1984 LTD LX Was Ford's Four-Door Mustang: Muscle Car Monday
When you think of muscle cars, there’s a good chance your mind wanders to the iconic Chargers, Mustangs, Camaros, or the Duke brothers flying through the air in the General Lee – you know, all that good stuff. You probably don’t think of the somewhat stodgy 1984 Ford LTD LX, though, it rightfully earns a spot in the annals of performance cardom. Bear with us— we'll tell you why. RELATED: See Photos of the All-New Ford Mustang GT
In the early ‘80s, fuel economy had robbed nearly every ounce of performance from underneath what was once proud American muscle. Ford’s previously full-sized and V8 spouting LTD had now been relegated to the chassis of a midsized Fairmount and been given uninteresting four-cylinders and six-cylinders to play with – only just better than the Granada it replaced.
Then came along Bob Bondurant, race driver and the man behind the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, who needed a car that could handle at least four passengers for larger vehicle demonstrations. Something his two-door Mustangs couldn’t do.
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As the story goes, Ford whipped up a production mule, heaved a 5.0-liter V8 out of a Fox Body Mustang and dropped it right inside the LTD, backed up to a five-speed standard. Apparently, it worked quite well. By the 1984 model year, Ford turned Bondurant’s idea into a new production V8 sedan, known as the LTD LX (and Mercury LTS).
Output was rated at 165 horsepower, which doesn’t sound like much, but represented a competitive figure at the time. And given its Fox Body underpinnings, it handled and put down power like a four-door Mustang. Though that power was regrettably shuttled to the rear wheels through a lackluster four-speed automatic.
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For this and other reasons, the LTD LX wasn’t what you’d call a strong seller. Over the course of a year-and-a-half, the LTD LX mustered only 3,260 units sold and would eventually disappear amidst the clamor and praise of the all-new, all-aerodynamic Taurus.
But if it was good enough for Bob, it’s good enough for us.
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