Please don’t call it a Mach 1.
This rare Canadian police Mustang could become your next trusty steed
Today, it’s common to think of Ford Mustangs as the vehicles being stopped by police for galloping a little too hard. (Particularly while leaving cars and coffee.) But that wasn’t always the case—at one time, it was the Mustang that was laying down the law.
In 1982, Ford tossed police forces the keys to specially-prepared Fox-body Mustangs—the car that, according to old Ford advertisements, chased Porsches for a living. It was called the Mustang SSP, short for Special Service Package. While the majority of these cars ended up patrolling American highways, a few—32, to be exact—wound up in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). One such car is listed for sale at Mecum’s 2020 Indianapolis auction, and we’re seriously digging it. (Mecum’s Indy auction is scheduled for May 12-17 and, according to the company website, has not of this writing been postponed or canceled.)
The SSP package was essentially a notchback Fox-body LX with a host of upgrades to tough it up for municipal use. Upgrades included an engine oil cooler, silicone radiator hoses and aircraft-style clamps, 130- or 135-amp heavy-duty alternators, reinforced floor pans, and for those with automatic transmissions, a transmission fluid cooler.
The car in question is not an automatic—this officer was rowing his own while in pursuit of the baddies. The five-speed manual pairs with a fuel-injected 5.0-liter V-8 engine that was good for a hefty 225 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, enough to have a prayer at keeping up with those reckless enough to evade pursuit.
This SSP is a 1989 model-year example, proudly sporting the RCMP blue and white livery. The patrol lights are still affixed to the top of the vehicle, and according to the Mecum listing, the radio, sirens, and lights inside still work. There’s even what appears to be a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun affixed to the mount inside, although I’d suspect that the weapon is included strictly in the promotional photos, deactivated, or perhaps only included in the sale if the proper legal channels are followed. Further information on the listing reveals that the police pony car was one of just four SSP Mustangs delivered for the Saskatchewan force. The listing traces the SSP to Corporal Brad Popowich, who was the officer originally assigned to it. Corporal Popowich, if you’re reading this, we’ve found your trusty steed.
So what is such a cop car worth? According to Hagerty valuation expert Greg Ingold, these sorts of cars don’t tend to wildly outperform their civilian-issue counterparts. “We’ve seen some Camaro and Mustang police cars, and we’ve never noticed a huge difference in price compared to a base car in similar condition,” he explains. According to the Hagerty Valuation Tools, a #2 (Excellent) condition 1989 Fox-body LX commands $7600 on average.
Don’t discount the role that this car’s specific history might have on its eventual sale price, however. Here’s Ingold again:
“This SSP has a combination of cool and niche that could prove compelling. That it’s one of just 32 Canadian SSPs adds another layer of rarity; that it’s one of just four from Saskatchewan adds yet another layer. Each layer of rarity can potentially add more value to the right buyer.”
Would you want a police car in your collection? Let us know in the Hagerty Forums below.