The words “Special Vehicle Operations” connote a top-secret feeling, evoking a sense of mystery and illusion. When the SVO name was coined at Ford Motor Company in 1981, its association went hand-in-hand with one Mustang in particular that the racing division had been engineering behind the scenes. That car soon became known as a performance standout for its time.
The Mustang SVO, sold between model years 1984 and 1987, boasted horsepower numbers similar to the 5.0-liter V8-powered Mustang, but with half the number of cylinders.
Based upon the third-generation “Fox Body” platform, the SVO received some special tweaks. A functional off-center hood scoop added to the aesthetic appeal, and the biplane-style rear spoiler provided aero at the rear.
But most importantly, the SVO was equipped with a 2.3-liter turbocharged and intercooled inline-four, so the SVO had the go to back up its show. Power was rated at 175 horsepower, routed through a 5-speed manual transmission.
“The car is a true survivor with only 33k documented miles,” the seller states, adding that the paint is original and in exceptional condition.
“With exception of the A/C, which is R12 and needs a recharge, everything on the car works, down to the clock and original stereo,” the seller adds.
It’s clear from the photo gallery that this Mustang has been enthusiast-owned, and the exterior, interior and underside show how well it’s been cared for.
The attention to detail that Ford’s engineers put into the Mustang SVO extends not only to the engine bay but to some special interior touches. A “fuel grade” switch on the dashboard allows the driver to adjust the vehicle’s performance level based depending on whether the vehicle is running premium gasoline.
The Borg-Warner transmission came with a standard Hurst shifter. The 85-mph speedometer curiously leaves a lot of unmarked space. Perhaps Ford was giving a subtle suggestion that the car is fully capable of speeds in excess of that number.
With neo-classic 1980s and 1990s cars gaining attention in the collector arena, Fox Body Mustangs are enjoying some renewed attention. Collectors will be hard-pressed to find a better example than this one. The seller is asking $8,500.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.