Blue Light Special: 1992 Ford Mustang SSP

What we have here is the real deal, a genuine retired Florida Highway Patrol ’92 Ford Mustang SSP. Ford produced the Special Service Package (SSP) Mustang from ’82 until ’93 as an alternative pursuit vehicle when the full-size sedan was not needed. The SSP was popular and used by many agencies across the country. The Florida Highway Patrol bought a lot of these over the years and occasionally they come up for sale still in their law enforcement uniform like this one. If you’re in the market for a nice Mustang and are a collector of Police Memorabilia, today might be your lucky day, check it out on eBay in Winter Park, FL with a BIN price of $19,920.

These cars were all over the road in the early to mid-’90s. I live in Florida and remember seeing a pair of these things stalking their prey along Interstate 4 every time I rode through Orlando, this car probably generated a lot of money for the FHP during its service. The Mustang seems like a very practical car for an agency like the FHP because it was intended for traffic enforcement only and not hauling people to jail and it definitely had the performance needed for pursuit. This car has been in storage for an unspecified amount of time, before storage it received new paint, A/C system, and brakes. Some of the police equipment is still in the car. Usually, these cars are stripped of most equipment before being auctioned so it may not be original to the car, although the ad does say the Radar equipment is rare.

Back when this thing was on the road, cops had to know how to drive stick. The Hurst shifter is a nice upgrade for the T-5 transmission but I would prefer to see the stock shifter in a car like this. From what we can see of the interior, it looks nice. It’s interesting to note that the car is for sale to Non-Florida residents only, apparently, the FHP doesn’t like you driving around in a car using the same markings that are still in use today. When this car was painted it was restored to its former FHP glory. When these cars were sold at government auctions in the late ’90s most were tired looking and had the markings spray painted over. I remember seeing an auction fresh car still wearing the spray paint at the local 1/8 mile strip.

This car looks to be in very nice condition, underneath everything looks rust and leak free from the limited photos. With a hefty asking price like this, I would like to see more photos, especially of the engine. The special service package was designed primarily for police use so there were a few extra features like heavy duty silicone coolant hoses, engine oil cooler, certified calibration speedometer, heavy duty alternator and a few more I may be leaving out. These cars can be found with an automatic but it seems most FHP cars are manual. The engine was the same 225 HP 5.0 found in the civilian Mustangs. Fox Mustang prices are on the rise and this is a very unique car, I am interested to see if it brings the asking price. What do you think, is it worth the price? Have any you Barn Finds readers ever had the pleasure of being stopped by an SSP?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Since perhaps some of our younger readers don’t know the “blue light special” reference, and as KMart fades into oblivion, KMart was the Walmart of the ’60’s and ’70’s. They would have specials indicated by a flashing blue light, and mesmerized customers would flock to it and grab it, whether they needed it or not.
    On to the SSP. Cool cars, my ’88 LX was very similar to these. Did most of my trucking in Wisconsin, UP and Illinois, and while Wis. is on the list for using them, I never saw one. Saw them in Indiana and the UP, and on vacations down south, Fla. especially, and they were an intimidating sight. Not many were sticks, as they limited the officers right hand,used for other duties, like talking on the radio. Also, they were superior to 4 door cruisers, in their ability to catch speeders, but usually required another squad to pick up the perps, as there was no room for them in the Mustangs. I believe, unless you display it as a historical vehicle, the markings can stay, but as a DD, it’s illegal to impersonate an officer, and you will get a ticket.
    BTW, that video is really disturbing, and just goes to show what kind of doofus might buy a new Mustang today. People that have no business operating cars like that. Running people over, that’s terrible, they should never be allowed to drive a car again, except maybe a Smart car.

    11
    • Chris

      I must’ve missed it. I read the article a few times and checked the listing. What video? Also, what does “DD” stand for? Thanks in advance.

      5
      • Miguel

        Chris, DD stands for Daily Driver.

        6
      • Howard A Member

        During “early access”, there was initially a video of people that misjudged the power of Mustangs, and was kind of a compilation of them losing it, some into crowds of people. It was wisely removed by the staff.

        6
      • Tom Pierce

        Designated Driver

    • Treebeardzz

      I worked at the dealership in the ’80s and it was hilarious we had at least 1 or 2 in at all times with smoked engines. The trap-door air-flow sensor and the EEC was not quite perfected for FHP sustained pursuit. If you could get them to stay above 120 for a few miles, it would lean out the engine and they are calling the wrecker(I had a 1700 lb 70 1/2 Camaro with a BearCat programmable scanner that kept them busy replacing engines, but when they got a chopper, that just took all the fun out of it).

