SSPMUSTANG.ORG’S Documentation Guide for

Florida Highway Patrol

Special Service Package Mustangs

 

Version 1.5 May, 2007

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revision History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date:

Version

Change:

12.19.06

1.1

Unmarked vehicle usage

03.25.07

1.2

Addition of Jetsonic equipment diagrams

04.15.07

1.3

Reformat of sections for clarity of reading

05.15.07

1.4

Additional radio equipment information

05.31.07

1.5

Additional illustrations

 

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents:

 

 

1.0     Preface: 3

2.0     Introduction: 4

3.0     A history of Florida Highway Patrol Mustang usage: 5

3.1     Vehicle history, defined: 5

3.2     Marked Mustang vehicles, defined: 8

3.3     Unmarked Mustang vehicles, defined: 12

3.4     SSP vehicle options, defined: 14

Table A: Sample of FHP Mustang options. 14

4.0     Mustang exterior information_ 15

4.1     Markings/paint scheme, defined: 15

4.2     Decal usage, defined: 15

4.3     Lettering usage, defined: 18

Table B: Paint scheme/lettering and decals by year 19

4.4     License plate usage, defined: 20

5.0     Mustang equipment usage_ 21

5.1     Lightbar usage, Jetsonic, defined: 21

5.2     Lightbar usage, other, defined: 29

5.3     Light usage, front/rear, defined: 31

5.4     Light usage, other, defined: 34

5.5     Radio usage, defined: 35

5.6     Siren usage, defined: 40

5.7     RADAR usage, defined: 41

5.8     Other equipment usage, defined: 43

Table C: Equipment usage for FHP Mustangs: 44

6.0     Miscellaneous Information: 45

6.1     Tire/wheel usage, defined: 45

Table D: Wheel/tire usage by year 45

6.2     Vehicle usage, defined: 46

Table E: FHP Mustang usage by year. 46

7.0     Frequently asked questions: 46

 

 

 

 


 

1.0     Preface:

 

 

          Welcome to the SSPMUSTANG.ORG FHP restoration document for SSP Mustangs. The purpose of this document is to help foster an appreciation for a history of FHP Mustangs and to assist in the restoration effort towards the same. This is, we believe, a unique entity in the automotive hobby restoration world. Although other organizations have judging guides that assist in evaluating correctness of serial numbers, parts, build dates, etc, this document is the first of its kind in being geared strictly towards those interest in restoring a Police vehicle. With almost 50 pages and 50 images, hopefully this document will serve it’s intended purpose.

 

Although I have been fortunate enough to have much first hand information on these cars during their active period with FHP, I would also like to thank Troopers Larry Coggins, Mike Halfpenny, Don King and Mark Woodhouse for their assistance with specific FHP information. Also, thanks to Charles Ricks and Emil Loeffler from Ford for their help in providing information and materials, and also SSMOA members Jim Young, Bill Roever and Mike McCullers for additional information and photos.

 

          There is, however, one caveat to mention when reading this and any other restoration document. Given the vagaries of FHP procedures in outfitting vehicles, and the passing of time, personnel, and lack of empirical records, please let this document serve it’s purpose - as a guideline for your efforts, not an attempt to declare itself the ultimate ‘authority’ in scope. This document does not pretend to be such, and claiming to do so would simply be disingenuous and misleading. Although all efforts have been made to include only truly substantiative information, there is no doubt that conflicting information can and will surface, so please keep this in mind while reading through it. We welcome any suggestions for corrections, amplifications or additional information.

 

Methods of research for this document include interviews with both tactical and installation personnel, review of all related documentation, personal observation, and photographs of in-service vehicles. Although some commonalities do exist, especially in the area of vehicle lights and radios, these too exhibit variances from standard. Unlike other agencies such as the California Highway Patrol, which outfitted vehicles centrally, FHP, until only recently, relied on localized installation personnel and procedures. This of course presents a challenge when attempting to compile information, as does the passing of time and personnel with knowledge of older equipment. Rather than present anecdotal evidence, the focus is on empirical findings with respect to equipment and vehicles. If you do see something that may seem contradictory, please inform me, and I will be glad to review and make any changes warranted.

 

If you can extract some measure of enjoyment from this effort, then that makes it worthwhile. Please keep this in mind as you read through this, and if you do have any information that you feel may merit adding, please forward it to me. I hope you enjoy reading this document, even if you have no interest in restoring a Mustang, and find it helpful if you do.

 

Please feel free to forward any suggestions for improvement or information to me at the website. All photos contained herein were either taken by me or used with permission.

 

                                                                                                          Regards,

 

                                                                                                          Mike Riley

 

Webmaster@sspmustang.org

 

 

         


 

2.0     Introduction:

 

 

        Can there be anything cooler than a 5 speed, V8, 2 door Police car? Well, that depends on course what your vantage point is! If you’re looking at one in your mirror, perhaps not...but that’s another subject.

 

Two door, manual shift police vehicles are nothing new to law enforcement – State and local police agencies routinely made use of two door, V8, manual shift cars well into the 60’s for pursuit and patrol use. Florida has a 1940 Ford two door that is displayed at various functions throughout the state, and was the choice for ‘road work’ for many years. As vehicles became more powerful and the high horsepower options from Ford such as the 428, Chevy 396 and Chrysler 383 engines became standard in 4 door vehicles, these gained popularity over two door models for obvious reasons. Only until the drastic reduction in horsepower and performance throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s was the need sorely apparent for a smaller, lighter, faster pursuit vehicle than what was currently available; hence the SSP Mustang was born.

 

Mustangs have been a natural for car buffs since the infamous 1964 ½ model, especially with all the different drivetrain and performance options available over the years. The Special Service Package is probably one of the more interesting footnotes to recent automotive events, since it not only captures the essence of performance, being a light, fast, nimble sports car, but also has the added appeal for some of us of being a ‘cop car’ - two seemingly diverse sets of attributes! For those of us who have an interest in doing ‘something different’ from a restoration standpoint, this makes it both rewarding and frustrating when trying to piece together a puzzle with no clear standards.

 

        This document has been compiled as a reference for those interested in information on 1983-1993 Florida Highway Patrol SSP Mustangs. It focuses on the correct type of equipment, markings, and options that FHP would have used when deploying these cars. It will offer guidance on the correct use of decals, lights, radio and emergency equipment used by FHP during the Mustang program. It will also provide a look into some of the history surrounding these vehicles and offer information on vehicle usage and general SSP options. This document is divided into sections on exterior, equipment, options and usage. Each one will strive to highlight important aspects of Mustangs and their usage.

