Special Service Package Mustangs, more commonly known by the abbreviation “SSP,” were Ford Mustangs ordered for some form or fashion of police or government service. The cars were cheaper, lighter, faster and better handling that most sedans of the era, making them very attractive alternatives to most agencies. In all , over 15,000 SSP Mustangs were ordered between 1982 and 1993. Most of which were returned to stock form after their service, often times, made into race cars. However there were a few lucky ones that either remained intact or have been restored to “in service” condition.
Way back in 2018 after a few “in service” SSP Mustangs showed up at the annual Tennessee Mustang show, Ponies In The Smokies (PITS for short), the event promoters decided some sort of special display was needed in the future to highlight the special Mustangs. Most of the PITS crew had attended the 50th Mustang Anniversary in Charlotte some years prior and remember the large display of SSP Mustangs there and wanted to create something similar. From there the idea was born and it soon became known simply as “The SSP Reunion.” A teaser display was planned and executed in 2019 followed by the reunion in 2020. However, the global pandemic Covid-19 had other plans and forced the cancellation of the entire 2020 event, leaving the PITS crew to postpone the reunion until the 2021 edition of Ponies In The Smokies.
In the end, 28 SSP Mustangs and one 1985 LTD Florida Highway Patrol Car (while not officially an SSP Mustang, the LTD’s shared the same “Fox” chassis as the SSP’s) showed up for the event. Creating the largest number of SSP’s in one place since the previously mentioned 50th anniversary show! The display was one of the highlights of the event for spectators and participants alike all weekend. The awards ceremony on Saturday was kicked off by an SSP Lights display. The convention center overhead lights were dimmed as “Bad Boys” played over the dj’s speakers. Dozens of lights and sirens went off to the delight of the crowd.