Patrol Pony: 1989 Ford Mustang SSP

If you know your law enforcement vehicle, whether or not it is from personal experience, then you will have a fair idea of exactly what this 1989 Ford Mustang LX actually is. This is a genuine Special Services Package model, and it served its active life as a Texas Highway Patrol vehicle. It has remained largely untouched since being decommissioned, and it would take very little work to return it to its former glory. Included in the sale are all of the police lights and other components if the next owner wants to undertake a faithful restoration. It is located in Pitman, New Jersey, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Mustang has reached $10,950, and the reserve has been met.

The plain white paint and the black powder-coated 10-hole wheels are distinctive features of the vehicle, which appears to be in pretty reasonable condition. The owner does point out that a previous owner decided to apply a pearlescent clear-coat over the original white paint. Unfortunately,  the clear coat on most of the horizontal paint surfaces (hood, top, trunk lid), has begun to peel. The rest of the paint looks pretty decent, although a full repaint would certainly serve to refresh things. We get a good assortment of photos of the Mustang, and it does appear to be completely rust-free. The underside is close to perfect, with barely even a hint of surface corrosion to be found. The panels appear to be nice and straight, and there are no significant issues with the trim or glass. Of course, the next owner might want to recreate this Mustang’s glory days, so fitting all of the original police components might be on the agenda.

Under the hood we find the 5.0-liter fuel-injected V8 engine, which produces an “official” 225hp. I use that word because there has always been plenty of speculation that the power outputs for the SSP engines could have been slightly higher than normal. They were available with a choice of two transmissions, and in this case, we find a 5-speed manual. The engine bay looks to be nice and tidy, and it is great to see that the distinctive blue silicon hoses remain in place. Even though it didn’t contribute to ultimate engine power, all SSP cars did feature an external engine oil cooler. I guess for a vehicle like this one, it would have helped the engine to survive an extended pursuit in the Texas heat. The owner makes no bold claims about low vehicle mileage, indicating that the odometer shows 113,000 miles. Since purchasing the vehicle, he has treated it to new tires of the correct speed rating, along with new uni joints in the tailshaft. The transmission and differential have both been serviced, and a new output shaft was fitted to the transmission at that point. All of the remaining fluids have been changed, and the owner states that the Mustang runs and drives perfectly.

When you consider the life that it must have lived, the interior of the Mustang actually presents fairly well. The covers on the seats show a little bit of stretching, but there are no obvious rips or tears. The vehicle was also ordered by the Texas Highway Patrol fitted with a roll bar, and that remains in place. The dash and other plastic seem to be in good condition, and the owner is also including a collection of OEM interior trim pieces so that it can be brought up to a high standard. Interior luxury appointments were not a consideration in a vehicle with such a specific purpose. Weight was the enemy, so there is no radio, no power windows, no cruise. What you get are air conditioning that has recently been fully serviced and blows ice cold and a tilt wheel.

These SSP Mustangs have proven to be a popular model over the years because they feature lighter weight and some additional strengthening when compared to those available to civilian buyers. That means that when they are listed for sale, interest tends to be quite strong. This particular example has only received two bids to this point, but they have taken the price beyond the $10,000 mark. In addition, there are currently 154 people who are watching the listing. With good examples frequently able to sell for between $18,000 and $20,000, there might still be a little way to go on this one.


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  1. JoeNYWF64

    This must be 1 of the few police patrol cars that sometimes had manual transmissions, unless, i guess you go back to the 50’s?
    Tires don’t appear very low profile – 60 series?
    A former police car whose cat converter has been removed & whose mufflers might get you a ticket back in the day. ha ha.
    Does this have quad shocks in back? – i only see 2.
    If those stock police car only hoses were RED, 1 of the editors at barnfinds might be upset. lol

  2. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Seller states “As you can see in the pictures I have all the police parts original to the car, the police radio, mic and speaker, the lights that go on the rear deck of the car behind the glass as well as the lights for the front and the spotlight. Pretty cool stuff, police dome light, spotlight with brand new handle and gasket.”

    How is this possible?
    Wouldn’t these items be removed and kept by the agency that had the car?

  3. SSPBill

    Much of the police gear is obsolete and available on the 2nd hand market. Of course you cannot drive around with all the lights and badges however.

    Virtual twin to my SSP. I do not know the owner but Here is a link for this car with a Marti report.

    This is mine.

    • Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

      @SSPBILL Yours looks good with the pony rims and lowered stance.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I understand that you can buy the parts separately, but this seller claims that these parts are original to the car. So somehow he bought it equipped with all the gear. I would think that the agency would not do that.

      • SSPBill

        I realize I did not answer your question. I agree with you. I doubt these lights and electrics were auctioned originally with the car. I think I even saw a billy club in the ebay photo! The general practice was to reuse much of it since the life span of the car itself are typically much shorter. The car was also an automatic originally so how much can we believe the add?

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Thanks for the info., BIll. That makes a lot of sense.

  4. SSPBill

    Also, the Marti report in the link I posted above indicates this VIN left the factory with an AOD trans. Gotta do your homework. Mine is a T5 car.

  5. Wayne

    I have had many experiences with these. ( Have driven over 40 as we were the selling dealer for the state of Navada) The only ones that I saw that had a 2.73 rear differential was automatic transmission cars. Of which I have only seen maybe 5. You won’t see the quad shocks as they are horizontal mounted above the rear axle and mounted to the rear body work above the tail pipes. They were present to stop wheel hop on hard acceleration. The automatics were slow and the 5 speeds for the most part were very fun. I drove one that was Oh My God fast! We tried everything to try and figure out why. It might as well have been a 427 SOHC under the hood it was that fast. The first time I accelerated that car, I thought the front wheels would have been showing daylight! I kept track of that car all through it’s duty cycle in the NHP and was not able to purchase the car at the auction. ( the word had gotten out about the VIN on that car) I talked to the new owner just after he paid his money. He was going to turn it into a road racer.

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