"high speed pursuit"
Mike Medley's '92 GSP SSP
So I have to admit, I get really charged up hearing old school stories about foxes. Whether its stories about guys like Gene Deputy, or reading about how guys like Rick Anderson got his '88 notch into the 12s with EFI, and being smog legal. Other such stories involve the SSP (Special Service Package) foxes. We've covered the history before on the specifics about these very special models, so we won't go into all of that. This is about the history of one such SSP, Perm #2222, that was actually not supposed to be ordered. Yes, this little notch has some amazing stories to tell, and those are just the ones we know about.
Mike Medley encountered his first fox body in elementary school. It was D.A.R.E week (remember that) and Mike heard a low rumble in front of the school. The rumble was two SSP foxes, driven by state Troopers, that were coming to speak about saying: "no" to drugs. "I'll never forget the sun hitting that blue paint, and the small puffs of steam coming from the polished tail pipes" recalls Mike. As Mike grew up, he always wanted a notchback, but ended up settling for an '87 GT convertible. Mike restored the GT, and sold it in 2009, when the Harley bug got a hold of him. Even though he enjoyed his Harley, Mike never lost interest in finding a notch.
Fast forward to 2017, his wifes old boss who, was the director of EMS in Polk county GA, added Mike to a page of retired GSP/Dept. of Public Safety vehicles. Mike being a firefighter, and his wife an EMT, they had several connections in the group. One day a post popped up from a long time friend named Bobby Edwards, who is a GSP collector, and restoration expert. The story was that Bobby had obtained Perm #2222 from a gentleman in Michigan that had restored the car, with Bobby's help. Bobby had just taken the car in on trade for another SSP, and now had it listed for sale.
At this point Mike was determined to finally make his dream happen. Being 1 of 20 GSP cars for '92, this was a very special unit, and he refused to miss his chance at it. "if I can sell this damn Harley, I'm gonna buy it" explained Mike. Long story short; he made it happen.
Rewind back to its service days, this car was actually not even supposed to be purchased. 1992 was to be the last year the GSP bought Mustangs, but the fleet manager had some funds left over, and snuck a few in. The car was bought by the state from Southlake Ford in Jonesboro GA, and began service in Statesboro GA on traffic patrol. After a few years the car was sent to Atlanta, finding duty on the midnight shift in the downtown area. The assigned trooper was part of the H.I.D.T.A (high intensity drug trafficking area) task force, and saw more than its share of action. One claim to fame for the car was being part of the largest drug bust in GA history, in the '90s. "This car has had a whole lot of drugs on the hood" said the formerly assigned Trooper. "If I was on duty with it, and it wasn't raining, I was in a high speed chase with it" recalls the Trooper.
Owning a car like this does come with many stipulations. Being that the car is fully dressed, and correct down to the calibrated radar, some rules have to be followed. While some owners use magnets for the lettering, and quick disconnects for the equipment, Mike wants the car to stay just how it was when it patrolled the GA highways. Some states like Pennsylvania allow you to operate the vehicle uncovered, as long as there are no l.e.d lights on the car. States like Florida will not even allow you to use the same paint scheme, and will confiscate the car if they see one. For Mike, he obtained a letter from the Colonel of the GSP, that allows him to show the car, and take it to cruises uncovered. However, when driving the car, the letters, state seal, and lights must be covered. Being as the GSP still uses these colors, the offer was more than fair.
For many years, SSP fox body Mustangs were hacked up, turned into race cars, and those were the ones that serviced the rigors of Police duty. I personally have seen my fair share of these cars in less than desirable hands, being beaten like a rented mule. I must say I am glad these cars are finding their way to responsible owners, that are dedicated to preserving them. The SSP is just another prime example of why the fox body is such an anomaly in the car hobby. I feel priveliged to write about these cars, and hope to see more of them surface in this condition. CR