 

          Although these vehicles are long gone from the roadways of Florida and other states (at least in service anyway), there is still a remarkably large following for something of a true ‘niche’ vehicle. If you have any desire on what it might take to restore one for display, or just a curiosity in general on them, then please read on!

 

         

           


 

3.0                                 A history of Florida Highway Patrol Mustang usage:

 

 

3.1           Vehicle history, defined:

 

 

In 1983, Florida became one of a handful of states besides California, Georgia, Idaho, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona and Texas to try the new Special Service Package Mustang. Although 406 Mustangs had been ordered by CHP in 1982, 1983 marked the first year of widespread availability for other agencies and as such, many states were eager to try this new pursuit package to replace the slower Diplomats, Caprices and other cars of the era comprising their fleets. Adding the more powerful 4 barrel intake and carb, and a 5 speed transmission (available midyear), the 1983 SSP burst on the Pursuit Vehicle scene with much to offer departments such as FHP that were sorely in need of a faster vehicle.

 

The Diplomat, LTD (below), and Caprice were the stable of FHP’s ‘arsenal’ until the 1983 Mustang was ordered. Slow and heavy, these cars were at a low point in pursuit vehicle history, and a replacement was badly needed.

 

Image #1, 1983 FHP Mustang, first year used, with CJ184 beacon. New 1984 Ford next to it with JS 1-2 Jetsonic that would become standard on Mustangs. (Alex Ginzburg photo)

 

The FHP Mustangs were ordered initially for use on the Florida Turnpike. This road runs from Miami to Ocala, and because one Troop, Troop K, in responsible for covering its entire length, a vehicle to do it ‘in a hurry’ was needed. The Mustang made the perfect choice for covering large amounts of ground, and after the first batch was rolled out and were so well received, 1984 saw more personnel requesting the cars, so an additional 50 were bought, and then in 1985 66 more. Over the life of the SSP program, the total numbers of Mustangs used by FHP exceeded 1600 vehicles, ranking only behind CHP and Texas DPS. Vehicles were kept in service as late as 2000, and were then sent through the state auction circuit, with many examples being retired with mileage in the very low 40-60K range! I was fortunate enough to attend many state auctions over the latter years of the program, and purchased several cars, including marked and unmarked units, and have looked at literally dozens more. For a nice peek at what a trip to the auction scene was like, check out my feature on the ‘Last FHP Mustang’ which sold in 2001 at the Orlando state auction. This was truly the last marked unit to be sold, and provided some excellent ‘in service/out of service’ references. It can be found on the site here, http://www.sspmustang.org/features/The%20Last%20FHP%20Mustang.htm

 

Starting in 1983, then under leadership of Col. Bobby Burkett, there were 40 SSP’s purchased by FHP under DSO 24-0181. These early examples were all 4 speed SROD cars, 5.0 175 HP versions with the stock aluminum intake, Holley 600 cfm carb, single ‘Y’ pipe exhaust, and 3.08 gears housed in 7.5” rear ends. Because of the newness of the Mustang, each car used the same roof light as all other FHP vehicles of the time - the bulky Federal Signal beacon #CJ184, which dates back to pre-1965! In 1984, after evaluating the ‘less than aerodynamic’ qualities of the CJ184, the switch was made to the JS1/2 series Jetsonic light bar, which was introduced in 1983; use of this light bar which continued through the program run into 1993 vehicles. The photo above shows the CJ184 along with a new 1984 Ford with the Jetsonic. The Unity S6 6” spotlight is clearly visible, and all marked Mustangs had them through 1993. Also of interest is the unique ‘Walnut’ interior with high back buckets, which would transition to tan and then gray interiors on later SSP vehicles.

 

FHP equipment for that first year was a template for years to come-radar, VASCAR, siren, etc. In this picture below taken for the Dec. 1983 article ‘Blue Light Special’ for Mustang Monthly, editor Donald Farr got a very nice, albeit black/white, shot of the interior of one of 40 Mustangs used. The VASCAR unit is located prominently to the left of the A/C controls, Micor (used in all FHP vehicles) with special bracket below dash, Whelen WS-295 siren below glove box, and of course MPH radar mounted on dash. These cars did not have a center console, so everything was mounted as best as possible. One interesting note, the wiring is run over the dash, instead of the usual hole saw attack perpetrated by installation personnel as seen on later vehicles.

 

Image #2, 1983 FHP Mustang equipment. (Photo c/o Donald Farr, Mustang Monthly)

 

Other interesting items are the ‘stylish’ Walnut (code BE) interior (really screams 80’s doesn’t it?), certified speedometer, roll up windows, AM/FM radio, and the cruise/tilt equipped wheel.

 

Image #3, 1983 FHP interior, unrestored and original (Mike Riley photo)

 

Later vehicles through 1993 followed similar equipment options, both with SSP options and emergency equipment. There were some differences in interior color (tan through 1989), power options and markings, but for the most part, FHP cars are very similar year after year. Additionally, unmarked units started to make their appearance in the late 80’s, and were deployed throughout the remaining years.

 

The interesting thing regarding FHP Mustangs is that they were always purchased with manual shift transmissions for their marked units, and a mix of manual and automatics for unmarked cars. Contrast this to state agencies like Georgia and Indiana which were automatic only, and CHP which were manual only vehicles. Although a manual shift transmission is great for pursuit work, the challenge of shifting and using the radio and controls simultaneously can present an issue! It’s no surprise then, when the next 2 door specialty vehicle was purchased by FHP some nine years later, the B4C Camaro, that these were all automatic equipped cars. Even agencies like CHP, the largest user of SSP Mustangs and exclusively manual shift cars, had switched to automatics in their vehicles.

 

FHP installations did follow, or were supposed to follow, a protocol for placement of letters, equipment, radio antennas, decal placement, etc. There was a set of installation guidelines put forth from Tallahassee with specifics, but each Troop would wind up varying these procedures. Additionally, Troopers would often ask - and receive - different setups for their equipment based on preferences. This can make it challenging to say equipment was installed ‘exactly’ the same.


 

3.2           Marked Mustang vehicles, defined:

 

 

For many years, marked FHP vehicles have followed a simple design criteria-two tone ‘cream’ and black paint, ‘State Trooper’ fender lettering, FHP seals on both doors and decklid, and the use of a blue light. When the SSP Mustang was deployed starting in 1983, things were no different-with the exception of the single blue rotator as defined above, and the Jetsonic, things were kept in the same motif. This is a nice constant when interested in restoring one of these vehicles.

