My first car. Bought it for $2800 when I finished my undergrad.
I bought my interceptor when it had 92,000 miles on it in August of 2015. It now has 116,000 miles.
In its former life, I have been able to verify that it was in the motor pool of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department in Bakersfield, California, where it averaged fewer than 6,000 miles of use per year.
Because of the comparatively low amount of miles, combined with full working rear doors and power windows, a full padded rear seat and the absence of any holes or decals on the exterior of the vehicle (including its roof, trunk, and interior paneling). The operative theory here is that it was an undercover, unmarked “slick-top” take-home unit, as it also includes a cruise control-enabled steering wheel and heated mirrors — rarely included options when police interceptors are used solely for patrol.
It does still have strobe lights in the front corner lights and taillights, as well as a center strongbox with auxiliary power sources that has since been converted to a traditional armrest, with all wiring in the interior and trunk of the vehicle having been zip-tied and tucked away out of sight.
Along with externally-cooled fluids, heavy-duty hoses that last the lifetime of the drivetrain (easily past 500,000 miles with proper maintenance), heavy-duty suspension components, front and rear sway bars, a heavy-duty alternator and vented steel wheels with the original Ford “dog dish” center caps all are still intact and included with this vehicle. A full size spare, mounted on the top shelf in the trunk is also included.
Virtually every maintenance item on this car that can be replaced has been with OE or better parts and fluids by ASE-certified mechanics, with all receipts accounted for within the duration of my having owned it. Routine full-synthetic oil changes have been recorded every 5,000 miles.
Full coolant, transmission, differential, air intake, spark plug, PCV, fuel injector, alignment, and suspension components have been serviced or replaced according to Ford’s suggested intervals since my having owned the vehicle. I made preventive maintenance a priority while I have owned it, and would not hesitate to drive it across the country at a moment’s notice.
The paint is the original “Performance White” from the factory, which was already in excellent shape at the time I purchased it, and has been garage-kept since. It has also been washed, waxed and clay-barred on a regimented basis. It has a few nicks consistent with fleet service, but which have been spot-treated and sealed with OE-paintcode treatment paint.
The interior is totally free of any scuffs, stains or smells, and has been deep-cleaned. The climate control will both freeze you out in the summer or burn you up in the winter.
The door jambs, door sills, trunk, and all compartments are totally clean. The waterproof, plastic flooring has been cleaned with simple green and hit with Armor All for a like-new shine.
There is a 1.5” tear in the lower back of the driver’s seat that was there before my having purchased the vehicle, but that has not grown or frayed in the duration of my ownership.
The drivetrain has been programmed with a computer tune by legendary 4.6L Mustang tuning yard Mo’s Speed Shop, out of Dallas, Georgia.
This includes a SCT4 tuner with 87 and 91 octane tunes, which enhances throttle response, top end power, low end torque, shift quickness, efficiency and overall drivability. It is truly a joy to drive, and makes a beautiful engine note from the same dual-overhead cam V8 that was used in the Mustang GT of its day.
The addition of the 80mm airbox, air tube, mass air flow sensor and high-flow air filter and intake system out of a Mercury Marauder means this engine flows far more air than the stock 2003 setup. Using an OBD to bluetooth app, I measured 290 horsepower on the 91 octane tune over a factory 240.
I also had Thrush Turbo mufflers welded on behind the catalytic converters, which provide a nice throaty rumble on startup and under heavier throttle, but that in no way drone at any other speed.
I routinely got over 22 miles per gallon on the freeway, where approximately 80 percent of my driving has occurred.
My suspension and braking modifications include upgrading the front struts and rear shocks to the police-spec heavy duty KYB ‘Gas-A-Just’ setup within the last 7,000 miles, which is the favored aftermarket upgrade both on forums and by many law enforcement agencies. I recently replaced the rear brake pads and rotors with Hawk HPS high-performance brake pads, and Bendix police-spec rotors. The front pads and rotors have 70 percent life remaining.
This car handles like a vehicle much smaller than it is, and stops on a dime without any fade in traffic.
The last notable performance modification includes the fitting of BFGoodrich Comp Sport 2 A/S tires, which are a wider section width than regular spec — 245/55 R17. They include a matching full-size spare tire that has been rotated in one time since they were installed at 108,500 miles. The slightly wider section width makes this car feel truly planted, and are a $900 set with a 40,000-mile warranty, with about 8,000 miles already on them.
The interior modifications I made include adding a Pioneer head unit with CD, radio and auxillary input, replacing all factory speakers with Pioneer 5×7 speakers in the front doors and rear deck (4 total). From here I removed the front door panels and rear deck and surrounded them with DynaMat sound deadener, which enabled higher performance from the speakers and decreased outside road noise without having to turn the volume any higher.
I had a Pioneer Champion amplifier that can support up to 2000 watts of power and a 10-inch shallow-mount Pioneer subwoofer installed professionally by Sun Valley Stereo, which packs plenty of punch without using up any of the cavernous cargo space of the trunk of this full size sedan, and has a hidden bass adjustment dial underneath the front cupholders, which makes adjusting the low-frequency power very easy to do on the fly.
The trunk lid has also been completely coated with the same sound damping material that was used in the interior of the car.
Exterior modifications include metal-riveted installation of a chin spoiler from the 2003 Mach 1 Mustang, OE rear mudguards, accented smoked tail lights, and professionally tinted windows. (Rear windshield is 5%, door windows are 15%).
The car had a clean title, and is truly one of the finest examples of this storied body-on-frame workhorse that is still in such pristine condition.
Whether you’re looking to add one to your fleet, are in search for a performance vehicle with great road manners that’s a lot of fun to drive or are in need of a reliable commuter or first car, this one can check all of these boxes without a second glance.