Rare Survivor: 1986 Ford Crown Victoria Coupe

When one thinks of the venerable Ford “Crown Victoria”, it’s often the four-door police-equipped sedan model that comes to mind – especially if you’ve encountered one in your rearview mirror, lights flashing and closing in fast. But the Crown Victoria manifested itself in different forms over the years and one of the less common variations was the two-door sedan, or coupe, such as this 1986 LTD Crown Victoria example. This is one slick survivor so let’s look it over. It is located in Punta Gorda, Florida and is available, here on craigslist for $10,000. Thanks to Pat L. for this tip!

After a name appearance in the ’50s, the Crown Victoria designation resurfaced in 1980 as a trim level for the full-size LTD. By 1983, the Crown Vic earned its stripes as a separate model though it was still known officially as the LTD Crown Victoria. Generally existing as a four-door sedan or station wagon, there was also a seldomly scene seen two-door coupe variant offered between 1980 and 1987.

The seller of this beauty tells us that this 18K mile example has won “many trophies” so it has seen its share of the car show circuit. While it is certainly notable for his two-door body style, it’s the condition that visually sings its praises. It’s wearing its original paint and interior and shows as a new car. True to its era, it is bedecked with a vinyl landau top, a landau trim bar, opera windows, a stand-up hood ornament, white stripe tires, and wire-wheel covers.

The gray vinyl upholstery, original to this LTD Crown Vic, and entire interior environment show as excellently as the exterior. It would be great to know a bit of backstory on this car as to where it has been all these years and what circumstances allowed it to maintain its pristine condition. Unfortunately, no history is revealed. Even with 35 years of age, and all of the potential dirt and dust a car can encounter just sitting, the speedometer is as clear as it was on day one – and it’s quaint too with its Jimmy Carter NHTSA-inspired 85 MPH max reading. One will have to assume that floor mats have been in use and removed for photographing, the driver’s side carpet is too perfect to believe otherwise.

While the 18K mileage recording is not documented, the cleanliness of the engine compartment and its 150 net HP, 302 CI V8 engine, gives some credence to its authenticity. Being a 1986 model, this is the first year that multiport fuel injection was utilized but the seller makes no mention of this LTD’s operating prowess. The seller references the transmission as being a C-4 automatic but it’s actually an automatic overdrive unit.

So, what’s not to like? This Ford is rare, beautiful, and requires nothing – it’s ready to buy, drive and enjoy. And, it certainly looks like a winner, wouldn’t you say?

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good job Jim. Car looks great. These big Fords have proven to have done their job very well. Collector cars can come in all flavors, not just muscle cars. If you see yourself using a collector car as a leisurely back-road cruiser, I agree, what’s not to like?

    Like 31
  2. Oldog4tz Oldog4tz Member

    Not sure it has any collectable qualities, but if I didn’t live in the land of $5 gas, I’d daily drive it in a heartbeat. Bulletproof drive train, creature comforts, and big enough to hold its own with the pickups.

    Like 13
    • Boatman Member

      These cars were actually capable of 25+ MPG highway.

      Like 18
      • CJM

        You are right these cars are great on gas, highway or city driving. I used to own a Mercury Grand Marquis like this and got 29 MPG everywhere I went, city or highway. It was amazing. One of the best cars ever built. Base seating in vinyl is rare to see on a coupe. Usually only see it on wagons. The Ford Coupe like this and the Mercury Colony Park wagon were the best looking of the bunch IMO.

        Like 11
      • Oldog4tz Oldog4tz Member

        But California has become Prius Land these days – 50 or bust.

        Like 1
    • Chris

      Collector quality is in the person that owns & drives the car .I have a 91 Grand Marquis that is absolutely beautiful with original 16,000 miles on it . Dark Blue with Blue velour interior .

      Like 25
    • Billyray

      I’d think the trophies prove it has collectible qualities. I see far less interesting stuff at shows than this beauty.

      Like 22
    • Jim

      Sure beats yet another Mustang, Camaro or GTO!!!

      Like 20
  3. alphasud Member

    I have never seen nor have ever known of a Panther chassis LTD coupe. Good find and another bit of useless automotive knowledge I will remember. Thank you for publishing.

    Like 7
  4. Boatman Member

    I think the vinyl seats you referred to may be leather, Jim.

    Like 4
    • Shawn

      Agreed. With so many options on this nice example, there’s no way that’s budget model vinyl.

      On a side note, I never knew 2-door Panthers existed. I love it, and wish I could own it.

      Like 5
      • Chris

        There is a lot of these popping up on the market just keep your eyes out for one of these Jems !!!

        Like 3
      • Stevieg Member

        Those are the “base” vinyl seats. The leather seat option was way more plush looking than these seats. Weird that someone cheaped out on the seats like this.
        This is a great buy. I rarely believe the mileage statements, but in this case, I believe. This is basically a 1 year old luxury car (from another era) for 10 grand. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
        My grandparents had a 1982 LTD (same chassis, before Ford played the name rearrange game in 1983) with a carburated 302. For the size of car it was, it got great gas mileage, about 23 or so on the highway. By 1986, when they switched to fuel injection, I can see it going up from there.
        I wish I had the money to buy it.

        Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      I scoured the ’86 Ford LTD Crown Victoria sales brochure and there is no mention of a leather upholstery option. Specifically stated is, “Luxury split bench front seats with dual recliners (choice of velour or supersoft vinyl)“.

