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Ford LTD

Generation 2

From 1969 to 1970, the LTD shared top-of-the line trim pieces featuring a grille with hidden headlamps; these were shared with the Galaxie XL sport coupe and the Country Squire station wagon. While continuing styling concepts introduced in the 1968 model (hidden headlights and a formal roofline), the 1969 model delivered many changes. The most notable of these was a longer (121-inch) wheelbase as part of an all-new body. Styling featured a grille with a body-color horizontal divider. For 1970, this was dropped, with a center grille separated from the side sections.

Ford LTD

For 1971, the LTD received a more extensive facelift. In the rear, the long-running styling theme of twin round or square "jet exhaust" taillights were replaced by horizontal taillights on all full-size Fords. The LTD lost its distinctive hidden headlamps, but had the LTD grille badge, side trim, and tail which had a center taillight featuring a center "third" brakelight. For comparison, this was an alloy trim panel on the Galaxie 500 while on the Custom 500, the space between the taillights was body-color sheetmetal. The 1972 front end featured flush grilles instead of the concave treatment of the 1971 models and an additional bumper bar extended across the center grille section, while the rear received a large high chrome bumper into which taillights were set. In the rear, the trunk lid was squared off.

Ford LTD

The XL sport model ended production in 1970, but for 1971 at least 1,585 sport coupe and convertibles were produced with bucket seats and center consoles; the console was similar to the console in the XLs and Mercury Marauders of 1969-70, with a "stirrup" style shift handle. 1972 would be the final year for LTD convertibles.

In step with upcoming federal safety regulations, the LTD received a redesign for the 1973 model year; along with the discontinuation of the convertible, all hardtop models now wore roof pillars for reinforcement (frameless door glass remained). Federal 5-mph standards for front bumpers took effect in 1973, with larger rear bumpers to be added a year later. While the redesign brought the LTD closer to the Mercury Marquis in styling, it was now separated from the Galaxie, which was discontinued after 1974. While the new LTD weighed less than earlier models, it was still far in excess of two tons, meaning that agility and fuel economy were both weak points.

Ford LTD convertible

The Galaxie nameplate was discontinued after 1974, leaving the Custom 500 as the base-trim full-size Ford, then LTD, LTD Brougham, and the new LTD Landau at the top of the series for the 1975 model year. The Landau came with hidden headlamps and available rear fender skirts, and was also available with various decor packages for additional luxury. The Brougham trim was dropped from the lineup for 1977. The LTD Country Squire wagon had simulated woodgrain body trim as in previous years. From 1975-1978, it wore the same hidden headlamps as the LTD Landau; regular (non-woodgrain) LTD station wagons had exposed headlamps.

Ford LTD convertible

Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over 1969-78. This makes it the second best selling Ford automobile platform after the Ford Model T.

For the first time since the 1940s, the full-size Ford line was powered exclusively by V8 engines; the base engine was the 302 CID V8. The next largest engine was Ford's 351 CID V8, the most common choice. Still larger was Ford's 400 CID V8. Topping the range was the 429 cid V8; in 1975, this was replaced by the 460 CID V8 sourced from Lincoln-Mercury, which gave good power but got less than 10 mpg in city traffic. All of these engines were choked by emissions systems and retarded camshaft timing, with the 400 and 429/460 engines producing large amounts of torque but a power output of 160-180 hp, depending on which year.(Down from 260 for the 400, and 365 for the 429 in 1971) Despite these difficulties, the full-sized Fords remained strong sellers each year during this period, due to their high comfort, good build quality and reasonable cost.

Ford LTD

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