The Groundbreaking Ford Mustang the World Forgot: Meet the Fox Body SVO!

Talk about your blast from the past, huh?

With fewer than 10,000 built between 1984 and ’86, the Ford Mustang SVO was (for the time) a unique player in the segment.

As someone who briefly owned a 1985 Ford Mustang SVO, I was overjoyed that Brendan got his hands on one for the TFLclassics channel. These were the days that Ford was playing with turbocharging a few of their vehicles that were known for V8s, including the Thunderbird. While, on paper, the performance between the Mustang GT 5.0 and SVO were close, most would agree that they kind of cancelled each other out. The GT had no turbo lag, and lots of low-end torque, while the SVO was a much better handling vehicle.

Ford equipped the Mustang SVO with a 2.3-liter “Lima” turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Equipped with a Garrett/AiResearch T03 turbocharger, boost maxed at 14 psi. Early SVOs kept the maximum output to 175 horsepower. With new plumbing (beefy water cooler), maximum horsepower peaked at 205 in 1985, before dropping a bit (to 200 hp) in its last year.

If you bought one back in the day, your only option was a Borg-Warner T-5 five-speed manual. Still, it was pretty slick for its day.

In many ways, the Mustang SVO was an ancestor to the EcoBoost Mustangs of today. I still maintain that a modern EcoBoost Mustang is remarkably sporty, and a proverbial performance bargain for the class. The original SVO was no bargain (it was pricier than a GT), it was a track killer.

There are a few SVOs out there that are getable, but they are often abused examples. The one that Brendan encountered is a pretty good example, and one that is worth restoring. Of coarse, the question is: at what price? Would you be willing to by a classic like this for $10,000 or more?

Check out the video to learn more!