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The end of an era for Florida Highway Patrol SSP Mustangs - the last marked FHP unit

Text and photos by Mike Riley

    Well, a long line of Mustang tradition comes to an end. Unit 1222 out of Troop E, Miami, went through the auction block in Orlando, April '01. A sad fate for the last of a long line of Mustangs, the little SSP appeared to have a tougher life than most.

    The FHP was second only to California in the amount of vehicles purchased during the SSP program, with over 900 units purchased.

    This particular unit sold for $6000, had about 79K miles on it, and was a little worse for wear and tear as you can see from the photos. The interior was pretty much shot, a new front clip had been installed, and the engine compartment was filled with dust and dirt. It did seem to run well enough, although it spent the last few years sitting outside at Troop E. The car subsequently wound up on the West Coast, where it's being restored.

     There is actually one Mustang left in the fleet, Unit 1993 D, but it's used only for special displays and not normally for road patrol. It can be seen at various events throughout the year and is based in Deland near Orlando.

Click on an image for a larger view:

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Update: 07.23.06 - Contributed by Rich Resk

    Well, here is a followup to unit 1222. Rich Resk brought it back to Florida and now is restoring it. As you can see from the photos, it looks a lot better then when it was sold! Rich, from Margate, has been working hard on getting the car back to it's former glory, and it looks great! Nice to see another one saved, way to go Rich!

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     There was actually one more Mustang left after this one, a black 1993 unmarked unit which will be restored at a future date.