|Scott Van Aken
The Mustang SVO is a limited-production version of the third generation Ford Mustang sold from 1984 to 1986, during which time 9,835 examples were built. Although it departed both physically and mechanically from any prior version of the Mustang, it held the same spot within the lineup, both in terms of performance over "lesser" variants and in prestige, as had variants such as the Shelby-tuned and "BOSS" Mustangs of the 1960s and 1970s.
Still ultimately concerned with issues such as fuel consumption and emissions, SVO engineers opted to pass over the production 5.0 liter V-8 in lieu of an updated, turbocharged, and stronger version of Ford's 2.3 liter inline four, originally used in the Pinto and Ford Mustang II. The installation of the four-cylinder engine helped with weight distribution, due to the engine being installed perpendicular to, and behind, the front axle, thereby improving handling. Endowing the engine with an advanced, computer-controlled fuel injection system and an intercooled turbocharger system helped push power output to 175 horsepower. In addition, a "fuel grade" switch was added to the dash, allowing the driver to adjust the vehicle's performance level depending on whether premium or standard grade fuel was being used. A factory-installed Hurst shifter was made standard to improve feel and quickness. With fine tuning and the addition of a new water-cooling system, power output rose to 200 horsepower (149 kW) for 1986 (205 horsepower (153 kW) for 439 85.5 SVOs). Also, the 1985 1/2 and 1986 SVO had new "aero" headlights. These headlights were designed for the 1984 model, but regulations would not allow them to be used until the mid-1985 update. The vehicle's standard Borg-Warner five-speed manual transmission was updated then, as well, receiving revised gearing to match the new 3:73 rear end ratio,
For many modelers, Monogram produces the best US tooled 1/25 scale cars. This is, to my knowledge, the only kit of this particular Mustang variant to have been produced. Not very many US car kits come with four cylinder engines, but this one does a nice job of reproducing the turbocharged four. Two of the parts on the chrome sprue are for the engine including a valve cover and the engine front. Most modelers will strip the chrome from these bits and repaint them in a more appropriate aluminum.
Once the engine is built, the interior is on the agenda. Separate decals are provided for the instrument panel dials. The two front seats then fit into a standard tub. Construction moves to the chassis, first assembling the suspension and exhaust, then flipping it over to install the engine. Moving to the body, the few areas under the hood are installed followed by the front and rear glass. Then the interior is glued in. Moving back to the chassis, the engine to exhaust pipe is glued in and the wheels are built up, then glued in place. Yes, the wheels don't roll on this one.
The last group of construction steps include installing the radiator, building up the front and rear pieces, then attaching the hood and mirrors. Decals are provided for license plates and for a racing version. In terms of colors, the kit wants the stock version to be a metallic red as on the box art. The racing version is shown painted white. A google shows that there are a variety of stock shades.
Those who are Mustang enthusiasts will want to add this one to their collections. It looks pretty standard in terms of how it builds and with careful construction, will result in a superb model.
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