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Not Your Father’s Pony: 1986 Ford Mustang SVO Turbo

In 1988 Oldsmobile launched a series of advertisements that used “Not your father’s Oldsmobile” as the catch phrase. Of course it was an attempt to intrigue a new generation drivers who may not have looked at Oldsmobile before. Behind that silhouette of a new generation of Oldsmobiles was a new front wheel drive platform to replace the aging G-bodies. It was fairly popular but didn’t create a firenza storm into the dealerships ultimately leading to the brands’ demise in ’88 (ha! Not really, it was actually 2004). This Mustang has nothing to do with Oldsmobile but it is the seller’s father’s Mustang. The story goes that the father purchased the car brand new in 1986 at 42 years old. Mid-life crisis? Now that the father is 73 years old it is time for this high powered Mustang to go to another owner. Depending on whether you believe the ad details, the ad title or the write up this SVO has 57,281 miles, 67,321 miles, or 72,812 miles.  Seriously!  The son says that the father isn’t so good at using the internet. Pot calling kettle black? You can see for yourself here on craigslist in Fenton, Louisiana.

The Mustang SVO was produced from 1984 to 1986 with four engine configurations during that time (there was a 1985.5 model mixed in). This final year edition of the Pinto 2.3 liter with a turbo produced 200 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. With the lighter turbo 4-cylinder engine (as opposed to the V8) this car would be capable of a 0-60 run in at 6.6 seconds. This car also had a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio and KONI adjustable suspension from the factory.

The seller tells us that the Mustang was his father’s pride and joy and this car certainly appears to have been pampered over the past 31 years. It did receive new paint in 2009.  It certainly is shiny but it also looks like they painted over the black rub strips on the bumpers and the trim on the sides. Or maybe the black pieces weren’t installed after the repaint? I think it makes the front end look like a 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. I can’t tell but maybe one of our astute readers can help me out here.

The interior looks great with almost no wear and exceptionally clean floor mats. An aftermarket radio replaced the factory unit at some point in the past but it is hard to complain about that. At least the dash isn’t cracked and the seat upholstery is in great shape. Even the AC blows cold!

Underneath the hood things look great for a 31 year old car. The air filter which normally resides in the front passenger side corner behind the headlight has been replaced with a cone style aftermarket filter.  Otherwise it looks completely stock. The seller tells us that that these cars are going up in value every year which makes the asking price of $9,400 more of an investment than an expense. If that’s the case then this investment will put more smiles on your face than most mutual funds!


  1. Shawn

    This one has a ’87-’88 Thunderbird intercooler mounted in the stock location.

  2. Rock On Member

    Nice find Aaron.

  3. dirtyharry

    I am fond of these cars. Nothing handled much better in 1986, uprated wheels, koni shocks, roll bars. Hagerty says: FAIR= 6,000, GOOD= 11,400, EXCELLENT= 15,400. I bet this goes quickly (the sale). My buddy had one, for whatever reason it had an appetite for head gaskets.

    • Mark

      Maybe a cast iron block with aluminum head..

      • Bryan

        No, has an iron head. The boost is what causes it, detonating can as well. This can be caused by low octane fuel and high boost from the turbo. It’s always the drivers fault if you ask me.

  4. Fred W.

    Never had much use for Fox body Mustangs, but I have to admit that this is probably a lot of fun to drive.

  5. Tony S

    intrigue – I see what you did there.

    Like 1
    • CCFisher

      you missed “firenza” storm

      Like 1
  6. JW

    Nice Fox if seller is truthful, the color combination hits the spot for me. He needs to correct the mileage claim now to get a buyer as it looks deceiving.

  7. Jay M

    These were a Great car for their time.
    Very balanced chassis. The engine did not overwhelm the rest of the car like the 5.0 cars did.
    If you have never driven one you really should.
    Very fun to drive and collectible, too.

  8. Curt

    I have always loved these ponys,ive always wanted one but i can never find my pants with the lotto ticket in it,so all i can do is dream…

  9. Skip

    I’ve always loved the small Mustangs. While I think the price is a bit high, I doubt that they’ll have trouble selling it. What I’d like to find, but haven’t at a price I can afford is the law enforcement version Mustang. There’s a nice FB page with plenty of the small law enforcement models.

  10. Will
  11. CCFisher

    Saving my pennies for an 83-84 Turbo GT. Much less common.

    Footnote: That “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile” ad campaign is widely considered to be a disaster. Potential new customers were unmoved, while existing customers were led to believe the new models weren’t for them.

    Like 1
    • DG

      Yes, the Turbo GT was the SVO in GT clothing. These turbo 4 cars made about the same h.p. as the 5.0 models, less torque though. And yes, they do kinda resemble the T-Bird turbo coupe from 87-88. All Fords had a similar “face” from that time period.

      • CCFisher

        Turbo GTs were a bit weaker than SVOs – 145HP. No intercooler.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      True, but the best Oldsmobile ad from that campaign featured William Shatner and his daughter.

      Hilarious. . .

    • carsofchaos

      I don’t know if I would call it a disaster……I mean that was almost 30 years ago and we are still mentioning it and when someone says “This isn’t your father’s {insert noun here}” we know they are referring to the Olds ad campaign. So, at least in that sense, if not in a sales sense, I would consider it to be successful.

  12. Eric

    To clarify, the car is in Fenton, Missouri; not Louisiana. I tried to buy a car from that dealer in ’87 with no success.

    They guy states at the bottom that he’s posting it in other cities.

    • Steve65

      Seller is a dick who thinks other people’s time is his to waste, so it follows that he also thinks “local” means “anywhere I damned well please.”

  13. David Miraglia

    always wanted one of these.

  14. CanuckCarGuy

    In my younger years I had an ’84 SVO together with an ’87 Tbird Turbocoupe; the SVO was fast and nimble, but an inexperienced driver could do a lot of damage with one.. and forget driving in the rain. The Tbird although heavier, was more refined and a fantastic highway car…stable and quick, a bigger downpipe and exhaust let it spool up quicker. If I could only have one of them back again, it would be the Turbo Tbird…it was a gentleman’s SVO.

    Like 1
  15. Mark

    Air filter is where it was from the factory

  16. EJB

    I remember reading that you could massage the engine to produce 300 hp. I remember being surprised since most of the “fast” cars of that era were V-8s pushing less than 250.

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