1985 Ford Crown Victoria LX 302 cu in. V8 from North America


I understand now, why they have such a long history as police and taxi cars




Intake manifold gasket (typical for all 302's; fix it right away, that will be the end of that; don't ignore it or you'll destroy one of the best marvels of modern engineering ever built).

General Comments:

I love the car, I bought it from a dealership in Akron, OH. They couldn't sell the car and had it for nearly a year. So they put her in back and shut the gate thinking it would someday have to go to auction. The very weekend I started looking they lowered the price to try to get rid of it. I was the only bite after a week. I paid 1205 tax, title, etc and out the door.

Since buying the car, I've traveled long distances and short daily. I love her to death, my wife not so much though (she likes her Chevy Astro), but I enjoy the sound of that old V8 and how smooth it runs. I've seen brand new engines that had rougher idles than that old beast. The mileage is actual (Carfax report verified), it was owned by one other person, and then has been pretty much sitting in a field ever since.

I don't get great gas mileage, but then I don't expect it either, City is always 15 whether I'm hard on it or not. Highway varies by the direction the wind is blowing, but usually 18-22.

She's not fast, either, (0-60 in about 11 seconds) (some kids would think her quick, but I've owned sports cars and driven fast, I know what fast really means) but off the line up to about 40MPH I will admit that the torque piles on quickly to make for one heckuva tire burn.

Great car, couldn't ask for one better. I believe it's a true blessing, and I'm grateful I found something I don't have to fix every weekend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2010

5th May 2010, 22:48

Lucky find! Hope you take good care of her. When I was younger, I found a '79 LTD with 40,000 original miles and totally took it for granted and ran her into the ground. 1979 was the first year of that same chassis you got right now, and went on til the early 90's. To call it an engineering marvel is an understatement.

6th May 2010, 01:46

Bravo on an excellent choice my friend! I am a, (more than words can describe),extremely satisfied 20 year old owner and commander of two luxury liners: A 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, and a pristine 1998 Ford Crown Victoria.

I am disgusted by the overstressed sound of fours and sixes, so nothing gives me goosebumps or gets my blood pumping more than to hear the deep, mighty growl of my torque-laden V8.

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but I love the jet-like whine these cars have when starting out in first. The Chevy Caprices had that sound too.

My other major loves about these fine automobiles are the three-box shape, gear selector on the column, where it should be (looks much more elegant) and of course, the body-on-frame solidity and safeness. And with their solid axle and RWD, the cars are basically trucks underneath. There is NO unibody disposable that I would take over this in a crash.

Pretty soon I think I'll either go for another Grand Marquis or maybe have fun and pick up a P71 Interceptor. If I ever won the lotto, I would buy a brand new Lincoln Town Car Signature L, the one that's six inches longer. Aw come on, I'd buy 1000! And a nice cherry red 1959 Chevy Bel-Air.

Keep supporting real cars, and have fun!

1985 Ford Crown Victoria Wagon 302 V8 from North America


Practical, reliable, and comfortable with tons of room in the back


Bought the car with these things wrong:

Valve cover gaskets leaked - easy, $20, and didn't change until it started leaking onto the exhaust manifold.

Intake manifold gasket leaks and haven't bothered fixing it since it's not very bad and I'm considering a performance 2 bbl intake manifold anyway.

Power steering fluid leaks, just a little.

Leaky brake lines, $40 for parts and labor.

No muffler on the car, OEM $70 at local parts store, found others as cheap as $30 soon after... :(

Rear main seal leaks not too bad, but not such a cheap fix either.

Vacuum lines are brittle, but easily replaced and cheap.

Front end could use an alignment, I won't have that done until the front is lifted.

Front right shock is blown, and that'll be replaced when the front is lifted too.

Fuse was out for interior lights, $0.25 fix.

Headliner is in horrible condition.

Seats are in great shape, but were very dirty when I got it. Cleaned all but the driver's with some simple green.

Weatherstripping and run channels are old and worn, noisy in the wind and on the freeway.

Back window runners scratch the window, fixable with the soft side of sticky Velcro.

Shift indicator doesn't work correctly.

Back windows are kinda tough to roll down.

Body is dinged up quite a bit, but the paint held up pretty nicely, too bad I'm not a big fan of the sand beige color, though it matches the rest of the town being in the desert.

General Comments:

Great car. First car in my name. Bought it for $500.

Starts in the 30's and 120's we experience over here in Blythe. Survived the tornado also.

Not the greatest fuel economy in a car, but better than many comparable SUVs, which basically replaced the wagon.

The car rides like a couch. Not the best at handling with its weight, but I like the rear wheel drive, and this things is a comfortable off-roader, even though only the back's lifted right now.

Hauled my bandmates comfortably, the guitars, the drumset, and every amp but one without any problems getting it all in there. The other amp was at the destination already. Back seats are capable of folding flat for even more room.

Very inexpensive to keep as is... I just keep wanting random modifications done to it, such as the lift, the exhaust, perhaps a better intake manifold.

My biggest pet peeve is the weatherstripping and run channels which aren't available as something specially for this car, just as universal parts, so it gets really annoying and makes me want to get something a bit newer.

What keeps me from trading it is the power, though heavy and old, this car still more get up and go than other cars I'm interested in and I like my occasional race, losing wouldn't be so fun. Most engine/exhaust parts are interchangeable with other 302 powered cars such as the Mustang or Explorer, so power gains aren't hard to find and much cheaper than an import and easier to work with.

But still, the wind noise is so annoying.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2010

29th Apr 2010, 17:10

I've owned several LTD's of that vintage (just not the wagon) and the problems you describe are pretty typical of an older car of that type. Many of the issues you're having are the exact same as my LTD's had. Easily rectified and trust me worth fixing, as these cars are nearly extinct now. They're a classic example of what the American family car used to (and should still) be. Solid, reliable, simple, powerful. Definitely worth restoring.

3rd May 2010, 02:15

Worth it... but I am looking for a more suitable daily driver, being 19, it's not like I have a family to lug around, and my band doesn't travel much. The Crown Vic's probably the best car for the money, too practical for me.