Ford LTD Crown Victoria
The Ford LTD Crown Victoria is a line of full-size cars that was manufactured and marketed by Ford from 1979 to 1991 for North America. Introduced as the flagship of the Ford LTD range for 1980, the LTD Crown Victoria was marketed as the Ford counterpart of the Mercury Grand Marquis. For 1983, as part of a model name revision, the LTD Crown Victoria became the sole full-size Ford sedan range. Alongside two-door and four-door LTD Crown Victoria sedans, the model range included the woodgrained Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon (a version without wood trim was also offered). As part of the 1992 redesign of its full-size range, Ford ended the use of the LTD prefix, rebranding the car as the Ford Crown Victoria; the Country Squire wagon was discontinued in favor of other styles of family vehicles. From 1979 to 1985, the LTD Crown Victoria was produced at St. Louis Assembly in Hazelwood, Missouri. In 1985, Ford shifted production to St. Thomas Assembly in Southwold, Ontario, where Ford and Mercury full-size vehicles were assembled until 2011.
|Ford LTD Crown Victoria|
|Assembly||Southwold, Ontario, Canada|
(St. Thomas Assembly)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
4-door station wagon
|Platform||Ford Panther platform|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis|
Lincoln Town Car
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 (1,968 mm) (sedan)|
79.3 in (2,014 mm) (wagon)
|Height||55.6 in (1,412 mm) (sedan)|
56.5 in (1,435 mm) (wagon)
|Successor||Ford Crown Victoria|
For 1980, Ford reintroduced the Crown Victoria nameplate as a luxury trim package for the all-new Ford LTD, taking the place of the LTD Landau. Taking its name from the Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria of 1955-1956, the LTD Crown Victoria borrowed a distinctive styling feature from its Fairlane counterpart: a targa-style band across the roof atop the B-pillars. This band was bright chrome in the Fairlane model, but for the LTD version, this band was brushed aluminum. The padded vinyl roof covered the rear half of the roof, in the landaulet-style of the Lincoln Town Car. In the style of the original 1965 Ford LTD, the LTD Crown Victoria featured a "crested" hood ornament. The first time Ford used the "victoria" as a naming convention was in 1932 on the Ford Victoria and the Lincoln Victoria 2-door coupes.
As the Ford LTD/LTD Crown Victoria was originally planned for replacement by the Ford Taurus in the early 1980s, the vehicle saw relatively little change throughout its production. The Crown Victoria was an alternative to the smaller Chevrolet Caprice and the Pontiac Bonneville, which were downsized in 1977. As fuel prices stabilized in the early 1980s, concerns over fuel economy eased, which allowed further production and development on full-size cars. For 1988 and 1990, the LTD Crown Victoria saw a number of revisions and updates. In early 1991, the redesigned Ford Crown Victoria was introduced as a replacement, which marked the end of the Ford LTD nameplate in North America.
The Ford LTD Crown Victoria uses the rear-wheel drive, Ford Panther platform architecture. As part of a major downsizing over the 1973-1978 LTD Brougham/Landau, the LTD Crown Victoria shed 18 inches of length and nearly 1000 pounds of curb weight. Although much smaller than its predecessor, the LTD Crown Victoria would carry over the basic suspension design of its predecessor, with a live rear axle suspension and double wishbone independent front suspension. Brakes were of a vented disc/rear drum configuration.
When introduced in 1980, the LTD Crown Victoria was produced with the two smallest-displacement engines previously available on the LTD, the 4.9 L (marketed by Ford as "5.0") and 5.8 L Windsor V8s. In the interest of fuel economy and CAFE regulations, the 460 V8 was shifted to truck use while the 400 V8 was discontinued altogether.
In 1981, Ford would take steps to further increase the fuel economy of its full-size cars. From the Lincoln Continental/Mark VI, all Panther-platform cars received the 4-speed AOD overdrive automatic transmission, replacing all previous 3-speed automatics. The engine line was revised: the 5.8 L V8 was restricted exclusively to fleet (police) sales, with a 120 hp (89 kW) 4.2 L version of the 4.9 L V8 becoming the new base engine. The 4.9 L V8 saw major changes, with the carburetor replaced by throttle-body "electronic central fuel injection". In contrast to competitors from General Motors and Chrysler, the LTD Crown Victoria was sold exclusively with a V8 engine.
As the LTD Crown Victoria became a stand-alone model line for the 1983 model year, the 4.2 L V8 was discontinued altogether, leaving the 5.0 V8 the only engine available on all models (with a 5.8 carburetor V8 engine also available, but only on fleet-usage models, particularly police cars). For 1986, the throttle-body fuel injection system (which turned out to have driveability issues) was replaced by a multi-port "Sequential-Fire" fuel-injection system with a redesigned air intake; the system was based on a OBD-1 compliant Ford EEC-IV computer.
