CC For Sale: 1970 Ford LTD Sedan–Have You Ever Seen One?

When I saw this 1970 Ford LTD for sale on Facebook Marketplace, I said “Oh, wow!  There it is!” and all these memories came flooding back.  A childhood friend’s parents had one of these when it was new, in a root beer brown color.  It was probably traded in after 3 or 5 years, and by 1980 or so, these ’70 Ford full-sizers had vanished from the roads.  I haven’t seen one since.  Have you?

The ad states that 17″ wheels and tires have been fitted, which somewhat changes the original look.


Greg M. was one year younger than me, and we would play together often.  His parents had this LTD and a 1966 Pontiac LeMans (which Greg’s mother pronounced “Le-MANS” instead of “Le-MAHNS”–my father said both were wrong;  it was really “Le-MAW”.)  Yes, even though I was in kindergarten or first grade, I knew what car everybody had, and I liked studying the fine details of all of them.

Now at this time, my favorite cars were not new ones but cars from the ‘teens, ’20s, and early ’30s.  And for reasons that even today I don’t fully understand, I had a fascination with Charlie Chaplin movies, which is kind of an odd thing for a 5-year-old in 1971 to be interested in.

Halloween 1977: Me as Charlie Chaplin; Elizabeth B. as Groucho Marx.


Channel 13 used to show Charlie Chaplin movies in the early afternoon.  Greg’s family had a color TV, so one day I said to Greg, “Let’s watch Charlie Chaplin on your TV so we can see him in color!”  Greg reluctantly agreed, and when we turned that round, clunky dial to channel 13, I was dismayed to discover that the silent movie was still in black and white!

When you’re little kid height, cars look different to you because you’re eye-level with a lot of fascinating details that adults are seeing from above.  I distinctly remember these complexly-trimmed taillights and the mesh “grille” between them.  There was also an elegant trunk lock cover with the LTD name and “tree branches”.  (I guess you call that a “wreath”?)

Up front it’s a faceless monster.  I remember those letters “L T D” and a wreath (but not broken).  The headlight covers are cleverly “grilled” so visually it’s hard to tell where the real grille begins and ends.  Maybe those hidden headlights work since the covers are not stuck open.

I also had a fascination with speedometers and dashboards, and this one was quite unique.  It had a wrap-around effect;  and like most domestic cars of the period, there was a lot of cheesy plastic and fake wood.

Internet photo–not the same car.


This one kind of perplexed me–why is the number 60 so small?  And what’s that mysterious red line from 70 to 120?  I guess it’s dangerous to go that fast!  The radio’s on the left, which is also unusual.

Things look pretty nice in the back.

The ad states that this is a 351 V-8.

Greg’s grandparents would visit and they had a 1961 Ford Galaxie in mint condition that looked just like this one.  To me, this ’61 Galaxie was a sharper, more beautiful car than the ’70 LTD.  I was starting to shift my interest from pre-war classics to late 50s-early 60s cars.  In the 1970s, cars like this ’61 were still being used as “daily drivers”.

Inside:  sparkling Space Age–no fake wood here.  Yes, it was true:  “They don’t make ’em like they used to!”

Kid’s eye view of a 1959 Pontiac.


But my favorite car in the neighborhood was owned by the Sinclairs who lived two houses up from me.  It was a 1959 Pontiac Catalina in green!  I loved everything about this car–the sharp double fins sweeping back at 1000 MPH, counterbalanced by a pointed “ram” on the rear bumper;  the parabolic sweep-spear;  the graceful downward curve of the roofline;  the enormous Panoramic windshield with raked vent windows;  the double-parabolic Pontiac split grille;  the “intergalactic” steering wheel with full circular chrome horn ring–Wow!  All the far-out details flowed together beautifully.  This Catalina made cars like Greg’s LTD look like very ordinary, uninspired lumps.

Cars like this LTD have fallen into that category of automobiles which were once so common, but attract little hobby interest, and are now mostly forgotten.  In fact, this is the first 1970 LTD sedan ever featured on CC.  Despite high production numbers, very few survivors remain.  At a car show you’ll see Corvettes, Mustangs, and ’57 Chevys–but not this.  If you Google Image Search “1970 Ford LTD sedan”, not that many photos come up.  Granted, I don’t think these were “great cars” (although someone might) and I personally wouldn’t want to own one, but finding something like this gives me more satisfaction than seeing the typical over-restored or modified stuff.  The seller is asking $4800 for it . . . I wonder how many people out there would actually be interested in owning a dull-looking but intact 1970 Ford LTD 4-door sedan.

And for more evidence of just how much time has passed, how many people living today even know who Charlie Chaplin is?