144 responses

  1. avatar
    jpcavanaugh
    May 23, 2012

    One of my law school roommates drove one of these in the mid 80s. It had been a company car that his dad bought – a very plain base model silver sedan with the dark red vinyl interior. Very basic, right down to the crank windows and AM radio. It may have had air, I don’t remember. I do remember that the silver paint was starting to look tired.

    Although I was kindly disposed towards Fords, the car did nothing for me. It was what most all FoMoCo cars were in those years – an overweight, fuel-swilling barge that was smooth and quiet but was very unhappy with any change in direction. I liked being totally insulated from the road as much as the next guy, but if going that way, why not go all the way and get a Town Car (or at least a Marquis). These seemed to have all of the disadvantages of a big car and all of the disadvantages of a smaller car, all rolled into one.

    I have always been more of a fan of angular design over coke-bottle shapes, and considered this an improvement over the 74-76 Torino when these came out. Now, I am not so sure. Actually, the 77-79 Cougar coupes were my favorites of this series.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Zackman
      May 23, 2012

      Ford could never pull off the “Coke-bottle” design like GM could and did. Fords look better as an angular study, with Chrysler in the middle somewhere, blending both styles very judiciously.

      Reply

    • avatar
      Ben
      August 16, 2012

      78 Ford LTD II with sport touring package

      Reply

      • avatar
        Doug
        February 20, 2013

        My first car was a 1978 LTD II sport touring in blue, just like the picture above. I had it only three months before it was totaled (engine fire). I have never seen another blue one, even on the internet, until now. Thanks for posting!

        PS – My replacement car from the insurance was a red on red 1977 T-Bird. I have always love the big two-doors. My current daily driver is a 1998 Mark VIII.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Charlie
        May 31, 2013

        I need front signal lights for my 1978 Ranchero, cann’t find them any where. Can you help me out.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Joel Tittle
        March 18, 2013

        Nice car would u consider selling it.

        Reply

  2. avatar
    Jim
    May 23, 2012

    The four-door LTD II was pretty darn common back in those days — so common I’m surprised to learn that the Tbird outsold the entire LTD line.

    I don’t recall ever having seen an LTD II S on the road. That probably means they were so plain-Jane they fell below my radar.

    Reply

    • avatar
      roger628
      May 23, 2012

      The S models were pretty much all cop and fleet cars .

      Reply

    • avatar
      pfsm
      May 23, 2012

      I think that a whole lot of people simply mistook LTD II’s, at least the coupes, for T-birds. There certainly wasn’t much difference between them.

      Reply

  3. avatar
    73ImpCapn
    May 23, 2012

    From the back or side, I guess this looks ok…then you get to that face! Is that the biggest bumper-apron of the 70s? The stacked-square look seems more at home on this sort of Ford:

    Reply

    • avatar
      Donovan Savage
      November 10, 2014

      They probably borrowed the headlights from the ltd ii for that truck, like they borrowed the headlights from the Monaco to the Córdoba

      Reply

  4. avatar
    Zackman
    May 23, 2012

    The featured car – the red one looks nice, and I’m sure that quarter glass is fixed…but I digress…

    I feel the same today about these and Ford in general back then; the ONLY bright spot in their entire lineup was the Fairmont. That car out-classed almost everything else on the market in that time period.

    The Thunderbird – I thought it was a relatively good-looking car, but too big for a personal coupe, like all the others, and that was proven by the time I spent in the back seat of a friend’s T-Bird in the summer at the time.

    Time, in my opinion, had passed cars like this by and cars like the Fairmont were the future. Looking back, the only thing I miss about the car in question was the amount of trim and color options not available today. Would I go back for that? Nope.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Ate Up With Motor
      May 23, 2012

      The size is one of those ironies of time. Moving the T-Bird to the Elite platform effectively downsized it quite a bit from ’76, but it still looks enormous by modern standards.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Mike
        February 27, 2014

        The T bird rode also as rough, compared to the ’76 behemoth. I remember having to replace the sagging rear coil springs on my ’77 Grand Prix in 1983.
        On the LTD II, the front ends used to sag. I almost bought one. The LTD II brougham was as nice inside as the T Bird. I also almost bought a Cordoba. I bought the used GP instead, for it’s LJ model bucket seats. Good car. There is no way anyone in their right mind could like a Fairmont, or any other fox platform car except a Mustang better than the Torino based Elite, LTD II, Cougar, or T BIrd. Better looking than most cars made today in my opinion. I would even like a full sized ’78 LTD, all but the fuel economy. The Landau model was a poor mans Lincoln. Heck, even a Granada Ghia from that era.

        Reply

  5. avatar
    Scott KC
    May 23, 2012

    I found this car in Charlotte, NC- consider it an “If they mated…” It’s an LT-Bird II.

    Reply

    • avatar
      roger628
      May 23, 2012

      I always wanted to put the T-Bird front on a Ranchero.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Stéphane Dumas
        May 23, 2012

        Now then you mentionned it. I wonder how the T-bird front would had look on a LTD II hardtop or even on the sedan?

        Reply

      • avatar
        The Wedding DJ
        May 23, 2012

        Like this?

        Reply

      • avatar
        scott
        May 23, 2012

        It would look better without the tree growing out of the roof!

        Reply

      • avatar
        Keith
        May 17, 2013

        That Ranchero bird looks real bitchen.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Chris M.
        October 19, 2014

        But did you ever want to put a Mercury Cougar front on a Ranchero? This guy did:

        Reply

      • avatar
        Keith
        October 19, 2014

        IMO the T-bird is a better choice front end to put on a Ranchero it looks classier. The Cougar front end (lights stacked vertical) was nicer than the (LTD’s with the horizontally stacked lights) though.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Donovan Savage
        November 10, 2014

        I think the ltd in would better with the thunderbird/cougar
        I would name the thunderbird ranchero “the ford ranchero special edition”
        I would name the cougar ranchero “the Mercury cougar deluxe edition”

        Reply

  6. avatar
    MrWhopee
    May 23, 2012

    Boy, look at those overhangs! And it’s mostly empty space, I bet.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Frank Bray
      October 18, 2014

      Yep, I was thinking the same thing, esp. about the front. Ford could easily have lopped off 6 inches from the front of these things and tightened it up a bit, and it would have looked a whole lot better.

