In November of 2020 I was contacted by Rich F who owns (2) former Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) Ford Mustangs. Rich is a retired police sergeant and former EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) driving instructor. Rich is no stranger to older police cars and has restored numerous vintage police vehicles over the years. Rich and his son have taken on a father/son project by purchasing two Minnesota State Patrol Mustangs.
Rich and his son have extensively research each car and to their knowledge they are the only two MSP rollers left. They recently purchased the blue one that’s been featured here at Code3Garage.com. They stripped it down and restored it using the correct equipment and placement. They even tracked down the trooper that actually drove the car and the technician that built the car to make it as accurate as possible. They also purchased a grey one and have restored that one in the same way. Rich offered to send me updated photos of both cars for use on this website.
I initially thought I would add the photos to the Minnesota State Patrol Mustang that I have featured here, but I realized that the car would need a whole new feature article to share the photos and the correct changes that were made.
I think it would be best if I just let Rich tell the story himself:
“The interior equipment are the same for both cars with a couple exceptions based on Troopers customization. The dark blue one was purchased in the fall of 2019 when we saw it advertised on Ebay. It was owned by a dealer is Scottsdale Arizona and was in the condition that you see in the pictures you have on the website. We researched the car and located the Trooper it was assigned to and the technician who put the car together. The emergency equipment in the car when we purchased it was somewhat period correct, but not necessarily what the Minnesota State Patrol used. The technician who installed the original equipment for the State Patrol was a valuable resource in identifying the correct items. From there we searched and found what was still available.
In the Spring of 2020, we were made aware of a collector in Nashville, Tennessee who had one of the light gray (1K) colored MSP SSP Mustangs. We were able to work out a deal and took custody of this Mustang. The Minnesota State Patrol purchased Two light gray (1K) Mustangs in 1989 and four of the dark blue ones. The light gray one we purchased is the only surviving one. Its sister car was located I a scrap yard in Wisconsin years ago and has since been disposed of. It has been said that the light gray (1K) color is rare for a Mustang, let alone a SSP model.
Minnesota State Patrol used Halogen emergency lighting. From the front, the fog lights were used to conceal lighting. Red undercover ShoMe lights were installed with a wigwag flasher. Sound Off Wigwag taillight & headlight flashers were also installed to increase visibility. Code 3 AS-2 all red halogen wigwag lights are installed in the front windshield above the rear view mirror as well on the rear package tray above the third brake light. These are the same as Minnesota State Patrol used in the day. They also used Code 3 AS-3 wigwags and ShoMe pop up lights on the rear package tray. Little known are the add on lights that were magnetic mounted on the roof or trunk lid at the discretion of the trooper. They were not mounted on the car except for low visibility times. It was a Whelen Responder DX mini light bar.
On the inside is a Kustom Trooper radar unit I was able to obtain to replace the MPH radar unit that had been placed in the car. The Kustom radar unit we put in the car still has the State of Minnesota property sticker still on the rear of the unit. Siren control consists of a Federal PA300 unit.
Lighting control in the original car when in service were a custom made box with eight push buttons to control the lights.
The lighting control switchbox was a custom made box for the emergency lights. It was produced by a custom maker called Transportation Safety Devices out of Indianapolis. The company went out of business just after these Mustangs went into service. The Troopers described these lighting boxes as “Pieces of junk that malfunctioned continually”.
It would be interesting to find one, but I think there is no way any of them are around still. Searching all options in todays market I was able to locate an eight button light box produced by Whelen. The Whelen model PCC8R relay box was installed in the same area where the original switchbox was located.
The two way is a General Electric AXA9MZKT 244 A2 VHF Remote Head Two Way Radio ga361 with a General Electric Delta/Ranger Series Speaker. A detail usually forgot is the Motorola HLN4025A Hang Up Box. This is where the mic is hung up on and minimizes interference. This is mounted in the center console.
One detail that is missing due to it also being a custom made item just for the Minnesota State Patrol is a toggle switch located in the cubby below the AM/FM radio. This toggle switch is to activate the radio repeater to allow the squad radio to be used as a repeater for the Troopers portable radio. I am working to duplicate that now at this time. The interior is completed by displaying a Minnesota State Patrol Trooper hat and coat.
I have recently pulled the engine out of the Gray Mustang in order to replace leaking seals. This lead to tearing the whole engine and rebuilding it. It was obvious the car had been abused since its days of being in service. While the engine is out, I will be repainting the engine compartment and refreshing all the work parts of the power plant.”
I learned some things that I didn’t know. I find it interesting that these Mustangs had a Whelen mini lightbar that troopers could place on top of the car for better visibility when they felt the need. It’s also interesting when cars have unique equipment that isn’t readily found like the switchbox.