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Thread: Ford LTD (North America) 3rd gen 1979-1982

  1. #1
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    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.

    Third generation (1979–1982)
    Background
    For the 1977 model year, General Motors became the first American auto manufacturer to introduce downsized full-size sedans, with its B/C full-size sedans having a smaller exterior footprint than their A-body intermediates.

    As Ford remained in development with its downsizing of the LTD (and its Lincoln-Mercury counterparts), Ford touted the aspects of its larger sedans, comparing the LTD side-by-side with the GM flagship sedan Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Nearly matching the Chevrolet Caprice in size, Ford offered the "Trim Size" LTD II, a new generation of the Torino intermediate.

    Trailing GM for nearly two years, Ford began production of the third-generation LTD on July 31, 1978 at Louisville Assembly; in August, production came online at Atlanta Assembly, Los Angeles Assembly, and Oakville Assembly. The LTD marked the launch of the rear-wheel drive Ford Panther platform; in stark contrast to the Chrysler R platform, the Panther chassis was completely new from the ground up. In line with the GM B/C downsizing, the Panther design introduced trimmer body profiles, nimbler body handling (from smaller size), and better fuel economy (to better comply with CAFE standards).

    For 1979, Ford introduced the Ford LTD sedans and LTD Country Squire station wagons; the Lincoln Continental was delayed until 1980, making Lincoln the final brand to introduce a downsized model range. In Canada, the Custom 500 nameplate continued on for the last time, serving as the base model through the 1981 model year.

    Model overview
    In comparison to its 1978 predecessor, the 1979 LTD shed approximately 15 inches of body length and 7 inches of wheelbase; (dependent on powertrain) the Panther chassis shed over 700 pounds in curb weight. While slightly narrower overall, the body design also led to increased interior and trunk space. The lighter Panther chassis and body displaced the need for the large-block 400 and 460 V8s; Ford made the metric-displacement 5.0L V8 (302) standard and a 5.8L V8 (351) optional. In contrast to Chrysler and General Motors, Ford Panther-chassis vehicles retained V8 engines as standard equipment. For 1981, to further improve its CAFE performance (while avoiding the use of 6-cylinder or diesel engines), a 255 cu in (4.2 L) variant of the 5.0L V8 became the standard engine, making the 5.0L optional; output decreased to only 115 hp (the lowest since the final Flathead V8 in 1953).

    Adopting the sharp-edged styling of the (smaller) Ford Fairmont, the 1979 LTD would shed its optional hidden headlamps, with all versions adopting exposed rectangular headlights (besides a much wider grille). Base-trim examples were fitted with dual headlamps and clear parking lamp lenses; higher-trim versions used quad headlamps with amber lenses.

    For 1980, trim levels were revised, with the base trim becoming the LTD S and the LTD Landau replaced by the LTD Crown Victoria, with the standard LTD in between. The Ford equivalent of the Mercury Grand Marquis, the LTD Crown Victoria drew its name from a styling element, a brushed aluminum band covering the B-pillar and the roof, influenced by its 1955-1956 Ford Fairlane namesake. Intended largely for fleet sales, the LTD S was sold as both a sedan and a station wagon (without wood trim). A 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission became an option for the 5.0L V8 (exclusive to the Panther chassis at the time).[16] The Lincoln-style hood ornament of 1979 was replaced by a horizontal design; fitted only to the LTD Crown Victoria, the design would be used unchanged through 1987.

    For 1981, alongside the addition of the 4.2L V8, the body underwent minor revisions to improve fuel economy. The vents in the front bumpers were removed (shifting the license plate mount under the left headlamp) and the sideview mirrors were repositioned (leading to the return of vent windows as an option).

    For 1982, the LTD saw the addition of the Ford Blue Oval emblem on the grille and trunklid (replacing "FORD" badging).[16] To aid in tracking fuel consumption, a trip computer was added as an option. While standard, the 4.2L engine was offered for the final time. The 5.8L engine was dropped from retail sale, becoming exclusive to police car use; alongside the Motorcraft 7200VV two-barrel variable venturi carburetor; a conventional carburetor was available with the police option high-output 351. Introduced as an option with the 5.0L engine for 1980, the AOD overdrive transmission became paired with all three engines.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-21-2020 at 11:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ford LTD (1980)
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-21-2020 at 11:37 PM.

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    Ford LTD (3rd gen) #3
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-21-2020 at 11:49 PM.

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    Ford LTD (3rd gen) #4
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