Imagine flying down Interstate 15 heading towards Las Vegas, Nevada. Your feeling pretty good in your high performance Mustang as the needle rests just below the 100 mile per hour mark. Your exhaust steadily plays a tune that is more beautiful than anything a radio or CD could produce. As you cruise along passing trucks, station wagons and the occasional Camaro you notice a car’s headlights keeping up with you through the turns. Your keen sense of automotive knowledge reveals that the headlights belong to a fellow Mustanger. You give a slight dab to the accelerator and instantly gain five miles per hour. The Mustang suddenly pulls up right behind you rather than pass you on the right. Like one of the bugs smashing into your windshield, it hits you. You realize that this is a fellow Mustanger of a different kind. This kind works for the government and has a black and white paint scheme.
Turns out that officer was driving one of the many Police Interceptor Mustangs that were produced from the early 1980s to 1993. Most of these Special Service Mustangs saw duty chasing down speed demons on the long stretch of highways in California. Some of them spent their days toting around national parks as part of the Park Ranger police force. These Mustangs were chosen to serve and protect the public.
As a Mustang fan, anything that has to do with Mustangs intrigues me. So naturally when I saw my first Special Service Mustang, I knew this was one incredible pony car. I have always had this fascination with the Special Service Mustangs. Maybe it is from the little boy inside me who wants to play cops and robbers. And what better way to chase down those robbers than with a good old LX 5-0.
The Mustang’s attractive price and its performance made it an excellent candidate for police car duty. Back in the 1980s the larger cars were not fast enough to keep up with the average automobile at the time. The highway patrol needed something with a little more power and started looking in to the Firebird and Camaro. Originally the Mustang was not going to be evaluated as a choice for highway patrol duty. According to a book called “Modern Police Cars” by Robert Genat, when Ford heard that the two General Motors cars were being evaluated Ford wanted in. On the day of the evaluation the GM cars never showed but the Ford Mustang did. During the evaluation the Mustang performed nicely and with such an attractive price was quickly taken in for police car duty.
Unfortunately the Mustangs that were taken in for police duty were only available with the same engine and drive train options as any LX that was purchased off the dealership lot. There was a choice between automatic and five-speed manual transmissions, which could be mated with a rear end gear ratio ranging from the stock 2.73:1 all the way up to 3.55:1 and sometimes higher.
These cars were not your ordinary run of the mill mustangs. In order to handle police duty they were equipped with performance and durability upgrades. Many of these upgrades eventually ended up as aftermarket parts that could be purchased by the average person and put on any Mustang.
It may be from the adrenaline rush I get from a good car chase where the police are in pursuit of the bad guy in one of the Police Packaged LXs.