From 1984 to 1986 Ford produced and sold a limited version on the Mustang called the Mustang SVO. Up until that time in Ford’s history it was the most expensive and fastest version of the Mustang available. Despite being notably different mechanically and physically from any earlier version of the Mustang, it did still fall in the same slot as the Shelby tuned and “BOSS” Mustangs of the 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1982, Ford started making significant strides with the Mustang, almost completely changing every facet of the vehicle.
The Mustang SVO was honorably named after a division of the Ford Motor company called the Special Vehicle Operations Department. This division was responsible for maintaining both the company’s racing program and the production of limited-edition, high-performance street-legal vehicles based on or taking technology from the race vehicles. When developing the SVO the team wanted to create something was was able to compete with an entry-level European sports car while being stately American, thus an obvious choice for the name of the car, as a starting ground for the basis of a high-performance vehicle was, SVO.
The car had an advanced engine that featured a number of alterations over the standard Mustang. The front suspension geometry was changed, 7.5″ Traction-Lok axle was added for the first year of production (later models used a 3.73:1 ratio, 7.5″ axle), a new, ventilated four-wheel-disc braking system replaced the GT’s disc/drum setup (a first for the Fox platform), 15:1 ratio power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system replaced the standard system, a limited slip, 3.45:1, Five-lug 16 × 7 inch aluminum wheels wearing P225-50R16 VR Goodyear Eagle “Gatorback” tires were standard as well (originally shod with German Goodyear NCT tires, and later Gatorbacks), specially designed pedals were used to assist “heel-and-toe” shifting and a complete Koni suspension system featuring specially tuned adjustable struts, shocks, and horizontal dampers replaced the setup used on the Mustang GT.
The only interior color option was charcoal grey (leather or velour) and features included adjustable sport seats with lumbar supports, shift lever, power windows, an emergency brake handle, and a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, and door locks and A/C and a premium stereo system. On the exterior was a unique hood and front grill that was only seen on the SVO line, smoother sail panels behind the rear quarter windows, thinner side moldings, small rear wheel spats and a biplane spoiler that was also unique to the SVO.