Another Cheap Turbo: 1986 Ford Mustang SVO

Another day, another cheap SVO project. This 1986 Ford Mustang SVO is a final year example wearing great colors with under 100,000 miles on the clock. I’ve been saying for a while now, I feel these turbocharged Fords are destined for a price jump, but with two cheap ones inside of a week, perhaps I’m mistaken. Find this SVO here on craigslist in Georgia, courtesy of Barn Finds reader Rocco B., for just $5,500.

The body on this SVO looks quite nice, aside from some paint fading on the front bumper. I have a feeling that oxidation could be buffed out and a deep red luster would return. The later cars sported a more aerodynamic nose, with flush-fitting headlights. The flat-face alloy wheels were a popular 80s style, especially on turbocharged cars.

The interior looks decent for the mileage, but it’s hard to tell for sure given the solitary photo. However, the seat fabric looks clean and I don’t see any major splitting or damage to the bolsters. The factory steering wheel and shift knob remain in place, and the dash doesn’t appear to show any obvious cracks.

The SVO’s profile is unmistakable with the classic bi-plane wing, and the dark trim around the spoiler, bumpers, and door trim all seems to remain somewhat lustrous. I’m not sure what to make of the piece of trim pointing heavenwards in front of the driver’s rear wheel, but otherwise, there’s not much to fault and I still contend these turbo Fords will never be cheaper.


  1. Steve

    The piece in front of the rear wheel is a metal retainer for the spat that is missing.

    Like 2

    Not sure these will ever appreciate to stratospheric numbers. The 5.0 powered Fox is still king of the road no matter what road you are on.

    Local to me a running driving SVO sold for $2000. It’s passed through many Ford enthusiasts each time the price got lower and lower. Last I heard it is running a Coyote motor. RIP old turbo 4 cylinder.

    The 5.0 Fox NEVER fails to appeal.

    Like 6
  3. jerry z

    This is the better version of the SVO Mustang. The aero headlight version are intercooled. Worked at a Ford dealership back in the 80’s and it was a fun car to drive!

    • CanuckCarGuy

      They were all intercooled, I owned a bone-stock 1984…intercooled from the factory. The flush headlights were introduced mid-year in 1985…along with engine improvements that bumped up the horsepower. The 87/88 TurboTbird had a larger intercooler than the SVO, which is a popular upgrade for the SVO.

      Like 1
      • jerry z

        I know a change was made. 84-85 only had air to air intercooler, 85 1/2 to 86 had air to water intercooler.

  4. r s

    This is a truly, truly ugly car. The off-center hood scoop is just about right for the rest of the ugly front end.

    Even when it was new it was ugly.

  5. Troy s

    These never caught on back then, not like the 5.0 did. Not even close.
    Expensive when new, if I remember right maintenance intervals were much more frequent due to turbocharging, and something else too. It didn’t sound like a hot mustang, more like an import. Granted they were fast, but the sound of an American V8 burning rubber and nearing the 14 second bracket was just starting to happen again for new cars….finally. If these ever go up in value, which they possibly could, it won’t be for a while yet. Maybe never, the 5.0 movement completely overshadowed these SVO’s.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      It’s the same nowadays. The current Mustang offers either a 5.0 liter Coyote engine or the Eco Boost 4 cylinder. This time around the stock V8 runs 12.50’s and the turbo 4 cylinder runs high-13’s. The problem is, hardly anybody is interested in the 4 cylinder as an alternative when it comes to performance. It’s not a dead player, but the market has spoken and wants the V8.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • Troy s

        Exactly. Yeah, Ford’s trying to attract the younger “tuner” crowd with the smaller 4 banger, don’t think it goes over nearly as well as they expected.
        When I hear a mustang or camaro, even a new challenger, take off from a light or fly down the freeway with that import sound it just seems all wrong. And the newer V8 powered mustangs have an exhaust note that can rival anything from the sixties, whether stock muscle car or built street machine. I think it’s great.

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