Modified Mustangs & Fords
They Come, They Go! - 1992 SSP Mustang LX
And How Do They Go? Pretty Well, Thank You.
By the not-quite-tender age of 28, Alex Mooney has seen about two dozen vehicles pass through his hands. A few off-brand products spent some time in his driveway, such as a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T with a 440 engine and four-speed gearbox, as well as a 1970 Challenger R/T SE with the 383 mill and a four-speed.Beyond this, when you live in the Sunflower State of Kansas, trucks are a matter of life. They wander through your life like nomads among the sand dunes, sometimes making a short-term impression that is soon lost tothe passing winds.
Those winds. most likely, were created by the procession of Mustangs that Alex has seen over the years. Between the GTs, coupes and LXs he's had, the total is something like 10 or 12 according to the robotics automation programmer. We present one of his current holdings - a 1992 ex-police car that has evolved from a mildly modified pony car into a street stallion of wicked capability.
Alex came by this Mustang in a manner that some might think a bit curious, but it's a story similar to many we've told before. After seeing a photo of the car, Alex called the owner and made a deal for his current 1990 GT and some cash. With that, Alex and his buddy, Demetrius, hopped into the his GT and drove three hours out of their home base in Mission, KS, to see the Pony. The deal didn't take long to complete. In Alex's own words, "He opened the garage door and I saw the trunk and rear of the car and said 'Sold'. The car had a stock 302, Powerdyne [supercharger], stock suspension, stock drivetrain with a gear and SSM bars. That was it."
With that, they swapped wheels and tires between the two cars and left. It wasn't until part way home that Alex realized the speedometer topped out at 160 mph - he already loved the car and now found that it was an ex-police car as well. Because of this, it had originally been delivered with what Ford called the 'Special Service Package', or SSP option. That package included a number of heavy duty features, including reinforced floor pans, heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars, stainless steel factory headers and dual exhaust system with stainless tips, automatic transmission fluid cooler (if so equipped), engine oil cooler, aircraft-type silicone radiator hoses and clamps, 5-liter HO V-8 engine with sequential multi-port fuel injection, roller cam and forged pistons (until 1993). The floor reinforcement and heavy duty components throughout make these SSP vehicles prized finds among performance enthusiasts, particularly road racers. Virtually all police Mustangs built were notchbacks and most were automatics, so the officer could have a hand free to manage other tasks.
One of the nicest things about Mustangs, of course, is the bounty of performance parts available and the open nature of what you can do with them. Certainly, a good number of enthusiasts pursue the 1320 competition route, but others choose the paths less travelled. For Alex, his particular route didn't really have a name. Well, perhaps it was called "...trying to have fun wherever I was driving it." The amazing thing about not putting labels on things, though, is the freedom from the restrictions those labels come with.
So, through the past six years, this car has evolved on an almost continuous basis. Alex says that he has gone through "several engines, two rear ends, two transmissions and a slew of wheel/tire combinations." Even the current engine has evolved over time. For a couple of years after getting the car, it did duty as a daily driver. When another driver appeared at his house, duties were shared for a while, but then the modifications started getting semi-serious. Earlier this year, it was making 313 RWHP and 335 RWTQ. On that basis, Alex was able to crank out 12-second runs, with the best trip showing a 12.40 @ 109 mph.