      9
    • Mike

      I remember ol’ Mustang Sally, down there in southern Indiana, back in the early 90s…

      1
    • Steve

      Growing up in America in the ’70s and ’80s, I was familiar with the term “blue light special” relative to Kmart. Kmart likely was inspired by the term “blue plate special” referring to a low-priced meal you might find at a cafe or diner, a term that has fallen out of our lexicon but was common mid-20th century.

      2
    • CCFisher

      “Look up! Look about, K-Mart shoppers, for our Blue-Light special.”

  2. Miguel

    “NOTE: This car is for non-Florida residents ONLY!”
    “Florida Residents cannot drive this car on the road do to trademarked color placement of the black and tan which is still currently used buy the FHP today.”

    Awkward.

    10
  3. Troy s

    California Highway Patrol used these a bunch..black and white plus the all white ones that were supposedly to blend in an catch truckers, those 5.0 ‘s were all over I-15.Very fast police cars, they drove manuals but never used 5th gear, hard to believe that was over twenty plus years ago.
    I never figured the Fox mustangs would be future collector cars,not really, due to the vast amounts that were built. They were hardly rare.

    5
    • Steve R

      The CHP has kept 5.0 Mustangs and late-70’s Z28’s for show purposes. My local track has a cops racing high school kids program on Wednesday nights. Last week was the final race of the year, the CHP used a flatbed to bring out one of each to display at the front of the staging lanes, the Z28 still had its original blue exempt plates.

      All of the Fox body V8 Mustangs are gaining in popularity, the coupes and LX’s, especially so. They will be future collector cars, just like the late-70’s Trans Am’s and Z28’s have become. They haven’t survived in great numbers in stock form, but are becoming sought after since they had such a strong following.

      Steve R

      7
      • Troy s

        Yeah, any car that has magazines devoted to it and a flood of after market parts would most likely be collectable in the future, I remember counting how many 5.0’s were at Carlsbad raceway one afternoon back in the early nineties and it was huge, outnumbered any other single type of car, even Camaros! And most were modded with the latest and greatest stuff. All the while I bashed and abused my ’86 GT to no end, never thinking anyone would ever care all that much about these 80’s style machines. Great drivers that were very much tuner friendly. At the time I considered the escalating prices and interest in the 60’s-70’s muscle cars had to do with the era they came from as much as the cars themselves. Kinda still do in a way.

        5
    • Howard A Member

      Gotta bust them truckers,,,such a common misconception. Most of the trucks I drove struggled to achieve the speed limit, much less go over it. It was more to catch Porsche drivers( and such) and these could routinely go 135 mph. I read, a trooper in Washington was clocked at 151mph on a radar.( 147 with light bar on) Some were kept to teach cadets how to operate cruisers at high speed. They weren’t very popular in winter states, for obvious reasons, and were twitchy at speed. Accounts of more than one trooper losing it were reported.

      7
      • Marvin

        I knew a CHP from that era, and he said they were not supposed to drive them over 140 or so, because they were so light that some in the right conditions would take off like an airplane. The car was less controllable the higher the speed went.

        3
      • BOP_GUY Member

        Yeah, my sister-in-law is a trucker, and she says the same thing. The trucks are almost always weighted down with heavy cargo, so can’t be speeding even if they wanted to.

        The CHP here in Nor Cal used the Mustangs and some Camaro’s back then, if I remember correctly. I would assume these were driven hard and sometimes recklessly. So I guess it’d be cool to take to shows, but that’s a lot of dough that could go toward more usable cars, in my opinion. Interesting though.

        Hey Steve R, where’s the track you’re talking about? Sounds like fun!

        2
      • Howard A Member

        Gone are the pilled up produce haulers with 600 hp Cat motors from the ’70’s and ’80’s that did 100mph and most trucks today have governors and ALL must have EOBR’s ( electric on board recorders, even O/O’s must have them) An LEO sitting in the median, can punch in your truck #, and a rift of information comes up. What you are hauling, where you came from and going, how long the truck has been rolling, probably the company’s safety record, as well. They sucked all the fun out of it,,,which is why I retired after 35 years.

        2
  4. Mountainwoodie

    It has new “piant”.must be the phonetic spelling of the Southern colloquialism for “paint”

    At least you can row your own gears while pretending to be the very cop you’re trying to avoid :)

    4
  5. Pete Kaczmarski

    I like it but I like my ’70 Plymouth Fury III ex-WSP car…….

