Achievement Unlocked: Fox Body Project

I fulfilled one of my teenage dreams this weekend. I am finally the owner of a Fox Body Mustang. I wrote about my love for these cars in one of my first blog posts. The first Mustang I ever rode in was a Fox Body and the first Mustang I ever drove was a Fox Body. There is an extensive list of cars that I want and as new cars come out each year, that list gets bigger and bigger. The Fox Body Mustang has maintained a spot on that list over all the years though.

Early in the new year, I decided this would be the year I get a project car. In my initial searches for potential project cars, I tried to cast a wide net. Mustangs came up in a lot of my searches of course because they met the basic criteria – rear wheel drive, available manual transmission, and depending on the year and mileage, reasonably affordable. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few Fox Bodies pop up in my searches though because they have increased in value over the years and are seemingly becoming more rare.

After coming across half a dozen Fox Bodies that seemed to fit my criteria, I thought maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I reached out to the seller of a beautiful 1988 GT and eventually met up with him to check out the car. I made an offer, which he initially accepted. We worked out some details and then at the last minute, he backed out and decided he didn’t want to sell the car. I was disappointed but I moved along. I met up with the owner of a unique 1990 LX and met up with him to check that car out as well. I made an offer. He got back to me a couple of days later and he had decided he didn’t want to sell the car. I reached out to the seller of a 1990 GT with a pretty wild flame paint job. We exchanged a few emails and I told him I would pay the asking price but I just needed to see the car in person. He ghosted me. At this point I was just thinking maybe the universe is trying to tell me something….and I completely fucking misunderstood it earlier.

I was ready to take a break from Fox Body searching for a while but I decided to try and check out two more cars I had seen listed close to Baltimore. Last weekend I went and checked out both of them. They were both promising but one, a 1990 GT, looked like it just needed a lot more work and money than I would be able to provide. The other promising car was a 1988 GT. I made the seller an initial offer, which he accepted and we worked out the details of the sale over the course of the week. I tried my best to temper my expectations, in case he changed his mind. Fortunately that did not end up being the case and I picked the car up yesterday. Here’s the newest addition to the garage:

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The car is definitely very “analog” compared to a lot of the stuff available now. It is a blast to drive though and the torque is really impressive from the mostly stock 5 liter pushrod V8. I’m really excited to start working on the car and getting it looking and driving better over the coming months. I’ll be documenting my progress on the blog as well as on my YouTube channel. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for hopefully entertaining and educational Mustang videos. 🙂

 

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2020 Washington Auto Show Pt. 3

When we moved to the lower level to check out the imports and luxury cars, our eyes were quickly drawn to Acura’s flagship NSX. The NSX stuck out a bit more from the crowd this year because of the new for 2020 Indy Yellow Pearl paint scheme. The NSX looks great in every color that I’ve seen it but I think the yellow really pops.

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The rear glass view into the mid-engine. So cool

Another vehicle on display that I was really interested to see in person was Land Rover’s new iteration of the Defender. My wife is a huge fan of the original version of this beastly, iconic SUV and when I showed her pics of the new version, she wasn’t impressed. After seeing it in person, she changed her mind. I also think it looks great. What a great color too.

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Another example of the show mixing things up a bit this year – they had some of the privately owned vehicles (Mustangs and Porsches) on the lower level, along with some more exotics. Of course being the Mustang nerd I am, I was excited to see these two super clean fox bodies on display:

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Love the two tone paint on this convertible

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This LX looks like it just came off the showroom floor

Unfortunately, none of the German manufacturers had a presence at the auto show this year. It looks like Mercedes and BMW walked away from the New York Auto show, among others. Fortunately, there were still some privately owned Porsches on display because of course, no auto show is complete without a few 911s. I’ll take one of each please.

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It seems that the reason they moved some of the privately owned vehicles and exotics to the lower level was to make up for the lack of the German luxury brands’ presence. In the area where Porsche and Audi typically set up shop, they added some more privately owned exotic vehicles, as well as some Aston Martins and a new Karma Revero GT. I’d loved to have seen a Porsche Taycan or some more 992 911s but I suppose these were a decent consolation.

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The Washington Auto Show is still running through tomorrow so if you’re not busy and you’re in the DC area this weekend, I’d highly recommend checking out. It’s a great way to nerd out for a few hours on a day when the weather is a little too cool to be spending the whole day outside. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my photos and video.

