The Police Package - 1982-1993 Ford Mustang Special Service Package 

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1982-1993 Ford Mustang SSP

1982-1993 Ford Mustang Special Service Package.
The Ford Mustang Special Service Package (SSP), "This Ford chases Porsches for a living" was an advertising slogan used in the mid 1980's to promote the law enforcement Mustang. The FOX platform Ford Mustang was introduced to the retail market in 1979, based on the same platform as the Ford Fairmont introduced in 1978. The Fairmont had been available with a police package since 1978. In 1979 the California Highway Patrol conducted a research test to identify alternative vehicles for highway patrol use into in the 1980s. They were aware that the full sized, big block engined police vehicles were ending production, and the new police vehicles lacked the performance of their predecessors. One type of vehicle tested in 1979 was the sports coupe, a group of 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28s prepared by General Motors using heavy duty components from the Chevrolet Nova Police package. While the Camaros had quality problems, the CHP determined that a small sports coupe would make a good traffic enforcement vehicle. In 1982 the CHP put out bids and specifications, both the 302-ci V8 Mustang and the 350-ci V8 Camaro qualified for the strict CHP performance standards. Chevrolet answered with a bid of $11,445, and Ford bid 6,868. Ford won the bid, and the CHP purchased 400 Mustangs, with 5 of the Mustangs being hatchbacks, and the rest the notch back coupes (2). The first year of 1982  Ford 1982, the Mustang was equipped with a 157 hp 302-ci HO 2bbl V8, with Mustang GT suspension, GT steering, and Fairmont brakes and wheels.(1). According to Ford Fleet brochures of the time " The special service vehicle does not meet Ford Motor Company durability requirements for police packages, and recommended use is for high speed, high-way traffic law enforcement service." The SSP Mustang was based on the Ford Mustang LX, with added heavy duty parts specifically for law enforcement use. Automatic of manual transmissions were available. By 1983, additional police agencies began to follow the CHP's lead, with  state police and highway patrol agencies ordering the Mustang SSP in 1983. (1)  Ford 1983, the Mustang got a new grill, that carried on into the 1984 model. Ford 1985, and carried over to 1986, the Mustang had the same quad headlights as before, with a grill-less front, with a plastic piece between the headlights. Front end style would be updated again in 1987 with composite headlights.  For 1983 the Mustang SSP received a 4bbl carb that boosted the horsepower to 175 hp for the 5.0  HO V8. (1) Ford 1984, two versions of the 5.0 engine were offered, a central fuel injected engine that produced 165 hp, and a Holley 4 bbl engine, now with 205 hp. (1). 1985 saw inprovements to the engien again, with the 5.0 4 bbl version rsing to 210 hp, and the fuel injected version up to 180 hp. (1) In 1986, a sequential fuel enjected engine with 200 hp replaced both of the prior engines. (1). 1987 saw another increase in performance to 225 hp. In 1991 Chevrolet began to offer a special service package on it's Camaro, giving the Mustang serious competion in the law eneforcement market. the Mustang SSP would carry on until the 1993 model year with no major changes. As the 1994 Mustang was a nearly completely new car, and the performance of police package sedans had greatly increased (Chevrolet Caprice LT1 for example), there was no longer a need for the Mustang SSP.

(1) Sanow, Edwin J (1997) Ford Police Cars, Motorbooks International