5k: Seller Very hOnest: 1985.5 Ford Mustang SVO

With all of the car sellers tossing around phrases like “it could be actual miles,” “looks like one owner” and “rusty paint should shine up real nice” – it is refreshingly unique to see a seller say “this is NOT the one you want to restore… just drive it, beat on it and enjoy it.”  Find this honest 1985.5 Ford Mustang SVO for sale in Central Square, NY for $3,995 via autotrader.com.

For all the talk about how beat this car is, it actually doesn’t look that bad in the photographs.  The paint still looks attached to the body and most of the trim pieces are here…and while the headlamps are fogged up beyond what Meguiar’s PlastX can fix, a new set will run you $200 on ebay.  The ad lists this car as a 1985 – but the flush mounted headlights and dual exhaust identify this one as the post facelift 85.5.

The 85.5 SVO also featured increased power from the 2.3 liter SOHC turbocharged inline-4 cylinder from 175 to 205 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque.  A 205 horsepower turbocharged 4-banger seems quite pedestrian in today’s market, but in 1985 it was a shock to the public and pushed out more ponies than the 5.0 V8 from the same year.  Unforutnately, while it looks great on paper, the Garrett T3 turbine stage was a bit large for the application, causing significant turbo-lag at low engine speeds and boost/power doesn’t build until the crude Pinto-derived 4-cylinder has reached a cacophonous crescendo.  Add a sticker price more than the best equipped 5.0 GT and, unsurprisingly, SVO buyers were few and far between….rare isn’t always an indication of greatness.

On the inside of the SVO you will always see a manual gear shifter; they didn’t sell them with an auto, as the SVO was marketed to the performance oriented buyer and was more of an all-around performance car with decent handling than other straight-line oriented Mustangs before it.  From Ford internal training communication: “The SVO prospect is generally more well informed about the cars for which he or she is shopping.” 

Buyers were provided a knob for adjusting rebound on the Koni-shocks mounted at all four corners, a cool trick to convert from plush freeway cruiser to apex carving track rat in 5 minutes.

from wikipedia.org

We thought our readers would appreciate the vintage Ford ‘Training and Communications’ memo detailing the mid-year changes to the SVO.

See another oddball for the cost of a basic Maserati engine service?  email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com