 

As a general observation (specifics are below) all marked FHP Mustangs used light bars. There have been reports of a handful of vehicles with lightbar problems where slicktops were used, but I cannot confirm this firsthand, however several vehicles have been seen out of service with no traces of lightbar installation or wiring. Most were Jetsonic equipped (again, with the exception of a handful using the Federal Signal Vector, pictured in section 5.2), and this was the only light used until the early 90’s, when deck lights were being deployed. Also in 1984, the 5 speed transmission became the choice for marked cars, having been phased in by Ford for mid-year 1983 production (after the run of the initial 40 Mustangs were purchased by FHP).

 

Image #4, 1993 FHP Mustang, last year used, with FS JS series lightbar This vehicle is not an in service vehicle,

but is used for displays like the FHP Auxiliary conference here.  (Mike Riley photo)

 

Pictured above is the opposite of the vehicle in Image #1 - a 1993 Mustang. After 10 years in the program, the exterior differences are negligible, save for the use of the Accreditation sticker appearing in 1996, slight changes in lettering type, and of course the roof light.

 

The traditional two-tone cream/black FHP colors can be seen in the same application method on both vehicles, as can the fender lettering and door seal, and Unity S6 spotlight placement. One interesting accessory is the use of the stainless steel window shade, made by Auto-Shade Company of GA, also seen on both vehicles. All FHP cars observed have had these, however not just Mustangs (see the LTD in Image #1 above); unmarked Mustangs received them as well. These are very difficult to find today, so it you see a set and are planning on restoring an FHP car, buy them!

 

Image #5, FHP Mustang with Caprices, Jetsonics/stainless vent shades. (Alex Ginzburg photo)

 

FHP cars were numbered in 4 digit unit numbers, with a leading ‘0’, and this was designated on the plate for the vehicle; roof numbers also corresponded to the unit #. There is no order to the unit number and where the car was deployed, i.e. one Troop could have a random group of unit #’s, another a different group, etc. If the vehicle was retired, the tag and subsequent number was transferred over to a new vehicle, so it was not unusual to see pictures of the same tag on different vehicles.

 

The unit # was stamped onto the key of the vehicle so if you are lucky enough to have the original key this can often tell you at least what number it was. Additionally, it was often written underhood on grease pencil or similar, often around the radiator area.

 

Image #6, FHP key with unit number. (Mark Woodhouse photo)

 

 

Image #7, FHP roof lettering, 1992/3 Mustangs. (Jim Bridges photo, c/o Jim Young)

 

The image above offers a nice ‘bird’s eye view’ of roof numbers on out of service cars. Notice also the spotlights present on each, and black spray paint haphazardly applied over the cream areas and FHP decals. Believe it or not, in many instances, this cream paint can be saved with some lacquer thinner, buffing and a lot of elbow grease to provide a perfectly presentable paint job for restorations or driving (but not in Fla.!) This practice has since been superseded by applying a tar-like substance to any vehicles retired through the central facility, so it is now much harder to do.

 

The cars would go to a specific location when put in service, and generally stayed there when personnel changed assignments. Most Mustangs were driven by only one or two Troopers during their lifetime and were take-home vehicles. Some did become pool cars in the mid 90’s after demand for them began to wane due to a lack of new Mustangs coupled with the deployment of LT1 Caprices. When the cars were retired, the equipment was simply transferred from old to new vehicle after it was verified that it was working correctly, and the same kind of equipment would be used in the new vehicle.

 

There is often found a DHSMV property tag in the glove box or other interior location. Besides the vehicle itself, all components have a corresponding asset tag, including radios, sirens, lightbars etc. When Troopers received a vehicle or turned one in, the equipment list and corresponding DHSMV numbers were recorded and signed by a supervisor. This information would offer a nice roll-up of equipment for a particular vehicle if you can be lucky enough to find one!

 

 Here is a sample checklist below from a 1993 Mustang from Troop G, Marion County:

 

Image #8,FHP vehicle checklist document. (Mike Riley photo)

 

            The DHSMV tags were applied by the install personnel to all equipment and recorded; unfortunately this information is no longer available for research purposes.

 


 

3.3           Unmarked Mustang vehicles, defined:

 

 

FHP purchased three unmarked units in 1988 under DSO 24-0236. These were produced in Jan 1988 and delivered in March 1988 to Don Reid Ford in Orlando. The units had a base price of $10,566.00 which included a $20.00 charge for the large round map light, $25.00 to install VASCAR, and a $15.00 charge to disconnect the dome light! The marked vehicles had a slightly higher price, including extra for the paint and Lestek, even though the unmarked was equipped with one as well. Other SSP options included Silicone hoses and single key locking. The colors purchased were an interesting choice of Grey/blue interior and Grey/red interior! Delivered to Troop D, these were assigned to Troopers initially instead of the supervisory personnel who would later use them.

 

In 1989, more unmarked units were ordered, again with 5 speeds and blue/blue color combinations under DSO 24 0202; these were also given to Troopers. Equipped with minimal lighting and usually radar, these units were on the front lines of Florida’s unmarked vehicle deployment program. Unmarked unit usage gradually ramped up through 1993, and although never a major quantity in the field, there were usually 3-5 seen at any given auction over the last several years they were being retired. By the late 1990’s, unmarked cars were a common item in FHP’s vehicle fleet, including LT-1 Caprices and Crown Vics. Ironically, with a change in command later during that time, the emphasis became ‘visibility’ - hence the Whelen Patriot equipped Camaros, instead of slicktops or even unmarked units - and supervisory personnel being issued marked Crown Vics instead of unmarked vehicles.

 

Image #9, 1993 unmarked FHP Mustang, last year used. AOD equipped, with vent shades. (Mike Riley photo)


 

Because unmarked units went to supervisory personnel, at least later in the program, these generally used an AOD instead of a 5 speed, although there are documented instances of unmarked FHP cars with 5 speeds through 1993; I personally saw one sell for over 7K at an auction! That particular Reef Blue ’93 was driven by a Sergeant and was special ordered based on request. There have been also several instances where marked units were repainted in other colors and deployed as low profile cars earlier in the Mustang program.

 

Unmarked units did not have spotlights unless a Trooper added them, and there are several documented instances of this also. Unmarked colors included all available Mustang colors, including Red, Blue, Beige, Calypso Green, White, Silver, Dark Blue, Reef Blue, as well as Black. Of these, 3 Red cars purchased in 1992/1993 are probably among the rarest, and as of this date two are accounted for.

 

Image #10, 1993 unmarked FHP Mustang, taken 1994. (Photo c/o Mike Kennedy)

 

Unmarked units generally have some differences in equipment, but share many of the same SSP options as marked units including silicone hoses, 2 pc. VASCAR cable, high output alternator, single key locking, certified speedometer, relocated trunk release, Gatorback tires, etc. Radio usage was the same, but lights different, depending on what time during the program the vehicle was deployed. 

