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How reliable is an 85 Ford little LTD V-6?

I am considering buying an 85 Ford LTD V-6 with very low miles on it. The car is in very good condition, and the price is reasonable (you’d pay twice as much for a car ten years newer with twice the miles). But I do a lot of driving, delivering pizza 40+ hours a week, so i need something reliable. Even a good car will spend time in the shop after a while. Does this car hold up reasonably well, or is it toast after 85,000 miles? What about other similar sized older cars, maybe a little newer maybe the same era?

The fuel-injected V6 they used in these was actually not a bad little motor-- it was similar to the V6 they used for years in the Taurus. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if it had the carbed V8 or 4-cyl (unless you’re into working on that sort of thing). Of course on a car this old, how well it’s been taken care of will count for much more than what particular model it is.

However, you do realize that the “pizza delivery” (short trips, town driving) gas mileage on this thing is probably going to be in the low teens right? Unless they’re paying for your gas, I’d definitely consider getting yourself something smaller. Prime pizzamobiles include the Geo Metro, Ford Fiesta, Honda CRX, Subaru Justy or any subcompact that can be found for cheap.

It’s the 3.8L which is normally not a good thing at all. However the head gaskets in cars of this vintage still had asbestos (sp) in them, so they were not prone to blowing out like the headgaskets in early-mid 1990s.