      Reply

    • avatar
      MadHungarian
      October 18, 2014

      They really are horribly space-inefficient cars. I owned a 77 T-Bird and a 77 Sedan deVille back to back, and the contrast was amazing. They are about the same size car but the Bird had a completely useless back seat and a very unimpressive trunk. If you couldn’t wait for the Fairmont, even a 77 Granada was a much better car.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Keith
        October 19, 2014

        Yeah the interior to the out side car size ratio was way out of whack as the LTD did have a small back seat for such a large car. The back seat was large enough to fool around in though.

        Reply

    • avatar
      Keith
      October 19, 2014

      No the over hangs were filled with solid gold lol

      Reply

  7. avatar
    Hachee
    May 23, 2012

    I remember seeing lots of the 4 door models around. These always seemed so close in size to the regular LTD – I never understood the point. And the coupe was so close to the Thunderbird, I didn’t get that either.

    The rear end styling was so GM-ish, like an Olds.

    Reply

    • avatar
      jpcavanaugh
      May 23, 2012

      The rear end on the LTDII looked to me like the Buick Century coupe from the late colonade period.

      Reply

      • avatar
        jpcavanaugh
        May 23, 2012

        Like this.

        Reply

      • avatar
        roger628
        May 23, 2012

        Speaking of the Century, the ’75-’76 4-doors were the one other car line to offer stacked rectangulars, in addition to those mentioned in the write-up.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Stéphane Dumas
        May 23, 2012

        Actually that’s the 1976-77, the ’75 still have rounded lights.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Mike
        February 27, 2014

        Yes, but the ’73, ’74, and ’75 century, and Regal coupes had those nice swept lines.
        They only remained through ’77 on the sedans and wagons.

        Reply

  8. avatar
    Stainsey Stainselstein
    May 23, 2012

    Kind of confusing really. Why sell the TBird and this side by side? I guess because Ford was such a dominant player it made sense to have different flavors. Not unlike Harley Adavidson, who puts different names on bikes that are mechanically the same but differ primarily in trim.

    But here’s the most confusing part: was this positioned above or below the Bird?

    Reply

    • avatar
      jpcavanaugh
      May 23, 2012

      Probably for the same reason that Chevrolet sold both a Monte Carlo and a Malibu coupe. The mid size market was where the action was in the 1970s, so it makes a certain kind of sense. However, I think that Chevy did a better job of distinguishing the Malibu and the Monte, where Ford made them look pretty similar, espscially inside. Why offer an LTDII Brougham when you have the Bird? A very good question. Maybe it was the only way to fight the Cutlass juggernaut back then – by any means necessary.

      Reply

      • avatar
        roger628
        May 23, 2012

        Why offer a Gran Torino Brougham when you have the Elite?
        Ford must have wondered that when they saw the post-Elite sales figures of the former, especially the 2-door.. Low 4 figures makes them very rare.
        http://www.torinocobra.com/production_numbers.htm

        Reply

      • avatar
        Stainsey Stainselstein
        May 23, 2012

        I kind of thought of that too after I hit send. just trying to keep up with the competition. And clearly there was enough room for the multiple products even if not huge sellers. Seems like Ford struggled with this segment in the 70s, as evidenced by the multiple renames of the same basic car.

        I suppose they still do that today…the 6 Series Gran Coupe, A7, CLS, CC, etc.

        Reply

  9. avatar
    Junqueboi
    May 23, 2012

    I’d be hard pressed to decide between a T-bird or LTD II of this genre. I prefer the T-bird’s exterior styling but the garish stripe job on some of the LTD IIs really looks good to me. It’d be nice to have one of these in green with white interior (my favorite color combo) with Tach, console, etc.

    The front grille looks nearly identical to the LTD (1?) of the same year, while the turn signals look like ’73-’74 LTD units mounted a little higher up. The headlights & accompanying body lines look like they came straight off the ’76-’77 Monte Carlo.

    Picture borrowed from dayerseas.com

    Reply

    • avatar
      geozinger
      May 24, 2012

      My brother’s wife had a LTD II just like the one in the pix above when he first started dating her. That was 30+ years ago.

      To be honest, I don’t remember much about the car other than the fact that it was not unlike my parent’s Mercury Montegos from about the same time period. No clue as to what was under the hood or how well it drove. The funny thing is, I know I had to have worked on it at some point, but I don’t remember it. The car was that unremarkable.

      In fact, I can’t remember what they replaced it with… I think it was another in the our family’s passel of Fox-body Fords… A Fairmont or 4 banger Mustang, I think…

      Seeing them again, I think I’d like to have one in the MM Garage. But remembering how the destroyer class of mid size Fords drove back then, maybe not…

      Reply

    • avatar
      Keith
      May 17, 2013

      This LTD II with the big stripe was the 78 model, the 79 LTD II is more rare it had a more intricate paint job and they sold less than 1000 of them

      Reply

  10. avatar
    roger628
    May 23, 2012

    These had moderate success in the fleet market as cop cars and sales rep specials, at least as 4 door versions. My hometown used these in ’78 in both cruiser and unmarked form. By all accounts, the cops hated them as much as the last Fords back in ’75. Those were full-size Custom 500s with feeble 351M engines that barely cracked 85 mph. The IIs were a little better with the 400 in a slightly lighter car. In ’79 they switched to Malibus and never looked back. The department was all Chevy for years until ’92, when the 20 year reign of the Panther began.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Canucknucklehead
      May 23, 2012

      A 1979 Malibu with 350 and police package was a mean little number. The 350 and its 270 lbs of torque moved the 3300 lb Malibu right smartly. It would be considered quick today.

      Reply

      • avatar
        roger628
        May 23, 2012

        The RCMP drug squad in Saskatoon had a couple of 2-door 9C1 Malibus in the fleet. They tried to fool us with the fender mounted disguise antenna that looked like a normal AM one. Problem was, we all knew GMs at the time had winshield antennas. And even then, the dual exhausts were a dead giveaway.
        This being at a time in our lives when it was crucial to pay attention to such
        details.

