HomePick of the DayRare, low-mileage '86 Ford Mustang SVO

Rare, low-mileage ’86 Ford Mustang SVO


“Unique, low-production cars are like buried treasure: you know they’re out there, but they’re almost impossible to find.”

So begins the ad from a Charlotte, North Carolina, dealer that introduces the Pick of the Day, a 1986 Ford Mustang SVO hatchback coupe said to be a true low-mileage survivor with just 11,027 miles on the odometer.

The SVO targeted drivers of European sports cars

“Living each of its 31 years as a treasured authentic, this Ford is absolutely one of the finest Fox body survivors on the planet,” the seller says in the colorful listing on “And with a price that’s lower than a showroom-fresh Fiesta, it’s going to disappear faster than gold bars on a pirate’s ship!”

The Mustang SVO – which stands for Ford’s performance-focused Special Vehicle Operations Department – was a departure from the usual big-V8 trajectory of hot pony cars. This one was directed at fans of lighter, nimbler European sports cars, and was powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine boosted to 205 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque by an intercooled Garrett T3 turbocharger.

“Instead of brute force and big displacement, the Mustang SVO used a race-bred turbo 4-cylinder to command a sophisticated, performance-tuned suspension that was bolted beneath a luxurious, Euro-inspired cockpit and tweaked aesthetics,” the seller wrote.

The Mustang rides on a tuned suspension

The SVO is equipped with a Borg Warner five-speed manual with a Hurst shifter, Traction-Lok posi-traction rear, Koni suspension, quick-ratio steering and four-wheel vented disc brakes. A set of Goodyear Eagle Sports are mounted on 16-inch Enkei wheels – the original wheels and tires come with the car.

This Mustang SVO seems special indeed, and from the photos with the ad, looks to be in as-new condition as befitting its ultra-low mileage. The car comes with full documentation, including its original window sticker, warranty card, owner’s guide and accessory literature, the seller says.

Priced at $21,900, this rare survivor could be something of a steal for any Ford fanatic.

The sporty interior looks unused

“Mustang SVO production lasted a mere three years and, because of the model’s specialized nature, was very exclusive,” the seller concludes. “This ’86 SVO was the last, and some would say best, of vintage 4-cylinder pony-car performance.

“And with roughly 11K miles on 100 percent original equipment, the car would be right at home in any serious Mustang collection.”

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day



Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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