Four-Door Mustang: 1985 Ford LTD 5.0 LX

This 5.0L V8-equipped 1985 Ford LTD sedan is one of my favorite factory sleepers, as it doesn’t get much sleepier than an LTD sedan. Ford made these in exceedingly limited quantities for a mainstream model, and it’s one of my favorite suggestions to anyone looking for a car to modify under the hood but otherwise leave its appearance completely stock. Find the V8-powered family sedan here on craigslist in California with a $7,500 asking price.

We likely all knew someone who owned an LTD at some point in their lives, or close to it. I believe my own Dad even piloted one a few years older than this at one point, and certainly any number of government agents and undercover police officers had a few in their fleet. This example looks the part of a boring, dowdy sedan until you notice the dual exhaust snaking out of the back left corner of the bumper. Check out the old-school California blue plates, too – this one’s been in Cali for some time.

The 5.0L V8 isn’t the most powerful V8 you can buy, but it will wake almost any car up nicely, especially with some bolt-on parts thrown at it. The seller says there’s only 64,000 miles on the clock, making this venerable V8 drivetrain barely broken in. The listing also claims only 3000 LTDs of this generation were built with the 5.0L V8 under the hood, which I find largely believable given how rarely they come up for sale. Other than the driver’s hubcap missing its centerpiece, the LTD looks quite straight.

The interior is obviously as plain-jane as any other LTD from this era, and there’s little indication from the driver’s seat that there’s a V8 under the hood – at least until you put your foot into it. The clear glass and needles that still show vibrant orange color says to me the LTD hasn’t spent much time parked outside, and it’s nice to see a conventional tachometer in a mass produced family sedan such as this. They won’t ever be worth a ton of money, but there’s definitely a new appreciation for an oddball sleeper like this LTD LX.

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Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    I remember when ‘Motorweek” on PBS did a road test on the LX when it was new. They had a shot of the twin pipes, then started the car. What a wonderful sound to a 10 year old…
    Funny what one remembers when seeing an image of a particular vehicle.

    .

    Like 26
    • Robt

      My mistake. Did not see the -efi-. I remember air cleaners like that for carburetors. Like my 80 302 powered f-100. I also remember my friends brand new 5spd 85 mustang gt with the last of the 4bbl cabs on it. Guess I was getting carried away. I’d want a 4bbl on this ltd. And of course I’d want it with a 5 spd as well.

  2. James merriyy

    My wife owned one when we first started to date.i liked the car ok but at best it was a beefed up fairmont

    Like 9
    • Skorzeny

      And I like Fairmonts, she we’re good there…

      Like 8
  3. LTDScott

    Marti Reports have revealed that there were about 5000 LTD LXs built from mid-’84 to ’85. I’m betting there are less than 1000 left.

    Like 7
    • Weasel

      I’m betting 2,135.

      Like 6
    • Superdessucke

      I’d love to know the real answer of the survival rate of a typical car beyond 20 years. My guess would be 5-10%. Maybe a bit more for something like a Camaro or a Mustang that people might preserve or modify. So I would say 1,000 left is very optimistic.

      Like 6
      • don

        Lets say of the 5000 made ,each state got 100 of them – Anything on the East Coast would be long gone as would any others in the “rust belt’ states. Factor in accidents or junked due to being worn out in all 50 states over the past 35 years , and also not really being a popular or attractive car to begin with –
        I’d say less than 5% left

        Like 1
      • Bob_in_TN Member

        I often wonder the same thing. And I agree the 5-10% number is a good estimate for the majority of 20 year old cars. But even that might be too high.

        And of course it goes down from there. Weren’t there one million 1965 full size Chevys sold? It’s hard to imagine there are even 1% still around, given that would be ten thousand.

        Like 1
  4. JoeNYWF64

    I’m pretty sure if you went back in time to the set of the movie below with pics of the above car, claiming it was the Ford LTD 15 years in the future & there was no 2 door avail, no more frameless glass, no cockpit dash, & the hood needed a prop rod, & vent windows were back!, the star actor would not believe u 4 a minute! lol …
    http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_1649-Ford-XL-1970.html
    &
    http://p2.liveauctioneers.com/891/15731/5167330_7_l.jpg

    Like 1
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I had an ’85 in black.Looks so much better than the
    light blue,or white that they also came in.I kept reading that
    they made 3260 of them.
    When I lived in Northern California,I saw about ten of
    these.The first one I saw was a new ’85,in Kalispell,Montana.
    These were really fun cars to drive – 302 HO,posi rear,
    & the all important 20 gallon gas tank.I think I paid $1200 for
    mine.Bought it from the original owner.Sold it for less than
    $800 to a guy near Sacramento.

    Like 7
    • LTDScott

      ’84 was available in charcoal, silver, and light blue.
      ’85 was available in charcoal, white, and black.

