Windsor Powered Wagon: 1988 Ford LTD Crown Victoria

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

Looking at it, you would think this Crown Victoria Wagon is just your typical tired old family hauler, but not only does it have relatively low mileage it’s also a rare 351w V8 equipped car. If you know your Crown Vic history, you know that Ford stopped offering the 5.8 liter V8 in the civilian version in 1980. Well, at least here in the US, but in Canada, you could order your LTD Crown Victoria with the “high output” engine, dual exhaust, limited slip differential, and a rear sway bar! It didn’t turn this wagon into an all-out performance machine, but it definitely made it more enjoyable to drive. You can find this one here on eBay in Cavalier, North Dakota with a current high bid of $2,500.

This wagon sure is clean! The interior looks to be in fantastic shape and I imagine it’s just as comfortable today as it was back in 1988. The AC compressor currently isn’t hooked up, so there’s currently no air conditioning, which is a must in a family cruiser. Get that working, sort the cruise control and find a set of nice NOS floor mats and this thing will be ready for daily use and family vacations!

Here’s the 351w V8 and the mess of wiring and vacuum lines required to meet emissions. Now that it’s 30 years old, it can be easily licensed in most States without any modifications (you’ll want to check with your local DMV just to be sure). With 180 horsepower, this won’t be the hottest car around, but it has a decent amount of torque and should be able to get you up and going nicely.

Having grown up around wagons like this, I have a fond spot for them and I’m sure there are more than a few others here that do as well. While later Crown Vics offer more power and better fuel efficiency, they lack the iconic boxiness of this wagon. Plus, with the right modifications, the 351 Windsor can produce some impressive performance. I’m not sure if I would want to mess with one that’s this clean, but it sure would be tempting. At the current bid, this seems like a bargain for a fun driver that could bring back some fun memories!

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Comments

  1. Tom Della Luna

    Years ago a shop I worked in had a customer with a late 70’s LTD wagon. It had a 460 dual exhaust no cats big brakes and basically heavy duty everything. He bought at a State auction of Goverment Fleet cars. It was fully loaded with Wood grain, rear facing seat and all the goodies. Low mileage he said it was a Secret Service car so it didn’t get used much. Good story great car!

    14
  2. CanuckCarGuy

    Growing up we had a ’79 Mercury Colony Park wagon with the 5.8…it had the notorious and mysterious ignition issue that caused stalling. Mom grew to hate it, but dad loved the 5.8 too much to ever give up on it. It was still in nice shape when he sold it in ’88 and bought a Taurus wagon. Thanks again BF for the memories.

    5
  3. Tim S.

    Interesting example of these. Lots of fun & utility.

    I think you writers just look for ways to shoehorn the “I” word in anywhere you can. Is there a contest or something?

    2
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      As in “interesting”? That’s an interesting thought, Tim. I’m interested enough to look into it further — thank you for your interest! 🙂

      11
      • Tim S.

        Point made. Totally epic reply. Iconic is literally an awesome word.

  4. Randy Slade

    We had a 72 Custom 500 with the same Windsor engine. About 8 miles per gallon in town and 20 on the highway. No air. Brown exterior and brown vinyl interior. Not fun for 4 sweaty kids on a road trip. Learnt how to drive on that one. Huge and typical Ford vague steering.

    3
  5. Marc

    I see what this Ford is missing, EFI, most if not all Fords in Ca. had EFI by 1988, it makes you wonder how much more power this Crown Vic would have if it had EFI along with torque…..

  6. steven

    This car is SCREAMING at me. Heads, cam, intake, headers, SVT wheels…….this could be cool….or cooler than it already is.

    8
  7. Tiberius1701

    Unless something has been changed on this wagon, this car has the infamous VV (Variable Venturi) carburetor which, all things being equal, is just fine as long as it has been set up properly. The difficulty going forward is there are probably not many folks around who know how to set up a VV, or any other carb, for that matter!

    4
    • Miguel

      Was the VV used in Canada in 1988?

      I know it was never used in Mexico. Ever.

      1
    • Dave

      Those VV’s were a booger! Had one on a Colony Park wagon. Did a lot of reading before I got our family wagon running like it should.

      1
  8. John B

    I’d write HONKY LIPS in the rear side window.

    1
  9. Wayne

    For those of us that worked in Ford/Mercury dealerships at the time these we “regular” patrons. I was glad to see these carburetors be eliminated. Ok in the summer. They ran so rich in the cold that the plugs would foul before getting warmed up. 351s Windsors never produced any fuel economy anyway. Wether in a car or truck. Just some extra torque. Only guys that would not complain about the fuel mileage. We’re the ones that owned gas stations!
    I still like the car!

  10. chad

    lookin 4 it’s smaller bro (LTD/Marquis) the fox-bodied ’83/6.

  11. Wayne

    Hey Chad, how about this one?
    5rz8z-6624458061@sale.craigslist.org
    Looks pretty good!

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