        Reply

    • avatar
      Keith
      May 17, 2013

      Hi a good place to see a 4 LTD II door cop car version being driven hard is at the start of First blood starring Silvester Stallone. You can see how solidly the car is built (when the turn signal comes flying off lol) on the first and only car jump shot. The 79 LTD II Sport touring coupe had the cop car suspension and handled/rode excellent. It had the good old 302 with limited slip and a 3 speed.

      Reply

  11. avatar
    The Wedding DJ
    May 23, 2012

    Wow. I had one of these, a ’79, in 1992-93; it was the last car my grandpa owned and i got it when he couldn’t drive any more. Mine was a dark blue 2-door, had the good ol’ 302, and thanks to its grandpa ownership, it was in reasonably good shape for its age. However…

    Story #1: The Pittman seal blew, lost power steering. Wasted all kinds of fluid trying to blow out the seal, which wasn’t budging, so i got a new steering gearbox from a, um, recycler. (You Ford guys have probably already guessed the outcome here.) I had never swapped a steering gear, but it was fairly straightforward, everything bolted up nice, it was holding fluid. Proud of myself, I took the car off the jackstands (did I mention the car was parked on the street?), started ‘er up, turned the wheel to the left, and went straight up the curb. Yep, they gave me a steering box from an early Panther LTD, which is physically identical, but geared in the opposite direction. As the old saying goes, anything worth doing is worth doing again…

    Story #2 is this car’s tragic demise. I had an infant daughter (who’s now almost 20!), and I was making a little money on the side painting rental houses in Detroit, which meant driving in some sketchy areas. One sunny afternoon in August 1993, I was on my way to one of these houses and needed to make a left turn. As I began turning, POW! I got slammed in the left rear corner, causing the car to spin across the road, jump the curb sideways, and slide across someone’s front lawn, coming to rest when the passenger’s door met a conveniently-placed tree. Thank God I was alone. The car that hit me was a Dodge Spirit, but it was smashed so badly in front I thought it was a Sundance. (Witnesses stated the car was doing over 50 in a 30 zone.) The 18-year-old punk who was driving wanted to pick a fight with me in the street, saying it was my fault for stopping in the road. Before I could say something I’m sure I would have regretted, the cops showed up.

    My car was pretty smashed up, but appeared to be perhaps drivable. Not so – seems the stress from the accident somehow cracked the block or caused some sort of compression leak – the starter cranked abnormally fast, you could hear a “chuff” every engine revolution, and it never ran again. The car that hit me was rented by this punk’s mother, and Enterprise’s insurance cut me a lousy $400 check for my trouble, plus $50 for scrapping it. Oh yeah, I made sure Enterprise knew exactly who was driving their car, and they took appropriate action.

    Reply

    • avatar
      scott
      May 23, 2012

      You made the perfect car for backing up a trailer, no need to turn the wheel the opposite way…

      Reply

  12. avatar
    Scott KC
    May 23, 2012

    Ford had been selling so many variations of the predecessor cars- Torino, Torino Elite, Montego, Cougar, and then the Mark/T-Bird pairing. In a way this was a consolidation as they eliminated the Mark/T-Bird pairing, and instead had LTD II/T-Bird, Cougar, Mark. Of course the most “famous” LTD II has to be the gunmetal grey sedan from the Michael Landon “classic” Highway to Heaven.

    Reply

  13. avatar
    educatordan
    May 23, 2012

    That is a very clean example.

    I have often felt that the LTD II Wagon in pea green would have been a better “Wagon Queen Family Truckster” than the Panther that filled the role in National Lampoons Vacation. Honestly it likely would have needed less modification.

    Sometimes I get an itch to own a car from my birth year (1977) but then I survey the landscape of what was available and see that there aren’t many good choices.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Scott KC
      May 23, 2012

      I too am a child of 77- and I WILL own a Mark V some day for that reason.

      Reply

      • avatar
        educatordan
        May 23, 2012

        Yeah I’ve pretty well narrowed it down to big block luxury barges from Lincoln, Cadillac, and Chrysler or a Corvette – at least the Corvette handled well even though it was down to 200hp. (Or perhaps a tacky TransAm with a screaming chicken on the hood.)

        Reply

      • avatar
        Zackman
        May 23, 2012

        1977?

        B-body Chevy Impala coupe with wrap-around rear glass would be your best bet, in my humble opinion. Your choice of drivetrain upgrade, but I think the first item would have a “V” in it!

        The year wifey and me were married.

        Reply

      • avatar
        educatordan
        May 23, 2012

        My dad has it all figured out for his birth year (if he ever gets lottery money) a 1954 Pontiac Star Chief complete with chrome strips down the hood. Make his fire engine red with a red and white interior. (He was born on December 31, 1954.)

        A part of me wants a 1977-1979 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight with the 403V8. I know that body style was produced until 1984 but the 403 was only available until 1979.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Junqueboi
        May 23, 2012

        Nice choice. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor had a ’77 – ’79 Ninety Eight coupe. It was a knockout with white exterior, white vinyl top, and white leather interior. He thought it was “too white” so he painted it a bright red color in his garage.

        Amazingly enough, he did an excellent job & the car still looked nice. The interior was absolutely amazing.

        Reply

      • avatar
        jpcavanaugh
        May 23, 2012

        One summer when I was in college, I worked with a guy with a white 79 Ninety Eight Regency coupe like your neighbors, only with a black landau vinyl roof. I used to clean and detail cars then and he let me do his Olds. It was a really nice car. And yes, driving it, it was REALLY white. It was also a really good looking car.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Laurence Jones
        May 23, 2012

        Ha. Go on and get yourself a W123 280E. Or an Olds Delta Eighty Eight with the 403 if you sniff the B-Body Glue….

        Reply

      • avatar
        educatordan
        May 23, 2012

        Don’t turn this into a 1977 – 1990 B-body vs 1985 – 1991 H-body feud, Man. Feel the love…

        Besides I came around to H-body, just for the 2nd and 3rd (2.5?) generation cars. (1992-2005). If my commute considerations force a newer vehicle I’d love a 2005 Bonneville (after they stripped all the plastic ribbing off on the orders of Lutz.)

