Sub-50K Miles: 1984 Ford Mustang SVO

When I first began helping to clear out the large Georgia collection we featured earlier this year, I was really hoping to find a Mustang SVO in the dense Georgia woods. No such cars emerged, and it’s probably a good thing as I picked up a serious project a few days ago – you can read about it here – and I still have an Isuzu Trooper in GA waiting for a ride up north as part of my “commission.” This SVO is a low-mileage example listed here on craigslist with a $7,900 asking price and loads of recent maintenance. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Cole for the find. This Mustang SVO is a running, driving example that the seller claims he is using as a daily driver. The list of recent repairs is extensive, including but not limited to: new steering shaft; new radiator and heater hoses; new dash pad; new fuel pump rail and filters; new column ignition switch; replacement hatch shocks; and more. The paint is faded in places but it’s not rusty, and the SVO largely appears to remain in stock condition.

The interior is quite tidy, with only some broken piping to report as major flaws in this photo. The SVO’s got wonderful bucket seats with attractive gray cloth, and there doesn’t appear to be much inside to detract from its original appearance. The seller doesn’t provide much info on the status of the interior, but hopefully, with power windows and locks, the low mileage hasn’t caused those items to cease functioning.

What makes this listing even more attractive is the seller’s willingness to include a running / driving / stopping Thunderbird Turbo Coupe for the asking price, which will provide the next owner with a treasure trove of spare parts. The seller points out that the Thunderbird also has “….the upgraded cooler, fans, computer, serpentine belt system and other items you may want to upgrade on the SVO.” How can you go wrong with an offer like this? Even if you never upgrade the Mustang, you’ll make some of your money back by parting out the Thunderbird. Seems like a win-win to me.

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  1. ChuckF 55chevy

    I’m a Chevy guy, but also car nut, 2nd car being a 69 Super Bee, and having a 65 Mustang 289 4 speed that was fast, so I’ve grown to appreciate these Fox body Mustangs, flipped a 88 GT not too long ago. I think this looks like a good deal for a future collectible. BTW Jeff, congrats on the 16v Benz, a buddy Trent W in NE Indiana had one years ago and loved it, I always wanted one after that but never had the chance, so many cool cars and so little time, but I can’t complain, I have a car hoard just waiting for me to retire in 5.5 years, but who’s counting.

    • Miguel

      Chuck, you say you flipped an ’88 Gt. Were you seriously hurt in the accident?

      • Chuck F 55chevy

        Not that kind of flip, I’m one of those nasty guys that buy cars fix them up, and then I sell them, you know, the dirty rotten Car Flipper. I don’t leave them on the trailer, I actually fix what’s wrong and get them running, the 88 had been sitting a long time, 5 speed with nice wheels, actually didn’t make much on it, had around $1400 in it and took an offer of $2,000, it was a chore just cleaning the interior.

    • Paul Grumsha

      I’ve always wanted to throw a 2.3 t into one of these rwd honeys!

  2. Billy007

    These failed because you could buy a more powerful and reliable HO V8 far cheaper. Nice idea, the tech just wasn’t up to snuff yet for a small turbo.

    • John m leyshon

      I always preferred the 5.0 until i got old. Have a couple of each. The tech was good by 1983 EFI cars. Intercooled variants such as the 87-88 T birds were very reliable. HOWEVER, no chance in hell i would show up at the dealer and choose the turbo 4 over the 5,0 back in the day. Just getting old and love the challenge of tinkering with these old turbos

  3. John m leyshon

    Darn right it’s a nice buy ! Extremely durable, reliable engines. Lima 2.3 with forged pistons, hardened valve seats, ported heads from factory. The engines of these two are the same. The T-bird came with an IHI turbo, spooled up a little quicker than the .63 garrett in the SVO. Own these motors, turbo and N/A in multiple vehicles. Would love to add more…but….I love Mrs. too. She doesn’t love my cars as much as i do (go figure lol). A man’s got to know his limitations…

  4. Todd Zuercher

    Looks like a heck of a deal with the Turbo T-Bird thrown in. I drove my boss’ ’86 a few years back and was disappointed how close together my feet were in the foot box area.

  5. Todd Zuercher

    @TurboCoupe – I agree. I’d like to have nice examples of both of these cars in my dream ’80s garage.

  6. John m leyshon

    The Renault Alliance was car of the year in 1986 !!! What a standard ! Look up “Car of the Year” recipients over history and report back. The AMC Pacer won the “prestigious award in 1975.” Check your head dude. I love my Stangs and would cherish another Turbo Coupe.

    Citing “Car of the Year” awards as a basis for judgement is ridiculous…eeegadds..

  7. John m leyshon

    My bad…Renault won in 1983…1976 Dodge aspen won too lol. Greatest cars ever !!! Wow, even the ’74 and 94 mustangs won it. List of crap…

  8. Metoo

    I would take and drive the T-Bird, but sorry, that are era of mustang was a insult to the brand. They had as much visual appeal as a k-car.

  9. Dean

    I’m ignorant in regard to turbos, but seeing three listed this AM begs the question.
    2 are “intercooled” which I suppose is coolant piping, but the Mustang SVO relies on sucking in outside air through the hood? That also reminds me, I’d like BF to run a follow-up on the Mustang the young shop student put together a while back…

    • Andrew

      The svo hood scoop feeds cooler air through the inter cooler between the turbo and the intake. It doesn’t enter the engine from that scoop. The svo has an air box on the passenger side of the engine compartment. For cooling it is a bottom breather and has a small slot above the bumper cover.

  10. whmracer99

    Although I wouldn’t dismember this SVO, I always thought that one of these cars with a late model ecoboost Mustang drivetrain would be a blast and a great sleeper.


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