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Hagerty Employee

1978 Ford LTD II: Gran Torino redux | Hagerty Media

Do you remember the 1977-79 Ford LTD II? If not, you almost certainly remember its corporate sibling, the downsized 1977 Thunderbird. The LTD II was a victim of the T-Bird's success to some extent. Coupes, especially personal luxury coupes, were the "gotta have it" body style through most of the '70s.

I can see the last of the Gene Bordinat styling cues on this car. Initially made to look like a mini Thunderbird in the early 1970's, once the Thunderbird became the same size as the now-LTD II, the former Torino was lost in the mix. I've got a lot of familiarity with these 70's Fords, as members of our family owned these cars back in the day. When my brother married his wife, she brought a 78 LTD II Sport Appearance package to the union. As an aside, both of my brothers married into "Ford" families, where parents and siblings and cousins and etc., all had Fords in their garages. I married into an Oldsmobile family... LOL..

Unlike the Chrysler Cordoba, where there was no similarly sized lower line car to cannibalize sales, the Thunderbird almost made the LTD II line redundant. Other than the fact that the LTD II had the sedans and wagons that weren't part of the Thunderbird series, I'd wonder if Ford executives regretted their decision to make a full-line out of the LTD II. They could have done something similar to AMC's Matador; that the coupe was the style leader (yes, I know) and was backed up by the more mundane wagons and sedans in a separate line. They could have saved themselves from so much duplication by not offering the LTD II coupes. OTOH, they did something very similar with the Cougar line, except that the XR-7 was and always had been the top of the line Cougar. At least the delineation between expensive mid-sized Ford and regular mid-sized Ford was very clear.

The owner is right, the car was a great find, as I'm sure no one ever considered one of these things worthy of saving after its useful life was over. FWIW, I did like my brother's wife's LTD II, it was a good looking car, even if it only had the punch of a wet kitten.

The 70’s were loaded with forgettable cars and styling. With down sizing and the mix of new bumper laws. 

This one while not offensive is not one that was memorable. Unless you were a fan of Highway to Heaven, 


I always liked the look of the LTD II but after spending some time in the police version (in the FRONT seat, thank you), I’m afraid I came away more than a little underwhelmed. Mind you, I realize I’m talking about the most abused version of the least desirable model; nevertheless, the DNA of the civilian version is discernible in any squad. In the case of the LTD II my impression was that the gene pool wasn’t very deep.
All that aside, thank you for a great story on a cool car. Any survivor gets a thumbs up from me,

The 70-71 Torino were the best ever. You could get that model with a 351C 4V 4bolt main and Borg Warner top loader with rally wheels, 9 in locker, factory. That body though, beats them all. I believe the one I described came with the famous Shaker Hood too.
Advanced Driver

The 2 door version of this car is pretty sweet looking. Lower it just enough to give it some attitude, and cruise.