Monday, September 5, 2011

Car Of The Day: September 5, 2011

Today's car of the day is Zylmex's 1983 Ford LTD police car.

The Ford LTD was a car produced by the Ford Motor Company in North America. A range of full-size cars wore various forms of the LTD nameplate from 1965 to 1991 in the United States. The LTD debuted as the highest trim level on the 1965 full-size Ford range under the name Galaxie 500 LTD and became its own series for the first time in 1966.

In 1983, the LTD was split into two distinct lines. The LTD shifted to a mid-size car based on the Fox platform; the top-trim LTD Crown Victoria remained a full-size car. The smaller LTD continued in sedan and station wagon forms through 1986, overlapping with the first model year of the Ford Taurus in 1986, the car that became its successor. In North America, the LTD name was last used on the 1991 LTD Crown Victoria sedan and station wagon, which dropped it for 1992.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford LTD

A rather odd choice for a squad car from Zylmex, considering the real car was very rarely pressed into police service.  I wonder just how much influence this particular casting had on the folks who designed the "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" video game as this is the model of car used as a police car in the game.  One would think there are a lot more of these around than real Foxbody LTD police units!

Ford's final family sedan based on the Fox platform, the LTD, and its Mercury twin, the Marquis, were basically a restyle of the unsuccessful 1981-1982 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch, and the popular 1978-1983 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr. As such, the running gear was identical to the Fairmont. The LTD and Marquis monikers were also used on the full size sedan and wagon, named LTD Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis.

Both LTD and Marquis inherited the Fairmont's 2.3 L four-cylinder, 3.3 L inline-six, and 5.0 L V8 engines; however, the V8 gained fuel-injection. Inherited from the Granada was Ford's 3.8 L Essex V6, which gave smooth and reliable power, although with sometimes troublesome head gaskets. The Essex engine gained fuel injection for 1984 in the US; it was carbureted in Canadian markets until 1986. An option from 1983 to 1984 was an LPG (propane)-powered four-cylinder engine, but was discontinued due to poor sales and few propane fueling stations. The LTD's final year was 1986, when Ford sold it alongside its replacement, the Taurus. This car was the third-best-selling car in the United States in 1983 and 1984.

During the 1984 model year, Ford introduced a performance version of the LTD called the LTD LX. It came standard with the high output 5.0 L CFI V8 engine, four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 600 lb-in front and 270 lb-in rear coil springs, front and rear sway bars, 10 inch front disc and 10 inch rear drum brakes, and a 3.27:1 rear gear ratio with a Traction-Lok differential. The LX model was the only LTD to have a center console with a floor-mounted shifter for the transmission, and a tachometer in the instrument cluster. Roughly 3,260 LXs were produced from mid-1984 to 1985. The Mercury version of the LX was the Marquis LTS and was available only in Canada in much smaller numbers. A LTD (fox body) police edition was as also made, roughly 800 were produced. Notable for its bigger sway bars and brakes, it also included bench seats with an automatic trunk opener located underneath the steering wheel. They were a factory option and most were equipped with light bars and police accessories, although some came without.

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