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  1. #1
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Default That fox body smell

    Am I the only one that misses it? Do you guys even remember the smell they had... or even notice it? They always had a unique smell to them. The smell was still noticeable at least 20 years after they rolled off the assembly line. I recall having a box with some interior parts from a mid-80's car. This must have been around 2010. The parts still smelled like "fox". I guess it eventually faded away or faded enough so that my aging sniffer can no longer detect it.

    Do you guys know what I'm talking about? I'm not sure if it's the plastics, upholstery, carpet, paint, or maybe a combination of a few of those things. I just know it was very distinct.

  2. #2

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    i find most older cars have that oil, gas, pleather smell.... all in a good way

  3. #3

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    The last two VW's I had smelled like Crayola crayons inside. For an old guy that brought back so many memories. Young ones now may not have a clue what I mean!!
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
    Albert Einstein

    1984 20th Anniversary GT350
    Almost "Stock"

  4. #4
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    My svo had the smell still a couple of years ago. I don’t notice it anymore. I have about 24k miles on it.
    Fox Body/3rd Gen MCA Gold Card Judge
    84 SVO 24K miles, 85 Mclaren Capri Vert. 84 GT Turbo Vert.
    88 Mclaren Mustang Vert 20K miles, 89 Mustang LX Sport Vert,
    03 Mach 1 7900 miles, 74 Mustang II, 69 Mustang, 67 Mustang, 14 Mustang CS/GT,
    15 F150 FTX Tuscany, 16 F250 Crewcab, 67 Tbird 47K miles

  5. #5

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    My Zeph smelled like mothballs. It still kinda does.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Lumber wet or dry, Crayola, Play Doh, fresh bread, mauve inked school copies from a spirit duplicator.
    Aroma therapy.

    First time experience with new car (Ford) having a great smell was in the late 50's.
    Most recent was in showroom, 2018 Lincoln MK something. 60 years later, same smell exists.
    Fresh paint, plastics, carpeting, glues, sealers, rubber. Assembly plants smell good.
    Can get some of it back for a bit with certain paints, new carpet, new tires, oils, waxes, plastic glue.
    Each one is a part of the whole complex scent. Warm weather helps. Dirty interior carpets don't.

  7. #7
    FEP Supporter webestang's Avatar
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    Last time my Pop got a ride in my 88 vert he said......"That smell......this car smells the same when I owned it". And I swear my 85 notch has the same smell.

    My 99 smells like my parents as they borrowed it till they both stop driving. Kinda smells like the home you grew up in....LOL

    Scotty
    1985 Fox Notch 4-banger Ranger tube header Eastwood Royal Blue
    1988 Fox LX 5.0 AOD Vert BBK 170mph speedo Candy Apple Red
    1999 Mustang Coupe V6 Auto Chrome Yellow -Rebuild Coming Soon.
    1996 Crown Vic LX 4.6 Silver "Gort" Daily Driver

    Past Pony's.....
    68 Coupe Inline-6 3-Speed-Man. Primer
    78 II Hatch 302 3-Speed-Auto Sunroof Black
    81 4-Eye Coupe 4-Banger 4-Speed-Man. White

  8. #8
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4494 View Post
    The last two VW's I had smelled like Crayola crayons inside. For an old guy that brought back so many memories. Young ones now may not have a clue what I mean!!
    Funny you mention VW. My parents owned a few beetles growing up and even bought my sister one for her high school graduation in 1992. They have a very distinct smell, too. I noticed it in the later jettas...very similar, but not exactly like the beetles. In the early/mid 80's, my parents also had an Audi Fox. I'm not exactly sure on the year, but I'm guessing 79ish. It seemed to have the same smell as the beetles. In the late 80s, dad bought his mom a nice used Ford EXP. It had the fox body smell. I know I can't smell nearly as well as I used to when I was younger. Maybe the new cars do have distinct smells, but to me, they all seem more generic.
    Last edited by Broncojunkie; 01-13-2019 at 12:30 AM.

  9. #9
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    After forty years of farming a diminished olfactory sense may be considered a blessing.
    My Mustang is loaded to capacity with Mouse Magic and smells like a freshly opened pack of gum.
    We all know those odors that we DONT want to detect while driving: gear oil, antifreeze, something burning.
    Always praying it's coming from the vehicle in front of you
    Married to the same Mustang since 03/29/82

  10. #10

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    New car smell - Best perfume known to man! Try to get that past the women in your life!

