"Brick in the wind"
Martin Pond's '80 Fairmont
Article by: Caleb Richards
I typically have someone correct my Facebook posts once a week or more when I list the fox years as 78-93. The response goes like this: "Don't you mean 79-93, a '78 Mustang was a Mustang II". The basis for Foxcast Media was to give fox chassis owners their very own media company, one that not only is with the times, but isn't all about just Mustangs. The truth is that the very first fox chassis Ford was in fact the 1978 Fairmont. Available in a "box-top" two door or four, wagon, and "Futura" two door. Motivation came via typical Ford engines of the era, from the 2.3 on up to a wheezing 302. Performance was never the intent of the Fairmont. The car was a mid size family sedan, a step below the Crown Victoria, and step up from the Pinto. Yes, those were the dark ages for sure. There was not much to get excited about from any of the automakers back then, but then again, the reason we love the foxes is not because they were world beaters off the showroom floor; it was all about potential. Therein lies the beauty of this platform, and why the following is so massive.
Under the skin, this rather boxy Ford sedan is virtually identical to your '93 Mustang GT. Chances are, if you are reading this, I don't need to tell you that. When I think of the Fairmont, I think more of a modern day muscle car. Not sporty looking, bench seats, etc. Cars like the Fairlane, Chevelle, and GTO fit into that category. Mustangs, Camaros, and Chargers are "sporty' and considered pony cars. Plain Jane in appearance, albeit with clean lines; the Fairmont has a special place in your authors heart, and a space in my shop soon.
Martin Pond of Alameda, CA likes doing things a bit different. Hence this boxy Ford in a sea of sports cars. Martin also owns a Zephyr wagon he's built for open track, and has a Ford Durango build that is in the works. This little '80 model is par for course for Martin, he prefers to raise a few eyebrows, instead of blending in.
Mainly used for car shows, open track events, and auto cross; it doesn't sit around collecting dust. To make the car competitive, Martin began with a 427 Ford Racing crate engine, that is rated at 535 horsepower. He topped the big windsor off with an Edelbrock Victor jr. intake, Holley 750 carb, MSD ignition, and BBK long tube headers. Trans duties were handed to a Tremec TKO 600 unit, with a Centerforce DFX clutch. Aft of the trans, a custom aluminum driveshaft is bolted to a Thunderbird Turbo Coupe rear, with 3.55 gears. This combo makes more than enough power to get Martin into trouble, in the tight curves of Laguna Seca.
The suspension is where Martin paid very close attention to detail. Up front he utilized a Maximum Motorsports tubular k-member, tubular A arms, Bilstein race coilovers, MM caster/camber plates, and MM chassis support brace. Tying the frame together are MM full length subframe connectors, which should be any fox owners first modification. For the rear suspension, the tried and true MM torque arm, MM panhard bar, MM adjustable control arms, and matching Bilstein coilovers keep the car planted. Having much of these parts on our project car, I know first hand how well this combo works.
Hauling the little 'Mont down from speed was also taken into consideration. Another tried and tested combo is the 94-04 Cobra brake system. Considering they confidently haul down terminators that weigh nearly 900 lbs more than this car; they do the job handily in a fox. Rolling stock are a mixed bag, depending on the event. Mainly she rides on Jongbloed Racing wheels, measuring 17x9 at each corner, and shod with Falken RT615K tires, spec'd in at 275/40/17. Martin also has a set of '98 Cobra wheels, that he uses at particular events.
Back in 2014, Martin took the car to the Optima Street Car Challenge at Laguna Seca Raceway, where he was chosen by K&N for the coveted "Spirit of the Event". Winning that award got the car into the SEMA show that year, as well as a spot in the Optima Invitational event. With all of the killer hardware on the track, I have to tip my hat to Martin for a job well done. I imagine that when the Vette guys get passed on the front straight, they are scratching their heads as to why anyone would put a brick in the wind. CR
Special thanks to: Maximum Motorsports, Perforce, Little House Cafe, Alameda Collision, Rogers Trucking, Ford Performance, K&N Filters, Falken tires, Jongbloed Racing Wheels, Bay Bolt, Ethan's Plumbing, and Tidewater Tire