In case you’ve never noticed, car makers like to make the most of what they have. To that end, Chrysler made their K-car into every shape and form this side of a carne asada burrito, and not far behind them in line at the Xerox machine was Ford with their Fox platform.
The Fox, a fresh rethink of the mid-size platform came to market for the first time in 1977 underpinning the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr. These cars were, at the time, amazing in their advancement from their Falcon predecessors, featuring slick rack and pinion steering, a coil sprung rear end in place of the cart springs of yore, and the ability to be comfortably slid in under pretty much any number of bodies, which is exactly what Ford did.
So well conceived was the Fox platform that its front suspension, while a simple and effective McPherson strut design, had its coils springs not around the struts in a traditional fashion, but lower and separate. This allowed for a vastly wider engine compartment, allowing Fox derivatives the luxury of holding engines from the Pinto four all the way up to the mighty (well, not in the ’70s) 302 V8, and without the need to pull a wheel just to change the spark plugs!
Considering the fact that the Fox platform underpinned not just the Fairmont and Zephyr tins, but the Mustang for decades, the aero T-bird, Lincoln Mark VII, and many, many others, this go-to basis seems to me to be Ford’s greatest in history. Do you agree?
Image source: OldCarBrochures