Tuesday 27 June 2017
The Ford LTD is a range of automobiles manufactured by Ford Motor Company for the 1965 to 1986 model years. Introduced as the highest trim of the full-size Ford model range, the Ford LTD introduced options and features normally reserved for luxury brands (such as the Lincoln brand). 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-door and four-door pillared and hardtop sedans, a two-door convertible, and the Ford LTD Country Squire five-door woodgrain station wagon.
For the 1979 model year, the LTD would undergo downsizing, becoming externally smaller than the LTD II. For 1983, the LTD effectively became a midsize car as the Ford Granada was discontinued and renamed the LTD; its full-size counterpart became LTD Crown Victoria. The mid-size LTD was replaced by the Ford Taurus after 1986, as Ford shifted much of its model line towards front-wheel drive vehicles.
Outside of North America, the 1965-1968 Ford LTD was manufactured in South America into the 1980s.
When Ford updated its mid-size product line for 1977, they took on the LTD name as well. To differentiate them from the full-size product lineup, the mid-size cars were called the LTD II in an attempt to appeal to buyers as a downsized alternative to the full-sized LTD which had competition from GM's newly downsized full-sized cars. The LTD II was based on the Ford Torino and served as a restyled replacement for it. The LTD II styling was also adapted to update the final generation of the Ford Ranchero. The LTD II was discontinued after 1979 without being replaced, as the new Panther-platform LTD was nearly a foot shorter than an LTD II and the Granada became Ford's mid-size product line with its 1981 redesign.
For the 1977 model year, General Motors downsized its full-size car lines closely within the exterior size of many intermediates. At the time, Ford marketers took a cynical view that such a radically smaller "full-size car" would turn off buyers; advertisements for LTD and Mercury Marquis touted the "road-hugging weight" of the larger cars and compared their larger dimensions side by side with GM flagship sedan Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. For owners who would still prefer a downsized big car, Ford offered the "Trim Size LTD II," which was simply a refreshed Torino with stacked quad rectangular headlights and LTD-like styling at the rear.
Ford were taken by surprise when the downsized GM cars proved to be an enormous sales success and along with the event of CAFE regulations, they were forced to follow suit. Unlike the Chrysler R platform, the Ford Panther platform was completely new from the ground up. The LTD and Marquis lost nearly 15 inches in length and some 400 pounds of curb weight without a significant loss of interior space over the old 1969-vintage platform. Like GM's "downsized" 1977 big cars, the new 1979 LTD featured a trimmer body profile, more nimble handling due to its smaller size, and better fuel economy. Big-block engines were gone and the small 302 V8 became standard, with the bigger 351 V8 being optional (standard on station wagons). However, due to CAFE requirements, the 351 was dropped in 1981 except for police vehicles. For 1981 and 1982, to further improve fuel economy (while avoiding diesel or 6-cylinder engines), Ford introduced a 255 cu in (4.2 L) variant of the Windsor V8. The 255 proved an unreliable and unpopular choice; at 115 hp, its output was ill-suited for the LTD's two-ton curb weight. In 1979-81, LTDs were available with an variable venturi carburetor, but they proved unreliable and were quickly dropped. Despite teething troubles with Ford's engine induction systems, the redesigned LTD was a sales success for both passenger and fleet sales.
In Canada, the Custom 500 continued as the base model through 1981. Low-end cars were identifiable by single square headlamps, while the higher models received duals. For 1980, the LTD S was added as a lower-priced model and the Crown Victoria replaced the Landau on a permanent basis; it had a landau roof with a traditional Ford styling appearance chrome band, borrowing from the roofline of the Ford Thunderbird (seventh generation), and the 1955 Ford. First introduced in the U.S. in the mid-1950s, the Crown Victoria returned as a trim package for the LTD in 1979; its Mercury equivalent was the Grand Marquis.
In 1982, the LTD got a new grille with the revived Ford blue oval emblem and throttle body fuel injection became available.
For 1983, as part of a major product shift, the LTD and LTD Crown Victoria were split into separate product lines. The LTD was downsized to the Fox platform (and Mercury Marquis) to replace the Granada, while the full-size LTD Crown Victoria became a stand-alone model (along with the Mercury Grand Marquis).
- engine: V8
- capacity: 4900 cc
- horsepower: 220 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 180 km/h