        Reply

      • avatar
        Bryce
        May 23, 2012

        Dont panic Dan Chevrolet will soon be offering its new SS model V8 RWD ok its a rebadged Holden but having soaked the OZZY govt for millions to remain in production in Aussie they now need customers and GM must have noticed Americans profess a liking for RWD V6/V8 cars so have decided to introduce a new brand to the US market CHEVROLET the way the rest of the world buys them

        Reply

      • avatar
        geozinger
        May 24, 2012

        Laurence speaks much wisdom about the B-body Delta with 403. Ask me how I know.

        (Early) B-bodies FTW!

        Reply

      • avatar
        The Wedding DJ
        May 23, 2012

        From ’77, I’d love a Cordoba, or I’d go with a car from my past, a Fury Sport (mine was a ’78, but same thing). I always thought of my Fury as a cleaner, less ostentatious Cordoba, despite that trapezoid-shaped Continental hump in the trunk.

        I was born in 1961 – what’s there for me besides Lincoln? I’m a Mopar guy. but no thanks to their ’61 offerings. I saw this the other day on Bring A Trailer and took a real fancy to it:

        http://bringatrailer.com/2012/05/21/bat-exclusive-1961-mercedes-benz-220se-coupe/

        That is one classy Benz.

        Reply

  14. avatar
    CarCounter
    May 23, 2012

    Too much overhang for me, but the interior…. THE interior… is to die (or kill) for! Can I get this in a new car today?

    Reply

  15. avatar
    Michael Hagerty
    May 23, 2012

    Wow. That’s the closest to showroom I’ve seen one of those since…the showroom. 35 years. Guessing Grandpa kept it garaged. Any idea what the signs in the window and windshield say?

    Reply

    • avatar
      chrisgreencar
      May 23, 2012

      I took the photos. Yes, that is a for sale sign in the window. It was in great condition and it was cheap (something like $1700 if I recall correctly)! I wasn’t in the market but I drove by a couple of days later with a friend who was curious, and it was gone. I guess it was priced right.

      I’ve noticed that, even though I MUCH prefer GM cars of this era, the Fords tend to hold up better cosmetically, at least here on the west coast. The paint seemed to be of higher quality, and the bumper fillers/extensions were made of something that hasn’t deteriorated nearly as much as the GMs.

      Reply

  16. avatar
    Frank
    May 23, 2012

    My father had a ’77 Mercury Cougar Villager station wagon. The LTD II, Cougar and Thunderbird lines for ’77 were some of the worst examples of badge engineering in the history of automobiles. Yet, I loved that car! Unfortunately, it was produced for only 1 year.

    My father got a company car from Ford and for a couple of years he drove a Torino wagon. Every time he got a new car the only difference was the color – in fact, if Ford had not discontinued the Torino for ’77, we would have had another. However, thank God they did!

    These were comfortable cars. I remember being completely enamored with the fold down center armrest in the Cougar as the Torino`s prior to this came with bench seats.

    I had no idea just how much of the prior Torino wagon had been used for this new model, not to mention that I think the dashboard (shared across all the above models for ’77) was directly from the ’76 Grand Torino. Ford must have made a ton of money off these models when they went to market as some of the differences between lines were nil. Look at the doors and rear window of an LTD II or Cougar wagon and you see nothing but Torino.

    The Cougar was replaced by a ’78 Zephyr with a 302 V8. That was an incredible car with a lot more usable space than the Cougar. IMO, the Fairmont and Zephyr were the reasons for the demise of the Cougar/LTD II sedan/coupe models.

    Yes, in ’77 it was all about the new downsized GM cars which were clearly ahead of the competition. However, whenever a see one of these Fords from that era I get nostalgic.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Junqueboi
      May 23, 2012

      Why oh why did FoMoCo feel the need to produce a Cougar WAGON? It even sounds wrong! I’ve seen some Fox-bodied Cougar Wagons too.

      A similar oddity woud be the one-year-only future classic* 1983 Buick Regal station wagon.

      *Just kidding

      Reply

      • avatar
        jpcavanaugh
        May 24, 2012

        I think for the same reason that Oldsmobile named almost everything a Cutlass for awhile. For a Mercury in the late 70s-Mid 80s, they started naming almost everything after the only two really popular names they had – Cougar and Marquis. As for that wagon, after they got done calling it a Cougar, they started calling it a Marquis. I had one of the last (1986) Fox body Marquis wagons. Actually, I really liked it. Wood paneled, of course.

        Reply

    • avatar
      Chris M.
      October 19, 2014

      One of those cars that is remembered by so many kids, not because of the virtues of the car (of which there were few) but because it was, oddly, produced by Matchbox as one of their 1/64 “superfast” series in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Jack Yan
        November 7, 2014

        I’m one of those kids. I thought that was an accurate casting till I saw a photo of the real Cougar Villager. Then I wondered why on earth they made the D-pillar so huge.

        Reply

  17. avatar
    David Saunders
    May 23, 2012

    They offered these with bucket seats? Why?

    Reply

    • avatar
      pfsm
      May 23, 2012

      …so they could sell a few more to guys who remembered their mid-60’s muscle cars with bucket seats and consoles, probably.

      Reply

  18. avatar
    Sean
    May 23, 2012

    The buckets probably held you in place better when it rolled onto its door handles during low speed maneuvers!

    Reply

  19. avatar
    Chicagoland
    May 23, 2012

    If Ford had known in planning stages that TV show ‘Strarsky & Hutch’ would renew the Torino’s ‘street cred’, they’d have not changed the name. But, the change was locked in before spring/summer ’76, when S&H was at its peak.

    Ford offered a similar ‘S&H’ stripe package on the LTD II, but Torino was better name, and the TV show didn’t ever switch cars.

    Also, the ’77 II/Cougar wagons kept the old sheet curved sheet metal from Torinos, just changed the front clip.

    Reply

    • avatar
      geozinger
      May 24, 2012

      Huh? Starsky and Hutch debuted in 1975.

      (I was about 12 back then and thought David Soul was cool as all get out. So I tried to dress/act/talk like him. Yes, I watched the show religiously, too. )

      But knowing the long lead times for auto production, they probably had decided on the LTD II name back in 1973. No way the Torino was moving on.

