SSP Mustangs came with 4 very distinct wheel options during the 11 year run:
From 1982-1984, simple Fairmont/Baby LTD style 14 x 6 steel wheels were used with a Pinto style hubcap.
For the next two year period, 1985-1986, a special 15 X 7" Police only steel wheel with an Escort-like hubcap appeared; this plastic cap was offered in two different colors, a dark grey or argent appearing finish, and a chrome finish. Although it appears to be from an Escort, and is virtually identical in appearance, it is taller to accommodate for the Mustang wheel bearing. These caps had a real proclivity to 'melt' under heat, as many officers who drove the cars during pursuit situations can attest to. Most seem to be specific from the two years, i.e. 1985/argent, 1986/chrome, but this cannot be conclusively proven and is based on observation. Additionally, the 1985/86 caps used a special two piece nut/chrome sleeve design to hold the wheel on, and a special set of clips to hold them in the wheel with 3 plastic clips and screws.
For 1987-1993, the 15 inch 10 hole 'phone dial' aluminum rim was used; interestingly enough, it was painted semi-gloss black from 1987-thru mid 1990, but only on the outside; the natural finish was offered after that through the program end in 1993. Many aficionados like these black painted wheels and will often put them on later model SSP's, even though technically 'incorrect'. The standard Ford script cap was used with both style of wheel, and the cap was unpainted on the black ones. There have been numerous other wheels tested by agencies during the SSP run, notably SCHP and Nevada HP.
Some interesting footnotes including a special round fibre-board cover to fit the wheels offered as a full size spare. This differed from the civilian version that covered the entire trunk area, and had a special label attached to it. Also, the inside of the rim had a special label warning of high for directional tire usage on 1987-1993 wheels, as speed rated 'Gatorback' directional tires were usually equipped on SSP Mustangs. All Mustangs used a 4 lug mounting system regardless of year.
|Figure A: Counter clockwise from upper left: 1982-1984 wheel, 1985-1986 NOS special steel wheels, 1987-1989 black painted wheel, 1990-1993 natural finish 10 hole wheel.|
|Figure B: Cap for 1985-1986 wheels, chrome style, shown with incorrect acorn nuts:|
|Figure C: Special sleeve and nut for 1985-1986 wheel.|
|Figure D: Original packing slip for NOS 1986 special steel wheel.|
This unused Eagle GT4 came from a 1993 FHP car and was typical of SSP usage. Size is rather tall, 215/65/15, reflecting the stock size. Most agencies chose to go with an optional 225 VR tire such as the Goodyear or Eagle GT.
Rather rare item, an original label for tires used on 1993 CHP EVOC Mustang. Note the lower profile characteristics. Florida Highway Patrol used Goodyear VR60's in the same size extensively for replacement work.
Thanks to Mr. Jim Dingell for his information on the black painted spare; all other information compiled by Mike Riley; General image c/o Charles Ricks.
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