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Highway Patrol Survivor: 1989 Ford Mustang LX SSP

This 1989 Ford Mustang LX coupe is a genuine SSP model, used by the Texas Highway Patrol before entering civilian life. It is equipped with the preferred and somewhat rare manual transmission. Unlike most SSPs, this one has been modestly refreshed to be a pleasant daily driver without losing the unique features that identify it as a genuine SSP. The seller has listed it here on eBay with a reserve, and bidding is currently at $11,000 with the reserve unmet. The SSP has been repainted in its original colors and retains the emergency lights in the back window. It’s located in London, Kentucky.

The SSPs are generally desirable if they retain a heavy dose of originality related to its police-spec equipment. Many of these cars are unfortunately picked clean of these items when they leave the force, but the seller has done an admirable job of keeping these items with the car. In addition to the rear lights, the Mustang will also come with the Motorola CB radio, antennas, and A pillar-mounted spot lamp. The only thing missing is the lightbar on the roof, but the seller doesn’t mention it or the presence of holes in the roof – so perhaps this example never had them. Still, it’d be the cherry on top if you’re looking to re-create the SSP as it looked during its patrol days.

The interior is seemingly in great shape, although the SSPs were so spartan inside, it’s fairly hard to make it look any worse. The seller highlights some big-ticket repairs while in his care in addition to the respray, such as a full rebuild of the air conditioning system, including replacing the heater core. As a manual window, radio-delete car, there’s very little to go wrong inside, and although the seller notes some wear to the driver’s seat caused by the roll bar, there’s very little inside to get worked up about. The floor mats aren’t police-spec and are really the only thing I’d get rid of. The 160 mph certified speedometer and truck release button below the steering column is present.

Under the hood, the must-have blue hoses are in place, and the seller details an extensive list of mechanical repairs under his watch. These include all new u-joints, new balanced driveshaft, new output shaft and seal, new transmission cross member, and new transmission mounts.  In addition, the brakes and shocks were replaced, gear oil in transmission replaced, and the rear differential serviced. The door to body and window channel weatherstripping was also replaced when the respray was performed. Overall, a car you can drive anywhere that will always be an appreciated collectible. What do you suppose the reserve is set at?


  1. Avatar photo jwzg

    Alternator appears to be a 3g unit not yet produced in 1989. The underside appears clean, but I don’t care for spraying over the lock cylinders. Way too much for nearly a 115K Fox.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    Since speedometers in civilian cars are not calibrated, how do we know FOR SURE we ain’t speeding, especially in a 25 mph zone? Ever been on a 1 lane in each direction road with a double yellow line for many miles. & the speed limit is 25mph & it’s not even a school zone(dumb IMO). & you have a tailgater that won’t quit & you can’t pull over.
    Of COURSE u will never see a tailgater pulled over & ticketed. But i bet plenty a few unfortunate drivers got a “speeding” ticket BECAUSE of a tailgater. Or hit in the back.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo jwzg

      Well, I passed a cop in mine one day doing 70 (the limit) by my speedometer, which was pretty much dead on the nose. He pulled me over and got smart with me, and I simply said, “Sir, I have no idea how fast you were going, but my speedometer said 70.” If you have a radar lock speed, I’d like to know how much faster I was going so I can get it corrected. He never gave me ticket, and by the time he left, we were chatting about my upcoming trip to the far east. Be polite and professional, always.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

      Oh & by the way, those 25mph roads(avoid such roads if you have a nice restored classic car – especially a pinto!) would often change to a higher speed limit such as 35 mph as soon as you entered a new town, despite the same type of neighborhood/roadside scenery.
      Even more ridiculous, i remember a 4 lane road stretch in either Northlake or Clearing area Illinois in the ’80s that was 25mph & definitely a speed trap, tho with traffic probably 4 times as much today than back then, i would think that’s no more.

      On this hiway patrol mustang, by the way, i wonder if you install an exterior spotlight outside by the driver’s side of the windshield, would traffic slow down on the hiway? lol

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo ADM

    I had a 1990 5.0 coupe, with a 5 speed, that I hit about 138 mph, on a 140 mph speedometer, bone stock. I never said “I buried it.” Just a few years ago, I read about a retired state police officer’s account of the top end he hit on his SSP Mustang…138 mph. Amazing.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo jwzg

      I’ve done 137 by the speedometer with mine. Not surprised at all.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo ADM

        You sure you didn’t hit 138, maybe for a second?

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo jwzg

        Maybe…the needle was halfway, so I assumed lower. Also, I doubt it was that accurate. NOT fun, I tell you.

        Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Claudio

    With the pre election tension rising the new buyer is safer to garage this for a while or risk having it destroyed or being shot by the black lies matter group …
    Seriously, i would not drive this

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

      I doubt any of the protesters who are mostly under 40 today would even recognize this car as a cop car, especially since it’s a 2 door! & it has no remnants of police markings or police equipment, though i guess a really knowlegeable protester might recognize the cop wheels(odd they apear to be aluminum & not the more durable & cheaper- for taxpayers-steel ones!). Maybe remove the center caps temporarily, etc.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Michael

    Ah yes. Florida Highway Patrol had a bunch of these in the 90s. You didn’t want to get snagged by them.

    That engine was a king of the road in the day. Dad had an 88 GT with the same 5.0. I happened to be just coming into driving age. Good times.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Alec

    There’s no such thing as a $10,000 Fox, unless it says Cobra R.

    Like 0

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