    21
    • Troy s

      Now that, sir, is the last thing I’d want chasing me! What’s it got under that ticket scratched hood?
      One thing the Mustang did not have was George Foreman stopping power, and I don’t mean brakes!

      1
    • JOSEPH MILAZZO

      Wow she looks great. I am currently looking for one of these to restore myself and would love to see more photos if possible. I am looking to build a replica of my fathers patrol car he was unfortunately killed in while on duty 4/11/70 on The Southern State Parkway as a Long Island State Park Police patrolman on Long Island in New York. They have since been absorbed by The New York State Police and now I have other family members “On The Job” as it were. If you have more pix and details to forward I would greatly appreciate seeing them for references and such, thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Joe Milazzo adkmillworks@gmail.com

      3
      • Howard A Member

        I’m sorry to hear about your dad. In all my trucking, I’ve come across several accidents, where an inattentive (drunk) driver schmucked into the back of a cruiser, some it was clear, the officer died, but the drunk lived.( go figure) Sent a chill up my spine. That was someone’s loved one, hearing your story puts a name on one of those crashes. Good luck in finding one, that wasn’t destroyed in Blues Brothers or motor pulled for that Dart project. I tried this “Search Tempest”, and can’t find one ex-police Plymouth 4 door.

        2
  6. Rapid Butterfly

    I used to frequent the CHP yard in Torrance California where these were made available for public inspection when they were auctioned. I was a broke, shy, awkward and very plain looking teenage girl. But the man who managed that yard was patient with me and didn’t crush my dreams. Didn’t chase me off, answered my questions, let me sit in the cars and imagine one being mine one day. I’ve never forgotten that. I did eventually own a fox 5.0 mustang and even today hillclimb an e30 with a 5.0 in it.

    19
    • angliagt

      I checked with Sacramento,about buying one.
      You could get them as cheap as $2500.
      Owning one like this seems like it’d get old
      in a hurry.Maybe that’s why you see so many for sale.

      2
  7. Jack M.

    Just curious what you rode through Orlando on Scott, a bicycle, motorcycle or horse?

    1
  8. Mark

    Awesome cars, but truth be told they (and most of not all police cars) weren’t as mythically fast as we’d like to believe. However, it would look nice in my garage.

    “Can’t outrun Motorola”

    6
    • Treebeardzz

      Yeah, but with a BearCat,(and a Midland double side-band w/75watt bi-linear) you knew where they THOUGHT you were, and you zigged while they zagged. Played with several of them for almost 2 hours one night before I got tired and went home. Just before I shut her down behind my house, I heard they got “that d*mn blue Camaro”…..just not the one that had been running circles around them.

      8
  9. David Miraglia

    I’d buy this as a gift to either of my younger brothers. One is a lieutenant in Boise Idaho police, the other a Captain right here in NYPD.

    3
  10. Kevin Mace

    The Indiana State Police used rhem and they were known as the Mustang Patrol when they were first put into servise rhe Troopers who were assigned them teained at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

    1
  11. Mark

    Indiana utilized these and many were unmarked. Driving thru Indy today you may find yourself pulled over by a variety of vehicles including unmarked pickups.

    3
  12. CJ

    Texas DPS had these Mustangs in addition to Camaros. Houston PD had Camaros painted the HPD blue paint scheme used in the 1980s and 1990s.

    1
  13. Wayne

    I have driven many Highway Patrol Mustangs. The notch backs get really twitchy at speeds over 110. I used to come off a hill down into a valley known for windy conditions. And I would hold to 90 mph until down on the flat as the winds circulating on the hillside would have the back of the car doing the 2 step. I never had a ” light” problem on a fastback Mustang. And the Capri version was rock solid at speed. (1983-1986)
    We only had one Highway Patrol Mustang ever come in for warranty service. It had a clutch and input bearing problem brought on by an omitted pilot bearing from the factory.

    3
  14. Miguel

    I got quite a few speeding tickets in my new ’94 Mustang GT on the highway.

    I was coming down from Salt lake City heading towards Las Vegas and came over a crest and there was a cruiser right there.

    He pulled me over for 90 in a 55. I always seemed to get the tickets for 90. I started doing 85 or 100 and didn’t get a ticket after that. Weird.

    Anyway, this was just after the UHP stopped using their Mustangs. They couldn’t use the ’94s because of the passenger airbag.

    He came to my passenger window, crouched down and looked inside the car.

    He said “I miss my Mustang”. He then gave me my ticket.

    I can imagine the shock of going from the Fox Bodied Mustang to a full size cruiser.

