The 1980s found horsepower on the rise again. And with it, speed. While in the early 80s muscelcars were still reeling from the dark days of the 1970s, there were plenty of other models on the road capable of easily outrunning the standard-fare Caprice and Crown Victoria police cruisers of the day. Law enforcement needed something different, something capable, and something that could catch these high powered cars, without breaking local budgets for new police vehicles.
After trying out the Camaro and experiencing engine problems during high speed pursuits —namely camshaft failures, California turned to Ford for an answer. The SSP, or Special Service Package was developed by Ford for the Fox Mustang based on the LX 5.0 coupe. Available with a manual or automatic transmission, these cars became the nemesis of speeders nationwide. The SSP also went for use in other non-law enforcement roles, including helping land U2 spy planes.
The SSP package carried with it a variety of features that made it unique from the Mustangs the public could buy off showroom floors, and more user friendly to law enforcement.
These features included:
- Certified calibration speedometer, with two piece cable
- Relocated trunk release (located on dash)
- Single key operation of door locks, ignition, and trunk
- Silicone Goodyear coolant hose kit
- Reinforced floor pans
- Engine oil cooler
- 130 amp high output alternator
- Full size spare tire
- Engine oil cooler
- Automatic transmission oil cooler (auto models)
- *It is also rumored that many SSP cars came with 3.55 rear ring and pinion.
Today SSP cars are a rare sight, although they are popular with collectors and you can usually find at least one at most major Mustang shows. Whether you have a SSP Mustang of your own, or you’re just a fan, our friend Jim Gerdom over at Design Factory Art has captured the car in a limited edition print.
We’ve featured Gerdom’s work before, and this masterpiece immortalizes the 1988 SSP Mustang as it was decked out by the California High Patrol. Prints of Gerdom’s work are available for purchase now in sizes 12×24 and 20×40. These prints will be limited to 1,988 copies of the 12×24 and 200 copies of the 20×40.
The prints are available now and like pretty much all of Gerdom’s work would be a great addition to any man cave, office, or other place where Mustang enthusiasts gather in your home or place of business. Be sure to check this one out as well as Gerdom’s other work at the Design Factory Art web-site.