First, I'll issue this warning: This is going to be a very long-term project, with great periods of (seemingly) inactivity. Progress will be measured in years rather than days or weeks. Normally, I'd never buy a project car with the intention of letting it hibernate in storage, but because this one was so significant to me, when I saw the opportunity to buy it, I jumped. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd ever find another one.
I found this 1996 XLT in Mississippi, where it's been living for the last few years as a hunting vehicle. It's cosmetically rough, and will need everything. Broken dash, ripped seats, headliner, missing trim, etc. etc. But it's also has a rust free body and I'm pretty sure it's never been in an accident (other than a few dents). It's also been completely mechanically rebuilt sometime in its past (around 2001-2002) by the government. Indicated mileage is 101XXX.
Because it was just what I was looking for, I bought it after talking to the seller over the phone and looking at photos. He said it ran well, with cold A/C, but was a farm/hunting vehicle that needed work. Good enough for me, since I'm doing a full, frame-off rebuild eventually. So I headed down from Chicago and rescued it from the farm.
It didn't start when I got there. We had to winch it onto the trailer.