An early example SSP and 'time capsule!'

Images c/o Mike McCullers. Text by Mike Riley and Mike McCullers.

    Colorado is somewhat of an anomaly for pursuit Police vehicles. The cold weather and snow would probably best be suited for large rear wheel drives or 4 wheel drive vehicles, but the state has long been a purchaser of Mustangs and Camaros. The sheer size of the area along with the long stretches of highway make for some ideal conditions for these cars, as least for part of the year!

    This particular car, unit #202, was purchased from the second owner in 2004, by Mike McCullers of Gainesville, FL. What is incredible about this car is not just that it is one of 6 SSP's used by the Colorado State Patrol during 1983, or that is an 1983 SSP at all (as if that isn't rare enough!). The real story, however, is what he got when he purchased the car and had it shipped to a friend's house in Alabama-an absolutely unreal collection of paperwork, along with the build sheet, that survived several owners and 20 years!

     Here's the story, as Mike McCullers tells it:

     "I purchased this car on Ebay, back in January 2004. The car had been listed with a fairly low starting bid, and hadn’t received much in the way of bidding activity. I was attracted to the car because it was listed as a very early SSP car (1983 was the first year SSPs were available to agencies other than CHP), and I’d always wanted a carbureted, “four-eyed” car.

     The owner purchased the car from the State of Colorado at auction in 1988. He only had a few pictures in the listing, and didn’t make any mention of having any other documentation with the car. He told me that he purchased the car, drove it to work for a few years, then parked it in his “barn”. He sold it along with a few other cars after his wife asked him to trim down his collection. He was pretty happy to see it go, saying that I could have it “sitting around” my place now.

     I had the car shipped east, and I was very surprised the first time I saw it. I didn’t really expect much, since the car was fairly old and I hadn’t paid much for it. Boy was I surprised! The car was extremely original…right down to the original paint. I opened the glove box, and found a literal treasure trove of documentation. Inside, there was paperwork from the original selling dealer (formerly Rosen-Novak Ford..now John Elway Ford) to the Colorado State Patrol, an SSP informational insert I had never seen before, and even the auction paperwork from the State of Colorado sale. The troopers that drove the car saved everything (except for the window sticker), and so had the second owner. The car was literally driven for a few years, both by the patrol and second owner, and then parked as-is. It even still has the original, date-coded plug wires.

     Additionally, I learned that the car was CSP Unit #202. “202” can still be seen clearly on both doors, and I also located the original registration with the plate and unit number on it. That’s pretty significant, because Mike Riley has had a picture of CSP #202 on the website for several years, in full in-service trim. I had no idea that the car I was bidding on was the same CSP unit on the site. I also found the original build sheet under the back seat. What luck!

     Colorado ordered 6 SSPs in 1983. This particular car is one of only 12 built for the year in this color/option/trim combination (per Stu’s Third Generation Registry). Interestingly, these cars were ordered at the GL trim level, which included cloth/vinyl seats. Colorado also ran a variety of full wheel covers on the cars. This car also came from the factory with the single-key locking setup, an SROD 4-speed, and A/C.

     Finally, I also found a business card from a CSP Trooper underneath the rear seat. Trooper David Harper still works for the CSP, and fondly remembered #202. He even sent me several photos of the car the he took while it was assigned to him, including a photo of all 6 Mustangs taken right after they were put into service. Trooper Harper was involved in an on-duty shooting in the car, and I’m trying to gather more documentation/information about that.

      I’m still in the process of doing research on the car, but plan on restoring it to full, in-service trim."

     Wow! What's even more remarkable about this is that I also saw the car on eBay when it was being sold, couldn't believe no one was interested in it, but after learning Mike was bidding on it, figured it be better not to compete against a friend..so Mike picked the car up for a song, only adding to the deal. After discovering that this car was in fact Unit 202 in the photos, you can only say "What are the odds?"

     This is a neat car, I've driven it, and for those of you who haven't driven a carbureted, 4 speed Fox body Mustang, it's a pretty cool experience. The body is in great shape rust wise, not what you would expect from the snowy mountains of Colorado, and it's still pretty tight for a 20+ year old car. The interior is surprisingly decent as well, and having all the stuff tucked away in the glovebox-that's truly a restorers dream!

     You'll find some of the documentation below, there's some very interesting SSP items, including the build sheet, which Mike found behind the rear sail panel glued to another build sheet for a different car! It was only by luck that he reached up, pulled down the first one, and the one for his car was taped to it-otherwise, it might still have been there! Some of the other interesting and unique items on this car are the rare radio block off plate, roll bar, deluxe wheel covers, 4 speed, and 'Auto-Therm' control, which was a method keeping the car warm even when not running-mighty handy in Colorado I would think.

     Enjoy the pics, any questions, please drop me an email here at the site,

Mike Riley

 

 

 

 

A group shot of the 6 CSP SSP's, official state photo

Trpr. David Harper behind the wheel, sometime mid 80's.

 

Nice front shot of 202--Note full wheel covers, quite unusual for an SSP! If you look close '2 0 2' can still be seen faintly on the door; right where the above photo puts it. Nice interior shot-unmolested and original. State installed rollbar with CSP tag.

Another view of the interior. Notice the rare radio block off plate.. Rear view, chrome lettering from original dealer still on trunklid! Original routing sticker still on hood. 302 4 bbl, correct air cleaner, Holley 600 carb.

Check this out-the special parts list for the car, complete with DSO. Note units ordered amount of 6. Warranty card for CSP with in service date of 5-18-83. This car was also involved in a fatal shooting to add to it's history. The build sheet, reflecting single key locking, full size spare, 140 MPH cluster, and several other key SSP options.
       
       

 

     

 

-Mike

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