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2020 Washington Auto Show Pt 2 – More Blue, New Exotics on Display

Most years, the layout of the auto show is the same, at least that I’ve seen. Big, high volume (mostly American) car manufacturers like Chevy, Ford, Dodge, and Toyota are on one floor, imports and luxury vehicles are on another floor, and exotics and privately owned vehicles are on another. Most years, the floor with the exotics and private vehicles has been pretty much the same, and it also has the lowest volume of vehicles in the smallest space. Because its typically the same, I remarked that I wasn’t planning to spend much time on that floor. It’s not that I don’t like the exotics or privately owned (and often customized) vehicles. It’s just that it’s the same vehicles year after year, and you can’t really get too close to them, because they are often $200k and up vehicles. A few minutes later I had to eat my words because I was pleasantly surprised to see a few new cars, including this absolutely stunning Aston Martin DBS Superlegerra. Look at this thing:

Also on display was this lighter blue Ferrari that I was pretty sure at first was an 812 Superfast but after reviewing some images online, I’m not so sure. The vents on the rear quarter panel are throwing me off. Maybe a reader with more Ferrari knowledge can set me straight. Anyways, it’s another beautiful, blue car.

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Swoon

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I love this angle

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Nice booty

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A few more shots from the exotics…

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Of course there had to be at least some red Ferraris, including this F40, which I would guess was the most expensive car at the show

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Testarossa

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The Bentley Continental bringing us back to the blue. These things have really grown on me over the years.

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McLaren Speedster – my first time seeing one in person. I feel like it would have stood out more but the Superlegerra really made so many of the exotics look almost plain

Stand by for part tres

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2020 Washington Auto Show – Blue Muscle and Jeep Offerings

As previously mentioned, I attended the Washington Auto Show this past weekend with my wife and some friends. I’ve gone to the auto show almost every year since I moved to DC (I’m pretty sure I missed 2015, but can’t remember why). My in-laws jokingly refer to it as my Christmas because they know how excited I get to see all the cars. This year in particular I was excited to see the new C8 Corvette and the Mustang Mach-E. Neither of these vehicles disappointed:

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This blue reminds me of the “grabber blue” offered on a few different generations of Mustangs (including the Mach-E below, I believe)

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I love the contrast of the black and blue on the rear. The back end of the Corvette was my least favorite part of the design until I saw it in person. It looks better in person than in photos.

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Continuing with the blue theme, I was pleased to see the new Shelby GT500 again. I’m pretty much obsessed with this car. Look at how mean the front end looks! Look at the size of those brakes!

For this year’s show, they had a couple of new Supras on the floor, which folks were allowed to sit in. I was a little bit surprised to see that I could fit into the Supra, though it wasn’t exactly a comfortable fit. Tall people problems. The interior is pretty nice though.

One vehicle I wasn’t expecting to see was this Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Plug-in Hybrid, because I had no idea it even existed. In fact, the gentleman who was attending the display area said that it wasn’t originally intended to be included in the show. Unfortunately, he didn’t have many details on the drive train or power train, but I’m very interested in seeing the specs on this when it comes out. It looks awesome and if it’s more fuel efficient than current iterations of the Wrangler, that’s even better (even though it will undoubtedly not be available with a manual – fingers crossed though).

Another vehicle I was pleasantly surprised by was the Jeep Compass. My wife and I both liked this shade of green and the interior was comfortable and spacious. The Compass has been on my radar for a while as a potential future family vehicle, partially because it has been one of the few crossovers available with a manual transmission.

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Stand by for more in part 2!

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2020 Washington Auto Show Video

I’m planning on writing a more extensive post with some photos but I put together this video this evening after checking out the 2020 Washington Auto Show today. Thanks for reading and for watching, hope you enjoy.

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Help Save Moon Bears Rescued from Bile Farms

Hi friends, family, followers! My very good friend Jonathan Lorenzo, who is currently working with endangered and at risk pangolins in Vietnam, is raising funds for his upcoming trip to China to help provide medical care for moon bears who have been rescued from bile farms. Jonathan is a passionate, intelligent, and hard-working animal conservationist with almost twenty years of experience working with animals in various capacities, including as a vet tech for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

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Look at this badass dude. That’s a pangolin Jonathan is holding. 