      Reply

  20. avatar
    Sean
    May 23, 2012

    I used to think I hated these cars. Really, I just hate those headlights. If these had the side by side lights like the 77-79 Cougar they’d look a bunch better.

    If I could go back in time I’d slap all of the “Big 3″ designers that thought those stacked lights were a good idea.
    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

    Reply

    • avatar
      nlpnt
      May 17, 2013

      The Cougar strikes me as looking half a generation more modern.

      I’d always wondered why they didn’t bring back the 4-door T-bird for ’77; it would’ve been plug-and-play. Same for the early Fox ‘birds (and by the time the ’83 came out, the growth in “sport sedans” would’ve made its’ own case for keeping it).

      Reply

  21. avatar
    Chicagoland
    May 23, 2012

    Henry Ford II loved Roman numbers, and the ’79 Fox Stang was almost called ‘Mustang III’.

    Reply

  22. avatar
    Stéphane Dumas
    May 23, 2012

    Interesting to note then in Venezuela, they sold the LTD II as the Fairlane. (In fact the Torino/LTD II names wasn’t used there) http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifhp97/6834066719/in/photostream/

    Reply

    • avatar
      John H
      May 24, 2012

      How long did they use the Fairlane name there?

      Reply

      • avatar
        Stéphane Dumas
        May 24, 2012

        I guess it was until 1979.

        Reply

  23. avatar
    chrisgreencar
    May 23, 2012

    My parents actually crossed-shopped a 4-door LTD II against a Caprice in 1978. I’m not sure whether their decision was based on the ride and handling, the clearly voiced preference of their 10-year-old (me), or bad memories of our Pinto, but they went for the Caprice. Yes! If they had waited a few more months, I suppose they could have looked at the new Panther LTD for 1979, but I ‘m glad they didn’t.

    Reply

    • avatar
      educatordan
      May 23, 2012

      I like Panthers but I don’t want one made before the 302 got fuel injection.

      Reply

  24. avatar
    scott
    May 23, 2012

    I once drove a gorgeous baby blue LTD II coupe. The hood looked a mile long and the ride was smoooooooooth……

    Reply

  25. avatar
    michaelfreeman
    May 23, 2012

    I feel I must issue my usual brougham/malaise era car sentiment; I hate it.

    Reply

    • avatar
      Sean
      May 23, 2012

      There were a few high points in the Bro-hammy/”Malaise” era.
      The 73 and 74 GTO and 77 Can Am, 73-75 Laguna S-3 and SS “Chevelles”, SD455 Trans Am, Z28s, Dart Sport/Duster 360, “Mercury” Capri, 82 Mustang GT are just a few.

      Reply

  26. avatar
    MarcKyle64
    May 23, 2012

    How come Ford could never get the front license plate to stand up straight? Of all the Fomoco products of that era that I drove, every one of them had the same problem as this one.

    Reply

  27. avatar
    John H
    May 24, 2012

    From wikipedia – “The largest car ever marketed as a midsize”, at 5.5m long. Shows just how out of hand things were. This must be right up there for the biggest external size/least interior room metric.

    I wonder why they hadn’t redesigned the bumper mountings so that they didn’t need to be mounted so far out from the body. Comparison to the 79 Fairmont shows it didn’t need to be that way. I suppose it is part of it not being actually a new model. Ok it is comfortable, but there are better ways…

    Reply

  28. avatar
    Ben
    August 13, 2012

    Here is a pic of my 1978 Ford Ltd 2 Sport. 302 V8

    Reply

    • avatar
      Shawn
      August 25, 2012

      Hi Ben, just wondered if your car is for sale? If it is please let me know at 563-419-4217. Thanks, Shawn.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Ben
        August 27, 2012

        At the present time no. But I will keep you in mind.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Tony Moore
        December 17, 2013

        Hi Shawn
        Hi Shawn

        1979 ford LTD 2. two tone blue was my first car as well. where ever i went. it went to. I was in the military back then, I took this car to My second duty station. That was located in germany, I use to love blowing it out on the German Highways, What a car, I will keep looking until I find one again, but in case i don,t. Then i will build it from scratch, That is how much i loved that carr, I carved in the brown area 7166, On the right side of the metier.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Benny
        March 20, 2014
  29. avatar
    Keith
    September 21, 2012

    I have a dark/light green 79 like yours but mine is in no way near the condition yours is in. Ford only made 900 plus of these Sport touring coupe model. I’ve never seen one like the color of yours before. If you do sell it do not let it go cheap these cars are rare and desirable and boy do they handle and ride really great. I got chased by cop’s in mine and they couldn’t keep up, I have to restore mine after seeing yours!!!

    Reply

    • avatar
      Ben
      December 27, 2012

      Thanks for your kind comment. I actually go this car for my dad this spring from Boston, MA. I Dad had one like this when I was a kid and I remember how much he loved it. I know they are very rare as there tends to be more of the white and black ones with the red stripe.
      This car was a one owner before I acquired it and its in mint condition. You really have to see it to appreciate it. It only has 24k original miles.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Keith
        May 16, 2013

        Hi Ben i remember when my mom first brought her green/light green LTD II home like yours it was gorgeous. She told me right there the car is yours when you graduate. For sure it thought I’m graduating for this car..

        Reply

    • avatar
      Ben
      February 21, 2013

      Keith: I saw your post about you having the two tone green LTD. By any chance is it the one I saw on craigslist for sale in Illinois?

      Reply

  30. avatar
    Chantal
    December 27, 2012

    Hi there, I have a beige LTD II Brougham. Here in Holland it’s a very rare car.
    I got it repainted in two colors brown. I love the car, it’s the best I’ve ever had!
    Love it, love it, love it!!!

    Reply

    • avatar
      Tim
      April 25, 2013

      I have a line on this showroom condition 38k mile 1978 LTD II Brougham, have shipped cars overseas before….any interest ?
      440-391-1330

      Reply

      • avatar
        Tom Klockau
        May 8, 2013

        The colors on that one are great–like a lower-cost Mark V Bill Blass Designer Edition!

        Reply

      • avatar
        Kent
        May 16, 2013

        Where is this car located. In the USA?

