I predicted it (except for a minor detail). In the post where I announced that this pristine 1972 LTD was for sale, my very last line was this: “Watch it end up in Sweden!” Close; it’s headed for Germany, actually. And it’s all our fault; we’re just not willing to step up and pay to keep our American automotive crown jewels at home. No one here was willing to pony up a paltry $4,000 for this cultural gem. And meanwhile, some American gladly spent about ten times that for that white C-Class Mercedes in front of it. No wonder Germany is running such a huge trade surplus.
We need to find us a scapegoat; how about Stephanie? I wanted to buy this splendid period piece to replace her Forester, so she wouldn’t have to remember which dark green Forester (of many) was hers in the parking lot. And I assumed she’d be wild about the green brocade upholstery. Just goes to show you what men know about their wives’ preferences.
When she sat in it, she said she felt like she was being swallowed up in that soft upholstery. “How am I supposed to see over this dash, and beyond that endless hood?” Fair point. Maybe it’s for the best she decided not to even try taking it out; she’s actually never driven a big American car ever, and the steering and power brakes on the Ford might have been disconcerting, to say the least, never mind the handling.
And so it came to be that a certain Berlin Motors heard about the car, thanks to my posts on it. Maybe it’s time we started a CC Classifieds after all. Well, we had to go and say goodbye to it, and capture the moment of its departure.
It took three attempts to drive it up the truck, as the driver underestimated the width of the LTD, and the right rear wheel slipped off on the outside of the ramp.
But here’s the video of the third and final pass at getting the LTD up on the truck. The 400 V8 was working a bit.
All of this was very familiar, in a strange, backwards way, as I used to drive brand new LTD’s like this from the trucks delivering them to the Ford dealer where I worked in high school. And here I passed up on a chance to reclaim that piece of my history. Maybe I’d have been a bit more willing to bite if it had been a four door Maverick with the 200 six 😉
Here’s the truck, pulling out into traffic, to clear the car that Jerry bought to replace the LTD: a 1985 Honda Shuttle wagon. How’s that for a study in contrasts? What could be more of a polar opposite?
I’m happy for Jerry. He’s using the profits from the sale towards buying a house, which makes a bit more sense than the care and feeding of a 1972 LTD. I will say this: if I’d driven past the St. Vincent dePaul’s donated used car lot and seen the LTD there, I would have picked it up myself. The asking price was $1400, and Jerry snagged it for $900, because it wouldn’t start since the plug wires were out of order. He also had to sort out a couple of other things, like the brakes. But I bet the end retail buyer of this car will end up paying $8-12k for it.
I would have torn out the 400 and C6, and dropped in a modern lightweight V6 with a six speed automatic, or even a turbo four “Eco-Boost”, and undertake a complete suspension make-over with HD springs, sway bar, Koni shocks, and fresh bushings. That way I could take it through the mountain passes in the style I am accustomed to, passing BMWs and Audis. Hey; a guy can (day)dream, right?
There go the dreams, off to Germany. Someone’s going to love this big Ami Strassenkreuzer there; a lot more than I could truly muster. So it’s all for the best, I guess. But I’m sure going to miss driving by it. Of course, I did just spot a pink ’63 Falcon in this part of town I’ve never seen before…