First In Harm's Way
Ford's SSP (Special Service Package) was available on the Mustang from the 1982 through 1993 model years. It provided a lighter weight and faster pursuit vehicle, that was distinctly different from the four-door sedans of the day. Many aspects of the vehicle were upgraded to handle the rigors of public life. One upgrade that makes these cars particularly attractive for enthusiast use was the reinforcement of the floor to make the unit body structure more durable. All police cars of the time were body-on-frame construction, so some attention had to be paid to this area. This accommodation for extreme use also makes the SSP cars suitable for competition duty. The Mustang conversion series that we ran, starting in the June 2006 issue (See "Cop Car Caper") was an ex-police car.
The SSP Mustangs saw wide service during the decade through which they were produced. In addition to municipal and state police use, they were also found in service of a number of federal departments as well. Among these were the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol, Customs Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Perhaps the most unusual use of the cars on record is as chase vehicles for the U-2 'spy plane'. Due to challenges associated with landing the aircraft, a second pilot would chase the plane during landing and help guide it onto the runway. The SSP cars saw service from the mid-1980's - when they replaced Chevy El Camino's - until the late 1990's, when Camaros became the favored ride.
The U-2 planes, built by Lockheed, are still in service today. However, they are scheduled to be stood down over a four-year period beginning in 2007. Military reconnaissance duties are expected to be taken up UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicles), commonly called 'drones'.
Alex Mooney's 1992 SSP Mustang LX
Ford 5-liter V8
Edelbrock cylinder heads, modified for valve job and port matching; Cam Motion camshaft; Ford Racing 1.72 roller rocker arms, 42 lb. fuel injectors, 9mm ignition wires; Engine block bored .030 over for 306 cid displacement by DSS Racing; Holley Systemax intake manifold; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; ATI Procharger D1SC supercharger, intercooler, 4.25 pulley; BBK 1-5/8" long tube headers, H-pipe; Spintech 2.5" mufflers; MSD 6AL ignition controller, Blaster ignition coil; NGK spark plugs; Cometic head gaskets; Tuning by MC Racing; Flexalite cooling fan
Tremec 3550 5-speed manual transmission; Steeda Tri-Ax shifter; Auburn Pro-Gear differential
Interior / Exterior
Chromoly roll cage by Steel Concepts; Auto Meter Phantom gauges, including monster tach, fuel pressure, boost, water temperature, oil pressure
Saleen body kit, including front and rear fascia and side skirts
AJE front K-member; Megabite Jr. rear lower control arms
AJE front coilover conversion; Lakewood 90/10 front struts
Wheels And Tires
Centerline Telstar wheels, 15 x 8" in rear with M/T 26 x 11.50 tires, skinnies up front
496 RWHP, 437 RWTQ
Best Et To Date: 12.40 @ 109 mph
Special thanks to Dorian for all the help on the car. Also, major thanks to Nick and Matt of MC Racing for helping me out; to Travis Homan for giving me such a hard time that I deserved, and thanks to Irwin for all the help when I first had the car.