        Reply

  31. avatar
    guy ulrich
    February 4, 2013

    These are from the era I drive still today in 2013! I have a 74 Montego 2dr thats been in the family since new and a 79 Thunderbird. My cousin had a 78 LTD II new and I liked it. Remember it well. In fact I think it still sits beside his house in Cache Oklahoma today.

    Reply

  32. avatar
    Dave
    February 11, 2013

    Man, bring on the vague childhood memories! My great-uncle had a yellow (?) ’77 LTD II sedan with brown interior. I remember riding around in it when he was babysitting me. He replaced it with a brand new ’83 Celebrity four-door.
    My grandma sold us her white ’77 Cougar XR7 in 1982, to replace Mom’s rusted-out ’69 Beetle (though she had a hard time letting go of the Bug, as it sat beside our house for two more years before a passerby offered $100 to take it off our hands). That thing was a Cadillac, loaded to the gills, even power windows (the best part). Unfortunately we got rear ended by a Mack truck in a blizzard (with me in the backseat, completely uninjured) shortly thereafter. We replaced it with an almost identical ’78 XR7, but this one had wire wheel covers and no power windows :( My most profound memory was the Cougar emblem on the five mile long hood and the doors were three miles long. It began rusting immediately and we got about 114,000 miles on it before Dad got sick of taking it to the garage every other weekend and they replaced it with a brand new 1989 Dodge Omni (I guess after driving a land barge she wanted to re-live her VW Bug days), which eventually became my car, but that’s a whole other post.

    Reply

  33. avatar
    Keith
    May 16, 2013

    Hi Ben the green LTD II I’m talking about was bought new in Winnipeg Manitoba Can by my mom in 79. I still have the car as it was my first car and and took care of me. it needs a full body restoration. This 88 Lincoln Mark VII LSC only has 58,000 kms on it. Still has the factory ignition wire set. I think it is styled after the LTD II and just like it man does it ride/handle great. It has the 88 Mustang 5.0 and fox frame.Basically this is a stretched and loaded 88 Mustang.

    Reply

  34. avatar
    Gavin
    November 20, 2013

    My very first car was a 1977 LTDII that my father traded in his ’68 road runner on. It was a brougham with the tan landeau half top. It was brown and had a 351 in it. It was pretty much used up by the time I got my hands on it as it was also my older brother’s first car. I loved that car, wish I still had it. I sold it for $150 to a highschool buddy who wanted the hood and decklid for his 1978. His car was awesome, 460 with gobs of power and enough torque to move mountains.

    Reply

  35. avatar
    LTD II
    February 13, 2014

    I drove one of these for eleven years. Bought a ’78 coupe in ’90 with 21k original miles. Car still had original spark plug wires (Motorcraft dated their wires back then) and original Michelin spare tire in the trunk. While the car was unsafe to drive during winter weather and it lacked any cornering ability it was by far the most comfortable turnpike cruiser I’ve ever driven. The seats were contoured and very comfortable even on the mid range model which I owned. The car had a 144 horsepower 351 Windsor which was obviously slow off of traffic lights mated to an FMX transmission that in over 90k miles of driving required only fluid and filter changes. The sales figures for the LTD II were about a third of the wildly popular ’77 Thunderbird and would only dwindle from there through ’79. Ford obviously wanted to distance the LTD II from the Torino line and liken it to the more reliable full size LTD. The car incorporated excellent body hardware, doors that slammed solidly and was one of the quietest riding vehicles of it’s time. Much improvement was made over the Torino in terms of rust prevention with lower body panels coated with a rubberized membrane and aluminized wax in the critical areas. Unfortunately to save weight to improve fuel economy the LTD II like many cars of it’s era had lighter weight chrome bumpers which would frequently rust out if not properly cared for. The LTD II is a largely forgotten piece of automotive history and it’s too bad the car was underappreciated when it shared the same platform as not only the T-Bird but also the Cougar XR-7 which had similar sales number to the Bird. I guess the nameplate simply didn’t carry the same mystique of the other two cars.

    Here is a picture of mine sometime in the early 90′s

    Reply

  36. avatar
    83markvi
    February 16, 2014

    This has to be the greatest mid sized car ever. I really like the red one.

    Reply

  37. avatar
    todd
    July 7, 2014

    Hello : Does anyone know where to get a replacement vinyl top for a 78 LTD2 ? Thanks.

    Reply

  38. avatar
    Pedro
    October 18, 2014

    Speaking of 1972 Ford Torino based 1977-79 Ford LTD II and Thunderbird and the all NEW Panther Platform 1979-80s Ford LTD/Crown Victoria and Lincoln Mark VI and Continental Coupes, here is a comparative photo montage models of those Ford 2 Door Coupes pictured here. I did not include the Mercury version because its merely an upscale duplicate versions of those Ford Cars. Now here they are: 1976 Ford Ranchero (Gran Torino based) 2 Door Pickup (Top Row Left), 1977 Ford Ranchero (with the revised LTD II nose) 2 Door Pickup (Top Row Right), 1976 Ford Thunderbird 2 Door Coupe (Second Row Left), 1976 Ford Gran Torino 2 Door Coupe (Second Row Right), 1977 Ford Thunderbird 2 Door Coupe (Third Row Left), 1976 Ford Elite 2 Door Coupe (Third Row Right), 1979 Ford LTD II 2 Door Coupe (Fourth Row Left), 1979 Ford LTD 2 Door Coupe (Fourth Row Right), 1980 Lincoln Mark VI 2 Door Coupe (Bottom Row Left) & 1980 Lincoln Continental 2 Door Coupe (Bottom Row Right).

