History of the Special Service Package (SSP) Ford Mustang

1982 – California Highway Patrol Mustang

In 1982, the California Highway Patrol requested Mustangs from Ford to test as high speed enforcement vehicles. Big block police cars were now a thing of the past, and the full-size Ford Crown Victoria’s were underpowered for pursuit duty. The California Highway Patrol had performed an 18-month test of the 1979 Chevy Camaro (see more HERE), but chose to not keep them as part of their fleet.

The California Highway Patrol ended up with 406 Mustangs in 1982. Five (5) of those were hatchbacks. These vehicles were equipped with:

  • 5.0L Engine
  • 4-Speed manual transmission
  • Calibrated Certified speedometer, 2MPH increment, 140 MPH
  • Single-key locking (one key fits all)
  • Full-size spare tire
  • Radio noise suppression package
  • Relocated deck lid release
  • California Highway Patrol’s black and white paint scheme. 
  • 1983 – 1993 Ford Offers the ‘Special Service Package’ Mustang

    1983-1985:

    In 1983, Ford made the Mustang available to other law enforcement agencies as a ‘Special Service Package’ (SSP). 

    The 1983-1985 Special Service Package included:

  • 5.0L Engine
  • Automatic or 5-Speed manual transmission option (1983 had an additional 4-Speed option)
  • Calibrated Certified speedometer, 2MPH increment, 140 MPH
  • 2-piece VASCAR speedometer cable
  • Single-key locking (one key fits all)
  • Radio noise suppression package
  • Relocated deck release
  • Full size spare
  • 1986-1988:

    Note: Ford switched the SSP rear axle from the 7.5-Inch rear end to the 8.8-Inch rear end in 1986.

    The 1986-1988 Special Service Package included:

  • 5.0L Engine
  • Automatic or 5-Speed manual transmission option (1983 had an additional 4-Speed option)
  • Calibrated Certified speedometer, 2MPH increment, 140 MPH
  • 2-piece VASCAR speedometer cable
  • Single-key locking (one key fits all)
  • Radio noise suppression package
  • Relocated deck release
  • Full size spare
  • Air deflector, lower front radiator
  • Silicone hoses
  • Front disc brake rotor shields
  • Reinforced front floor pan
  • Aircraft type radiator/heater hose clamps
  • Heater hose inlet restrictor
  • Automatic transmission external oil cooler (1988)
  • HD 15×7 steel wheels (1985-1986)
  • Optional Blackout 15×7 cast wheels (1987-1988)
  • Cast aluminum 10 hole 15×7 wheels (1987-1988)
  • Engine/trunk compartment light (1986-1988)
  • Kevlar drive belts (1986-1988)
  • HD belt tensioner (1986-1988)
  • Transistorized voltage regulator (1986-1988)
  • 1989-1993:

    The 1989-1993 Special Service Package included:

  • 5.0L Engine
  • Automatic or 5-Speed manual transmission option (1983 had an additional 4-Speed option)
  • Calibrated Certified speedometer, 2MPH increment, 140 MPH (1989)
  • Calibrated Certified speedometer, 2MPH increment, 160MPH (1990-1993)
  • 2-piece VASCAR speedometer cable
  • Single-key locking (one key fits all)
  • Radio noise suppression package
  • Relocated deck release
  • Full size spare
  • Air deflector, lower front radiator
  • Silicone hoses
  • Front disc brake rotor shields
  • Reinforced front floor pan
  • Aircraft type radiator/heater hose clamps
  • Heater hose inlet restrictor
  • Automatic transmission external oil cooler
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Cast aluminum 10 hole 15×7 wheels
  • Optional Blackout 15×7 cast wheels (1989)
  • End of Service:

    Sadly, 1993 was the last year for the SSP Mustang. Ford did not include it in the new Mustang platform for 1994. Ford produced nearly 15,000 of these Mustangs from 1982-1993. All SSP Mustangs, except for (5) 1982 hatchbacks produced for the California Highway Patrol, were coupe or ‘notchback’ style cars.

    There are many people out there now that search for these vehicles and restore them. Some even restore them back to their in-service condition (with lights and markings) and display them in shows.

    Paint Codes:

    Need to know what the original color of your car was?

    Ford Mustang Paint Codes