Former Highway Patrol: 1992 Ford Mustang SSP

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This 1992 Ford Mustang LX notchback coupe is a former state highway patrol vehicle, otherwise known as an SSP, that loyally served the great state of North Carolina. Today, it resides in private hands, and the owner has changed it back to its original colors after an unfortunate repaint in red after it left the state police force. Today, it has a few maintenance needs but nothing major, and still looks quite sharp despite having 166,000 miles on the clock. These will never not be cool. Find the Mustang SSP here on eBay with bidding over $7,000 and the reserve unmet.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m a big fan of the original Blues Brothers film and love that scene when Elwood explains why piloting a former police vehicle is essentially a good thing, despite the obvious irony of riding in a cop car after you’re released from prison. From this vantage point, I can still picture the Mustang hiding beside a billboard, with the light bar on the roof, awaiting a driver heading the opposite direction at speeds well above the legal limit. You felt bad for them, sure, but you also secretly wanted to see a rooster tail of gravel shoot up from beneath the dual exhausts as the cop lit ’em up.

The interior of the SSP models were very utilitarian, and Fox Body Mustangs weren’t exactly luxurious to begin with. No sport seats here with their thick bolsters, as that would make it incredibly hard for a police officer to enter and exit the car however many times a day. The Mustangs looked largely similar inside and out when not equipped with computers, radios, and emergency lights, and most of that equipment was ripped out when the SSPs returned to civilian use. The seller notes there are still some clues to its past, as the trunk release is on the left side of the car and no longer in the glovebox.

While some SSPs came with a manual transmission, this one has the automatic, which had to have been way easier for most police officers to live with on a daily basis. The seller notes the Mustang runs well with just a few issues to sort, including a heater core and header gasket. The A/C still works despite the core needing replacement, and the seller has upgraded the exhaust by deleting the cats, so it should make some good noises. Under-hood reveals no issues aside from a hose that looks non-OEM in origin, and it appears to come with a red top battery. What do you think a fair reserve is for a car like this?

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  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    Really sharp looking. I wonder how hard it is to replace the heater core? This notchback is nice, andI know they are lighter, but the fastback just looks so much better to me! GLWTA! :-)

    Like 2
    • Ricky Matthews

      If I’m not mistaking, the entire dash will have to be removed on this one. And also have to discharge the a/c, drop steering column. It’s alot of fun.

      Like 8
      • nlpnt

        It’s been said that at the factory they hang the heater core from an overhead conveyor, and they then build the entire car around it.

        Like 12
    • Mac88

      If you have small hands you don’t have to completely remove the dash, just loosen it up and pull it back enough to access the core.

      Like 1
  2. Gsuffa GsuffaMember

    How does one identify an SSP? I know of a notchback with strange primer spots.

    Like 1
  3. Derrick Stikeleather

    I think all SSP’s had silicone radiator hoses, so that one might still be OEM

    Like 5
    • Ricky Matthews

      I also read that the trunk release button was moved from the glove compartment to the driver side left of the steering column. I do see that in this one.

      Like 1
    • SSPBill

      SSP’s did have the blue silicon hoses. SSP’s cannot be ID’ed by the VIN. Later SSP’s have 2 buck tags stapled on top each other, a partial VIN tag covering a DSO tag with the district office number and “Special Service Package stamped on it. The seller isn’t showing the DSO tag. I might be skeptical. That and the glaring lack of hardware mounting hole. These are small cars and radio/radar gear was pretty large in the early 90’s. Brackets were screwed in all over the dash and consoles. This is a link to my car. This shows the typical buck tags.

      Like 3
  4. HoA Howard AMember

    Heater core, good heavens, ( wiping tear from eye), that hits a nerve. I had an ’88 like this that was kind of a beater with a bad core. When I heard the dash had to come out ( on a/c equipped cars, non-a/c cars had a small access door to get it out) but most had a/c, well, me and Mr. Sawzall made short work of that. I’m wondering if this ever was a cruiser. NC had black with silver sides, and a rack of radio and equipment hung on the dash, I don’t see any evidence of that, also under the hood would be a bunch of wires, and I think SSP’s used a bigger alternator. They were twitchy cars, and more than one trooper lost control during a chase. I read, an Alabama trooper was clocked at 146 mph with one. Due to the lack of room, a 2nd cruiser would have to be called to haul a perp in, tying up 2 officers. I didn’t like it. Aside from the V8, it had clumsy handling, don’t even think of snow, it would get stuck going downhill, uncomfortable, hard to work on, my ’95 was a much better car.

    Like 4
    • Jost

      Sawzall had me laughing Howard, great idea though.

      Like 3
  5. David Harris

    Looks like a yellow button left side of the column

    Like 2
  6. Ian McColl

    The radiator hose is a silicone variant which was a common option on police package vehicles. In fact with this option all coolant hoses would have been of this tupe / color. The Ford hoses were light blue color while the GM hoses were more of a green color. The Crown Victoria’s up to 2011 had this option. The Caprices also had this until 1996. Although I believe all Caprice 9c1s from 1991 to 1996 came standard with silicone hoses.

    Like 2
  7. Troy s

    Fast they were, intimidating not so much compared to the big Polaras and Furys from years ago. Looks like a “cop” radiator hose I remember seeing them for sale in numerous magazines back then. No need to remove the cats with an off road pipe, had a Bassani X-pipe cat set up on one our 5.0’s and it more than opened up top end power. Fun to play around with, that’s the attraction for me.

    Like 2
  8. Steve S

    This car has been on here before and I still hate the look of these mustangs. They look like Ford took a cavalier and changed everything from the doors forward from Chevy to Ford and frame also.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      @Steve S – this is the first time we have featured this specific one.

      Like 0
  9. PRA4SNW

    Ended at $8400 and Reserve Not Met.

    166K and needs a heater core – how much more than that can this thing be worth?

    Like 0

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