VIDEO: Motorweek Review: 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and Mustang GT

In 1987, your author was still working my first job at a Ford dealership. I remember when the first ’87 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe came in—we drove the crap out of it! The biggest thing we did was test the anti-lock brakes; and test, and test! At that time, ABS was meant to be used once in a long while, not over and over and over and over like we did! It was the first time we had something like that at Ford, so we ran the car until the ABS didn’t work anymore! You CAN over-work the ABS…

But for 1987, Ford had a very exciting lineup when it came to the Mustang and Thunderbird, and MotorWeek was all over it, testing both the Mustang GT and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe.

The Mustang received a facelift that solidified the iconic look of what will forever be known as the Fox Body Mustang—although we’ll forever loathe those GT tail lights. There were two trim levels available, the LX and the GT, along with three body styles; notchback, hatchback, and convertible. Powertrain consisted of either the 2.3 4-cylinder (non-turbocharged), or the revised-for-1987 5.0 V8 that pumped out 225 horses.

The seriously cool thing about all of these options is that you could order your Mustang in almost any configuration—you could order a slightly optioned LX convertible with an economical *yawn* 2.3, or a fully loaded GT with the V8. I think all Fox Body fans are hoping to stumble upon a bare-bones notchback with a 5.0/5-speed combination locked away is some little old lady’s barn, who wants nothing more than to rid herself of her grandson’s “loud car”.

The T-Bird was completely reskinned for 1987. It looked pretty close to the ’86 model, but it was enough of a change to make it a new model for that year, placing it in perfect position to take Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” honors. It came with three engine options, a 3.8 V6, the 5.0 V8, and a turbocharged 2.3 4-cylinder—their top performer of the line. Having owned both a 5.0 LX Mustang, and T-Bird Turbo Coupe, I can say that both cars represented well for their categories. They’re still both fun cars to find for sale and are just as exciting now as they were back in the day.

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PJ Rentie

Living in Richmond, Tx, PJ Rentie has been in the automotive industry for more than 30 years. This former Assistant Editor at Vette Magazine also spent time with companies like NOS, Edelbrock, Hillbank Motorsports, Classic Industries, and was an automotive instructor for Cypress College for ten years. In his spare time, PJ hopes to one day bring his Fox Body Mustang out of the back yard and back onto the street!

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