(first posted 10/17/2012) Let’s stop beating around the bush with such polite descriptions of the ’70s as The Great Brougham Epoch, The Faux Luxury Era, The Loose-Pillow Era, The Malaise Era, The Bordello Era, et al. In truth, the decade was The Stupid Era. How the hell else to explain this roof design: Two stupid fixed panes that in no way way line up with or relate to each other. It’s as though PPG called up Ford and said, “Hey, we’ve got a couple hundred thousand little window panes in two odd sizes, and we really need to get rid of them. We’ll make you a deal.” and Ford replied,”Yeah, send ’em on over. We’ll make ’em fit somehow.” And so they did. Incredibly, Ford actually managed to top that stroke of genius with what must be the stupidest name ever coined: The 2-Door Pillared Hardtop. How stupid did they think we were?
Seriously, they paid designers good money to come up with this? Why not just do like GM and have one big rear window, never mind that GM’s should have rolled down. And what did Ford’s designers call that little vertical mail slot? The Gun Slit?
With that in mind, let’s have a little contest in the comments section. Your challenge is to come up with a clever marketing-ese name for said slit, as Ford has, too conveniently, omitted its description in their brochures. Simply “2-Door Pillared Hardtop”? How about “Many-Pillared Hardtop? It’s too bad ‘Colonnade’ was already taken; it would be much more apt description here. After spending decades telling buyers that “hardtop” describes a coupe or sedan without pillars, this is really stupid, Ford–why not just “coupe”?
Maybe it just needs a padded vinyl top…well, that’s a bit better, if only for the psychedelic effect (even though that era had ended 10 years earlier). And that young couple: Don’t they represent the typical 1977 LTD Landau buyer just perfectly? “Hey babe, let’s just quit our jobs and travel around the country for a year–in our new LTD Landau. The seats are so wide and comfy, we’ll never even need a motel!”
Pretty sad, from the company that gave us one of the classiest and longest-lived pillarless roofs ever to grace a two-door hardtop. Virtually unchanged from 1957 through 1963, it beautified virtually every Ford model lineup as the hallmark of Ford’s best design idea since the 1939 Continental.
Even the Mustang’s roof was only a minor variation on that theme. I’m getting away from stupid, though.
That’s more like it. In the same way Ford used that classic roof for many years on many models, Ford’s brilliant front-end design graced just about everything that bore Henry’s name during the ’70s: The generic Ford-mobile. I guess the designers were too busy cobbling up the next great Landau roof. Or maybe a new Brougham emblem. Or the Granada ESS, or Mustang II King Cobra. It’s all in the name, stupid.