 

The last FHP Mustang sold was actually an unmarked unit from Troop E, unit 1363, black in color. It was sold at auction in 2003, after 10 years of service! It is now owned by Jim Young who is working on restoring it. It can be seen along with the last marked FHP Mustang in the features section here: http://www.sspmustang.org/features/The%20Last%20FHP%20Mustang.htm

 


 

3.4           SSP vehicle options, defined:

 

 

The DSO is what makes a Special Service Mustang ‘special’, and Florida cars were no exception. Starting in 1983, DSO groups were specified with an array of options, depending on what year of the program it was. For example, DSO 24 0181 in 1983 specified the special paint codes and roof reinforcement shown on the bucktags. DSO 24 0254 for 1993 showed VASCAR cable, relocated deck release, silicone hoses, HD alternator, certified speedometer and single key locking as build options on the buildsheet. There were several DSO lists for any given year, and marked and unmarked were built under different orders, i.e. DSO 24 0254 for 1993 marked units, 24 0253 for unmarked vehicles. Many of the options for these overlap, i.e. silicone hoses, 225/65VR15 tires, 2 pc. VASCAR speedometer cable, etc.

 

DSO options generally included the options below. All cars for FHP carry a 24 DSO prefix for the Jacksonville sales office. In some cases, several orders were placed for similar type vehicles, for example 1993 had multiple DSO groups for unmarked vehicles.

 

Listed below is a sample of options for cars used throughout the FHP 10 year run:

 

Table A: Sample of FHP Mustang options.

 

Item:

Description:

Usage:

VASCAR cable

Two piece design, interfaces with VASCAR unit on dash

Unmarked and marked, 1983 on

Bonding straps

Straps designed to shield against RFI

inconsistent

Silicone hoses

Special high pressure molded hoses

Unmarked and marked, 1986 on

Single key locking

One key fits all locks

Unmarked and marked, 1983 on

Stainless vent shades (non DSO option)

Special Auto-shade metal window rain shades

Unmarked and marked, 1983 on

 

 

The cars were ordered through Flammer Ford in Milton, Don Reid in Orlando or Duval Ford in Jacksonville (now all cars go through Duval Ford) and shipped to each troop, where the emergency equipment was installed. This lack of consistency, as opposed to agencies like CHP or SCHP where a central installation location is used, accounts for some vagaries in how equipment was installed and mounted. This is why it is important to ‘never say never’ on options – differences can and will exist.

 

An interesting note, when retired and sold at auction, the Mustangs were typically stripped of all electronics, yellow areas sprayed with black (it is against Florida statute to operate a vehicle resembling an FHP unit on a public way), antenna holes ‘duct taped’, decals either removed or sprayed over, but the spotlights were usually left intact. In the 80’s the cars were often repainted in a cheap paint job before selling, but later on this practice was abandoned for the less costly (and quicker) practice of simply spraying the tan areas and removing or spraying over decals.


 

4.0        Mustang exterior information

 

 

4.1           Markings/paint scheme, defined:

 

 

 

        All marked Mustangs came in the distinctive FHP two-tone Black/Cream paint colors. This paint can be seen coded on the vehicle buck tag as the example below shows specifying cream roof and rear deck. The WT-1077 cream paint can be cross-referenced to a current DuPont Chromabase color as G8828. The door tag will also stipulate the dual colors of black and cream.

Image #11, 1983 FHP Mustang bucktag showing special paint codes. (Mike Riley photo)

            The paint was applied in two steps; the cars were painted all cream first, then black was applied over the front, doors, and quarters. The ‘break’ on the color is clearly visible and uniform on the top of the rear quarter and lower A pillar. Inside the trunk the cream is clearly visible, as well as inside the deck lid. Doorjambs are black.

 

4.2           Decal usage, defined:

 

 

FHP decals measure 12 7/8” in diameter, and the ones used on SSP Mustangs (all years) were of the non-reflective variety. Also, these decals are side specific, with the state flag waving backwards depending on which door it went on. The border of the bottom of decal is placed directly over the side molding, which was not deleted like some other states (CHP for instance) would require; deck lids used a driver’s door decal. A passenger side door decal is pictured below:

 

Image #12, FHP door seal driver’s door.  (Mike Riley photo)

 

Front fender lettering was both reflective and non-reflective type, being a 3” or 3 ½” sans-serif 3M product, and is positioned along the break on the fender. The front fender lettering measures 38” long. There are typically differences in the spacing between the words ‘State’ and ‘Trooper’; in some cases the spread may range from 3” to 7” apart. Letters are ½” in width, and may vary to either 3” or 3 ½” in height. This was applied as a single transfer decal.

 

Image #13, FHP fender lettering, typical, accreditation decal, door seal. (Mike Riley photo)


The blue ‘Accreditation’ seal below started appearing approx. 1996 on FHP cars, therefore any car still in service during this time may have had this decal affixed to the front fender. This decal measures 4” x 5 ¼” and is affixed over the 5.0 emblem on the fender, and the location can be seen in the photo above. This has been changed to a slightly smaller version over the years but the image is still the same.

 

Image #14, FHP accreditation decal used on post 1995 vehicles. (Jim Young photo)

 

For 1989, a 30th Anniversary seal was added, along with a 50 year commemorative rear plate, to all FHP cars. The seal was added just above the 5.0 emblem, as seen on the close-up photo image below.

 

Image #15, closeup of FHP Anniversary emblem. Image c/o FHP.

 

 

4.3           Lettering usage, defined:

 

 

Rear deck lettering was used only on later marked FHP vehicles, being a 2” black sans-serif letter. The lettering was usually applied across the deck on either side of lock, although there have been examples that have all the letters situated to the left of the lock cylinder, and also smaller letters in black were used. This has been seen and documented on other vehicles also. The ‘LX’ emblem was present on all newer Mustangs, unlike some departments that used decklid delete components as part of the DSO.