If you can donate a few bucks, it will go a long way. I can personally vouch for Jonathan and am in contact with him regularly so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about making a donation to this campaign. Also, you can follow Jonathan on Instagram here: JonathanZooLife. The link to his fund raising page can be found here (also copying the narrative text below):

https://fundrazr.com/b1cC60?ref=fb_38l2v3_ab_1OM7Plzno5S1OM7Plzno5S

“Hello Everyone! I am officially fundraising for the last bit of financial help needed for expenses on my 3 months of volunteer medical aid in China this spring/summer to help save and return a quality of life to asiatic bears rescued from bile farms. These bears are often taken from the wild while young, having mother killed, and live many years in unthinkable conditions that do not provide enrichment or any decency for these highly intelligent omnivores. This horrible practice is largely illegal but still persists with poor enforcement and lack of caretakers. Please help me come to the aid of threatened wildlife and help these bears with medical triage, necessary surgery, supportive care, behavioral rehabilitation and advocacy to increase the awareness of the plight of these sweet bears who deserve much better. By supporting me in this and talking to others about the truth about bile farms you are helping to end the cruelty they commit and the uninformed demand fueling this mostly unfounded and completely unsustainable and unethical drive in traditional medicine.

Personally, I was accepted as a professional volunteer for the Animals Asia foundation for this time last April 2019 to assist them in April, May and June of 2020 and have already paid for airfare for 2 legs of my journey plus travelers insurance and have my invitation letter from government which will lead to my visa being issued in about a months time. I am now completely broke though and all of my volunteered efforts in wildlife conservation in Vietnam and China from 2019 through half of 2020 are unpaid.  Given this I truly need to ask for financial support to buying the last bit of my airfare plus have some money to purchase meals for myself over those 3 months. My estimation is that $1500 should cover all of this. If I could get 100 people to donate $15 dollars then I’d be there with little strain to anyone else. Please help me help these poor bears that need a boost in life after the physical, emotional and psychological stress they have been put through by poachers and consumers of bear bile products. Thank you for your kindness in advance.”

Thanks for reading and for any potential donations that can support Jonathan’s important work!

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: 2 Matt: 0

In my notes for my next blog post and or podcast episode, I wrote down “Last week – went to Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) for first time in almost two months. Everything hurts BUT my ribs”. That was on Thursday evening. It’s now Tuesday evening. I made it through 55 or so minutes of an exhausting but largely unremarkable jiu jitsu class. Then while rolling with a guy about my size, who also happens to be named Matt, I heard a crack. It was similar to the sound of when you pop a row of knuckles or your back, but louder, and definitely more painful.

In case you don’t listen to my podcast or I forgot to include this in an earlier blog post, I started jiu jitsu lessons in September, injured my ribs in November, and wasn’t able to attend class for almost two months. Last week I finally felt good enough to go back to class and now I’m typing this with an ice pack on my rib cage. I had been really enjoying the physical and mental challenge of the jiu jitsu classes but I feel like maybe the universe is trying to tell me that maybe starting jiu jitsu classes in my 30s wasn’t the smartest idea. I’d love to write something like “I’m not ready to give up yet…” but I think I might need to find a less intense way of staying in shape while learning something new.

In the meanwhile, I’m not looking forward to spending the next few weeks recovering from the same injury I recently recovered from. *cue dramatic music and womp womp womp sound effects*

In other non-BJJ and rib injury related news, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time the past week trying to procure a “project car”. I’ve got my sights set on a Fox Body (1987-1993) Mustang, which is a car that I’ve wanted since I was a teenager. It’s one of those cars that I’ve often searched for on Auto Trader and Craigslist randomly over the years but finding the right car for the right price has always seemed impossible. Somehow though, I managed to find solid examples in a very short period of time. I was in the middle of trying to buy one of them, but the seller ended up deciding he wasn’t ready to part ways with the car. I was disappointed but I understand. I am waiting for more details on another one of the cars but trying my best to be patient. If I can land one of these, I plan to work on a series of blog posts and videos documenting the ownership experience and learning while doing different work on the car. Fingers crossed. Thanks for reading.

Edit for update: I got x-rays this morning. I have a fractured rib. No more jiu jitsu for the foreseeable future.

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