    1
  15. Miguel

    Another story about police cars.

    I moved up to the eastern part of Oregon on the Idaho border in the ’90s.

    I was talking to the local police captain or chief or whatever he was.

    He told me he used to go down to LA to buy his cruisers from the auction used.

    He had to stop doing that because it costs so much to repaint the right side of the hoods from all the teeth marks on them. This was not a joke, he was serious.

    1
  16. Bruce Fischer

    I had this one and drove it all summer, but the local police kept busting my chops about it so I sold it. It was fun for the summer. Bruce.

    2
  17. Bruce Fischer

    I took it to a show in Knoxville T.N. and there was a local cop who liked it and said let me pose by it and I will look like I am mad and going to write you a ticket. He was a good and funny guy!Bruce.

    3
  18. stillrunners

    What CJ said….the HP guys were quick out of hiding so you’d better be ready….but like was said it was hard to out run those Motorola’s !

    1
  19. Jose Luis Martinez

    I was pulled over by one of these in Martin County FL back in 94. I was clocked doing 95 on 95 South. I didn’t even see him, but he caught up to me and gave me a nice, fat and juicy $195 ticket. That was a lot of money back in 1994.

    2
    • Little Cars

      In 1992, my then-girlfriend lived in Melbourne, Florida and I was in Nashville. I would leave work in Tennessee and drive all night to get to her place by sun up. At the time, I had a Quad-4 Beretta that was capable of 100mph for long stretches. I-95 was where I made up most of my travel time. But I was also driving at night, usually between the hours of midnight and 4am. Never saw troopers, radar detector would blip occasionally from something extraneous along the roadside.

  20. David Rhodes

    may not be able to drive it in Florida but it would cause a lot of brake lights anywhere else

    4
  21. Bill

    I have a story about my ’88 Fox body convertible and a CHP on I-5 in about 1989 or 1990. I was coming North on I-5 from Los Angeles and trying to make-up time for horrendous traffic on a Friday afternoon from Hollywood with lunch with some old buddies (Musso & Frank’s for lunch) I was doing about 105 MPH and noticed another Mustang gaining on me like gangbusters and I didn’t let up, I thought he was going to pull up and race, so I pulled it back down into 4th and pulled away from him. I never looked in the mirror since the time I had noticed the outline of the car 500 or so feet behind me. He pulls up along side of me and beeps the horn. I looked over and saw that big gold star on the door. It was one of those indelible memories. He had raised his “CHIP’S” aviator sunglasses to look me in the eye and he exaggerated the phrase with his mouth ” What The F**K” ? He then slowly pulled away. I say slowly, because I had frozen and not let off the gas until he pulled away. Anyway, there was a 12 pump Flying J Truck service station at the Buttonwillow off ramp and I realized I was flat empty. When I pull in he’s standing there along side of his car and we’re sharing opposite sides of the same pump.. I figured I better own up to him and thank him for the courtesy of not strapping me to the roof of his car and taking me to the nearest cell. He asked me if I had seen him and I said yes and that I thought he wanted to race. He told me writing tickets with that car was like shooting fish in a barrel. He told me that 2 officers had died in these FOX bodies. At that time the accident investigators theorized because the weight distribution was nearly perfect, and lightweight, that at high speeds they would lift a little and they would somehow lose traction, . When That happened, they would start to spin. At 120 -140 MPH they would spin like a top 8 to 10 times before they would stop. They would go across the 4 lanes and dirt center divider of I-5 and all the way into the opposite shoulder before the speed would dissipate. Apparently this happened several times with no real injuries. On 2 occasions their cars were hit by oncoming traffic. One of 2 things would happen, either they would get hit on the driver’s side and he would be crushed or if they were hit on the right side , the car would collapse like a “V” towards the right side and the drivers side bend and it would distort enough so that the door opened. The seat belt mountings would slacken and in one case the officer was ejected out through the opened door. He said they were the fastest & most dangerous patrol cars he had ever driven. He said those cars needed a driver with focus on his driving and a feel for that vehicle, and he said the focus for an officer was distracted in the chase, apprehension and other functions, talking on the radio, watching for other traffic etc. He felt the Dodges with the 440’s and the ’67 Oldsmobiles were better suited to be pursuit cars. He said they would go 140 all day and hold the road like a rock and be very stable.

    5
    • Steve

      Great story. I wonder what opinions police officers had about B4C Camaros?

      2
  22. Pete

    My buddy had one of these for a few years and would mess with people he knew in it. But he drove it in NC, it was exactly like this beast though.

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