 

Image #16, small rear deck lettering, deck lid seal, Whelen rear deck strobes. (Mike Riley photo)

         

Roof numbers were used on all marked vehicles. These measure 38” long x 16” high, and are a 2 ½” black sans-serif number. These were applied as a single transfer unit. The letters were situated behind the Jetsonic lightbar, centered between the area of the rear quarter glass. (see image #, above)

 

Image #17, Late 80’s SSP with Anniversary emblem, front unit plate. (Alex Ginzburg photo)

 

Table B: Paint scheme/lettering and decals by year

 

Year

Door Decals:

Fender Lettering:*

Deck Lettering:**

Roof Numbers:***

Other:

1983

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif Non-reflective

No

Yes

 

1984

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif Non-reflective

No

Yes

 

1985

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif Non-reflective

No

Yes

 

1986

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif Non-reflective

No

Yes

 

1987

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

 

1988

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

 

1989

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

50th Anniversary fender seal

1990

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

 

1991

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

 

1992

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

No

Yes

Accreditation sticker****

1993

Standard, Non-reflective

Gold Sans Serif reflective

Black 2” Sans Serif Non-reflective

Yes

Accreditation sticker****

 

uu = Usage uncertain

 

*          Letter size 3” high x ½” wide x 38” long

**         Rear deck lettering started showing up approx. 2000; any Mustangs in service at this time may have had it.

***       Roof number dimensions 16” high x ½” wide x 38” long

****     Accreditation decals would have bee found on any cars still in service after 1995

 

4.4           License plate usage, defined:

 

 

License Plates vary in usage, starting in 1983 with one rear plate only, to front and rear during mid 80’s with unit number, then back to single rear plate only with rear in the 90’s. There are at least 4 different types of plates that were used, listed below are examples of two, a 1989 Anniversary Plate, and a later 90’s blue/white single rear plate.

 

 

Images #18/19, 1989 Anniversary plate, later single blue/white plate with Troop decal and unit #. (Mike Riley photos)

 

 

Other variations include a matching front/rear in the same blue/white color and yellow/dark yellow lettering. Note the Troop sticker affixed to the plate on the right. A plate stayed with the vehicle during it’s in service deployment.

 

         


 

5.0        Mustang equipment usage

 

 

5.1           Lightbar usage, Jetsonic, defined:

 

 

For the first year, a Federal Signal CJ184 Beacon with blue lenses was deployed (see image #1, above). After that, and for the duration of the SSP program with FHP, a Federal Signal Jetsonic 48” lightbar was used on all Mustangs, with some exceptions, notably the Vector equipped cars. Based on the JS1 which was introduced in 1983 by Federal Signal, this lightbar was actually a JS2, due to a 100w speaker and PC control board not available on the JS1; Oddly enough however, FHP documentation refers to it as a JS1.

 

The JS series lightbars were initially equipped with a single Bosch motor which turned the chain controlling the rotators. These lightbars were unique in that they were chain driven/gear rotator design with 4 flashers. The "brain" utilizes the rotators as flashers; they rotate to a predetermined spot, and then stop rotating and flash. Because of the slow rotational speed, there was an old trick among Troopers to substitute a rubber band for the chain to ensure the rotators would turn much faster! These lightbars were ‘high current’ draw devices, not only because of the motor assembly, but also the 50w Halogen bulbs that were used. High output alternators were ordered on all FHP cars after they became available to help support the demand for enough juice to run these (and all the other required items) being fitted in the cars.

 

The JS lightbar used only blue and clear filters, and again, was the rotator variety, not strobes unlike other agencies deploying these lights. Clear filters on the ends, two clear takedowns on the front, and the rest are blue on the Jetsonic equipped cars. The siren was a 100w unit mounted in the middle; unmarked units also used a 100w siren mounted facing down or inwards, just below the headlamp housing, on the drivers side.

 

FHP had a ‘signature’ of using the two outboard fronts as takedowns, along with the alley lights. This, coupled with the Unity S6 6” spotlight on the marked units, provided additional lighting for nighttime traffic stops.

 

As this poster on the next page from the early 90’s illustrates, it provides us a nice head-on view of what was no doubt an image many drivers in Florida saw over the years! It also gives us a nice view of where the wiring cable was run through the roof, some agencies would run cabling up the outside of A pillar or through the passenger door, but all FHP’s cars were drilled to support the cabling. The actual cable was run up through the A pillar on many cars observed.

 

Image #20, FHP promotional poster.

 

 

 

 

The image below gives us a nice exploded look at the various components including the optional takedowns/strobes (47-49), rotators, siren and housing for the lightbar. This is a 1984 updated version of the original JS series design drawing.

 

 

Image #21, JS series with options, image c/o EV Lighting Co.

 

 

This bar called for omission of the front mirror with the takedown option, which can be seen in the image on page 23.

 

 

The next image provides us with a little different view up close, with very nice detail on the optional units including takedowns, as well as the various mirror configurations supported by this particular series of lightbar:

 

 

 

Image #22, JS series with options, image c/o EV Lighting Co.

 

 

Finally, a fully exploded view of all components to help tie it together is illustrated on the next page. It also has nomenclature for other agencies including CHP, and provides an interesting contrast to the available options for this versatile and widely used lightbar, as it this particular image shows other options not used on FHP lightbars, including strobe power supply:

 

 

Image #23, JS series with options, image c/o EV Lighting Co.

 

Because of the slow rotational speed of these units, Federal Signal started offering a kit to convert these to independent rotators in the early 90’s. This unit used the chassis as a ground, and would fit right in with some wiring changes. Not only did they draw less current, but offered better performance and reliability. In response to Trooper complaints about safety, some of these bars were converted to this modified design on the newer cars, so if you have a mid-late FHP Mustang, either style of bar may have been deployed; on earlier cars, the chain style is observed. Again, exceptions are the rule.

 

The lightbar was mounted just forward of the rear quarter window and approx. halfway across the door. FHP, up until only recently with deployment of the new Javelin LED lightbars, has used exclusively blue filters in the domes. Pictured below is a nice shot of Jetsonics in similar trim, with accreditation decals, telling us this is a mid-late 90’s photo; notice also the stainless vent shades.

 

Image #24, Jetsonic lightbars with clear takedowns, front plate. Accreditation decals place date circa 1996. (Alex Ginzburg

photo)

 

 

Aside from the Jetsonic, lack of radar unit can be seen if looking closely at this image; rear decklights are visible. Additionally, the famous ‘nose fade’, visible on the plastic cover over the marker light, is something common on Mustangs after a few years of being outside – the Florida sun would do a number on this area of the car. Because of the age of these cars, it’s possible they were sitting behind a station getting ready to be removed from service.

 

 

 

Image #25, Jetsonic lightbars with/without takedowns. (Photo c/o Alex Ginzburg)

 

Remember, though, that exceptions are the rule with FHP equipment. Looking at our picture of the ‘89 Anniversary Mustang from above, we notice one additional detail; the lightbar on the Mustang in the image below has only blue filters, yet the Crown Vic next to it not only has clear takedowns but center units as well! Again, variances did occur and should be expected when restoring a vehicle.