      Like 5
      • Bob_in_TN Member

        Ahead of its time…. if the ’85 also featured silver, it would essentially encompass today’s entire palette of new car colors.

        Like 5
  6. JoeMac JoeMac Member

    Owner dropped price to $6.5k. Getting there…for this, the definition of a sleeper.

    Like 7
    • CJinSD

      It might have been a sleeper in 1985, but it is just a stodgy slow car on today’s roads. It’s nice to see a Ford with a redline on the tachometer, even if the ‘manual’ transmission has an automatic shifter.

      Like 4
      • LTDScott

        That description can be applied to pretty much any “performance” car of that era. It wasn’t called the “Malaise Era” for nothin!

        Like 3
      • DVSCAPRI

        It doesn’t take a whole lot to “wake them up” – anything you can do to a Mustang, you can do to this – lots of us have! Mine had “shorty” headers into true dual exhaust, the original 7.5 rear end was already geared with 3:73’s when I bought it – 7 years later when I broke it, I replaced it with an 8.8 w/3:73’s. I also dropped in a T5Z 5 speed, 10.5″ king cobra clutch & pressure plate, konica shocks & struts, ARE mesh wheels in 15 x 8 & some nice BFG’s. I had no problem tormenting alot of newer cars!!

        Like 2
  7. Angrymike

    I remember my father’s 1977 Cougar with a 5.0, my lord that thing was the slowest car I ever drove ! These were a lot lighter and the 5.0 had a bunch more HP, so I bet it goes pretty well.

    Like 4
  8. Tim

    From the book “90 Years of Ford” this is known as the LTD LX Brougham Euro Sedan. As it is a Fox body as well, could otherwise be known as a 4 door Mustang. Its 302 HO V-8 had 165 hp, which at the time was quite powerful. The police version for 1984 and 1985 was the fastest and best handling tested 4 door police car by the Michigan State Police. The only drawback was the brakes were not built to handle the power. From the book, the Euro Sedan came out mid year 1984, but was considered an early release 1985 model. The book says and shows slotted cast aluminum wheels coming with the car. It was priced at $11,421 just about $2K over a V-6 LX. Making me wonder what happened to the wheels. The book also reports that only 3,260 were built. No idea how many on the police version. Maybe the two combined total 5000. I’d call this a rare 4 door sports sedan, and if it has the 3.08 rear axle, it will perform the same as the police version. Way too far from me to check on it, and not enough cash on hand. Bummer.

    Like 4
    • Tim

      The V-8 option did not come back for 1986. The car is basically a one hit wonder.

    • chrlsful

      must be every one ever made on a web site “box tops” or something like that. 80% reworked for strip or street. The LX club? whats the name of that site?

  9. Steve R

    I’m not sure I’d believe everything in this short ad with lousy pictures. He states the car has 64,000 miles, but offers no proof other the the obligatory photo of the odometer. The ad also says it’s a Mustang, which is obviously wrong, so is the claim of a manual transmission even though an automatic shifter is clearly visible in one of the pictures.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  10. whmracer99

    In 1985 the 5.0s in this car and the LX Mustangs were throttle body EFIs which were way down on HP compared to the GTs of that year and the true sequential FI cars that would be the standard in 1986. A later model Mustang GT mass air motor would wake this up quite a bit and some bolt-on Mustang suspension parts and rims would make it fun. As it is —- meh.

    Like 7
    • Sal

      Actually, the 5.0 CFI/automatic was an option in both the 84 and 85 Mustang GTs (and LX). The 84 had 165 hp compared to the 175 hp carb version, and in 85 it got bumped to 180 hp via less restrictive exhaust. That year the carb motor had 210 hp.

      Like 5
      • Gus Fring

        Sal,

        I don’t think he understands that the Holley carb’d version (210 hp) was only available with the T-5…all of the automatic GT’s (and all of the LTD LX’s) were EFI cars until ’85.

        Like 5
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        My favorite Fox body Mustang is the ’85 and ’86 5 speed manual.

        Which do you all think is the best between the 2 – 85 with carb or 86 with F.I.?

        Like 2
      • Sal

        I’m a little more partial to the 85 because it was the last year of the Holley 4bbl and I really like the dual snorkel air cleaner. The 86 is slightly quicker I think even though it has 10 less hp. It also has the 8.8 rear. My favorite is actually the 82 GT. It’s slower but I love the styling.

