The caller with the LTD to be blown up in a short film might want to try the “Airwolf Solution” as I like to call it.
In many 80’s films and TV shows, they would drive the vehicle behind a hill (or even some large buildings)
and as the car disappears from view, the explosives would be set off, emitting a large cloud of smoke and fire
while the car drives, unseen, to a safer spot
Cut to people running to the crash site, then cut back to a pile of flaming wreckage
The illusion is that the car plowed into the hill and exploded.
The LTD in this case need not even be damaged.
There was another ploy they used also. If an expensive Mercedes or Rolls Royce was being used they often substituted a cheap car in it’s place as it plunged off of a cliff.
I hope they saved the T’bird in Thelma and Louise.
In the 1971 movie, “Vanishing Point”, starring Barry Newman as Kowalski, the guy driving that alpine-white '70 Dodge Challenger R/T (with the 440 engine, 4-spd. w/ pistol-grip shifter), I believe that a plain-jane white Camaro was used in the last scene (where the car smashes into a parked bulldozer). The Challenger, of course, had the diagonal twin hood scoops, but when the car in the last scene was destroyed, and its hood came off, it was a plain flat hood. I’m just glad they didn’t smash the Challenger; it was a fine piece of machinery.
Often they dressed the cars to be destroyed with overlaid body panels to look like the expensive cars. It’s a common illusion.
Magnum PI also used kit cars, apparently on Fiero chassis, for some scenes (see below).