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The Comeback Kid: A Fox-Body Mustang With Heart

Mustangs become king for a weekend in Bowling Green, Kentucky, during the NMRA All Ford World Finals. Of all the note-worthy Fords present, this one stood out from the pack for more than a couple reasons.

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Jason Holbert’s story begins the same as many, but how it ends is quite spectacular.

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Project Derailed

This 1985 Fox-Body Mustang started life as a 4-cylinder. When Jason purchased it 13 years ago he had bigger plans for it. Those all came crashing down in a garage fire, where the already-underway ’85 was ravished, as well as two other Fox-Body's and all the tools to work on them. Slowly picking up the pieces, Jason eventually got the Windsor engine block and Borg Warner S400sx turbo to upgrade the Mustang with, but his plans to get it back inside continued to get derailed.

Windsor with Turbo in a 1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Friend "Overhauls" the Fox

Along came Jason’s childhood friend, Jean Aiton, who offered to take over the project and get ‘er done.

“I wanted to fix Jason’s Mustang and get it rolling,” says Jean. “He’s had so much go on in his life and this was something I could do for him.” Once Jean transported the car from Jason’s in North Carolina to his own home in Alabama, it was the last Jason would see or hear of it for the project’s duration; Jean kept everything top secret.

Chris Terry Racing built 1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Another hiccup would come in the form of a shop who didn’t uphold their word, and the Mustang sat outside gathering dust and damage.

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Once the Mustang was moved to Chris Terry Racing, it was all systems firing. The crew there worked diligently to fabricate and assemble every component of this special Fox-Body. While Jason had already chosen the engine and turbo, Jean had to creatively figure out his opinions on other things.

“He’d ask me questions supposedly about his own car,” remembers Jason, “but he was really just blatantly fishing for opinions in regards to my own build.”

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Good at hiding his intentions or not, Jean continued executing on his promise to finish the car — going so far as to seek out parts sponsors to make the budget stretch further. When it came time to meet at the NMRA All Ford World Finals to transport it back to his friend, CTR Race Cars and Jean worked up to the last minute before loading it on the trailer. 

Surprise Ending for This Fox-Body Build

Already dyno’d at 712 rwhp on 13.5 lbs of boost, the car had something Jason wasn’t expecting.

“I knew the car was here at the event,” exclaims Jason, “and I kept asking Jean, ‘When am I going to see the car?’ when he brought me over to the vendor area and pulled the cover off of this show car!”

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback Original Interior

Not expecting to receive a car that had the body work, paint and interior completed, Jason could hardly believe what he was seeing.

“I would’ve been happy if the car was just running. This is completely over the top!”

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

This friendship runs deep, and it’s clear they’ve bonded far beyond simply a shared interest in cars. With plans to do further chassis stiffening and add necessary safety equipment to get the Mustang ready to run in NMRA’s True Street class, you can bet Jason will be handing over the keys to Jean for a pass or two.

1985 Fox-Body Mustang Notchback

Love the Blue Oval? So do we.

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