      JO

      Like 14
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Thanks, Jim. Sometimes when things don’t make sense, they still are true. 😉

      • CS

        You can tell by the pleat and stitch pattern that the seats are covered in vinyl. Ford and Mercury (not sure if Lincoln used it) use the same style of seat cover for vinyl but unique pleat and stitch patterns for their leather. Lincoln used a leather pattern all their own as well.

        Like 1
  5. Mikefromthehammer

    Great write-up Jim.

    I noticed a typo, though. You should have used “seen” instead of “scene”.

    In looking at the pictures, it looks to me as if all 4 carpeted floor mats are in view (they are not absent). I also agree with Boatman that it likely is leather upholstery rather than vinyl – this was supposed to be an executive or luxury coupe.

    This would be a great Cars and Coffee machine to own. It would sure spark a lot of friendly banter with others. I just wish I wasn’t more than a thousand miles away. I might go inspect it with 100 Franklins in hand.

    Like 9
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Mike, may I suggest checking out shipping? Often it isn’t all that expensive. Especially if you have found the ***exact*** car you want.

      I agree with your “friendly banter” comment. Spectators at shows may be more interested in a car with which they have experience, as opposed to a desirable but unfamiliar muscle car or exotic.

      Like 5
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        This seller has obviously loved this car. If he could hand it over to another person that he knows is going to love it like he did, I would guess that he would cut you a bit of a deal based on the cost to ship it home.

        Like 4
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Bob, I would never buy a car without physically seeing it first. I’m pretty old-school that way. I couldn’t justify the trip without it being much shorter. If I took a look at the car and noticed a lot of rust, for example, I would not be interested. It’s hard to determine if I would be interested without a physical inspection.

        Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx, fixed.

      JO

      Like 2
  6. Johnny

    Had a friend who had 2 of these Crown Vic,s. Bought it new and later on decided to trade for a Caddy. For he was told it rode better. My friend traded for the new Caddy. Kept it a short while and traded back for the Crown Vic-or rather he thought it was his original car. Until they told him it was a different CAR. I asked why he trade back for a Ford.? He said it was alot quieter and road alot better. He,d never have another Caddy.

    Like 5
    • CJM

      I can vouch for his findings. Panther platform Fords (1979-91) absolutely rode better than any competing full size rear drive GM products of that era. Even Cadillacs. I have driven many examples of each. They handled a lot better too so there was no penalty for the great ride. And they were much better quality and more reliable too. And GM stuck with troublesome computerized carburetors until 1990-91 while ford went to EFI in ’83. I could go on but I won’t….

      Like 13
  7. Larry D

    @Johnny

    While that may be true, the Crown Vic doesn’t have the clout of a Cadillac.

    Like 6
    • Mikefromthehammer

      @Larry D

      It may be true that a Cadillac has a much more desirable badge, however you have to ask yourself if you are buying a badge or a car. Sometimes a car with less cachet is a better car.

      Like 2
  8. Bob S

    I had a ‘79 first year coup, it had two headlights vs. the quad set up that I believe came out in ‘80. Mine also had the vinyl interior, but my favorite one was my ‘84 Crown Vic four door that Ford left no bells or whistles off of it, with the velour interior. 26 mpg on road trips.

    Like 4
  9. joe mccorry

    just a fyi. i had a 1984 2 door crown vic. it had the multi port fuel injected engine also. i believe it was in 1984 that ford first put that engine. another unusual thing about mine was it had pillowed velour interior and the horn was not in the center of the steering wheel put connected to the turn signal lever. you pushed it in to hon your horn. mine was triple blue. miss that car.

    Like 1
    • Mikefromthehammer

      joe, my 79 Mustang Cobra had the same wonky horn. This was NOT one of Ford’s “better ideas”. The only time I had to use it in an emergency (a rather large pickup truck was backing up at me. He obviously could not see my little Mustang). I automatically hit the center of the steering wheel to warn him before realizing my mistake. The extra second or two it took to honk the actual horn was enough of a difference for the pickup to lightly tap my front end. It scraped a bit of black paint on the grill and partially deformed a small part of the plastic. To make matters worse, I was trying to pull into the bank parking lot to pick up the money order to complete the deal to buy a new vehicle I was trading my Mustang in on. Luckily, the slight damage to the grill did not stop the deal from going through. I called the pickup truck driver, who was quite relieved. He offered to buy me a drink, but I didn’t want to take the chance that something else might go wrong. (It always seems like when something goes wrong, it is the start of a string of events).

      Like 5
  10. Miminite

    I like it. As said, collector cars can be anything not just 60s muscle cars. This is priced reasonably and hard to argue with the reliability, condition, and parts/service options of this example. I’m not all that far away but don’t have garage space to park it. Too bad, this is a great find.

    Like 2
  11. theGasHole

    I had the last year Crown Vic coupe, an 87 back a few years ago. Black exterior with red interior. Sharp car. Now I daily drive a 2005 black Crown Vic. Take care of these cars and you can’t kill them. Nice to see this one in such good shape and getting a lot of positive comments.

    Like 3
  12. Benjamin leighton jr

    I like the tucked in look of the 1988 vic bumpers but you couldn’t get it in a 2dr which was a bummer.

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