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Ford LTD Crown Victoria

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Title: Ford LTD Crown Victoria  
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Subject: Ford Panther platform, Ford Thunderbird (eleventh generation), Ford Thunderbird (ninth generation), Ford Thunderbird (tenth generation), Puerto Rico Police
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Ford LTD Crown Victoria

Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Manufacturer Ford
Production 1978–December 1990
Assembly St. Thomas, Canada
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Platform Ford Panther platform
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Lincoln Continental Mark VI
Engine 302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
Transmission 4-speed AOD automatic
Wheelbase 114.3 in (2,903 mm) (sedan)
Length 211 in (5,359 mm) (sedan)
215.7 in (5,479 mm) (1990–91 wagon)
216 in (5,486 mm) (1988–89 wagon)
Width 77.5 in (1,969 mm) (sedan)
79.3 in (2,014 mm) (wagon)
Height 55.6 in (1,412 mm) (sedan)
56.5 in (1,435 mm) (wagon)
Predecessor Ford LTD
Successor Ford Crown Victoria

The Ford LTD Crown Victoria is a full-size rear-wheel drive sedan that was produced by Ford from 1978 to 1990. As part of a redesign for the 1992 model year, it was renamed the Ford Crown Victoria. While the Crown Victoria uses a completely different body and drivetrain, it shares the Ford Panther platform with its predecessor.


In 1979, the Crown Victoria name was revived by Ford (from the original 1955-56 top-of-the-range Fairlane coupe) for the upper-level trim package on the Ford LTD, replacing the LTD Landau. These cars had a targa-like chrome band across the roof, usually paired with a landau vinyl roof. While the chrome band was unique to the LTD Crown Victoria, the vinyl roof was a common option on its Lincoln-Mercury counterparts, the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. The car was available in coupe, sedan, and station wagon body styles through 1987.

In order to boost mid-size car sales, the LTD nameplate was moved to the mid-sized Ford Fox platform by the end of 1982 to replace the Granada and Fairmont. The LTD Crown Victoria remained on the full-sized Ford Panther platform, becoming a standalone model line. The old LTD 'S' front fascia was dropped, leaving only the former high-end quad-headlight fascia. Under the hood, the 122 hp 4.2L V8 from 1981-1982 was discontinued. Electronic "Central Fuel Injection" (CFI), a type of Throttle Body Injection, was now standard on the 5.0L V8 engine. While the Crown Victoria earned a reputation for its impressive durability, the CFI engine's induction system was a source of problems for drivers who experienced chronic stalling when in traffic. 1985 saw the horn control return to the steering wheel hub from its original location on the end of the turn signal lever. This was a major complaint among drivers of Ford products in the early 1980s, who often found themselves pounding on the steering wheel hub in vain. In 1986, on all civilian models, this was replaced by "Sequential Fire" electronic fuel injection, based on Ford's OBD-1 compliant EEC-IV computer. The new engine featured better driveability in traffic than the CFI unit, although it also had stalling problems which were caused by dirt in the air intake. Ford finally cured this problem with an inexpensive spacer that was installed in the air flow duct which bypassed the dirt.

Although the LTD had suffered depressed sales in 1979-82 due to the economic recession and high gas prices, demand began picking up by 1983 and the line was soon a major seller.

1988 facelift

1988–1990 LTD Crown Victoria sedan

With Ford planning the new FWD Taurus line, the Fox-based LTD was scheduled to be discontinued, and the LTD Crown Victoria was expected to quickly follow. However, falling gas prices and continued high retail and fleet sales convinced them to continue the line. In 1987, the front and rear styling was given a mild update for the 1988 model year. On the front, a slightly smaller grille switched from an eggcrate to a waterfall pattern; a longer rear trunklid received wraparound taillights. The bumpers were redesigned to become better integrated into the bodywork. Several items available previously as options, such as AutoLamp (the automatic headlight system), now become standard equipment. The coupe was discontinued for 1988 due to poor sales, but has become a minor collectible among enthusiasts because of its sporty styling and relative rarity.

In 1989, the 1990 model year LTD Crown Victoria received several major safety updates with the addition of a driver's side airbag and rear outboard shoulder belts; the former brought with it a new steering column and a completely new dashboard. To increase its appeal after 11 years on the market, the standard equipment list grew again to include power windows along with other previously optional features. 1990 was also the last model year for the LTD Crown Victoria and the last year for the station wagon; these models were distinguished by amber bulbs behind clear front turn signal lenses (rather than clear bulbs behind amber lenses).