    Reply

    • avatar
      Keith
      October 18, 2014

      Hi Pedro the 1979 Ford LTD II 2 Door Sport touring Coupe (Fourth Row Left) is the one I have it’s dark green/light green too. Only less than 900 or so of the 79 sport touring model was made that year. I had a lot of fun in that car, it took care of me better n I took care of it. I did rebuild the engine and trans but the body and interior needs restoring. It was made with power nothing (no weight adding options) but had the police suspension package and it rode and handled (like a Torino should which was) great. It also has posi trac or a limited slip diff so it was a great winter car too. IMO the LTD II’s with the sport touring package (factory Magnum 500 rims and 2 tone paint) were the ones to get and drive. This red one is a 78 with t tops

      Reply

      • avatar
        Pedro
        October 18, 2014

        Keith, looks very interesting and imagine if Starsky and Hutch opted for this model to replace their Gran Torino during the shows last season. Unfortunately though Paul Michael Glazer aka Paul Starsky hated the Gran Torino very much because it was so slow and bulky that he intentionally in many occasions drove the car sharply into the curb so the car can sustain heavy suspension damage. Before the 1974-76 Gran Torino coupes became the staples of the show, the cars that Starsky and Hutch were going to use was a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro. One would assume that the Ford Motor Company had given many sweet incentives to the show’s creators and producers to consider the Ford Gran Torino instead since the majority of cars used during the show’s run were basically other Ford Products like Ken Hutchinson or Hutch aka David Soul’s Ford LTD 4 Door Sedan and Captain Dobey’s aka Bernie Hamilton’s Mercury Monarch 4 Door Sedan.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Don Andreina
        October 18, 2014

        There was an advertising guy in Sydney in the early 90s who craved a Starsky & Hutch car. He couldn’t find a Torino so he applied the red coat and white lightning strike to a… Cougar (early 70s IIRC). Didn’t know about P.M. Glaser’s hate for the car.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Pedro
        October 18, 2014

        YES Starsky’s lack of fondness towards the Gran Torino and other Ford Products was even well heralded on this Wikipedia article link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starsky_%26_Hutch

        Reply

      • avatar
        Don Andreina
        October 18, 2014

        Nice link. PMG seems to have suffered from some Fomoco Curbside Rage. Or was he just spitting the dummy that he didn’t get the car he wanted.

        Reply

  39. avatar
    Pedro
    October 18, 2014

    Now These were the Ford Motor Company’s similar size large Full Size Automobiles from 1972-1991. 1976 Ford Gran Torino 4 Door Sedan (Top Center Row), 1979 Ford LTD Crown Victoria 4 Door Sedan (Middle Row Left), 1979 Ford LTD II 4 Door Sedan (Middle Row Right) and 1980 Lincoln Town Car 4 Door Luxury Sedan (Bottom Center Row).

    Reply

    • avatar
      Donovan Savage
      November 10, 2014

      I think the Panther platform was based off the ltd ii/Torino platform

      Reply

  40. avatar
    Pedro
    October 18, 2014

    Now compare the Torino Wagon based LTD II along with the new Panther Platform LTD along with its pre-downsized larger predecessor. Anyway you cut it, these were still large cars especially by today’s standards.

    Reply

  41. avatar
    italianstallion
    October 18, 2014

    An LTD II was featured in Highway to Heaven with Michael Landon and Victor French.

    Reply

  42. avatar
    Jason
    October 18, 2014

    One reason for the stacked rectangular headlights on every one of the cars mentioned was money. Manufacturers did not have to change the hoods (and the sheet metal stamping dies in the factories) They used the existing hoods form the previous design utilizing dual large sealed beams. it was a way of utilizing the new rectangular lights and save a few bucks. I agree it was an awkward look. Horizontal rectangular lights looked better. The reason the Feds O.K.ed rectangular lights was the manufacturers said it would lead to lower hood lines and better aerodynamics. Vertical rectangular lights were illogical in that argument.

    Reply

    • avatar
      nlpnt
      October 18, 2014

      Good point. They also made a car look more upscale and “premium”, an important consideration when they were facelifting these aging, pre-oil crisis designed gunboat “midsize” cars into junior-full-size identities on the cheap, which is pretty much how stacked squares were deployed across the industry. A stopgap styling trick for a stopgap generation of cars.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Glen.h
        October 18, 2014

        Why did the U.S have sealed beams on all cars anyway? I can remember when I first started getting interested in American cars that even European and Japanese cars in the U.S had them. They looked okay on the cars designed for them, but quite awkward on the aero designs like the Audi 100 that were coming out in the early 1980s!

        Reply

      • avatar
        Old Pete
        October 18, 2014

        it was some legislative requirement that dated back to 1940. Sealed beam technology then supposedly produced better light than separate bulbs. Once enshrined in legislation, the legislation had to be changed again and again to allow different sizes (’57) and shapes (’76) of lights. Get a lighting industry lobbying to maintain the status quo, and you have the US out of step with the rest of the world.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Ate Up With Motor
        October 18, 2014

        Yeah — back in 1940, sealed beams were new and actually were a big improvement, but the lighting regulations ended up basically freezing American headlight technology at that point. From a consumer standpoint, sealed-beam headlights do have a certain appeal: You only have a couple of standard sizes, they’re cheap, and when they were required, you could find a suitable replacement at any auto parts store or truck stop, which is reassuring if you have a broken or burned-out bulb on the highway in the middle of nowhere.

        Reply

      • avatar
        Chris M.
        October 19, 2014

        Another shape change in ’78 to allow the bigger rectangles that incorporated the high beams…

        Reply

    • avatar
      Sean
      October 18, 2014

      But it didn’t lead to lower hood lines. They just hacked those lights on wherever they could.
      The 73-77 Malibu, as an example, used the same hood and fenders through its run. The 74-75 cars just got a larger grille and in 76 the “Classic” got the god awful stacked quads. All they did was redesign header panels.

      Reply

      • avatar
        Old Pete
        October 18, 2014

        Was the ’76 Classic the one with that awful chain-link wire fence grille?

        Reply

  43. avatar
    Phil b
    October 18, 2014

    One totally forgettable car,My brother had one,a’77 if memory serves. A blue color with an orangish tan vinyl top and interior,Can’t even ever if it was a T bird. or Cougar.All that I remember was that it got miserable gas mileage and had the dual armrest front seat and a landau top.

    Reply

  44. avatar
    Troy
    October 18, 2014

    The LTD II really was and should have been called the 1977 Ford Torino. Ford’s product planning really was a step behind GM’s, although it quickly caught up, as the modern 1978 Fairmont formed the basis for a lot of cars – Mustang/Capri, 1980 through 1988 Thunderbird/Cougar, 1981 and 1982 Granada/Cougar, 1982 Continental, 1983 through 1986 LTD/Marquis, and 1984 through 1992 Mark VII.

