance to back those good looks. Located in Granite Falls, Washington, the bidding has already rocketed to $18,100. The reserve hasn’t been met, but I don’t think that the magic number will be far away.

The Mustang is finished in Bright Regatta Blue, and its presentation is hard to fault. The owner claims that this is original, and I can’t spot any evidence of touch-up work. The paint shines impressively for a vehicle of this age, with no significant flaws or problems. If I am going to level any criticism, it is the inconsistency of the paint color between the steel and the plastic trim. However, this is a common problem as paints from this era would age differently on these surfaces. The panels are straight and clean, with no dings, dents, or evidence of rust problems. The vehicle’s underside is equally as impressive, with only a light dusting of surface corrosion on some suspension components as worth mentioning. The external plastic is in good order, the alloy wheels shine beautifully, and there are no issues with the glass.

The Mustang’s interior is just as tidy as the exterior, although the first thing that you notice is that the original front seats have made way for a set of leather Corbeau buckets. That’s an interesting change, although the rear is still the original gray ribbed cloth. It would be possible the have the back seat reupholstered to match the fronts, and there will be some buyers who will be tempted to follow that path. The rest of the trim is excellent, with no splits, cracks, or crumbling plastic. A previous owner swapped in a Hurst Competition shifter, but the rest of the interior doesn’t seem to hide any surprises. For buyers looking for lashings of luxury, this Mustang isn’t going to tick many boxes. The original radio/cassette player is still in situ, while the car also features a tilt wheel. If you were hoping for air conditioning, power windows, or any other power goodies, you’d find yourself out of luck. However, everything that is present works as it should.

This pair of innocuous gauges mounted above the heater controls give some indication that this classic might be anything but your average Mustang. There are gauges to monitor the air/fuel mixture, along with a boost gauge. Hmm, it seems like someone has chosen to give this vehicle a serious amount of muscle.

Occupying the engine bay is a 5-.0-liter V8 that is backed by a T-5 manual transmission. In its prime, this combination would have been producing 225hp, which was enough to fire the Mustang through the ¼ mile in 14.8 seconds. Those numbers would be enough to satisfy most owners, but it seems that a previous owner wanted more. He performed a multitude of upgrades to the engine and suspension to allow the vehicle to realize its full potential. The cylinder heads, intake, and exhaust have all been upgraded. This was in preparation for bolting on a Paxton supercharger. It isn’t clear what the power output is now, but I’d be willing to bet that it is much higher than 225hp. Don’t think that this has been a project where the sole purpose was to create a ground-bound missile in a straight line. The previous owner also installed a larger aluminum radiator and an oil cooler to prevent the small block from going the full Chernobyl. The suspension and brakes have received upgrades with components from Tokico, Ford Racing, Ford Motorsport, Maximum Motorsport, H&R, McLeod, ASP, and Eibach. That means that this classic should now stop and handle just as impressively as it should go in a straight line. The owner claims that the car has a genuine 20,000 miles on the clock, but there is no indication whether he holds verifying evidence. He says that the Mustang starts easily from cold, with none of the cantankerous attitude you might expect from a high-performance vehicle. However, he does say that while it might feel mild-mannered, its power delivery means that this is not a car for novices. It does run and drive well and is ready to be enjoyed by a lucky new owner.

The Fox-Body Mustang signaled a moment in time when Ford had found its feet in the performance market and had returned to producing cars that enthusiasts actually wanted to own and drive. Ford found itself with a sales success that remained in production long beyond its intended “use by” date. Today, they have found their niche in the classics arena, although an LX Coupe will not command the sorts of prices you might expect from a GT Hatchback. The water becomes muddied when the vehicle in question has undergone modifications, and the bidding history on this car graphically demonstrates that. I found this car listed for sale on another site with a price of $21,950. The eBay bidding is short of that at present, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually reached that figure. Would you join the bidding frenzy, or would you contact the owner via the alternative listing and make him an offer he can’t refuse?

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Comments

  1. Sam Shive

    Change The FRONT SEATS To Match The Rest In The Interior. NUFF SAID.

    Like 8
    • Jwaltb

      Other way around! Corbeau are way more functional.

      Like 3
  2. Uncle Buck

    I had this same car except mine was red and a 90 lx. Did the same thing to it after getting blown away by a new Firehawk. Supercharger and head work. Great fun car to drive.

    Like 7
  3. man ' war

    I just bought a set of 10 hole 4 lug that came off an 84 Mustang notchback. The guy had the 84 Mustang painted the same color, “Bright Regatta Blue”. He was doing a 5 lug conversion so the reason for selling the wheels and tires. He also mentioned that the 351 Cleveland going into his Mustang was going to produce around 425hp. Ikes! That’s alot of HP. He also had the entire differential off, and it looked like brand new condition like the rest of the car!
    Anyway, I didn’t know how the wheels would look on my 90 Mustang LX. But to my surprise, they look very nice! And I like the fact that the center pieces are made out of medal unlike the plastic center pieces that I have seen on other wheels.

  4. Karl

    Always liked the fox bodies and with the 302 they were pretty acceptable. Had a friend that had on he did a lot of work to the stock heads and injection work and this little car did extremely well on the drag strip! I would guess this would be pretty darned impressive!

  5. 87 Ragtop

    The T5 will not stand up to this type power !! I just did normal mods on my 87 GT and went through 2 T5s rebuilds and 1 world class T5 broken 2 gears !! Yes I can shift with the best it is a weak link in the car if modified! Boost should be limited if this doesn’t have a air to air intercooler!! Good luck bidding!

    • Neil O

      My ’91 GT Convertible has a blower and puts 488 hp / 472 ft-lbs to the wheels. I have not had an issue with my t-5. I’m not saying I won’t – but I don’t race it, drop the clutch or power shift so I have not had problems yet. I also still have 4 lug wheels with drag radials on it. No issues… yet.

      • 87ragtop

        Why do you run drag radials and don’t race it or drop the clutch? Mine has been run hard and shifted hard! It is a blast to run through the gears

        Like 1

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