1997 ford thunderbird sputters badly but idles fine in neutral
I bought a 1997 Ford Thunderbird LX with 140,000. Ran great for almost a year. Only added 8,000 miles max. I was at a buddy's apartment for a few hours and left. About 2 miles into my drive, never driving past 50 mph, I was stopped at a red light for maybe 40 seconds and as I made my left turn the car started to sputter pretty badly, the check engine light was flashing, felt like it would definitely stall, and it wouldn't accelerate past 25. I'm also pretty sure there was some kind of pop. I immediately pulled over, turned of the car and looked under the hood. It smelled a little funny and I can tell there was an explosion of some sort because there were splatter patterns of melted hardened foam coming from the passenger side firewall. I was able to turn the car on, drive 3 miles home and just park it. I looked for signs of sugar and saw none. I turned the car on a few days later and it started and idled fine but as I accelerated while in neutral, it would choke/sputter a certain rpm. Please help as I thinking I was the victim of vandalism by mistaken identity.