Sunday, January 18, 2015

5k: Sleeper Sedan: 1983 Ford LTD 5.0 Swap

Update: 18-Jan-2015: This 1983 Ford LTD with 5.0 swap is back up for sale, this time here on craigslist for $4,500 located in Long Beach, CA.  Tip from Sean S.

Original Feature 8-June-2014: The fourth and final generation of Ford's LTD sedan was introduced in 1983 riding on the Fox platform.  Previous generation LTDs had been big body on frame elephants and the LTD chassis donated to the revival of the Crown Victoria model.  The final mid-sized iteration of the rear-drive LTD sedan only lasted for a few years before it was replaced with the front-drive Taurus.  All were automatic transmission equipped and lackadaisical in acceleration, but today's example has a few surprises under it's smurf blue skin.  Find this 1983 Ford LTD 5.0 Swap currently bidding for $2,200 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go on ebay, located in Los Angeles, CA.

A set of large wheels and a lowered ride height won't set you out of the crowd in LA - half the old American cars still driving around have been modified in some fashion.  But this one sports totally blacked out trim and a nice but not gaudy paint job that makes it stand out.

Pop the hood at your local friday afternoon car show and sudden Ford guys will pop out of the woodwork and be drawn to this 5.0 like moths to a flame.  The flame in this case is a 5.0 liter fuel injected V8 from a 1991 Ford Mustang that is mated to a T-5 manual transmission.  GT-40 heads, an aftermarket cam and a California BAR legal sticker suggest something north of 200 horsepower, maybe 250 if the tune is good.  300 would be pushing it without a seriously lumpy cam and raised eyebrows at your next biannual smog check.

 A quick glance at the interior shows a lot of things that wouldn't have come from the factory in 1983. The steering wheel and dash are from a 1991 Mustang, the seats are 2007 Hyundai Tiburon, but everything else looks fairly well presented.  It isn't perfect, but offers a pretty good bang for buck in a customized mid 80s sedan.

See a better Fox body hot rod for less?


  1. Very cool. I bet the manual transmission makes this car fun.

  2. As was once famously said, a monkey in a silk suit is still a monkey in a silk suit...

  3. shit shit shit shit shit shit shit i need this.

  4. Really nice concept and probably a lot of fun, especially with the stick. And this from a Chevy guy. No one really needs more HP and torque than this combination (how much one wants is another matter, though). Someone's going to get a fun vehicle if it hasn't been thrashed and the frame and rear end can handle the torque.

  5. This is a steal for the right enthusiast.

  6. This one goes out to my fellow wagon fanatics:

    1. @K2MysteryCar - oh wow, that is cool. I love wagons, and in fact drove a succession of Fairmont wagons until there were no more to be bought used. The Blue sedan is just about exactly what I always daydreamed about building out of one of my wagons, but they all became senile before I had garage space to stash a spare car.

      The sedan tugs at me for $4500. Once again, it is that cross-country sub-arctic-to-tropics haul that dissuades me. Shame.....

    2. Do it! Talk them down to 4K and live a little. Like it's my money...but, seriously, it is a cool car.

  7. This looks suspiciously similar to the white one that's been at the Fabulous Fords Forever show at Knotts Berry Farm for a few years. The transplanted Mustang dash seems to be a giveaway. It was also featured in a magazine article a few years ago too.

  8. I wonder if the pee stain on the front seat if from the driver the first time he dumped the clutch at red line?....

  9. This is something of a clone/update of the LTD LX model.

    Yeah, think I recall this one at Knotts too.

  10. Yummy.. It look like a few suspension mods and this thing could probably do that ultimate street car deal. I like it.

  11. I did this swap in my 84 LTD wagon. I kept the C4 tranny. It's a super easy swap to do, because the LTD LX sedan came from the factory with a 5.0. I had a lot of fun with that car destroying the hopes and dreams of those who lined up next to me.


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