Junkyard Gem: 1984 Ford LTD Sedan

Murilee Martin



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Ford extracted an amazing amount of value from its rear-wheel-drive Fox platform, which stayed in production from the 1978 model year through 2005 (if you consider the SN95 Mustang to be a true Fox, as I do), and we don't have space here to list every single Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury model based on the Fox during that period. Just about all Foxes took model names that began life on earlier platforms, and the Fox LTD is no exception; the first LTD badges went on high-end Ford Galaxie 500s for 1965 and a steady parade of big, cushy LTDs issued forth from Ford plants through the 1982 model year. Today's Junkyard Gem in California is one of the final generation of LTD, built only for the 1983 through 1986 model years and very difficult to find today.

By 1984, the only sporty two-door Foxes available were the Mercury Cougar, Ford Mustang/Mercury Capri, Ford Thunderbird, and Lincoln Mark VII. If you wanted to look like a devil-may-care rakehell type in a Fox sedan that year, you needed to get the optional (for $117) Tu-Tone™ Paint/Tape Treatment (one must wonder if Tommy Tutone took his name from a Ford brochure, or if Ford adopted the name after Tutone's 1981 hit song). This car appears to have Light Wheat over Vanilla Metallic paint, with gold tape stripes.

Just to confuse everyone, Ford offered a completely unrelated LTD Crown Victoria, based on the Panther platform, in 1984. That LTD was big and ponderous, like the '68 LTD coupe my grandparents drove when I was a kid.

Fox LTD buyers could choose between four engines for the 1984 model year: the "Pinto" 2.3-liter four-cylinder, the 3.3-liter Thriftmaster straight-six, the 3.8-liter Essex V6, and the 5.0-liter Windsor V8 (the factory-hot-rod LTD LX, which hardly anyone bought, got a 165-horsepower version of the 5.0). This car has the V6, rated at a respectable 120 horses.

Bench-seat sedans still sold well enough in the middle 1980s, but their days were numbered.

Pray for peace.

Bob Bondurant approved of the Fox LTD's handling on the torture track.

Cal Worthington had an '84 LTD with just 1,954 miles for just half the price of a brand-new one! Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.