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Thread: Ford LTD (North America) 2nd gen 1969-1978

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    Ford LTD (North America) 2nd gen 1969-1978

    The Ford LTD (pronounced el-tee-DEE) is a range of automobiles manufactured by Ford Motor Company for the 1965 to 1986 model years. Introduced as the highest trim level of the full-size Ford model range, the LTD introduced options and features normally reserved for more luxurious Lincoln and Mercury models. The largest vehicle produced by Ford in North America for most of its production, the LTD was joined by the intermediate Ford LTD II from 1977 to 1979; the LTD II served as the replacement for the Torino/Gran Torino range. At various times throughout its production, the LTD range included two- and four-door pillared and hardtop sedans, a two-door convertible, and the Country Squire five-door woodgrain station wagon.

    For the 1979 model year, the LTD was downsized, becoming externally smaller than the LTD II, and for 1983, it became a mid-size car. The Ford Granada was discontinued, with the LTD nameplate moving to a restyled version of that car; the full-size LTD then became LTD Crown Victoria. The mid-size LTD was replaced by the 1986 Ford Taurus, as Ford continued its shift towards front-wheel drive vehicles.

    Outside of North America, the 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 was manufactured in South America into the 1980s and marketed as the Ford LTD.

    Second generation (1969–1978)
    For the 1969 model year, the LTD was given a major redesign. Based on a largely carryover chassis, the wheelbase of all full-size Ford sedans now stretched to 121 inches.

    Timeline
    1969: Ford LTD is given a redesign on a longer (121-inch) wheelbase chassis; the hidden headlights and formal roofline introduced in 1967 are retained. An all-new body features a split grille with a horizontal center divider (shared with XLs and Country Squires).

    1970: The split grille was discontinued; while its Mercury Marquis counterpart continues its Lincoln-style fascia, Ford redesigned the front end of the LTD with a three-segment grille with a prominent center section[10] (a toned down version of the Ford Thunderbird (fifth generation). All LTDs got a new Federally-mandated locking steering column and wheel, with the ignition switch located on the right side of the column.

    1971: The LTD was given a styling update. In the rear, the long-running Ford styling tradition ended as the twin round or square "jet exhaust" taillights were replaced by horizontal taillights on all full-size Fords. In between the two tail lamps was a center "third" brakelight; on the Galaxie 500, this space was an alloy trim panel while Custom 500s had body-color trim. In front, the LTD lost its hidden headlamps to Lincoln-Mercury, but got a new front end treatment with a tall center grille section and "LTD" spelled out in block letters on the hood.

    With the discontinuation of the XL series, the convertible was moved to the LTD line. These were produced with bucket seats and center consoles; the console was similar to the console in the XLs and Mercury Marauders of 1969–1970, with a "stirrup" style shift handle.

    A modified 1971 Ford Custom is featured prominently in the 1973 American film White Lightning. It is the car driven by the film’s lead character, portrayed by Burt Reynolds.

    1972: 1972 models were virtually the same as the 1971s, although the bumper now stretched across the lower section of the grille. A new rear bumper integrated the taillights; also in the rear, the design of the trunklid was squared off. Due to decreased demand in the segment, 1972 was the final model year for the LTD convertible.

    1973: In 1973, in order to comply with federal regulations, the LTD was given a major redesign for the model year. The requirements for 5-mph front bumpers had taken effect, with larger rear bumpers to be added in 1974. While the redesign slightly decreased the weight of the LTD, it still was far in excess of two tons, making agility and fuel economy both key weak points. The new styling was bulkier, making the car look significantly larger and heavier than previous models. Four-door models (sharing rooflines with Mercury) were given thin B-pillars for roof reinforcement and branded as "pillared hardtops" (frameless door glass remained on all Ford LTD models). The 460 engine became an option for the first time in 1974.

    1974: Five-mph bumpers added to the rear. Mostly carryover from the 1973 model year. Mid-year, a non-woodgrain LTD wagon became available. A new Federal law required seat belts to be buckled before the starter would operate; public protests prompted the government to relax this requirement. Subsequent models got a simple "Fasten Seat Belt" warning light and buzzer for 1975, and owners were now permitted to disable the starter interlock on their 1974s.

    1975: Following the discontinuation of the Galaxie series after 1974, Ford sought to fill its place by expanding the LTD trim lineup. Above the Custom 500 was the standard LTD, the LTD Brougham, and newly introduced for 1975, the LTD Landau. In an effort to comply with pending rollover standards (as well as to differentiate it from the Mercury Marquis), the two-door was converted from a hardtop to a coupe with wide B-pillars and a tall, narrow "opera window" (Chevrolet did the same thing with the 1974 Caprice Coupe). More or less the Ford counterpart to the Mercury Grand Marquis, the LTD Landau featured rear fender skirts and various decor packages for additional luxury; it was distinguished by the return of hidden headlamps (exclusive to its trim level). Hidden headlamps were also shared with the LTD Country Squire wagon. The 429 engine was replaced by the 460 V8 sourced from Lincoln-Mercury for 1975. A catalytic converter now required the use of unleaded fuel, and the gas gauge and fuel filler sported warnings to this effect.

    1976: Four-wheel disc brakes and 8-track were optional. Last year for LTD Brougham trim level.

    1977: Since the LTD Brougham had been discontinued, the LTD Landau received the former Brougham interior as the base offering. Optional interiors, including the LTD Landau Luxury Group, were still available.

    1978: Final year for 121-inch wheelbase LTD, as it is replaced by the downsized Panther-platform generation LTD for 1979.

    1973-1978 Ford LTD Police Package & Police Interceptor Package: 1973-1978, Police Package contained a 351/400 CID motor for city patrol cars, while the 460 Police Interceptor was for heavy Duty and high Speed use. The 460 Police Interceptor motor was rated at 260 Net horsepower and capable of 0-60 times in the 8 second range. Quarter mile times in the upper 15 second bracket, and top speeds in excess of 135 Mph.

    Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over the 1969–1978 period. 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, which was replaced by the 460 CID V8 for 1974. The full-sized Fords remained strong sellers each year during this period, due to their high comfort, powerful engines, good build quality and reasonable cost.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Ford LTD (2nd gen) #4
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