        Like 3
      • downforce

        would pick the ’86 with EFI, due to drivability, throttle response and emissions. Wonder what the torque numbers were…

        Like 1
      • Sal

        85 had 265, 86 had 285. Had a stronger low end than the carb cars. I believe the 85 had better heads though. 86 heads were real restrictive

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        1985 HP/Torque/Compression Ratio:
        5.0L V-8 4-BB 210 hp @ 4,400 rpm / 270 @ 3,200 rpm / 8.4:1

        1986 HP/Torque/Compression Ratio:
        5.0L V8 EFI 200 hp @ 4,000 rpm / 285 @ 3,000 rpm / 9.2:1

        Taken from: https://www.americanmuscle.com/foxbody-mustang-info-specs.html

        Like 1
      • Sal

        AM has a lot of errors on their charts. Actual torque was 265. Car and Driver article from 85.. https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15142297/1985-ford-mustang-gt-review/

        Like 1
  11. John

    The station wagon version is a great looking vehicle. A guy down the road had one for sale. I pulled up to check on it just as the new owner was shaking his hand after handing over the money..godf I hate when that happens!

    Like 2
  12. Dave Mathers

    In 1985 my fleet department sold the Ontario Provincial Police 30 of these bad boys with the ‘police package’. I took the first one out to a ‘deserted road’ and it hit 135 MPH with no problem whatsoever. I WAS impressed to say the least.

    Like 5
    • Gus Fring

      Well, if you were in a Mustang, I would believe that but…unfortunately, the top speed on the LTD LX with the 5.0 was 123 mph, lol. The Mustang maxed out at 135.

      Like 2
      • Dave Mathers

        It had a 140 MPH speedo, part of the Canadian Police Package and, yes, I witnessed 135.

        Like 2
    • Gus Fring

      Maybe 135 km/h, but these cars would not do 135 mph, sorry.

      Like 3
      • Dave Mathers

        I stand by my post.

        Like 2
      • LTDScott

        My LTD LX has a full SEFI swap and was putting down about 280HP at the wheels and I just cracked 135 MPH at the end of the front straight at Auto Club Speedway. I agree that 135 MPH is unlikely in a stock CFI car.

        Like 3
  13. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    I appreciate these cars a lot more than I did when I was a kid. I remember throwing up in the back of a brand new LTD wagon in the heat of Tennessee in 1986, anyway these look great with a set of ten slot Ford alloys.

    Like 2
  14. Robt

    Love this car. My neighbor has a ratty edition of this car. Every time I see it with its mustang wheels I say ‘yes!’ Lightish weight midsize Ford 4dr with a carbureted V-8 under the hood. Put some decent brakes on the front and a healthy cam andvwhats not to like about this sleeper?
    A set of mustang wheels would help, no for the sleeper thing but for me.

    • LTDScott

      These were never carbureted though.

      Like 2
  15. Robt

    That air cleaner says carburetor.

    Like 1
    • LTDScott

      The air cleaner literally says EFI right on it. Look at the photos. It’s throttle body EFI aka Central Fuel Injection in Ford terminology.

      Like 4
    • Gus Fring

      No, unless it has a Mustang air cleaner lid from a stick car, it does not.

      Like 2
      • Robt

        My mistake. Did not see the -efi-. I remember air cleaners like that for carburetors. Like my 80 302 powered f-100. I also remember my friends brand new 5spd 85 mustang gt with the last of the 4bbl cabs on it. Guess I was getting carried away. I’d want a 4bbl on this ltd. And of course I’d want it with a 5 spd as well.

        Like 1
  16. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I remember this version of the Ford LTD. If only more pics of this car were posted on craigslist, that’d be better. I think the more pics, the better.

    Like 1
  17. JoeNYWF64

    The way things are today, i am very surprised Ford has not built this yet, AS PICTURED, for “today’s masses” – & i bet it would sell a lot more than the 2 door …
    http://www.motor1.com/news/273890/ford-mustang-four-door/
    I am NOT surprised Chrysler, after all these years, still does not offer a 2 door version of its “Charger”.

  18. chrlsful@aol.com

    these seem to be coming in now. Yes the ol 1st; 2nd gen stangs, some of those potential buyers have ‘gone by’ now. Fox, stang II…get some Cali, TX drag it back on a trailer, wrench it up – frame stiffiners, 4, i6, bent6 all go, (some a new K) hot 5 oh, 5.8. ‘bilstien st or track’, max motor sport 4 link, etc. Same I did w/the ’60s/’70s vehicles. Fly in, rent a truck/trailer if U need, or bring ur own…

  19. chrlsful

    these seem to be coming in now. Yes the ol 1st; 2nd gen stangs, some of those potential buyers have ‘gone by’ now. Fox, stang II…get some Cali, TX drag it back on a trailer, wrench it up – frame stiffeners, 4, i6, bent6 all go, (some a new K) hot 5 oh, 5.8. ‘bilstien st or track’, max motor sport 4 link, etc. Same I did w/the ’60s/’70s vehicles. Fly in, rent a truck/trailer if U need, or bring ur own…
    Ol cars, fun or profit

  20. David R Member

    I drove the fleet version of this with a Commander in the back seat when I was in the Navy. He gave me a high compliment on my driving.

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