Car Catcher: Former Florida Highway Patrol 1989 Ford Mustang

What's so special about this 1989 Ford Mustang LX? It comes equipped with the Special Service Package, a trim that was available to anyone, so long as you were the police.

Even though many SSP Mustangs were uniquely configured for the departments that ordered them, all came with a V8 and options to better suit it to the rigors of keeping the peace: beefier engine oil cooler, heavy-duty alternators and calibrated speedometers.

This particular example was formerly owned by the Florida Highway Patrol, and even sports a manual transmission.

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porsche_resort New Reader
3/4/20 3:17 p.m.

Love this Mustang. We bought the 1988 version used from a private party in NC in 1989 with 110,000 miles. Never was a police car but was specked by a NASCAR mechanic new for his sister who was a traveling sales person in the hill back country. Lots of hilly twisty roads with short passing zones. Very effective car for that purpose, especially with the 5 speed and big tires. Ours is white with blue cloth interior. Same phone dial wheels but clear coated. 

Drove it home to WI directly after purchase. Stopped by in Indianapolis to view the museum and coincidentally hit a day with an short open track session. For a small fee and speed limit of course was able to loop the track. What a thrill! That's a big imposing loop at 60 mph.

The car was our daily driver year round in Northern WI for 15 years. Amazing what a well balanced high powered (for the time) car can do in deep snow with proper tires and sand bags in the trunk.

We retired it to summer only driving in 2004. Hard to believe that was 16 years ago. So much fun to drive around the north woods in the summer. The car has logged 550,000 miles over her life so far; engine has never been opened. During an engine pull in 1995 for a rusted through oil pan replacement and motor mounts the guys asked if we wanted to replace the clutch and throw out bearing. No brainer-"sure". They called back the next day and said they could replace the clutch if we wanted, but it really didn't need it. We said with a smile"go ahead anyway." That was around 450,000 miles. Currently on the fifth dual exhaust system. Luckily bought a "lifetime" system first time around. Everyone laughs when I call to make an appointment for another free replacement.

Worse that has happened is that she has harvested 2 deer with commensurate front end body work and 1 total repaint. Fact of life up here. Our town of 2500 has 5 body shops that are all busy. 

Quite the car.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/4/20 8:11 p.m.

Impressive. Very impressive.

Photos? Love to see it. 

porsche_resort New Reader
3/4/20 9:55 p.m.

Thanks for the comment. Best I can do for now from last fall. In winter storage right now with her buddies. Summer use is usually for bicycling outings so always set up with racks and box. Very little room inside. surprise

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/5/20 8:54 a.m.

Thanks. Such a classic shape. 

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