In Service Restoration: 1985 Ford Mustang SSP

I doubt you’d refer to this Mustang as a “four-eyes” if you saw it rolling up on you. Referred to as a restoration back to “in-service” specs, this genuine California Highway Patrol 1985 Mustang SSP looks like a survivor that’s just been tweaked to be as authentic as possible. The seller seems to nail every last detail to keep this one true to its pursuit configuration, and you’ll find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $16,500 and the option to submit a best offer. 

At first, I thought this was a restored example (meaning paint, bodywork, motor rebuild, etc.) but then it became clearer this is an original car that the seller just tidied up the details on. Oftentimes the police pursuit vehicles get stripped down or at least lose some of their more appealing police package-specific bits and bobs. The decals, equipment and interior features are all here, and the paint and motor are original to the car.

The seller notes the interior is also original, and that this is a factory radio-delete SSP. The seller is the right kind of OCD, noting in the ad that although the factory police cars didn’t have trim rings on the steel wheels, this car did have them as they were likely added by an officer. He’s put them back in place here so the Mustang appears as it did when patrolling Northern California highways. The period CB / radio equipment is extremely hard to find, but the seller appears to enjoy the thrill of the hunt and got these details right.

The corresponding hardware for the communications equipment resides in the trunk, as it did when this Mustang was delivered to the police department. The seller further notes that the engine hasn’t been rebuilt (though the factory carb was refreshed) and the clutch is original to the car with plenty of life. The asking price to me seems fair for an authentic SSP car with all of the impossible-to-find police package equipment. The only red flag is the seller hiding behind the no test drives rule because of the police regalia – isn’t there an industrial park somewhere in Clearwater, Florida?

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Comments

  1. RoKo

    There is no such thing as the right kind of OCD.

    • Millenkneeil

      CDO please!! It must be in alphabetical order!

      Like 1
  2. Jim S.

    What no shotgun? I’m out!

  3. Miguel

    Why would a CHP car be in California and why would the Florida police car if it looks like an old CHP car?

    Everybody knows it is not real.

  4. Chief 2

    The radio equipment is not period correct, complete, and not properly mounted. There is no CB radio.

    • Tony

      CHP allowed officers to have their own CB radio in cars.

  5. Miguel

    He shows everything except the certified speedometer which is the first thing I look for in an old police car.

    • Mark S.

      The pic showing partially the speedo looks to me that it goes to 120. I think a police interceptor should be calibrated to 140 if I’m right. Looks like a mock up to me.

      • Miguel

        It should say Certified or something like that right on the face. That is what I look for.

      • Tony

        All said CERTIFIED on the speedo face and 140

  6. Miguel

    It is lucky the car isn’t pink. The seller sells a lot of Mary Kay products on Ebay.

  7. Derek F

    There must be a good story on how this car left the CHP ranks with not only all its police equipment ( save weapons and tactical gear ) but also its exempt CA license plates.

    Super cool but useless to all but serious collectors.

    • Miguel

      The plate could be a mock up.

      There are places that can make the plates from plastic, which is probably why it is behind plastic to make it look more real.

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    I suppose it could be an original SSP, they made over 15,000 in it’s 11 year run ( ’82-’93) except by 1985, most departments demanded automatic transmissions. Original or not, it sure was intimidating coming over a rise ( at speed) and seeing one of these staring at you. I read they were not well suited for LEO’s because of their small interior, and usually had to have a “full-sized” backup police car show up, to take any perps in. Not much could outrun this, except another 5.0 Mustang, I guess. Cool car, my ’88 5.0 LX was a fun, yet challenging, car.

    • Tony

      All that I saw had manual transmissions.
      A real stunt to drive, shift, and work the mic.

  9. WILLIAM BABYAK

    One tiny problem I noticed in the cockpit: the REGENCY scanner mounted under the glove box is missing both of its control knobs. (Things that make you go “Hmmm”…)

  10. Derek

    Just the ticket (ha-ha) for all you wanna-be power trippers out there.

  11. angliagt angliagt Member

    CHP Mustangs were 4 speeds.
    I was told by a CHP officer that I knew who told me
    that the synchros were usually shot,as they were
    speed shifted.

  12. BarnfindyCollins

    Nice to see one of these years later when I’m on the right side of the law. I got to be a front seat passenger of a South Carolina HP Mustang in 1989 as the officer wrote me a very expensive ticket for traveling 105 on I-20. I had the bright idea to fuel up my ’69 Cadillac Fleetwood with half leaded and Blue Flame racing gas just to see what she would do. I came across the bridge from Georgia into Carolina and he was sitting on the hill at the Welcome Center. Some welcome; as I never saw him until he lit me up miles later. Sitting there listening to him telling me how he finally caught up to me, I thought ;I’m going in the basement of the jail, my life flashed before me, but that officer just handed me the ticket and said pay at the Magistrate office. I sold that boat and bought a TR6; It could pull a stump, but not a stunt like that.