At the end of its production in 1991, the LTD Crown Victoria was produced with the 5.0 L V8. Although a (rare) option on the Mercury Grand Marquis, sales of the 5.8-liter V8 (with a Ford 7200 variable-venturi carburetor) was restricted to fleets, with most sold as part of the Ford police package. 1991 Panther-platform cars with the 5.8 were the very last American cars sold with a carbureted engine.
When introduced in 1980, the Ford LTD Crown Victoria was produced in both two-door and four-door sedan body configurations. As with the standard-trim LTD, the LTD Crown Victoria was produced with quad-headlight front bodywork. Similar to the 1979 Ford Mustang, the car had the 4 eyed quad headlight arrangement in the front facia. This was one of the final classical "eyed" cars to ever be manufactured. For 1983, the exterior was given a minor update, with a redesigned "eggcrate" grille; the taillamps saw a minor update because the LTD script was removed from them. For 1980, the coupe assumed the role of full-sized coupe when the Thunderbird was downsized and shared the chassis with the smaller Mustang.
For the 1988 model year, the LTD Crown Victoria saw a revision to the exterior and interior. In a move to modernize the exterior and improve its aerodynamics, the edges of the front and rear fenders were rounded off. The design of the bumpers was updated to better integrate the corners into the fenders (it retained the 4 eyed quad headlight arrangement). The design of the trunklid was changed to fit wraparound taillamp clusters while the front turn signals and parking lamps were integrated into a single cluster with the quad headlamps. The grille was redesigned from an eggcrate style to a waterfall style (a design distinct from that used by Mercury) with the Ford Blue Oval centered. The interior was updated with new front and rear seats. In 1987, Ford sold 5,527 two-door sedans (compared to 105,789 four-door sedans); due to declining sales of the body style, the two-door was not included in the facelift, making the 1979-87 coupe a minor collector's item.
In 1990, the interior again saw major changes as the dashboard of the LTD Crown Victoria was redesigned. Nearly identical to that of the Grand Marquis, the new interior features a driver-side airbag as standard equipment. To streamline production costs and increase its appeal after 11 years, the standard equipment list of the LTD Crown Victoria added many previously optional features, including air conditioning, which was made standard in 1987, power windows, locks, tilt steering, and automatic headlights (AutoLamp). For 1991, the LTD Crown Victoria saw a minor exterior change, as the parking light lenses were changed in color from amber to clear.
From 1980 to 1982, the LTD Crown Victoria existed as a trim package within the LTD range. As Ford made the LTD Crown Victoria a stand-alone model line, it inherited the same trim lineup from the full-size Ford LTD.
As a base model restricted for fleets and police sales, the LTD Crown Victoria "S" was available, coming with either V8 engine. Distinguished by its vinyl roof delete, steel wheels and bright wheel covers, and lack of chrome roof band (a non-padded vinyl roof was an option), the S model was equipped with very few features, such as a vinyl bench seat, hood ornament delete, manual windows and locks, and AM radio (upgraded radios at extra cost). While mostly sold to fleets (particularly police and taxi sales), the LTD Crown Victoria S was also sold to the general public, as station wagon version was also available in this trim level (the only LTD Crown Victoria variant in this trim level available to the general public).
The standard LTD Crown Victoria was intended for retail markets, coming with the 5.0L V8 engine as standard. In addition to the landau-style vinyl padded roof with targa-style trim and wire wheel covers, the model featured full carpeting, reclining cloth bench seat, and AM/FM radio.
Above the standard LTD Crown Victoria, Ford offered an Interior Luxury Package and in 1986, the option package became the LTD Crown Victoria LX. Featuring split-bench cloth seats, the option included upgraded interior carpet, additional sound insulation and power-operated features, and upgraded stereo systems. On the exterior of the LX, the option was distinguished by cornering lamps, two-tone paint, and aluminum alloy wheels.
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 was available in deluxe as well as in base "S" trim.
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 (except in "S" trim, which lacked these accessories). 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 big Ford station wagon 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.
In use primarily restricted for the police, taxi and other fleet markets, the LTD Crown Victoria S was sold to fleets throughout its production. Internally referred as P72, the LTD Crown Victoria S was trimmed separately from a standard LTD Crown Victoria, deleting many convenience features. Mechanically, the P72 was the only version available with the 5.8L V8 after 1980 in the United States.
|1980||141,292 (29,687 LTD Crown Victoria)|
|1981||132,363 (50,200 LTD Crown Victoria)|
|1982||128,053 (50,692 LTD Crown Victoria)|
- Production numbers are for predecessor LTD Landau
- All Ford full-size production numbers after 1983 are grouped by bodystyle (sedan/wagon), not nameplate/trim
- Encyclopedia of American Cars, 2006 edition
- 1987 Ford Buyer's Guide
- "Box Panther Production Numbers". Retrieved 14 April 2014.