Mustangs At Mecum: Kansas City Students Restore Fox Body -

Mustangs At Mecum: Kansas City Students Restore Fox Body

When two senior automotive students at the Career & Technical Education Center of North Kansas City Schools had the opportunity to revive a 1992 Ford Mustang GT, they jumped at the chance to work on the vehicle. The fact that the car would go to the Mecum Auctions’ Kansas City 2017 auction was just a plus.
Photos provided by Jack Stow.

When two senior automotive students at the Career & Technical Education Center of North Kansas City Schools had the opportunity to revive a 1992 Ford Mustang GT, they jumped at the chance to work on the vehicle. The fact that the car would go to the Mecum Auctions’ Kansas City 2017 auction was just a plus.

“It was a neat experience,” says Devin Smith, a senior auto student at the Kansas City, Missouri-based school. “It was a little scary because we didn’t want to screw anything up. It was a really rare car – one of a thousand with that paint color – but it was a really cool experience with us two doing it.”

“It was cool to find out that it was an older model and it was hard to fathom that you couldn’t get some of the parts,” adds Connor Rolfe, also a senior at the Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC). “So being a high schooler and not having much experience, if you broke something that would cost you in the car. But working on it and learning new things – especially when pulling the engine out and having to tune it all up and clean it up – that was one of the coolest parts.”

The students got the opportunity to work on the Fox Body Mustang from a dean at Johnson County Community College.

“He knew the work that my kids put out, and he thought it would be a good project for us,” says Jack Stow, automotive instructor at CTEC.  “And so we took it on as a long-term project and it was just kind of neat because of all the options that he had teaching classes out at the college, he wanted this class, a high school class, doing the work on his classic car.”

Top-Notch Presentable

The car had been kept in a garage since 2004, keeping the body and paint in relatively good condition; but, there was still a lot of cleaning up to be done.

Getting that rare paint job back to its original condition was a top priority to make the car showable at Mecum. Fox Body Mustangs themselves aren’t too hard to find, but the ’92 model in the Ultra Blue color is very rare, one of only a thousand, as Smith mentioned.

Cleaning up the paint was a big job, and with the help of a paintless dent removal on the hood by a local company, the car ended up looking like it had rolled right off the lot.

 “The difference between when it was dirty and after we had cleaned it and tuned it up from the inside and outside just made a huge difference. Who thought it would with a few dirt specs? But, it just took your eye off and brought it back,” Rolfe says.

Inside the car, the engine and transmission needed a complete rebuild.

“They basically took the engine, transmission, they took all the driveline out, and they got under the car with cleaner and they scrubbed the underside of the car where for 20 years grit and grime had gotten under there, and they made it look brand new on the underside — just cleaned everything up,” says Stow.

The 1992 Ford Mustang GT specs:

  • Rebuilt 5.0L engine
  • Rebuilt 5-speed transmission
  • Rare Ultra Blue over Titanium paint scheme Titanium interior
  • Rebuilt differential
  • Maintained stock appearance
  • Moldings previously removed without rust
  • Originally a Florida car
  • Garage-kept in Missouri since 2004

 At the Auction

Taking the car to Mecum Auctions’ Kansas City 2017 auction at the Kansas City Convention Center was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students they will never forget.   

“When it was sitting there, before it wasn’t getting much attention – only from people interested in the Fox Body – and then when we turned on the engine and let it run, almost everybody’s eye was toward it and was just amazed by it,” says Rolfe.

The Fox Body was the third car to be auctioned off — a spot that the duo found probably hurt their odds of selling the car. Two other Fox Body Mustangs followed on the auction lineup.

“We got excited at first because it started at $10,000… and we thought somebody had their hand up. But, they went down to $6,000 and then it went up to $7 – 7,500,” Rolfe recalls.

They closed the bid, but the car didn’t sell for the owner’s reserve, or minimum price to sell, of $8,000.   

“Even though it didn’t sell, we had a great time,” Smith says.

“Specialty projects like this really do enhance our curriculum,” adds Stow. “So being able to bring these special project in and share that experience with the kids, watch them watch something go through an auction like that or put something in a car show — those types of opportunities. It’s just awesome, and we’re glad those things come around.”

A History on Fox Body Mustangs: Getting its name from the Ford Fox platform, the Fox Body Mustang was first manufactured in 1979 and ceased production in 1993. The Fox platform unibody chassis were designed to decrease the size of the car following the popular behemoth cars driving down the road in the 1970s.

At the time, the car was an impressive build with 225 horsepower and 300 ft.-lbs. of torque.

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On May 15, 2024, CRC Industries will auction off a perfectly preserved 2006 Pontiac GTO to benefit the TechForce Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds education and champions young people who aspire to work in the trades. The auction, hosted by MECUM Auto Auction, will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. The GTO was built and tuned by NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican and Jeff Lutz of Street Outlaws and Lutz Race Cars and 100% of the proceeds from the sale will go to the TechForce Foundation. 

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