    Reply

  45. avatar
    Gotthard
    October 18, 2014

    Here is a screenshot of a computer game review I was just watching! (obviously I have nothing better to do on a saturday evening…)

    Reply

  46. avatar
    Dave B
    October 18, 2014

    I’m in the minority here, but I really didn’t mind, and even sort of liked, the stacked headlights that had a brief late ’70s revival on several cars.

    Considering how well Chrysler was able to integrate the 5 mph bumper in the mid ’70s, it should have been easy for Ford to do a little better on this, just pulling it back an inch would make quite a difference. But, that is a rather deeply sculpted front for the era, so perhaps Ford was trying to avoid the rather anonymous flat rectangular front end that GM kicked off with the ’75 Seville.

    Reply

  47. avatar
    PJ
    October 18, 2014

    Someone needs to give that burgundy LTD II a Starsky & Hutch paint job soon! :)

    Reply

  48. avatar
    Ate Up With Motor
    October 18, 2014

    The body-colored garnishes over the bumper struts are kind of amazing — it really makes the bumpers seem like some kind of (really uncomfortable) park benches.

    Reply

  49. avatar
    Chris M.
    October 19, 2014

    I didn’t used to like these at all…my feelings have mellowed somewhat. I still don’t think stacked quads was ever a really good look for a car, but it is distinctive, and I kind of like the C-pillar windows and the bladed taillights. Also surprising how few of these seem to be left–I cannot remember the last time I’ve seen an LTD II “in the metal”. Perhaps 10 years or more.

    Does anyone else remember the show where an LTD II wagon was featured prominently in the intro? I have no idea what it’s called, and haven’t seen it in probably 20 years, but it was a car care/how-to show that aired on PBS in the late 80’s. And the intro theme showed a baby blue LTD II wagon going down the road suffering all sorts of maladies…hubcaps flying off, wipers on the fritz, lights flickering, smoke…so even then it was seen as enough of a POS to be the “mascot” as it were. But I don’t remember anything else about the show. Did I imagine it?

    Reply

  50. avatar
    nlpnt
    October 19, 2014

    Notice that they got rid of the Torino’s crease over the rear wheelarch on the wagons by using the rear fenders Montego wagons had been using since ’72.

    Reply

    • avatar
      roger628
      October 20, 2014

      The sheetmetal is all Montego except for the front clip.

      Reply

  51. avatar
    T
    October 20, 2014

    Wasn’t the jingle, “Isn’t it you in that LTD II ??? You’ll never know till you try”

    Reply

    • avatar
      roger628
      October 20, 2014

      Try what? Try getting financed in 1977 while working at the Vinegar plant?

      Reply

  52. avatar
    William Powell
    October 21, 2014

    Always found these to be handsome cars. They were just overshadowed by their sexier Thunderbird siblings. Think of it this way; the T-Bird was Loni Anderson, the LTD II was the Bailey chick. (See, I can’t even recall her REAL NAME!) I always liked these in the Brougham & the Sports Decor package. There were endless color schemes to choose. BTW, how many people recall that Michael Landon’s co-star, Victor French, drove one of these on the ’80’s show ‘Highway to Heaven?’ His was the more plain-Jane 4 door with no vynil top or opera window. It was light gray with dark blue interior. It had a dent in the fender & one hubcap missing. Come to think of it, the car was perfect for Victor French’s character; kind of scruffy & unpretentious, but likeable! No wonder the angel liked riding in it; it was perfectly innocuous transportation to carry out his mission on Earth.

    Reply

  53. avatar
    Jeff Duranso
    October 23, 2014

    I always liked the looks of these LTD IIs, up here in Wisconsin there seem to be a surprising amount of these left. I always wanted to take a 77 LTD II woody wagon and put a T-bird nose on it. I remember we also had LTD IIs for Police cars in my town.

    Reply

  54. avatar
    Paul Duca
    October 25, 2014

    My brother owned a dealer demo ’79 LTD II coupe…medium blue with dark blue landau top and blue buckets/console interior. He let my parents use it for long trips because it had more more room than their ’80 Grand Prix (not to mention air conditioning). Unfortunately, in a case of life imitating art, in the summer of 1983 they took my sister to law school in St. Louis–and just like the Griswolds, someone there stole the wire wheel covers off it (while in the hotel parking lot)

    Reply

  55. avatar
    Jack Yan
    November 5, 2014

    Fascinating part of Ford’s history, especially with Iacocca loading the cars down with glitz. (He knew what the people wanted.) I wonder if the 1977 LTD II was conceived as that to begin with, or did the developers originally think that they were simply working on a 1977 Torino reskin? But as the launch neared, and with Ford getting caught with its pants down after the fuel crisis, the survival instinct kicks in: ‘What can we do to downsize?’ Or at least, ‘What can we do to look like we are downsizing?’ Answer in the immediate term: downgrade the nameplates and trade on snob value (which is, as you say, what they did with the 1977 Thunderbird—it also helped that they cut the price), at least till Ford could build more cars off the Fox platform and get the Panther, Erika and Topaz up and running.

    Like you, I always found these two Torino-based, body-on-frame lines very interesting, and an insight into how Dearborn got the most out of each investment. Even in Europe and Australia, Ford was marketing more on style rather than substance (vinyl roofs, Ghia badges) during these smog-era years, but, for the most part, it worked, and Iacocca buggered off to Chrysler looking like a product guru.

    Reply

  56. avatar
    Mike B
    February 6, 2015

    Here is my 77t-bird.

    Reply

  57. avatar
    Nile Latt
    February 13, 2015

    Here is my 1978 Brougham LTD II . Every things still good shape and 99% original and original paint. . run great. I have to repaint next week to original color light yellow with flat black . 122k miles on it. still awesome , I love to drive around town after work everyday.

    Reply

  58. avatar
    Nile Latt
    February 13, 2015

    Until today still run smooth wiith original motor and every parts are 99% original. if you interesting share ideas pls hola me. im from North Carlina , USA.

    Reply

  59. avatar
    Nile Latt
    February 13, 2015

    Next week going to repaint it. Make her look pretty with original light yellow.

    Reply

  60. avatar
    Nile Latt
    February 13, 2015

    Another pic

    Reply

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