…Chases Porsches for a Living…
I took my bone stock ’90 LX 5 speed up to an indicated 138 mph, on the(new for ’90) 140 mph cop speedometer. I never said “I buried it.” A few years ago, I was on a forum where an ex-cop said he took his Mustang up to….138 mph.
Probably speed was electronically limited. That was different from the Chrysler A38 pursuit package cars with the 440 police engine. They had a special electronic ignition module which was not limited…and the 440 in the CHP 1978 Monacos did not have Lean Burn.
You’re probably right. The car, at that speed, tracked like a freight train. No vibration at all, as I had just had an alignment, and the V-rated, Goodyear Gatorbacks spun-balanced. The car had about 6K on it, at the time.
Seat back wasn’t adjustable, instead the whole seat had to be moved over a buckled rail. This was really embarrasing and I wonder how the cops managed this on a daily basis. I simply cannot believe that they liked this Mustang.
I borrowed this Mustang from time to time from a friend, but was always relieved when I had the “real” seats of my MB W123.
Pretty much typical of base-level trim in American cars of the time, and police departments usually ordered by low bid (no power seats).
Low bid was how the Mustang got the CHP order over Chevrolet’s Camaro, which had also been tested and qualified.
As for other-brand seats, everyone’s butt is individual. Mine always got sore after longish drives in my Dad’s Mercedes 300SD seats. Chrysler seats got harder under Daimler…and I still prefer the ones in my 1995 Dodge Intrepid over my much newer DaimlerChrysler product.
CHP did order the Camaro one year. Main operational complaint was ground clearance. Doing a U-turn across a dirt median was sometimes a problem.
Ah memories. Had one of these I converted to a drag car and ran from late 90s to 2010 or so. My email address pays tribute to it. 83ssp as in 83 Special Service package. Great light platform for a drag car. Had I thought about how rare these were j wouldn’t have done that to it but had great fun with it. Had it running 10.50s when I parted it out. By that time my son was 7 and I wasn’t really racing anymore. Plus the doors did not sit even in the tops of the frames due to 10 years of flexing on launch. All that I have left of it now is the Buck tag. Thanks for the cool ad/post.
One of the great things about MotorWeek is how well they documented emergence from Malaise. The Mustangs and Camaros got much faster very quickly in MotorWeek’s era. The “Shootout at high noon” is particularly embarrassing when you look at performance numbers.
I’m not sure that 1984 was really something to worry about yet. Now the 1988 225-hp EFI HO, yes. But a sickly 157-hp in 1982…
You have to remember that in 1980 and 1981 the only V8 was the 255 with 119/120hp, and a lot of us thought the 302 was gone from the Mustang for good. The Mustang of course wasn’t alone with decreasing displacement and power.
“Yeah, 79 will be the end of the road, If you want horse power overload”.
157hp may seem pretty anemic today but it represented 30% boost from the V8 from 1981 and 13% boost in HP over the last 302 that was available in 1979. So increasing displacement and HP per liter was a big deal and the beginning of the end of the Malaise era. The Mustang continued to lead the charge with a ~70% gain in HP from 120 to 225 in 7 model years.
These were known colloquially as a ‘trunk’ and were quite popular among the street/drag racing crowd, becoming something akin to the shoebox Chevy of the eighties and nineties. An ex-pursuit vehicle could be had for not a whole lot at many police auctions.
Like the old Chevy, they ran well, even in box-stock form, and responded positively to relatively easy, cheap, and widely-available performance mods. Even today, I’d say they’re a solid choice for someone looking for the best bang-for-the-buck value.
I also remember the pastel color CHP Mustangs on I5 “Grapevine”. Technically “marked” but harder to spot in traffic.
Were these the high speed pursuit cars the CHP had to train the officers how to use clutches in ? .
IIRC these had a 5 speed manual box and many young officers had never driven a manual tranny car before this .
Two generations ago, a lot more people could drive a manual transmission. I’m sure being issued one of these was voluntary anyway.
Somehow I never put it together that that these early pursuit Mustangs were equipped with real steelies and real dog dish center caps, the later ones simply used the 5.0 10 hole aluminum wheels painted black with a polished center cap. Looks cool
I used to watch worlds wildest police chases when it was on Fox in the 90s, and every now and then they had footage of these pursuit Mustangs in action They looked like a caped crusader swoop into the scene from the dash cams of whatever sedan was filming. I’ve had a thing for the notchbacks ever since.
Why didn’t Ford just put the same mechanical bits into the Fairmont or Fox LTD? It couldn’t have been that hard, and it would have been much better suited for police duty and nearly as fast.
They did, into the LTD LX. Not sure why it wasn’t taken up more…
The SSPs were all manual I believe, the one deficiency of the LTD LX given its euro sports sedan marketing was that it was a mandatory automatic.
I remember when these started to be seen with some frequency. I had to develop a whole new way of scanning for police on the horizon – just looking for a big square box wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
Indiana had these. They were all unmarked and in typical Mustang colors. Initially most of them had the black painted alloy wheels with the shiny caps. That didn’t last long. Most of the black disappeared pretty quickly. Most of them also had dark tinted windows. Some of the troopers added their individual touches, probably to further disguise them. One in our area kept the single red light in his rear window covered with a baseball cap.
I never got pulled over by one but they did cause me some inconvenience. Right before they started using them I retired my ’79 Malibu from daily use in my job that required a lot of travel with a new ’86 Mustang fastback. It was equipped with the four banger and four speed for fuel economy. Many times I got stuck behind a driver who suddenly slowed down to about 45 when he saw me in the rearview mirror.
Incidentally, although that Mustang is long gone, I still own and drive the Malibu that I bought new.
In Stephen King’s 1994 mini-series, The Stand, episode #1, Deputy Joe-Bob Brentwood, played by John Bloom, is driving a late model pursuit Mustang, as Unit 16.
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