Parked Since ’95: 1984 Ford Mustang SVO

This 1984 Ford Mustang SVO is a major project, having been in storage since 1995 and just recently exhumed. The seller doesn’t provide a ton of details, but based on the background and the price in the windshield, I’m guessing this went to a pick-and-pull outfit that is trying to keep this limited-production Ford from going to the scrap heap. The good news is despite the rough cosmetic condition is that it doesn’t appear to be too rusty; the bad news is there’s a ton of work to do before you even get to assessing the drivetrain. Find the SVO here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $3,499 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The SVO remains one of my favorite 1980s Ford products. The bi-plane rear spoiler, flat-face alloy wheels, hood scoop, sport bucket seats, and of course, that turbocharged drivetrain all combine to make it one heck of a period-correct icon. The older models like this one had the recessed headlights and made a little less power than the later cars with the flush-fitting lenses. The seller doesn’t know anything about this SVO’s past or why it was parked, but I generally don’t read about these cars imploding or otherwise having some sort of tragic flaw that leads to them being parked. Check out the top picture – what do you think that vanity license plate says?

The interior is correct for an SVO with the deeply-bolstered bucket seats, three-spoke steering wheel, and door panels featuring power controls; however, that’s where the good news ends. The interior is fairly trashed, with the dashboard needing replacement, the steering wheel destroyed, and tears in the bucket seat upholstery. The SVO may have been in storage for some time, but it was also parked outside for a spell as well. The dirt stains on the paint confirm this as well, along with the cheap window tint falling off of the glass. And check out that battery – that’s a very old model and hopefully, it hasn’t been leaking into the cabin.

The SVO’s turbocharged powerplant was its calling card and offered a compelling alternative to the venerable 5.0L V8. Of course, it didn’t have the aural qualities of a true V8, but there’s something to be said for a small-but-powerful engine that featured some pretty trick engineering for the day. The seller doesn’t confirm whether the engine turns over by hand, but it’s a good sign to at least see the factory intercooler hasn’t been pillaged and that the paint inside the engine bay matches the outside. I’m glad this seller has apparently given the SVO a stay of execution, but I’m sure the clock is ticking for someone to rescue this collector car before it hits the salvage yard.


  1. misterlou Member

    Is this the same motor that was in the Merkur?

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Same engine, but if I recall correctly, the SVO had an intercooler and the Merkur (I called mine “XRATi”) did not.

      • nycbjr Member

        This is correct, no intercooler in the XR4TI

        Like 1
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Probably was on a buy here pay here lot, then the back building of a scrap yard. Bow wow, ruff, what a dog. Yeah same engine as the Merkur but had an intercooler.

    Like 7
    • Motorcityman Member

      Dog compared to what?
      I’ve driven them, not the fastest but hardly a “dog”

      Like 8
    • Motorcityman Member

      We’re talking 1984 here, the 5.0 was only about 175hp so this Turbo 4 wasn’t that doggy…….I think it had a higher top end speed too!

      Like 6
    • MTBorst

      Cadmanls this was no slouch in its time and could run with any GTA or camaro with the 350 vette motor ! You just had to know how to drive hahaha.
      Low to mid 14’s these things would pull

  3. Ed H

    Missing a decimal point or somebody mistakenly added an extra digit to the price on the windshield.

    Like 4
  4. Bick Banter

    Stored? More like left outside somewhere and completely forgotten!

    Like 8
  5. sparkster

    $10,000 for a clean 1984 Mustang SVO on the San Francisco craigslist . I still prefer the V-8 option with having so many options for upgrades.

    Like 1
    • Beaner

      Why would a 5.0 need an upgrade? The few I drove had more power than I would ever need. Extra horse power is expensive and foolish.

      Like 2
      • Unapologetic Power Broker

        When it comes to power, too much is never enough! Expensive foolishness is always fun!

        Like 4
  6. Mike D

    I think this is too far gone to be anything other than a parts car. Not worth restoring

    Like 5
  7. fred

    politely and solemnly donate this car to the crusher.

    Like 5
  8. bull

    $1000 car at best given the cheap market for SVO Mustangs.

    Like 2
  9. Big C

    Save the rear hatch, the hood and if the engine turns over? Pull that too. The rest is history.

    Like 2
  10. Wayne

    The hood won’t do anything for you unless you have the everything else from the front of the fenders forward. (just like a Fox Body Capri) As the noses are different lengths than a standard Mustang.
    Spend a grand to buy the car and it will make an easy restoration project. (Currently unlimited parts availability for this car
    EXCEPT THE FRONT FENDER CORNER LAMPS AND THE DOUBLE REAR WING! I had to stop an SVO restoration because I was not able procure a pair of front fender corner lamps. (The last set I saw (and did not purchase) were $1,500 for the pair!) This car still has them. They need work, But they are there.

    Like 3
  11. Rltrahan

    4k for this?! Seen one not long ago at least in 80% conditon no rust for 7k. Barn Find needs some laughing emojis

  12. Arthur

    I see this as more of a restomod project as opposed to a standard restoration. Coyote engine, anyone?

    Like 2
  13. mickeytee

    Funy thing the svo had 5 lug wheels but the 5.0 had 4 lug wheels. Used to see these in the junk yard and suspenson was the first thing sold off of them. . if this is the same moter that was In the super coupe tbird there was a localguy had one in the 11 second range.

  14. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Not only did this have an alternate version of the Merkur powertrain, this one comes with the auxiliary battery on the front floorboard below the driver’s legs! Interior looks like a comfy place to smoke a pipe. Hopefully someone can inflate the tires in order to trailer this heap outta there!

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