Never Left Arkansas: 1986 Mustang SVO


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A few days ago, one of our readers spotted a super cheap Mustang SVO that I intended to write up, but it sold quicker than expected (the price was very good). Well, lightning appears to have struck twice as this 1986 Ford Mustang SVO here on eBay looks like the basis of a solid project and bidding is just over $1,200. There is a reserve but the seller sounds pretty down-to-earth about what the car is and isn’t, so it could be another bargain in the making. 


I dig these SVOs for the performance and the styling. Thickly-bolstered bucket seats, the sport steering wheel and factory adjustable Koni suspension are all the right ingredients, in my book. This SVO is said to be an Arkansas car since new and while it’s a bit rough cosmetically, the seller notes it is rust-free and solid enough to be a daily driver. Interestingly, this example was ordered with the iconic bi-plane wing deleted from the factory.


The turbocharged mill is said to run well as-is, and the seller has already addressed some basic maintenance items: fuel pump, timing belt, cap and rotor, spark plugs and wires have all been addressed for the short time he’s owned it. It does have a noisy steering pump and a cracked dash; the other concern is a suspension that groans in protest, signifying the need for new bushings. Hopefully, the original Koni shocks are still in place.


Although I don’t dig spoilers in general, I do like the bi-plane wing on these cars. The seller has one that he’s throwing in with the sale but he describes it as “junky”; some other bits will be included as well. The paint is rough and the headlights are cloudy, but for a car like this, I’d focus on making it a reliable daily driver and see how far I could get with a good buffing and some headlight restoration. I keep thinking I need to own one of these before the prices take off – does anyone else think the SVOs are poised for a jump in value?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. paul

    the bi-plane spoiler wasn’t deleted, the factory ran out of them during the 1986 production run and knew that was the end of the line due to lackluster sales.

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  2. Al8apex

    not so

    because of the “ugliness” of the bi plane, they gave you the option to get the “normal” version with a delete RPO

    This is a pretty decent specimen- it appears not to have been owned by a member of the ricer crowd (it is still stock)

    Should be a good buy for someone

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  3. Andrew

    Paul, not so. You could delete them. I hope svo jump in value. I have an early 1984 in the garage “resting”.

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  4. DolphinMember

    I really like these Fox body cars, but if I were to buy one it wouldn’t be one with a small econo-engine that’s been turbocharged. Give me a proper non-turbo V8 any day.

    But that said, the thing I like about this listing is the way the it was written by someone who seems like you could do business with. He admits he’s a flipper up front, but he’s done some work on it and tells you what he found that needs more work, all of which is exactly what you would expect for a car with 144K on it that didn’t get much maintenance from the previous owner(s).

    Take it or leave it, but at least you know what you would be getting and what you would be in for if you bought it.

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    • Cleric

      I agree, Dolphin. I’m not so sure that all of the hatred heaped upon flippers on this site is merited. Honestly, I think much of the hatred is sour grapes from people who wish they had the time/talent/$ to themselves be flippers!

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  5. Jay

    My Dad purchased an ’86 SVO brand new. For the time period, the handling was impressive. As a teenager, I was in awe of my best friends Dads new Corvette. We raced them a few times when our folks were away.
    Although the Corvette was faster, the SVO could outhandle and out brake it.
    Sadly, my Dad got rid of it in 1988, when the clutch and synchros mysteriously failed one weekend when he was away…
    He never said a word.
    Sorry Dad.

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  6. grant

    I like Mustangs, especially fox bodies. High school era and all. But I don’t think I’m in love with this one. That little turbo 4 was impressive, but this one has some miles on it and I am suspect about the maintenance on this one. A lot of people don’t understand that the turbo shares a lubrication system with the engine, so oil changes at proper intervals are doubly important. At 144k that motor is getting tired. The front end fitment with the grille, headlights and hood seems a little off, and while the seller may have changed the timing belt (good) he didn’t replace the rubber plug in the inspection hole (bad.) Any buyer should make sure they do a careful inspection and a compression test, and probably replace the timing belt again for good measure. Also, I’m not sure why it matters if the “original” Koni’s are there or not, as they would be over due for replacement anyway.

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  7. Mike Williams

    The SVO has already starting making a comeback and prices have risen quite a bid in the last few years. When new a GT was 13k and the SVO was 16k with all the options already on it except for leather seats. Plus they had the same horsepower and has the better brakes and chassis parts from the Lincoln. The Koni’s are good for the life of the car, best shocks made at the time. Ford was supposed to stop production on the v8, but lower gas prices and demand kept them coming.

    Like 0

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