Genuine SSP Coupe: 1989 Ford Mustang LX

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When we come across the elusive Fox-body Special Service Package (SSP) models, they’re usually the plainest Mustang you can find, with a highly-capable 5.0L V8 under the hood. This example has a few custom touches that eliminate the sleeper qualities of the notchback coupe, with custom badges down the doors and black hood stripes that run the length of the body. However, the good news is you can eliminate those add-ons, get rid of the window tint and pony wheels, and bring this SSP car back to its utilitarian appearance that was highly effective in stopping unsuspecting speeders. Find it here on eBay with bids to over $4K and no reserve.

Just to get it out of the way: this is a tired example. The cosmetics are pretty rough, inside and out, and the cosmetic tweaks are not likely to be to most people’s liking. You can see some sloppy paint work on the driver’s door and plenty of scuffs and dings. The window tint may be a necessity in Nevada, but it’s a little too dark for my tastes, and a vehicle modification most police officers hate – so it’s really out of place on a former police pursuit vehicle. The upside? It’s selling for way less than perfectly preserved SSPs go for, and you can correct many of the car’s apparent ills over the course of a few weekends. Mileage is noted as 158,665 and it comes with four new tires and working A/C.

The interior has its share of issues, including a pair of replacement seats removed from a Mustang GT that aren’t police-spec. Officers didn’t want the thickly bolstered GT seats because they would impede ingress/egress with a heavy holster around their waists. In addition, the carpets are stained and the automatic shifter console trim is chipped in several places. The dash sports several holes from where the police-issue equipment was removed, but the good news there is you can simply source replacements to up the authenticity factor when showing this car off as a genuine SSP example – and cover up the holes in the process. An aftermarket radio has also been installed.

One of the biggest disappointments (to me) is the fact that the seller was able to purchase the SSP with the spot lights and big whip antenna still attached. He also makes reference to another set of lights, and I can’t help but wonder if it had the original lightbar, too. All of that was removed and the trunk was replaced with one that wasn’t drilled for the antenna. This is a serious bummer (but again, easily remedied) because the police-issue equipment is what makes these SSPs so cool. Although he notes the Mustang was painted and the interior refreshed, I see little evidence of it here. The “Cobra” badge on the intake manifold is very fake, and needs to be removed. Overall, this is an opportunity to buy a cheap SSP and improve it dramatically with some cosmetic clean-up.

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    Don’t like the added stripes including the broadcast of it being an SSP on the door. One does not need to advertise this.

    All the new paint and additions and no cleaning and detail under the hood. If I were in the market would want a more correct example.

    These are cool indeed as there is a reason they were sold as a police package. The bad guy rarely got away. An eagle in one of these behind you meant business.

    Like 3
  2. Classic Steel

    Its a shame cop cars had automatics but I get the other functions of radio and communication with dispatch etc. and the occasional donut 🍩😏 could cause issues 😜

    Loose the stripes and paint original color then fix interior and drive it like your chasing a person who stole theirs…

    Like 3
    • SMDA

      Not all the cop cars were autos, some of the first ones were five speeds.

      Like 4
    • Mac

      Every single SSP that the CHP purchased were manuals.

      Like 2
  3. Rob S.

    Let’s see where this one goes. 4K+ is not a bad starting point but doesn’t leave much room for the cost of the resto.
    I just sold a really nice, restored 87 for 14K. They are coming up in value but not quite there yet.

    Like 0
  4. Mac

    Seller needs to show pics of the door certification label and/or buck tags to confirm it’s an SSP model. Without seeing these, buyer beware!

    Like 1
  5. SebastianX1/9

    These cars turned me into a Chevy guy.

    Spent my youth avoiding these Florida Highway Patrol abominations! ;)

    Like 1
  6. Cav427

    The hoses aren’t blue. Not an SSP.

    Like 0
    • Mac

      Not all SSPs had those, they were an option.

      Like 1
    • SSPBill

      Top hose looks like it was recently changed judging by the tag on it. But, yes, these were an option.

      Oil cooler lines and single key door locks are present. This is likely an SSP but it would be nice to see the buck tags.

      Like 0
  7. Wayne

    Having worked in a Ford store in Nevada that won the Mustang bid the “chase/patrol units were 5 speed and dark blue in color. The investigation units were silver and automatic which why I would assume that this car has only 150k for mileage. The automatics only came with 2.72 rear traction locks, where the 5 speed cars came with 3.27 rear traction locks. Having driven many “police spec.” Mustangs I found the automatics no fun. I have a friend that had an auto ex-highway patrol car with 3.73 rear gears and it was a bunch of fun. He still got 24 mpg with those gears. I love the 5.0s but as far as I’m concerned the coupes are only good for auto cross and drag racing. Over 100 mph the notch backs get a little scary in the stability department. I know, as I test drove every Highway Patrol vehicle we ever delivered up to 120 mph minimum. They were all coupes and I had to really pay attention. ( it did not help that it always seemed to be windy on the test drive home) But never had a problem with any of my Fastback Foxes at those kind of speeds.

    Like 2

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