Phil Sanchez's '86 SSP Mustang doesn't belong in that group. He bought his LX two years ago, and it hasn't changed much since it served with the CHP two decades ago. The original 5.0L high-output engine is gone, replaced by a rebuilt 5.0L long-block. It remains a ball to drive because it has all the performance features found in a Mustang GT or LX with high-output power. On the ground are those utilitarian 15x7-inch steel wheels, originally fitted with Goodyear Gatorback tires but now wrapped in replacement 225/60R15 rubber.
Phil's SSP still has the package shelf lights, twin spotlights, police radios, siren, "whip" antenna, and shotgun. His goal is to keep the car as authentic as possible--strictly for show--to provide enthusiasts and CHP officers something to reminisce about. People frequently walk up to Phil to relate a story about being pulled over by a CHP Mustang. Sometimes, a CHP officer shares a story or two.
Whatever the story, Special Service Mustangs have left a lasting impression, for some more than others. "License and registration, please..."
If you would like to know more about '82-'93 Special Service Mustangs, a wealth of information is available online at www.sspmustang.org and www.evooa.org.