1983 Ford Mustang SVO

Above Images ©IMAGE CREDITS - Ford Motor Corporation

In 1980, Ford created Special Vehicle Operations to help develop a better image for the Mustang. Most importantly, SVO was responsible for applying race-derived technology to Ford production cars. Specifically, technology from the Ford IMSA and SVO prototype were transferred to the Mustang SVO which was released in 1983.

The SVO was a different kind of Mustang as it retained the inline-4 found on the entry level models. With turbo charging and modifications introduced by SVO, the power was raised to an impressive 170bhp. This figure was increased more as the model improved year to year with the final product having 205 bhp.

A 5-Speed Manual transmission was mated to the engine. Gear changes were made via a short-throw Hurst shifter. Not since the Boss Mustang was Hurst involved in the development of a high-performance Mustang.

Beyond the driveline, much of the car was improved, including disc-brakes on all wheels. Not until 1994 would Ford adopt such a setup on the standard Mustang.

The rear-end was beefed up with the introduction of a Traction-Lock rear axle. Appropriately, it featured a limited-slip differential.

Of the 400 000 Mustangs produced between 1984-to 86, only 9000 received the SVO badge. Such limited numbers made the SVO one of the most sought after Mustangs.

After 1986, the Ford kept the V8-powered GT as a more marketable top model. Ten years later, Ford finally revived the Mustang with the Cobra R.


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