HomePick of the DayTurbo-4 1986 Ford Mustang SVO

Turbo-4 1986 Ford Mustang SVO


Looking to jump into the collector car hobby? Here’s a great way to gain entrance with a car that is inexpensive yet interesting and that would be plenty of fun to own and drive.

The Pick of the Day is a 1986 Ford Mustang SVO fastback that packs the automaker’s first turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The turbo Mustang first appeared with the model changeover in 1979, and by 1986 had become powerful and refined, with the 2.3-liter engine producing 200 horsepower.

Twin rear spoilers were a period favorite

Not too shabby for this lightweight pony car, which also shows the favorable styling evolution of the Fox body form, including a uniquely designed front end, an aggressive-looking offset scoop on its hood and twin air foils in back. As an SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) model, the limited-edition Mustang also benefits from a sport suspension, quick-ratio steering and added premium features.

“The advantage of getting a car from the SVO team meant it was built by engineers who wanted to make the best performance machine around,” says the Concord, North Carolina, dealer advertising the Mustang on ClassicCars.com. “That’s why this special Mustang is much more than just bolting on a turbo.

The offset air scoop feeds the turbo

“We believe the 2.3-liter turbocharged, and intercooled, four-cylinder engine is original, and we know it’s both smart and tough. This is a computer-controlled unit that was given beefed-up internals to handle even more boost than the engineers were dialing in. Ford liked to tout that this turbo motor was just like a V8, and they were not far off considering this Mustang made as much horsepower as it stablemate 5.0 GT.

“But what made the difference of the SVO was that it had a true European flair on the road. That comes from features like the four-wheel disc brakes, Koni shocks, McPherson strut front suspension, and quad shock rear end. Plus, there were other great driving features such as the Borg Warner five-speed manual transmission, versatile 3.73 rear gears, and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.”

The sporty interior is fitted with SVO upgrades

The interior has a special SVO sport steering wheel, Hurst short-throw shifter, full array of gauges and SVO seats. The car is fully equipped with power features that add a dose of luxury to the sports coupe.

The “rare value-priced sleeper,” as the seller calls the Mustang, is a two-owner car with fewer than 78,000 miles showing on its odometer. The car came from longtime original ownership until the current owner rescued it from a garage and got it going again.

These SVO Mustangs originally cost nearly double the base models at Ford dealerships, but this one is priced at an enticing $8,995 for a quick, rare and eye-catching car. Or, as the dealer says, “the price for this low-batch collectible can’t be beat.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, 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 SPEED.com, 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.


  1. Much of the SVO Mustang was designed and engineered at Creative Industries of Detroit. The fellow who designed the special NACA-style hood scoop is a good friend of many years.


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