Cohort Capsule: ’75-’78 Ford LTD Wagon – A Tight Fit

Photos from the Cohort by Benoit. 

Here’s an example of the CC effect in the virtual world; about ten days ago I posted a gallery with vintage images of station wagons from the ’70s. Then, over the next few days, a stack of 1970s wagons appeared at the Cohort. And with old wagons being just about as common as Dodo birds, I always find it hard to resist giving any surviving sample its few minutes of CC glory.

So let’s take a better look at this ’75-’78 LTD wagon, found parked in a very tight spot somewhere in La France.

Quite the parking job with this LTD. Considering the amount of effort placed on the task, I assume this old Ford resides in the typical crowded European city with parking issues. Not that I’m throwing rocks at European cities, as I think they’re great in just about every sense. It’s just too bad medieval city dwellers didn’t quite foresee the arrival of the automobile. Those old city grids are just not car-friendly.

Still, I lived in San Francisco for eight years, which wasn’t any better. But if one was willing to drive around in circles long enough, a spot was always to be found. All good, as long as one wasn’t short of time. Or in need of a bathroom.

People of Laramie, you have it so good! Specially parking-wise.

Parking matters aside, this is a rather extraordinary looking old LTD. Someone has certainly put effort into preserving this American relic. Not that I really know if this particular LTD is a recent addition or was sold in France back in the day. But regardless, be it a new arrival or an old city dweller, someone admires this old LTD.

And if you have cravings for a 1970s full-size American car, what better than a Ford LTD? In wagon form, nonetheless?

Think about it, it was the mid-70s when our wagon came to existence and the LTD moniker still had a good deal of cachet. Too much perhaps, as the LTD badge had started to spread all over Ford’s lineup. Once the top trim of Ford’s full-size world, by the mid-70s you had to pick which LTD to buy in order to stand out from the rest of the LTD crowd. Plain LTD, Brougham, or Landau? Am I missing any?

Oh yes, that whole LTD II matter from ’77 to ’79.

With Ford being the self-proclaimed Wagonmaster of the US market, the LTD phenomenon had to be part of it. The Di-Noc Country Squire had joined the LTD world back in 1968. With the LTD Country Squire doing rosy numbers, the plainer LTD Wagon appeared in 1975. Stateside, the standard LTD Wagon moved about 23K units that first year, with the LTD Country Squire doing about twice that number with 42K units.

Under the hood, LTD wagons carried a 400 CID V8 as their standard powerplant. However, if I go by Benoit’s comment at the Cohort, today’s find carries the optional 460 CID V8. A mill “ideal for towing” in the words of Ford’s brochures.

Of course, the ’73-’78 LTD has already appeared at CC and has a few devoted entries. The case has been made that these were Ford’s bloated period (true), but that it was also delivering what the public wanted (also true). After all, if people enjoyed gingerbread, was it wrong to keep serving the same recipe over and over again? Even if customers were being stuffed beyond their content?

As known, there’s nothing that kills the essence of luxury and exclusivity like becoming ordinary. Not that the LTD was a proper luxury vehicle from the beginning, but it did thrive on delivering a ‘luxury feel’ to the masses. A sales pitch that became harder to make once just about everyone had one in their driveways. A transition I lived in my early life; from the days my mother talked about the model with some veneration, to the mid-80s, when new LTDs seemed to be driven only by Puerto Rico government officials.

But that downfall was further ahead in the LTD’s history. Now, one could argue this wagon played some part in that, as it was one of the lesser LTDs. But even if it lacked the top Country Squire trim, it carried that mighty 460CID V-8. No top trim, but full power? Someone knew their priorities with this LTD, which was part of the magic in tailoring these to your needs.


Related CC reading:

Curbside Classic: 1973 Ford LTD – It’s Not Easy Being Green

Curbside Classic: 1973 Ford LTD – Bring On The Bloat!

Car Show Classic: 1977 Ford LTD – Fall From Grace