Q: So the only Foxes sold there officially by Ford were the 1979s? And you think there were only 400 of them?
A:Yes '79 and only in 2.3l Turbo. I had this information from a friend, founder of the Mustang Club de France, owner of one of the oldest running Mustang (VIN #145, car of movie "Le Gendarme de St-Tropez" and many french video clips and soaps), a guy who has one of the highest knowledge on Mustangs in France ... I have no official information from Ford France, they send me back to my club
What is the story on your particular car? What has been done to it that is necessary for legalization in France, and do you have pics?
My car was sold new in Switzerland in Nov, 5th 1979, licensed Dec, 22th 1979 ... I guess it was a show-room car as it had all graphics installed and was sold pretty late (i haven't tried to contact it's original owner, but I have his address in the Ford Service manual, so maybe one day when I'll find someone who speaks german ...). It always stayed in the same "county" and Ibought it fromits second owner, I even have some original papers. What's particular to my car, but Iguess it's the same for all Foxes with fogs in Switzerland as a friend had the same problem with his Switzerland '82 GT, its fog brackets were cut and fogs removed, while harness and switch were still present (mine was removed once in it's life).
I had no problem for legalization in France. Here, when a car is 25yo (first license number birthday, not build date), we are eligible to get a collectible license. This license allows us to drive cars that can't be legalized, or only could be with a lot of work, with just a paper from an official institution and a unique inspection (other cars require an inspection every 2y). As a counter part, I'm not allowed to use it out of my driving zone except to go to a meeting, but as my driving zone is pretty large (Paris, it's surrounding "counties" and their surrounding "counties"), so it's not a problem. Even if I want to use it for holidays, I just need to find an event close to where I go.
For pics, you can take a look there (there's also my previous, sold now, Belgium 2.3l n/a and my collectibles) , it's not up-to-date, now I have clear parking lights from Belgium, Marchals with their white covers, and side louvers, but it'll give you an idea of it's state when I bought it (Switzerland oldtimers are in pretty good shape in general, their annual inspection is harsh for bad maintained cars).
You also have a sort-of blog of my car here, but it's in French and hasn't been updated since September ... (might update that this week)
The foglights and brackets were removed, the switch remained...were they not legal in Switzerland? Or were the particular fogs that came on those cars not legal?
Fogs were removed, but not bracket. Bracket was cut (take a look here , 4th picture from the top). I guess this was because Marchals were clear, fogs had to be amber in Europe (no longer true). Although amber 750 existed (I have a set), maybe they were not available in those days or Ford of Switzerland didn't bother.
The exemption you have in France seems pretty neat. We're supposed to be getting a 'Collector Car' emissions exemption here in the state of Arizona soon, but they keep promising it and nothing happens. Ours would require the car to be 15 or 20 (I forget) years old or more, of some sort of special interest, and insured as a low-mileage collector car. The insurance is what limits mileage, generally.
This exemption will change in 2007 or 2008. Then, cars eligible will have to be 30yo, and they'll have an inspection every 5 years. As a counter part, the driving zone restriction will disappear. But those inspections won't be really strict. They'll check brakes, handling, everything that can be dangerous, but they won't care much about pollution. Belgium has a different exception, they have the "Old Timer" license. This license is available after an inspection checking mostly only brakes. In counter part, they are not allowed to drive farther than 40km (25m) from home except for going to a meeting, and never by night. Pretty restrictive.
Out of curiosity, you say that you're more likely to see a Four Eyed car from Belgium or Switzerland...is that because they were sold there, because Americans managed to get them there, or?
Yes, Mustang has always been imported in northern EU countries (mostly NATO countries) and in Switzerland. When it was not officially imported, Ford supported dealers, so it's more common to see them there than in France.
With friends from another Mustang club, we are trying to set up a registry of European Mustangs ... but it takes some times to start everything correctly ... Then we'll have some idea of how many Four Eyed are in Europe, if every one plays the game ...
What countries do you know of where Ford sold Mustangs? Were any Capris sold new that you know of? I didn't think they would be as 1. They don't have the name recognition or appeal of a Mustang to the masses and 2. It would conflict with the Ford Capri over there and have to be re-badged accordingly.
I know for sure that Mustangs were sold in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, UK and maybe Sweden, Norway and Italy. Mustangs were even built (in '66) in Netherlands. Foxes were available in France ('79 only), Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, UK, Germany and Netherlands, I don't know for other countries, sometimes directly from Ford, sometimes from dealers supported by Ford, but I don't have many accurate informations about this.
I never heard of any Mercury Capri sold in Europe, under Mercury or Ford badge, the EU Capri was still available until '85, some it might have been conflicting. Maybe some were imported by NATO guys or individuals, but I haven't seen any now.
Frederic's Disclaimer: Of course, my knowledge about Mustangs in other countries might be false for some, some might have better information....