For a while back in 2013, it seemed every other time I’d stop by my favorite thrift store, I’d catch an old Ford hanging out in the parking lot. After a lengthy hiatus, I’ve finally cornered another one.
Introduced in 1979 on the new “Panther” platform, the Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis were about 700lb. lighter (almost half a Volkswagen Beetle!) and 7″ shorter (ditto) than the outgoing mid-sized LTD II. In addition to sporting more (very cushy) passenger and trunk room, the LTD was only a second-and-a-half slower to 60 MPH than the same-year Mustang Cobra.
However, by 1982, the 351W V8 was no longer available to the public (although it remained standard on Police models), and the available engine and axle ratios were being tuned toward meeting tightening federal fuel economy requirements. Of far more importance, the speedometer needle color was changed to white this year.
Note that our subject car sports a Ford ‘blue oval’ on its grille that was reintroduced across the whole Ford lineup in 1982. This Crown Vic shows a good bit of wear and tear, and has certainly seen better days. But like most of the items in the thrift store, it still has some life left in it yet.