    When I took possession of my Capri it was late in the model year. Floor mats were no longer available. A friend with an 84 let me borrow his and make patterns that i took to a carpet shop. They cut and serged the edges. Fit was nice. Smell - it killed the new car smell. Too much formaldehyde maybe? It still smells like that to this day.
    W

    As always, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you, it's what you think you know that just ain't so."

  11. #11
    Earl Ingstad evlgt85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4494 View Post
    The last two VW's I had smelled like Crayola crayons inside. For an old guy that brought back so many memories. Young ones now may not have a clue what I mean!!
    ZOMG! The first thing I thought of when I saw this thread is how my old BMW smelled slightly of Crayolas, and I've heard other classic BMW owners say the same thing. Maybe it's a German thing?

    I think my GT just smells like general garage dust at this point. :/

  12. #12
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evlgt85 View Post
    I think my GT just smells like general garage dust at this point. :/
    This is exactly what all 5 of mine smell like, unfortunately. I have 2 79's, an 82, 86, and 88. All smell the same. I can remember when I was younger and smelling that smell while thinking "Man, I hope they always have that smell". Deep down inside, I knew they wouldn't.

  13. #13
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    When I was 16, my dad owned an '83 convertible. I remembered that smell, but hadn't smelled it in a long time. I owned a repo'd '89 that didn't have the smell. My '80 didn't smell like it when I bought it. It was oily and dirty, and had lost that 'Fox smell'. When I picked an original '86 out of a field, the first time I sat in it the smell hit me. It was like coming home a bit.

  14. #14
    FEP Super Member xctasy's Avatar
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    Plastics are a dirty word in the FoMoCo dictionary. They call it all RIM, or reaction-injection-molding. GM first started the re-experimentation after Henry Ford ditched the soy-based plastic or banana based plastic Ford during the war. Sheet Moulding Compound, SMC, RIM, they were all GM-isms that FoMoCo bought into. Like HSLA steel, and all that 1968-1979 era weight and compliance cost reducing stuff that made the GTO, Firebird and Z28, Corvette, Monza and Fox Stang and Capri more plastic.

    Base ingredients were first, polyurethane, for the Endura like color-keyed bumper covers of soft urethane Fox Mustang and Capri. Then ABS for the dash, and then Poly-carbonate later on with the XR4i Merkur.

    The process of making moulds was the RIM process, hence the lack of specifics to plastics in the FoMoCo and GM vocabulary.


    The Mustang upper dashpad is technically actually a hybridized PVC and ABS, so its defined as ABS Vinyl. Ford did it this way for durability's sake. The dash hull is all ABS; its a rigid plastic with rubber like characteristics, which gives it good impact resistance, and its thermoplastic. The prevalence to hull cracking is due to racking loads, little of it is due to poor ABS plastic quality. The acryl gives the color. The polybutadiene, a rubbery substance, provides toughness, the styrene, that shiny and impervious surface. The "gassing off" of ABS yields aromatic hydrocarbons of ethyl benzene, which is that new car smell. New every morning. The smell depends on what its over life time temperature has been. If its been sitting in a prairie under glass, it'll have de-gassed, and warped with the filler materials (sand) the only thing holding it together.

    In nearly all 1973-1989 West German cars, dashes and dash-tops are PVC just like the Fox stang and Capri. PVC has a vinyl content that gives it good tensile strength and some grades are flexible. It starts to soften early and give, but also breaks easier than ABS. A great example are the front engined 924/944/928 Porsche dashboards. The famed British Leyland Rover "Airfix Dashboard" found in the Range Rover and SD1 3500 Rover fascia and instrument binnacle was similarly PVC. The same kind of Porsche smell, only much greater, and with physical bowing and distortion due to heat.

    And if you had a 1962-1967 Plymouth Valiant based car



    (like dads old 1963 Australian AP5 Valiant)


    ....you'd remember the smell of the acrylic based paint on the dash, and the bakerlite plastic steering wheel.

  15. #15
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Default

    Ethyl benzene? Interesting. It would make sense that the plastics would be the source of the distinct smell. The certainly wasn't a shortage of it inside these cars... at least, when compared to earlier cars. Interior panels in earlier vehicles were more often made from vinyl-wrapped press board (or some type of wood or cardboard product).

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