Pick of the Day: 1984 Ford Mustang SVO, a Fox-body with turbo power

With distinctive styling and performance tweaks, the hatchback coupe was designed to compete with the Europeans

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The SVO's offset hood scoop feeds air to the turbo intake

You know that Fox-body Mustangs are hitting it when hoon-meister Ken Block looks into turning one into a wildly original custom gymkhana car concept.

Ford was looking ahead when it introduced in 1984 a different kind of performance Mustang, powered by a turbo/intercooled 4-cylinder engine. The Mustang SVO was immediately identifiable by its double-decker rear spoiler and offset hood scoop, which fed air to the intercooler. 

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The Pick of the Day is a 1984 Ford Mustang SVO in bright Silver Metallic and showing just over 34,000 miles on its odometer, which is the actual mileage, according to the Tucson, Arizona, dealer advertising the Mustang on ClassicCars.com.

Designed to compete with sport/performance cars from Europe, the SVO was the top Mustang model when it arrived, priced higher that the V8-powered GT.  It was loaded with gear focused on power and handling, with its 2.3-liter turbocharged engine fed through a 5-speed manual transmission and a Traction-Lok rear, and stopping power provided by Mustang’s first application of 4-wheel disc brakes on a production car.

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The turbo engine cranked out 175 horsepower, which might not sound impressive these days but it was quite awesome in the performance-deprived ’80s.  And the Fox-body Mustang is a lightweight car, so it will go.  The dreaded turbo lag can be an issue for the unwary, but it can be overcome through experience (this from a former Saab 900 Turbo driver).

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This SVO is apparently a good-running car that’s ready to drive, according to the dealer. It’s also well-documented.

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“The car was serviced within the last 500 miles,” the ad says. “This Mustang SVO is offered with a Deluxe Marti Report that includes a copy of the window sticker and a clean Carfax report. 

“Factory equipment includes an AM/FM/cassette stereo, power accessories and air conditioning, as well as SVO-specific items such as a three-spoke steering wheel, a Hurst shifter, dash badging. It also has a premium fuel switch nicknamed the ‘Turbo Switch,’ which when flipped to Premium Fuel increases the turbo boost by 3 to 4 pounds.”


There’s no word in the ad as to whether this Mustang is an all-original survivor, although it seems as if it might be by its condition, as shown in the photos with the ad.

The asking price for this fun sports coupe is just $13,500, which seems like a striking bargain especially with all the love that Fox bodies are getting these days.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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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.

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