 

To control the usage of the Jetsonic, the JSS switch panel (Federal Signal) was used through later vehicles; it is shown in the picture below underneath the radio head. No longer available from Federal Signal, these items are very tough to find, and if you are serious about a restoration, keep your eyes open for one!

 

The JSS controller was initially used for the Jetsonic up through early 90’s, after which the Federal Signal standard 4 switch toggle was deployed. This item had an amplifier box for the siren and designed to support FHP’s new FedSig Vector lightbar, hence for later usage these were substituted when a replacement was needed.

 

This picture below illustrates a somewhat typical setup, with the PA 200 being screwed onto the right console, and crude L-bracket to fasten electronics. Contrast this to some of the other installation images below in section xx and you can see how things change-sometimes within the same troop!

 

 

Image #26, Mustang controls including JSS. (Mike Riley photo)

 

One should note the position of the shifter in relation to the radio head, siren box, and lightbar toggle; these are all in proximity, a necessity under pursuit situations. The Mustang did not have a great deal of options for mounting, of course, although comparing FHP’s location to agencies like CHP, where the AM/FM radio was removed to facilitate equipment installation, or Georgia, who used an actual equipment stand, is interesting. These agencies seemed to have given a bit more thought to an organized placement within the cars!

 

The image above is a 1993 car, hence the gray interior and manual crank windows. Odd that after several years of purchasing power windows and locks, the manual options were brought back for 1992/1993 vehicles.

 


 

5.2           Lightbar usage, other, defined:

 

 

A Vector lightbar was used (and is still used by FHP on other vehicles) on a handful of Mustangs. The 1989 SSP in the image below shows the Vector with yellow lightstick. The CB antenna is also an interesting note, added by the Troopers themselves. Notice lack of rear deck lights; roof numbers are present. Black wheels are also a very nice look on these cars, and many enthusiasts add them even if not ‘correct’ for their year.

 

Image #27, FHP Vector equipped, rear view. (Alex Ginzburg photo)

 

Viewing the front of the vehicle in the first image below, a siren is crudely attached to the center of the bumper! Whether this was for testing, or just an anomaly, is unknown. The siren was used in this general location on pushbar equipped vehicles, but typically not Mustangs. The bottom image of a later SSP has the Vector installed slightly forward of the roofline.

 

Image #28, Vector equipped Mustangs. (Photo c/o Mark Woodhouse)

5.3           Light usage, front/rear, defined:

 

 

On cars that did use rear deck lights, two different varieties of Dash-Master strobes were generally used, the Whelen Dash-Master and the Tomar self-contained strobe. The Dash-Master, much more common, is shown below; notice the two different mounting brackets, one which extends out, and one which mounts underneath. Both of these were simply screwed into the package tray with sheet metal type screws, bolts, paper clips, or whatever else was in the garage!

 

 

Images #29/30, Two varieties of rear deck strobes. (Jim Young/Mike Riley photos)

 

These were used with a 2 outlet Federal Signal power supply, 2SPS. This was typically mounted on the X-member behind the rear seat, again with only a couple of sheet metal screws-nothing fancy here.

 

Image #31 Typical two head power supply used with rear deck lights. (Mike Riley photo)


 

Pictured below, Tomar model DST self contained strobes, only used in 1992-1993 and on several hundred cars. These were a ‘hybrid’ unit, as you’ll notice they are branded as Federal Signal but were actually manufactured by Tomar. Unlike the units above, they did not use the typical two head power supply. It’s easy to spot a car that used these thanks to the unique ‘D’ shaped impression left on the package tray. The Florida sun is great at fading things, so the outline of these units, as well as the rectangular Whelen strobes, are usually easy to spot on the exposed areas of the package tray.

 

Unfortunately, these units had a tendency to get very hot and actually distort the lenses, so trying to find a functioning set can be quite a challenge. They can be fitted with externally powered strobes, but will be very tight.

 

Image #32, Tomar blue self contained strobes. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Image below shows front and rear of unmarked FHP SSP Mustang with original equipment. Some FHP marked cars used ‘pancake’ style lights on the dash, instead of Federal Signal mirror strobes, as did most unmarked units. Again, variances in equipment. The round Tomar strobes can be seen to right.

 

 

Image #33, FHP 1992 unmarked Mustang. (Mark Woodhouse photo)

 

 

 

There were a variety of dash style lights used on FHP cars; these appear to have been used mostly on unmarked units, but the example on the 1993 car below clearly shows one on a marked vehicle.

 

Image #34, 1993 marked Mustang with Dash reflector. (Photo c/o Alex Ginzburg)

 

As an aside, this particular car was located in Troop C, Pinellas, and was a pool car during the last few years of service. Radar antenna can be seen mounted to the right of the inside mirror. One other interesting note, use of front license plate and accreditation decals.

 

Additional examples of dash lights are examples like the ECC industries model LC-11 pancake style light below. Originally installed as equipment on a 1992 Mustang, it is a simple plug in unit. Fastened to the dash with a simple bracket, with – what else? – panhead style screws.

 

 


 

Image #35, closeup of ECC model LC-11 dash light. (Mike Riley photo)

 

 

5.4           Light usage, other, defined:

 

 

Although wig-wags and corner strobes were not installed by FHP, they were occasionally added, but are not a common item, and are seen only on a handful of later cars. If the Trooper decided he wanted them, they would get added. Traffic backers were not typically installed and have not been observed on Mustangs.

 

Spotlights were standard on all FHP marked units, and were the Unity chrome S6 6” with ‘K’ model shaft and plastic handle. These were used with the Mustang 221 bracket, and were mounted exactly 3” from the base of the driver’s A-pillar. The wiring on these was quite often run into the fuse box with a pigtail splice.

 

These spotlights are still readily available through various suppliers and from eBay. Although not overly difficult to install, be sure to measure twice and drill once! Unity provides a very nice template as part of the installation kit if you decide to install your own.

 


 

5.5           Radio usage, defined:

 

The Micor was used throughout the entire Mustang run for FHP. The example below is an actual FHP single head unit, complete with correct wiring harness and speaker. This unit was obviously quite well used! Notice the toggle on the bottom of the speaker, and the special ‘clamshell’ bracket for radio. These can be difficult to find.

 

Image #36, FHP single scan Micor setup, with wiring. (Mike Riley photo)

 

A dual head unit was phased in starting in the early-mid 90’s. It uses the same cabling and electronics, the primary difference being a separate scan head (see image #37 below). These were installed alongside the earlier units for several years.

