Two Tone Panther: 1980 Ford LTD Crown Victoria

By Matt Hurst

I’ve always loved the boxy, utilitarian elegance of Ford LTDs; I spent a few years after high school delivering pizzas in an ‘87 LTD that, the seller claimed, was a former Georgia Highway Patrol vehicle. Was it the most practical car for a job that involved driving 8-12 hours a day during the peak of mid-aughts gas prices? Certainly not but it sure did it in style and comfort! This 1980 LTD Crown Victoria on the other hand doesn’t look like it’s worked a day in its life; you can find this Sunday driver listed here on craigslist for $2,000 in Milltown, PA. 

I’m loving the two-tone paint job on this excellent example from the LTD’s first year in production; the seller doesn’t mention if the paint is original but Ford did appear to offer a very similar combo from the factory – whether original or not, it looks great and I can’t spot a lick of rust anywhere on it.

Sadly, no shot of the engine bay but the seller indicates it is powered by the 302 Windsor V8. Interior looks great… assuming you like burgundy. Like, really really like burgundy. I’ve always loved the back end of the early Crown Vics – I greatly prefer the look of the larger rectangular tail lights to those found on the redesigned ‘88+ models. These early LTDs ride surprisingly similarly to their more modern counterparts; my wife currently drives an ‘03 Grand Marquis and I practically had flashbacks the first time I drove it. They’re boats to be sure, but not overly large for practical purposes and they really are a pleasure to drive.

With the odometer just a tick over 100k and the seller claiming a fresh tune up and inspection, I think it looks like a fun cruiser for the $2k asking price. Panther-platform cars are perfect road trip machines too; could this be your summer adventuremobile?

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Comments

  1. angliagt

    I’ve always liked these,& have been tempted,
    but don’t need another car.




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  2. CanuckCarGuy

    Always had a weak spot for these, and their Mercury cousins…. especially in the less common coupe body style.




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  3. David Cassidy

    Not the first year of LTD, from Wikipedia:

    “The Ford LTD (pronounced el-tee-dee) is a range of automobiles manufactured by Ford Motor Company for the 1965 to 1986 model years. Introduced as the highest trim of the full-size Ford model range, the Ford LTD introduced options and features normally reserved for luxury brands (such as the Lincoln brand).”




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    • Booya

      He means the Panther-based LTD, but that’s wrong as well. It debuted for MY1979.




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  4. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s hardly what I would consider a “Crown Victoria”,( in the 50’s, they were the fanciest of Fords) but one of the last, nice, CONVENTIONAL Ford’s, before that Taurus thing changed everything. Great road cars, before air travel became the norm. Nice car.




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  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    well I’m no Ford guy but I’d make an exception when it come to one of these. It’s no wonder just about every police force in North America had these. You couldn’t beat these for tough reliable service. This one would have come equipt with the ever so temperamental variable Venturi carberator, which in principle was a good idea capable of compensating for height above sea level. They just didn’t function right after they got a bit of wear in them. Fortunately a Ford two bbl would bolt right up and was much more reliable, many were replaced. $2k for this car is a bargain, after all what does $2k get you nowadays. I’d take it as a daily drive and not worry one bit about it getting me where I need to go.




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    • Miguel

      Unfortunately that isn’t true.

      The LAPD had to stop using these around about 1987 because of the high maintenance costs.

      They went through shocks like crazy.

      The Chevrolet was always the preferred police car.




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      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Hi Miguel up where I live they used these until the went out of production, in fact there are still a few of them in the fleet here in Calgary. How ever you maybe right about the popularity of the chevy caprice. But didn’t production end earlier on the Chevies. One thing that I do remember about GM cars and trucks in general was there $h!tty ball joints that would pound out in no time. I must have changed hundreds of them back in the day. That being said the Moog replacements were of much better quality and would last considerably long than the original, which usually ment it was a one time repair.




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  6. angryjonny

    Had an ’82 Grand Marquis with the exact same color scheme. God I loved that boat.




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  7. David Miraglia

    2,000 is reasonable. No place to put it. Always liked these.




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  8. JonS

    I drove one in this bodystyle (an ’87 model) for a great many years. My grandmother purchased it new in late’ 87 and owned it until she passed away in ’92.
    My mother didn’t want a boxy sedan so it passed down to me.
    When it became mine it had a grand total of 3,762 miles on a five yr old car. It had the LXi trim package which gave it leather, power everything, tilt, cruise, etc etc.
    I replaced the utterly abysmal stock audio with better aftermarket gear and drove it for a decade til it got in an unfortunate argument with a diesel F350 which it decidedly lost. Never had the first problem out of the ole girl excepting normal maintenance items such as tires, brakes, oil changes, & the like.




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  9. Zapp

    1980 was, in fact, the first year for the LTD Crown Victoria.

    When the ’79 Panther-platform LTD was introduced, the LTD Landau was at the top of the line. Interior trim was identical to the Crown Victoria except for the badge on the passenger side dash, and the exterior featured a full-vinyl roof instead of the half vinyl roof with brushed-aluminum “crown”.

    I owned an ’80 LTD Crown Victoria 4-door, bright red exterior with the same scarlet interior as on the car featured here. Had power windows and locks, dual power seats, electronic AM/FM cassette stereo (but no Premium Sound) and the new-for-’80 Automatic Overdrive transmission. Just like this one, it also lacked the Interior Luxury Group–it sure seemed odd to me that whoever ordered my car got nearly every option except for the Interior Luxury Group.

    Also owned a ’79 Mercury Marquis, which was equipped with the same 302 motor and Variable Venturi carburetor as the ’80 Crown Vic. Both cars were plagued with carb issues after they hit 80K miles. Once the diaphragm on these carbs started to degrade, the cars would refuse to start.




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    • Zapp

      Note that the trunk lid brushed-aluminum trim panel is missing between the backup lights, and there looks like rust in its place on the right side of where the trim used to be. A replacement decklid in good shape should be easy to find, though.

      Car doesn’t have cruise control, power windows, or power locks. Can’t tell from the photos if it has A/C, which was not standard equipment in 1980. Also does not have the badges indicating an Automatic Overdrive transmission.

      Still, for $2000, it doesn’t get much better than this.




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