1983–1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria "S" with vinyl roof delete.
1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria police car

When introduced in 1982, two model ranges were available: the "base" model and a lower-priced "S" version. Both ranges came standard with the CFI V-8 engine, an AOD automatic transmission with overdrive, power steering, power front disc brakes, full carpeting, and bumper guards. The base model added a reclining cloth bench seat, full wheel covers, full courtesy lighting, the landau-style padded vinyl roof with targa trim band and AM/FM stereo radio.

The budget "S" model was comparable to the former base LTD series, and had such features as a vinyl bench seat, AM radio (stereo radios were available at extra cost) and lower-grade carpeting. The landau vinyl roof was deleted (a full, non-padded vinyl roof was available at extra cost). Several other items were deleted (such as several of the courtesy lights). The "S" model was the designated fleet model, although a budget-conscious private customer could also order this version.

An Interior Luxury Package was offered on the base model, and included upgraded interior fabrics (including a higher-grade of carpeting), split-bench dual recliner front seats, full-bench center armrest rear seats, additional sound insulation, door-mounted courtesy lights and power windows (on a dedicated control panel, where the power remote mirror and door lock switches also were placed when ordered). This trim package became its own model (designated the "LX") for the 1986 model year.

Options included air conditioning (made standard in 1987), tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power door locks, cast aluminum wheels, cornering lamps, an illuminated entry system, a TripMinder computer, automatic headlights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Buyers could also upgrade the stereo system and wheel covers, and order various paint and vinyl roof treatments as well.[1]

Police cars often (but not always) used the 351-cubic-inch (5.8 L) Windsor V-8, which in later years used Ford's 7200 series Variable Venturi carburetor. The police package was made available for public purchase upon paying a $1000 "gas guzzler" tax to the EPA.[2]

Other body styles


1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria coupe

The LTD Crown Victoria was available in coupe form until 1987, when it was discontinued due to lack of sales. By the late-1980s, large 2-door cars had fallen out of favor with American buyers, prompting Ford to drop out of the full-size coupe market. For the coupe's final model year only 5,527 vehicles were ordered, compared to 105,789 LTD Crown Victoria sedans.[3]

Today the coupe is prized as a late-model collectible by Ford enthusiasts and collectors.

Station wagon

1991 Ford LTD Country Squire

From 1979 to 1991, a station wagon was produced alongside the four-door sedan as part of the full-size car line. Trimmed nearly identically to the top-trim LTD Landau (subsequently LTD Crown Victoria and Crown Victoria LX), the wood-paneled Country Squire consisted of the majority of sales; an LTD Crown Victoria wagon without the wood sides with trim from the fleet-marketed "S" trim was also available.

As with its predecessor, the station wagon came equipped with a dual-hinged tailgate; it opened both downwards like the tailgate of a pickup truck or swung open to the side. Also standard were a roof rack and dual side-facing jump seats in the cargo area, expanding seating capacity to eight. As the demand for family vehicles in the late 1980s and early 1990s had shifted from large station wagons to minivans, full-size vans, and (later) to sport-utility vehicles, sales of the Country Squire rapidly declined; only 3,865 were sold through 1991. For the 1992 model year redesign of the Crown Victoria, the station wagon was dropped from the model lineup.


Year Production Total[4]
1979 356,535 (116,913)[1]
1980 141,292 (29,687 LTD Crown Victoria)
1981 132,363 (50,200 LTD Crown Victoria)
1982 128,053 (50,692 LTD Crown Victoria)
1983 113,616[2]
1984 173,489
1985 185,437
1986 124,037
1987 128,878
1988 125,189
1989 134,103
1990 77,395
1991 82,433
Total 1,902,820


  1. ^ Production numbers are for predecessor LTD Landau
  2. ^ All Ford full-size production numbers after 1983 are grouped by bodystyle (sedan/wagon), not nameplate/trim


  1. ^ 1987 Ford Buyer's Guide
  2. ^
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of American Cars, 2006 edition
  4. ^

External links

  • LTD World
  • Ford LTD Crown Victoria in television and film
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