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Gramp’s Estate: 1986 Ford LTD Wagon

When it comes to cars that I associate with my grandparents’ era, the Ford LTD is right up there with Volvo 240s and Chevy Celebrities. Fittingly, this 1986 Ford LTD wagon belonged to a World War II veteran who kept in excellent condition, another hallmark of folks like my grandfather who treated his cars with the utmost care and attention. Find this LTD here on eBay that seems to be a genuine survivor with just over 100,000 miles on the clock. 

There’s just one small crease on the passenger rear fender due to the previous owner rubbing the side of the garage door when backing out. Otherwise, the body panels and the glass all look as clean and straight as they did when this LTD wagon left the dealer. The Mustang LX alloy wheels look good here, and are mounted on new tires – but the original steel wheels and hubcaps are included. The seller sees some evidence of paintwork and speculates it may have been done under warranty back in the day.

Inside, the interior looks far fresher than a car with 109,000 miles. The red cloth bench seat, fake woodgrain and column shift all add up to a combination that you rarely see today despite practically being standard equipment in American cars not too long ago. Although the seller references the potential to rod this LTD out with a picture of a wagon sporting a Fox Body Mustang front-end and racing stripes down the center, I hope this estate stays completely stock. At most, I could justify swapping in a 5.0 and firming up the suspension.

As the seller points out, however, even in its current form the LTD would likely generate more smiles and attention than a Mustang at cruise nights any day of the week. This LTD sports the 3.8L Essex V6 with fuel injection, and the engine bay looks fairly tidy here. Did you know the LTD was once offered with a propane-powered four-cylinder? Now, that would absolutely be unrepeatable at cruise nights! For a survivor-grade LTD with room for hauling parts home from the swap meet, this example is pretty tough to beat – but the reserve remains unmet.


  1. DrinknGasoline

    I’m pretty sure that I will be in the minority on this one but I would certainly put this one to good use as a daily driver. Easy to maintain with readily available mechanical parts making it light on the wallet to own with reasonable comfort on a daily basis with some versatility as a bonus.

  2. 68 custom

    looks great but to bad it is not a factory V8 wagon so the T/5 and EFI -5.0 swap would bolt right in. plus some Fox body suspension pieces which we all know bolt right in.

  3. Eric Hare

    Did I just think that out loud?

    • Jeffro

      Yeah, but I like how you think!

      • CapNemo

        For sure!!

    • Adam T45 Staff

      I have the exact same problem. That little filter between my brain and my mouth is faulty. I either finish up saying what you’ve said, or “Well that sounded a whole lot funnier inside my head!”

    • Charles

      Dude, that is funny….!

  4. JW

    Personally I would love to own this car.

  5. Joseph

    Just showed this to the wife as a dog and (future) kid hauler and she laughed and laughed. Bummer! It’s not that far away, and I’m free all weekend.

  6. olddavid

    Isn’t Eric the Car Guy doing one of these – but a sedan not a wagon? He is the best YouTube advice guy (along with Chris) but an actual working guy so the car gets done when he has time, just like us. Were it mine I would install the first 5.0 EFI I could find, slap headers and poly suspension bushings and drive it to death. It has had a driver fender repair or replacement as the character line is blurry and not aligned. What will buy this? Surely $2500 is MAX. Its already past what I think ACV should be.

    • fordfan

      Çheck out ford tech makuloco on you tube , this guy is great a lot of helpful tips

  7. Rustytech Member

    This is a nice wagon! We seem to be seeing a lot of them lately. These LTD’s weren’t the cars their big brother was, but they were good runners, rode well, and delivered good fuel mileage. There was nothing wrong with the 3.8L V6, it gave good power, and was dependable. But Jeff, watch who your calling grandpa please! Just kidding.

    Like 1
  8. Car Guy

    The Mustang alloys and blacwslls really make this wagon look great.

  9. David Miraglia

    I’d rather have this one then the Aspen wagon. Newer and less troublesome.

  10. Dutch 1960

    Looks like the hood was repainted under warranty. Ford tried out water based paint with the pale blues and greys on the ’86s, and the dealer would repaint under warranty if it quickly eroded. The repaint was done as a 2-stage with clearcoat, so it is shinier now.

    • CJay

      Passenger front fender and door also has a higher gloss.

  11. milotus

    These (to me) are a good looking car,& practical too.
    We had a ’78 Fairmont wagon,Black,with TRX wheels/tires,& a 6.
    It was stone reliable,& once I had the front seat redone in cloth,it was comfortable too.
    We had that car for over ten years,the longest we ever kept a daily driver.
    The V6’s did have a problem with head gaskets.


      that was the later bent6. This one hasa “that-year” frnt bench (fairmont) and may B the lift gait too (just need to bring the striker along w/the fairmont latch).

  12. chad

    right color, right size, hatch is OK, permanently flip down the seats, cover the frnt ones w/something ‘slippery’, drive till the motor goes, (the 200ci was enuff for the fairmont – this’ll work) then find a 302/T5…just what I’ve been lookin for!

    nice find!

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