Canadian Export: 1986 Ford Mustang SVO

The Ford Mustang SVO has already been on collectors’ radar in recent years as an iconic 1980s performance car that has remained fairly attainable despite its limited production. The turbocharged Ford is a great choice for younger collectors who identify with other means of performance enhancement rather than pure displacement, and this SVO is particularly novel for being one of 58 examples exported to Canada when new. The seller claims it was a barn find as of a few years ago, discovered with just 55,000 kilometers, or 34,000 miles, on the clock. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $10,998 and the option to submit a best offer.

The SVO will always be a favorite of mine, as it just screams 1980s style with the bi-plane rear spoiler, flat-face alloy wheels, and turbocharged powerplant. The SVO was one of several high-performance four-cylinder coupes, with a wide range of makes and models stepping into the ring with turbocharged and intercooled powerplants under the hood. The Chrysler Conquest/Mitsubishi Starion twins, Toyota Celica All-Trac, and of course, the SVO’s sibling over at Merkur were all synonymous with the style and engineering that has made the Radwood movement a major force among the next generation of enthusiasts.

The SVO had a more of a mountain to climb than those other cars, as diehard Mustang enthusiasts still associated a top-shelf example with having V8 power under the hood. The SVO was a formidable performer, effectively laying waste to the argument that the only way to own a fast Fox body was to have eight cylinders at your disposal, and it made sure a driver’s other needs were taken care of as well: Recaro-inspired bucket seats, three-spoke steering wheel, Koni dampers, and a hood scoop feeding the top mount intercooler certainly reminded you of the SVO’s performance credentials even if it was short four cylinders.

The later SVOs had the smooth nose panel you see here, with the headlights sitting flush with the front clip. This example appears bone stock under the hood, which is always a good sign when it comes to turbocharged cars. The Canadian market designation is an interesting feature, and while I don’t know that it adds a lot of value, it’s certainly a way to stand out among other SVO owners given the small number of cars that have returned stateside – I’d wager there’s a good chance there’s less than 10. The seller’s asking price seems more than fair for an SVO with such low mileage, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one find a new home before the listing expires.


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I think Jeff has described the SVO well. Among Mustang enthusiasts it will likely always be overshadowed by its contemporary V8 brethren, but it is a worthy car which stands on its own merit. Clean low mileage examples do exist, usually with reasonable prices like this one. This would be a fun car which is likely to appreciate.

    In a sense, the car was before its time. I doubt the engineers of the day would have envisioned that turbocharged engines would become staples, seen even in economy cars.

    Like 9
    • Kirby

      Front seats have been changed. There was no red pinstripe on SVO seats. Those are from a GT.

      Like 12
  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Isi t some weird optical trick that my eyes can’t sort out…. Or is there something funny about the location of the lift pad under the driver’s seat? Almost looks as though the boxed channel has been partially cut away?

    I like these cars, a lot. But I am always wary when pretty much the entire underside has the appearance of having been recently sprayed with a black goo of some sort.

    Like 1
    • davew833

      I see what you’re saying, but I think what’s cut away (or showing a sharp edge) is the left front plastic inner fender liner.

      And it appears to have spray-on undercoating of some kind, but it looks pretty old to me. Maybe it’s done its job.

      Like 1
  3. William Shields

    A Canadian export but wearing Florida plates?
    We usually import them FROM Florida, not the other way around.

  4. Noobz

    The registry currently reflects 2794 known SVOs from 1986. 1110 are listed as being in the US. 1055 (all countries) are known to still be on the road.

    There are still more out there to find. hehe

    Like 2
  5. jerry z

    Now this is a SVO I would like to own. Pretty much unmolested and showing only 34K miles, thinks its worth the investment.

    Like 2
  6. ANCMatt

    I drove this car or one very similar in Ottawa, Canada in 1988. My grocery store manager who owned it sent me to get a few cases of lettuce from a neighboring store. This SVO experience, which I’ve written about a few times on BaT, changed my life and explains why, many years later, I’m visiting a site like this on a Friday night.

    Like 3
  7. Marathon6

    Wrong seats, these are the GT seats not the SVO. Check this one out closely before pulling the trigger.

    Like 5
  8. Steve

    Rare maple syrup injection model.

    Like 1

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