1985 Ford LTD LX sedan

“Because Mr. Bondurant shouldn’t have all the fun.”

Late in the 1984 model year, Ford added a performance-oriented model to the Fairmont-based LTD line. The LX was loosely based on a few sedans that Bob Bondurant had cobbled together for use at his high-performance driving school.

The engine was Ford’s 165 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci Windsor V8 with electronic fuel injection. The only transmission available was a four-speed automatic transmission. 0-60 came in a respectable 9 seconds—faster than the Dodge 600ES and competitive with the Pontiac 6000 STE. Mileage was 19 city/23 highway by the standards of the day (17/22 by today’s standards). With a 16-gallon fuel tank, range was between 280 and 300 miles with a 10% reserve.

For 1985, the LX wore the updated nose and tail that came along with all 1985 LTDs. Standard exterior and mechanical equipment in the $11,421 LX (about $26,500 in 2016 dollars) included quad rectangular halogen headlamps, power brakes, a Traction-Lok rear axle, a rear stabilizer bar, and P205/70HR Goodyear Eagle tires (a size still readily available) on 14-inch styled road wheels. Inside, dual power mirrors, lumbar-support bucket seats, a center console with a floor shifter for the transmission, brushed aluminum trim on the dash bezels, an upgraded instrument cluster with tachometer, a Tripminder computer, and an AM radio with dual front speakers (ah, the glamor!) were included.

Options included cast aluminum wheels ($224), air conditioning ($743), power windows ($272), power locks ($213), and an electronic AM/FM stereo radio with cassette ($409).

LX pages from the 1985 LTD brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochure pages.

Like some other interesting Ford performance cars from the 1980s (I’m thinking of you, Mustang SVO), LTD LX‘s did not sell well, with only 3,260 sold over the 1984 and 1985 model years (there would be no 1986 LX). Likely because of the limited production numbers, you rarely see them in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors. There is some enthusiast support.

Make mine Medium Charcoal Metallic, please.



One thought on “1985 Ford LTD LX sedan

  1. The “anemic” GM 60-degree V6 mentioned in the article had power and torque almost exactly on par with the M20B27 “eta” I6 powering far, far more expensive BMWs of the era and, in my family’s experience, was much more reliable. By 60,000 miles, our Eta (purchased new and serviced per spec at our BMW dealer, thank you) required a quart of oil alongside every tank of gas because it was leaking so badly. And that issue was independent of the hesitation problems and unreliable cruise control the car also had.

    Contrast that with the 2.8 V6 in a Celebrity we received as a hand-me-down from a relative. The only issue it ever had was an intermittent stalling problem that was accident-related. (A cabbie doing an illegal U-turn had hit our relative. It was a low-speed accident but damaged some of the engine’s electronics. Once those parts were replaced, it ran flawlessly–as it had before the accident–up until we traded it in with north of 100,000 miles.)

    As my father was fond of saying, the BMW would have been an excellent car if it had had Japanese wiring and an American engine.

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