Crapwagon Outtake: 1985.5 Ford Mustang SVO
Imagine, if you will, that the beancounters in Dearborn had won the late-80’s battle over the enthusiasts and killed off the V8 Mustang in favor of what became the Probe. Forget the impact on racers and gearheads nationwide; no, the lyrical poet Van Winkle would have spun such different rhymes:
in my SVO
with the sunroof popped
so my hair can blow
It’s been more than 25 years since Ford offered a turbocharged Mustang — and what a classic. It’s the ur-EcoBoost, better known as the SVO with 2.3 turbocharged liters and 205 Pinto ponies. Fewer than 10,000 of these were built between ’84 and ’86. This ’85-and-a-half model was the first to get the better looking “aero” headlamps, rather than the recessed units fitted earlier. For just under $13,000, this 25,000 mile example looks like a steal. There seem to be a few for sale around this price at any given time.
I have to believe these will start appreciating soon. Bear with me: it’s a top-of-the-line Mustang, with a real performance bump over the pedestrian models — so it’s no tape-stripe-special Mustang II “Cobra” limited edition — with enough unique bits that poseurs can’t “build” one from catalogs and junkyards. These will be sought after at the auctions in about ten years, I’d wager.
I have a neighbor that owns an SVO. I don’t know the year, as I’ve only ever seen the rear in the 10 years I’ve lived in the neighborhood. That unmistakable biplane rear spoiler catches my eye as I round the corner every day. I don’t know that it’s moved under its own power in all that time. Shame, really, though I can’t say much. I’m going on about two years immobile on my Miata-shaped garage shelf. Anyhow, I’d love to get behind the wheel and experience an SVO before all of them get parked and polished into oblivion.
Otaku on Jul 18, 2015
Man, I almost bought one of these back in 1989. I remember test driving one at my local Ford dealer in the same color as the one in the above pic. However, my older brother already owned an '87 Mustang GT, so I wanted to go in a slightly different direction. A few weeks later I found a slightly used '86 T-Bird Turbo Coupe. Black on the outside with the bordello red interior, which featured the most comfortable velour power driver's seat I'd ever sat in. It was based on the same familiar Fox chassis as my brother's GT, but it shared the SVO's engine (sans intercooler). It was not quite as powerful or sporty as the Mustang, but the tradeoff gave you greater comfort, a much nicer looking interior, more passenger space (especially in the back seat), better visibility, the ride was a lot less harsh and there was more sound insulation. Basically, it felt like more car for less money. Plus, I really preferred the T-Bird's aero styling over the Mustang's angular appearance. I only kept the car for about eighteen months before circumstances forced me to sell it (for $500 more than I paid for it). Compared to my brother's Mustang, it just seemed to be screwed together with a bit more care. I also appreciated the better gas mileage, the lower insurance costs, and the greatly reduced likelihood of ending up sideways while driving during the winter months. If I ever hit the lottery, my dream project is to find a clean example that's been stored away in a barn or something for about the last thirty years, buy it and then completely customize it, changing out just about every part, except for the seats.
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