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Home Spotlight Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1984 Ford Mustang SVO turbocharged ‘special vehicle’

Pick of the Day: 1984 Ford Mustang SVO turbocharged ‘special vehicle’

The Fox Body coupe from Ford’s racing engineers is a low-mileage original

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. 

mustang

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1984 Ford Mustang SVO listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in North Dinwiddie, Virginia. 

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.

mustang

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.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Correction; the SVO Mustang was sold between 1984-1986. There was no 1987 model due to slow sales in comparison to the GT.
    Otherwise that price is really pretty good for this car! I’ve seen the SVO sell for much more than that. But then I thought thought those sellers were crazy too.

  2. Had a friend with a 85′ SVO fox body. I thought it had a Yamaha motor in it.
    Are you aware of any SVO’s with a Yamaha engine or am I nuts.

  3. I’ve put a fair amount of miles on this particular model and year, only Black and fully loaded with every option possible. The car I felt for its time was truly exceptional, what a joy to drive. The 85mph speedo, well I can tell you with fact the car did well better than that. It’s handling was exceptional as well. The turbo, when she spun up with a very slight delay made you feel like you were sitting at the end of a whip, once engaged you accelerated into warp speed, enough so an inexperienced driver could easily wrap it around a maple tree. I can’t state that enough. For the price of this example, I feel it’s worth every penny and wouldn’t be disappointed.

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