Fearmont: The Ford Fairmont With a Cobra Heart


Fearmont: The Ford Fairmont With a Cobra Heart


Not everything needs an LS to be fun and reliable. This 1980 Fairmont, nicknamed the Fearmont, was built in a week and then driven from Arizona to North Carolina. Mark Savioa took the running gear from a '95 Cobra, put a Holley Sniper 2 EFI on it, and hit the road with his wife and two dogs. They drove thousands of miles without a single issue, to make it to the 2023 Foxtober Fest.

No, it's not a Mustang, but for those uninitiated to the Fox Body, the Fairmont is said to be Ford’s earliest use of the platform. So, while the Mustang/Capri is more well-known, the Fairmont is considered the first Fox Body.

The Fearmont started as an unfinished project that Mark found in a California field. The original paint was cut with a dual-action buffer and a coat of wax. It brought out the shine of the original paint and knocked down the rough patina.

Mark used a '95 Mustang Cobra as a parts car – an excellent donor, as a ton of parts bolt right up. Under the hood is the Cobra's 302ci Windsor with AFR heads, an unknown-brand cam, and a Holley intake. The Cobra's T5Z 5-speed was also utilized, along with its 8.8-inch rear axle with 3:55 gears and disc brakes. Mark was able to use an OEM Fox Body pedal assembly. The Arizona heat can take a toll on hot rods, so he installed the factory A/C and a triple-pass radiator with Derale electric fans.

Inside, they used seats from a New Edge Mustang and recovered them to match the '80s blue interior. "The mice got to the interior when we got it, but these seats are super comfortable," said Mark. He traveled from Arizona with his wife, Kate Roth, and two dogs, Lousie and Teeny.

"I found the car in a field in California, bought it off a guy who lost interest ten years ago, and just picked it up where he left off," said Mark. "Tore it apart and back together in about a week."

The '95 Cobra running gear dropped in easily and proved to be reliable as an anvil during the long trip from Arizona to North Carolina. Mark has nothing but praise for the Sniper 2 EFI system on it. "I literally just installed it, and it's been flawless the whole way."

When their trip is complete, the family will have driven 60 hours and around 5,000 miles. "I heard about [Foxtober Fest] eight years ago and wanted to check it out. I heard about last year's 800 cars, and I was like, 'yeah, I want to be a part of that,’” said Mark. "We threw it together to make sure it was right and hit the road.”

To Mark, the best part is the Holley Sniper 2 EFI system. "Right before we got here, we put the Holley Sniper 2 on it, and I didn't think it was going to be much of a difference for me," said Mark, who has a Sniper 1 on another car. "But the throttle response is way better, I think the adaptive learning is way better, and there are no RF noise issues. I didn't shield anything on it."

"I literally just installed it, and it's been flawless the whole way. It's on self-learning right now," said Mark. "We've been around 5,000 miles so far without issues." The wagon made an admirable 300 hp to the wheels, and Mark runs regular gas in it.

We caught up with the family Saturday morning during a rainy opening of Foxtober Fest, and they departed back to Arizona that night. Safe travels!


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