I’ve always liked the 1975–78 Ford LTDs. For years, they were a staple in Quinn Martin-produced TV shows, like Cannon, Barnaby Jones, and The Streets of San Francisco. In those shows, the vehicles featured were always provided by Ford Motor Company, resulting in a cornucopia of Lincolns, Thunderbirds, Mustang IIs and, naturally, LTDs.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
My employer bought a new 77 basic Ford company car for the same price as a loaded 76 Mercury that was still on the lot! The Ford, no air, crappy seats, AM radio, started my own company a couple years later, always bought the top end cars. Also had a 76 Ford loaded Wagon 460, pass everything except a gas station!!
Loved seeing this car featured on your site. My dad had one of these and I was also a child of the eighties. Dad had lots of LTDs: a his and hers pair of 1972’s, a 1978 and then an 1981. I remember his ‘78 LTD well though. It was not as nice as this white beauty. I went with dad to the car dealerships every chance I got. I remember loving the looks of those hideaway headlights - - very classy! I even collected a bunch of the brochures in the showroom. Boy was I disappointed that the silver-grey one we took home had the base, fixed-quad headlights and roll-up (manual) windows. It took us until the 1981 LTD to finally get some of those creature comfort power accessories. (I got that well-worn ‘81 LTD from dad by about my senior year of college.)
I never got to drive our 1978 LTD, my first car was the surviving 1972 LTD, after it was handed down from mom, to sis and finally to me. In retrospect my 1972 LTD was quite the ugly duckling; Fire engine red over red vinyl, white vinyl roof, matching red, steel wheels with poverty caps and sadly, 4 doors (of course the other ‘72 LTD my dad got rid of first was a hardtop coupe!). My only chance at looking cool was that I had a 351 Cleveland and could hope that other people had seen the Burt Reynolds movie White Lightening! (In fact, I think every single car in that movie was a ‘71-‘72 LTD) At 16, I was still short enough to lay across the expansive back seat and my head and feet wouldn’t touch the armrests! Although since that ugly ‘72 LTD I’ve had proper muscle cars, a convertible, Jeep CJ, a modern pony-car, pre-wars, an antique truck, etc, but I’ve never forgotten that big-olde red, land-yacht. In fact, just had a dream I was driving it the other night.
In our family remains the decaying ruin of a 77 LTD that served us well in the 1990s as a strange beater (I will explain). It was a low-mileage car that had been stored very poorly for 15-20 years resulting in damage:
-roof very rusty under the decaying green vinyl top
-leaves sat on the flatter sections at bottom of rear window rotting through. Rest of body was mint, literally every surface painted green was great even next to the rotted spots.
-floors nearly rotten when we started using it. Frame was probably a bit punky too.
-rear bumper rotted out from the inside, perhaps partly from the odd exhaust arrangement of pointing the tail pipe directly into the back of the bumper?
-because it had sat out in the weather so long before we got it... some interior bits and outside plastics were brittle and bad. Most of the green interior was pretty good (then).
-Oil pan rotted through
Car was a blast to drive. Very comfy but wipers and defog did not age well as far as working effectively so it was almost dangerous in certain conditions. Headlight adjusters & mounts were all seized or fell apart so I confess some tape hackery was involved in keeping things held in place.
Fast forward 30 years and feral cats have destroyed the interior (got in through the no floor). The hood is probably still mint though!
This is one type of car that a good ID guide for each year/model/trim would be helpful. Ours looked a lot like the "Butterscotch" one in the article, same hubcaps and all. It did not have hidden headlights though. The maroon interior is familiar. Ours was a 2 door.
I’m a child of the 70’s and always loved those cars. I can was then a service station employee in the 80’s. My love affair with those (and virtually every other 70’s American car) ended at the tip of my tow truck hook. In retrospect those cars were not that bad-remember I only dealt with the broken ones-and time has rekindled my love affair with them.