    • Miguel

      I don’t think it was the cars fault.

  13. John Leyshon Member

    The Ebay ad shows the SSP buck tag and Marti report. Yes the seller would serve themselves well to show the “Certified Calibration” speedometer/odometer. Totally legitimate car. Look it up !

    • Mark S.

      Municipalities strip a patrol car of all emergency equipment when they go to auction. It could be a interceptor acquired by someone at auction who had the time to gather the equipment and mock it back up. I think more likely it’s just another 5.0 Mustang.

  14. John Leyshon Member

    1982 – early 83 were 4 speeds. Mid 1983 were borg-warner 5 speeds. In 1986, law enforcement agencies began ordering more of these cars as they went to port fuel injection with a 4 speed auto almost as quick the 5 speed…

    Like 1
  15. SSPBill

    It’s real and somewhat traveled around southern Florida. There are a few members on the site below who owned it. It has been restored. The agency gear was collected and re-installed after service.

    http://www.specialservicemustang.net/forums/showthread.php?t=386&highlight=8302

    http://www.specialservicemustang.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1516&highlight=8302

  16. John Leyshon Member

    Again, look it up in the special service registry. Have no interest in arguing, Im just a nice down to earth guy here. The owner went to a lot of trouble to find period correct equipment. He trailers it to shows because it cant be street driven.

  17. John Leyshon Member

    One of four purchased by CHP in 1985 per VIN# .FF234937 . California was the first to use SSP mustangs in 1982. sspmustang dot org shows all known to exist

    • Mark S.

      Fair enough. There is so much stuff out that is misrepresented I really don’t know what to believe.

  18. R

    Comment on chp mustang… We had them up here in Canada… The RCMP used them for three years… Didnt like them they(officers) couldnt keep them from going ‘snakey’ on the straight aways.

  19. cyclemikey

    Damn. I’ve never seen so many people on one site so ready and willing to jump up and call fraud on everything that comes down the pike.

    How much documentation does the poor guy need? Some of you guys wouldn’t believe it if the Lord himself came down and vouched for it.

    • Miguel

      That is because anybody that called themselves the Lord would be called crazy.

  20. Reid Hall

    These used to be very reasonable ,and fairly plentiful, at auctions in and around my area some 10-20 year’s ago,although l don’t see value of these types of cars,has appreciated that much over years. So my best guess is this most likely this is a car that was bought from a retired police officer, that wasn’t used as much as the rest of the car’s that were in use. One good thing l do see a 4-5 speed transmission as well as radio delete. As far as the speedo manual cars usually have bigger speedos,as automatic cars have smaller ones ,or least that’s the case, unless someone as changed this.

  21. Pete Kaczmarski

    I like those Mustangs but I’ll take my MOPAR Plymouth “Pursuit” package car first

    • cyclemikey

      Very nice! Is that an old Imperial poking into the shot at the left?

      • Pete Kaczmarski

        No, my ’59 Imperial is in the garage. The maroon car is an ’78 New Yorker St Regis Coupe. It was my late friends car. I remember at 16 yoa him bringing it home when he worked at Chrysler Outboard in Hartford WI.

    • SSPBill

      “…my top end is UNLIMITED!” Nice.

    • Miguel

      Absolutely. Fast and room to blow your nose.

    • Tony

      Love that car! I almost bought one way back, but noticed when test driving it that traffic slowed way down. Didn’t want to end up driving that way all the time.

  22. chad

    too small for service wrk.
    Lookid em now – “SUVs”!
    Guys I talk to luv the (is it Escape?) fords…

  23. britcarguy

    These cars were very stealthy with no external light bars. Back in the 80’s CA police didn’t use radar. They paced you with their calibrated speedometers and you were generally screwed if caught. Problem was, all you saw in your mirror was a plain black Mustang. Only if you changed lanes or there was a turn could you see the white door.

  24. James

    A manual in a patrol car? Wow, those officers had to really multitask!!

  25. mike

    My 85 had a carburated 5 speed while a friends 85 had multi port FI 4 speed auto. Mine was much faster.

  26. John Leyshon Member

    Your’s was much better and quicker ! 1983 -85 5.0 automatic cars had CFI “central fuel injection” . Basically an injector unit inside a carb casting on top of a carbureatted intake manifold.

    The 1985 5 speed carb had true dual exhaust, CFI got a “y” pipe and single

    Still not bad for the day. 1986 was the first year of port injection, true dual exhaust. T5 or AOD,..

    I would seriously take a look at any pre 93 fox car if the price is right. NOT in the ssp market unless …ugh.. has to be right.

  27. Tony

    If the car had a CA title, it would be branded PRIOR POLICE. They branded titles in CA starting in the 80’s.

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