Before The Fast and The Furious: Ex-DEA 1990 Ford Mustang LX 5.0L Special Service Package

  • March 03, 2021
The Rundown
  • Original High-Specification SSP Car
  • Formerly Used by the DEA
  • 41k Seller-Stated Miles
  • 225hp, 5.0L V8 Engine
  • Ford AOD 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Select Upgrades w/ Overall Stock Appearance
Why We Like It

High-performance may as well have been a four-letter word for much of the 1970s, but the Ford faithful were soon rewarded for their patience by 1982 with the mid-season arrival of the new Mustang GT. Ford advertisements proclaimed “The Boss is Back” in magazines and the new GT was a pretty hot pony with 302ci V8 power. While boasting just 157 factory-rated ponies, the new “H.O. 5.0L V8” powering the Mustang GT was massaged by Ford engineers with a more aggressive cam, lower restriction exhaust, and police-spec twin-snorkel air cleaner. Since Ford had been a longtime player in the police/service vehicle market, a Special Service Package (SSP) Mustang was first available in 1982. As with the “normal” Mustang GT, Ford engineers progressively updated the SSP cars and elevated their performance and durability with the full range of factory available performance features and options, plus select upgrades for enhanced durability in extreme use.

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The advent of the 210hp/5.0L engine, replete with factory headers and a hydraulic roller cam, made the SSP Mustang into a four-wheeled linebacker capable of running the baddies down. Further upgrades including fuel injection by 1987 netted 225hp and 140 mph potential with police radios and emergency gear. Other SSP features include the businesslike LX trim level, plus heavy-duty front seats, full-size spare, and certified calibration speedo, while fat Goodyear “Gatorback” tires and ventilated 15x7 alloy wheels plant the SSP’s power. State police departments were big fleet buyers of SSP Mustangs and even the DEA got into the act; however, these police-type cars were easily identified and likely would never have been suitable for stealthy undercover work. While interior space is limited, the SSP Mustang gave police and law-enforcement agencies a worthy mount for high-speed pursuits.

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This 1990 Ford Mustang LX 5.0L Special Service Package car is reportedly an ex-DEA vehicle from new to 2004 that comes to market with just 41k seller-stated miles. As a 1990 model, it includes the certified calibration 160mph speedometer, which the car should be capable of approaching (at least to 140-145mph) flat out. The seller advises the car has been upgraded with 1993 Mustang Cobra disc brakes, Ford Motorsports “shorty” headers, and a new AOD Monster transmission with paperwork. The seller advises they have owned this rust-free SSP for the past 15 years, and it retains factory VIN tags, while a CD player, cruise control, and other options yield an enjoyable drive. A Viper alarm system prevents theft and includes remote starting.

Valuation Verdict

The seller knows the gem they have and advises they only want reasonable offers or trades plus cash. While the ask is far higher than price guide values and many recent sales of more “garden variety” 5.0L Mustang LX models, this SSP is obviously more interesting and rarer, provided there is necessary supporting documentation. Perhaps a Marti Report or inquiries of Ford Motor Company might yield results, unless the seller has an original window sticker or sale paperwork. Mileage is surprisingly low, and its rust-free body is an additional benefit. If condition checks out in a visual inspection, it should find a new home, even if the seller’s asking price is fairly high in relation to non-SSP cars, guiding us to consider this one well sold and to challenge you to find another one.

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