 

In some areas, a repeater system was used, but this varied by Troop, and was largely a matter of how rural an area was. For example, Miami (Troop E) did typically not use repeaters, but sections of Hillsborough County (Tampa-Troop C) did. In the case of repeater usage, a ‘rack pack’ or pac rt as is commonly known, was coupled to the Micor in the trunk for handheld amplification. A special bracket would mount the radio to the top of the Micor for charging. In later Mustangs, 800 MHz programmable radios were used, but were limited to personnel who dealt with felony situations, and hence had to change frequencies throughout the state.

 

Internally, equipment included a standard complement of radio, switch controllers, and microphones. It’s usually easy to spot an ex-FHP car by the 3 distinctive holes that hold the crude ‘L’ bracket for the radio head and lightbar controller on the dash. Although some units had Micor radios mounted directly to the dash, many used this L bracket design, but not all. Some would screw the Micro clamshell into the side of the console, along with the siren. The Mic brackets could be placed on the side of the dash, as seen below, on top of the bracket, on front of the dash - I have seen installation holes for all of these locations for many retired vehicles.

 

Here’s a look inside a marked 1993 Mustang with the typical placement of equipment:

 

Image #37, 1993 FHP SSP typical equipment layout. (Mike Riley photo)

 

800 MHz radio head, Federal Signal JSS switch box, and PA 200 siren placement can be seen from this view. Also the Motorola speaker mounted on the dash, L bracket held on 3 ¼”: bolts, and a larger hole to the left for the radio wiring. Trooper had added extra cigarette lighter outlet below. PA-300 sirens were used in mid-80’s and later, Whelen WS-295 or PA-200 units on older vehicles.

 

A central wiring bus was used for running the equipment off a 12v source. This was mounted under the dash, and the corresponding radio equipment was mounted in the trunk. A look at an FHP unit will reveal trunk placement of the electronics for both Micro and Astro radio systems.

 

        Here’s another look at a different mounting location for an unmarked vehicle. Micor dual scan unit, different switch box, Micor speaker mounted down low…

 

Image #38, additional FHP control setup. (Mike Riley photo)

 

…and below we have the rest of the equipment mounted up on the dash. Interesting, and how many holes are drilled in the poor dash and console is anyone’s guess! Unfortunately, like most ex-police vehicles, I have seen very few devoid of the ‘drill happy’ installers, but this was long before manufacturers offered the slick pre-built racks that they do now on vehicles.


Image #39, additional FHP control setup with 800 MHz radio. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Image #40, radio speaker bracket location. (Mike Riley photo)

Antennas ranged from a single to as many as 3 depending on which Troop the car operated in. The Micor equipped cars used a 19” unity gain antenna. The 800 MHZ cars used the smaller 3.3” antenna. These were usually mounted center of the decklid, and in the case of two, the second one in center of the roof. On earlier cars and through approx 1986, these antennas are seen located on either side of the rear decklid, on top of the quarter panel.

 

CB Radios were not equipped by FHP but some Troopers would add them. Antenna placement also included either side of the rear deck lid, on top of the quarter, or basically anywhere it would fit! I have seen unmarked Mustangs with 3 antennas spread across the decklid in even spacing increments as well.

 

Although not a Mustang, I have included the image below of the Crown Vic to help illustrate exactly how much ‘flexibility’ can be exercised at times with both lights and radios - how many can you count?

 

Image #41, Crown Vic with LoJack and extra equipment. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Along with the Micor (documented in usage for the entire program), and the 800 MHz units such as the Astro, portables were also used with repeaters as outlined above.

 


5.6           Siren usage, defined:

 

FHP Mustang siren usage includes Whelen and Federal Signal. As seen in our 1983 vehicle above, image #2, a WS-295 is mounted below the radio. FS PA-200 (chrome) and later FS PA-300 (black face) units would replace the Whelen as standard units. Images #36 and #37 depict typical mounting locations for the FS units off to the side of the center console. The wiring pattern for all of these units is very similar and both share the same plastic pigtail connector on the rear. Again, unmarked units utilized a 100w downward facing speaker behind the front left headlamp, and the Lightbar equipped cars used the center 100w speaker.

 

Image #42, early/late FHP sirens used. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Image #43, PA300 installed in FHP Mustang. (Mike Riley photo)

5.7           RADAR usage, defined:

 

 

The important thing to remember is there are widespread differences in how the cars were equipped. When dealing with Radar units, even today there are a few different varieties of RADARs in use, that is because of the vendor that was used at the time of purchase or if the RADAR was purchased by the county, under a grant, or given as an award.  Since all of FHP fines goes to the county, some counties have bought FHP the RADAR since it is used to make them money, some federal safety grants supplied FHP with another type of RADAR, and lastly, there have been a few award programs that awarded the top speed enforcement Trooper with another kind of RADAR.

 

FHP radar varied in usage. Because money for radar units came from a variety of sources, there was no standard unit, although Kustom K band units seemed to prevail during mid 80’s thru end of service life for Mustangs. Other brands were used, and even newer Ka band units have been documented in FHP Mustangs. Again, radar units came from several different sources, including the various counties, so there really is no such thing as a ‘standard’ radar unit.

 

Most were single antenna units but dual antenna setups were also used. The typical Kustom Signal bracket is shown below, along with KR-10 unit. This type of setup can be seen in the poster in Image #, above.

 

 

Image #44, FHP K Band radar unit. (Mike Riley photo)


 

Of additional interest is this ‘special’ bracket shown for dash mounted antenna, made by R & R Electronics of New Jersey. It is unclear how many of these were actually ordered, but the triangular shape and suction cups make for a very nice installation method.

 

 

Image #45, special angular radar bracket made for FHP. (Mike Riley photo)

 


 

5.8           Other equipment usage, defined:

 

 

This unusual item was found on many FHP cars...know what it is? Give up? It’s used to kill the engine when toggled and if someone presses the brake, or the clutch on 5 speed cars. Mounted to the lower left of the console, and also used on Caprices and Crown Vics. Mfg name ‘Pollack’.

 

Image #46, special kill switch used by FHP, taken from 1993 Mustang. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Additional equipment carried in the Mustangs includes shotguns, which were carried loose in the trunk, unlike other agencies that used custom dash or behind the seat mounts, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and flares.

 

The large plastic dome light below was used in all FHP vehicles and was dealer installed. It would render the internal dome inoperable when installed, and was painted with red spray paint some times by personnel to reduce nighttime visibility.

 

Image #47, typical dome light in Mustang. (Mike Riley photo)

 

Table C: Equipment usage for FHP Mustangs:

 

Year

Lightbar:

Deck lights:*

Dash Lights:**

RADAR:***

VASCAR:

Radio:

1983

CJ184

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1984

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1985

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1986

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1987

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1988

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1989

Jetsonic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Micor

1990

Jetsonic

No

Yes**

Yes

Yes

Micor/800 MHz Spectra

1991

Jetsonic

-Whelen Dashmaster

Yes**

Yes

Yes

Micor/800 MHz Spectra

1992

Jetsonic

-Tomar/Fed Signal*

-Whelen Dashmaster

Yes**

Yes

Yes

Micor/800 MHz Spectra

1993

Jetsonic

-Tomar/Fed Signal*

-Whelen Dashmaster

Yes**

Yes

Yes

Micor/800 MHz Spectra

 

*        Self contained unit. Approx 300 sets purchased for use 1992-1993 period.

**      Mostly unmarked units only, either Federal Signal Mirror strobe or Pancake style light.

***    Radar usage varies, Kustom K band most common, MPH also used.

****  Wigwags and CB were installed depending on request.

***** The JSS controller was initially used for the Jetsonic up through early 90’s, after which the Federal Signal standard 4 switch toggle was deployed. This item had an amplifier box for the siren and designed to support FHP’s new FedSig Vector lightbar, hence for later usage these were substituted when a replacement was needed.

 

 

6.0        Miscellaneous Information:

 

 

6.1           Tire/wheel usage, defined:

 

 

          FHP substituted Gatorbacks for the stock Mustang tire on Mustangs. These are tough to find now for restoration purposes. Both GTII and VR60’s have been observed in newer cars.

 

Tire and brands are listed below:

 

Table D: Wheel/tire usage by year

 

 

Year/Equipment

Rim type

Size

Wheel Cover

Tire

Size

1983

Stock 14 x 6

14”

LTD II/Pinto spec

uu

 

1984

Stock 14 x 6

14”

LTD II/Pinto spec

uu

 

1985

Police 15 x 7

15”

Special Police

uu

 

1986

Police 15 x 7

15”

Special Police

uu

 

1987

10 hole 15 x 7*

15”

Ford Oval

GTII

225/65VR15

1988

10 hole 15 x 7*

15”

Ford Oval

GTII

225/65VR15

1989

10 hole 15 x 7*

15”

Ford Oval

GTII

225/65VR15

1990

10 hole 15 x 7*

15”

Ford Oval

GTII

225/65VR15

1991

10 hole 15 x 7

15”

Ford Oval

GTII/VR60

225/65VR15

1992

10 hole 15 x 7

15”

Ford Oval

GTII/VR60

225/65VR15

1993

10 hole 15 x 7

15”

Ford Oval

GTII/VR60

225/65VR15

 

*1987-1989 and possibly some 1990 cars used black painted wheels, otherwise alloy.


6.2           Vehicle usage, defined:

 

 

As noted in section 3.0, 1983 marked the first year for Mustang usage. FHP purchased vehicles in increasing numbers, with 1989 and 1990 representing large quantities. 1987 usage is currently unknown, but research continues to try and complete the picture.  

 

          The numbers below were compiled from FHP sources, and also the excellent work done by Charles Ricks.

 

Table E: FHP Mustang usage by year.

 

Years used:

Total:

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

Per Year:

1663+

0

40

50

66

147

X

270

354

196

179

197

164

 

For a listing of FHP Mustangs click on our VIN registry page at http://www.sspmustang.org/vin_registry.htm.

 

 

7.0        Frequently asked questions:

 

 

Q) How can I tell if my Mustang is/was an FHP car?

 

A) There are several very good ‘clues’. First, the obvious external markings, two tone paint, signs of roof numbers, etc. This is quite uncommon now, as most FHP cars have long been auctioned off, and repainted black or some other solid color. Unlike agencies such as CHP, where a tell-tale speaker cutout was often visible, once a car has been painted, it can be difficult to determine by casual inspection whether it is even an SSP at all, much less an FHP car. If you can get an up close look, check for the following:

 

 

-         Interior: Large screw hole in dash, many screw holes on console and dash, tan interior 1984-1989, gray 1990-1993. No power on 1992/93 cars. There is often significant wear in the left side of drivers’ seat from the duty belt. The presence of the DHSMV asset tag in the glovebox or other location is also a good sign.

 

-         Exterior: Signs of cream paint in trunk, under hood, under roof moldings, etc. Spotlight may or not still be present, perhaps small antenna holes in decklid or roof. If 87-89, black wheels may be present.

 

-         Vehicle info: The driver’s door tag (sample below) should have a 6 digit DSO with 24 xxxx for some group of numbers. The VIN may or not be listed in our VIN Registry page, which can also provide a clue on unit #. Bucktags will list the agency with the 24 DSO (see image #10 above). Also, CARFAX may provide clues with respect to vehicle history. Lastly, FHP vehicles were coded as POLICE on the title, and the unit’s # was often written on in hand, along with Troop. If you are lucky enough to have this, it is very helpful info.

 

Please keep in mind these points make the assumption you have already established that the car is indeed an SSP Mustang-For help with that, please see our FAQ section here: http://www.sspmustang.org/FAQ.htm

 


Q) How can I tell which equipment my car should have had?

 

A) Well, hopefully the document has provided some insight for you. Please keep in mind this is only a guideline. While some items are more certain of others, be very careful of absolutes. A little detective work, i.e. outlines on package tray for deck lights, matching up interior holes, etc will help provide some insight into the specific type of equipment the car may have had. There really is no ‘master list’ like other agencies.

 

 

Q) How can I tell which Unit # my car was?

 

A) This is a very common request from people who purchase a vehicle. There are several things that can tell you which unit # was assigned:

 

-         Original title: The original title from auction had the unit # and Troop written on it. This can provide an idea of where it served.

-         Vehicle Key: The key may have the unit # stamped on it as in image #6 above. This is practice that was used quite recently as well.

-         Supporting documents: If you look hard enough, many times the cars were given extended warranties which have the unit # listed, or there may be other original documentation accompanying the car. Many people have been lucky enough to acquire cars with complete maintenance records! Also, items like credit card receipts, business cards, or other documents that may be stuck behind a seat or in the trunk can offer a clue as to the history of the card.

-         Our VIN Registry page may be of help, there may be handwritten markings under the hood, service records, credit card receipts in the car-you never know. It’s worth a good look and you may be pleasantly surprised!

 

Image #48, FHP fuel card with unit number. (Doug Rogers photo)

 

Q) How can I tell where my car served, or who drove it?

 

This is difficult to tell. Some of the previous hints may apply. Keep in mind that it has been many years now since these cars were routinely in service, personnel have retired, moved on, etc. With the passing of time it will get only more difficult, unfortunately. Carfax can offer a history on where the car was, as well as when it may have been retitled, i.e. auctioned. 

 

 

All information copyright.