Curbside Classic Capsule: 1978 Ford LTD Coupe – The Last Of The Whoppers

(first posted 1/11/2012)    Henry Ford II was in many ways, a lot like his grandfather. They both were not big fans of change. The idea of smaller cars drove “Hank The Deuce” crazy. His motto, “Mini cars, mini profits”.

When GM introduced the downsized B bodies in 1977, Henry was determined to hold on to the old ways and keep his cars big. Many years ago I stumbled upon an old copy of Motor Magazine that my grandpa had and in it they referred to Ford as “Home of the Whopper”. After walking around this one I would have to agree.

There were no year identifiers on this particular car that I found for sale on US 23, just south of Tawas City, MI back in June. So for today we will say it’s a 1978, the last year for the big LTDs.

All things considered, this car is a real survivor. I can tell it has been repainted at some point in its life, and the vinyl top is no longer vinyl. After looking it over though, it’s obvious that the Ziebart rustproofing did its job. I was disappointed to find that the LTD hood ornament was replaced with a Marquis ornament, but I guess it could have been worse…

This car would be considered a midrange model, in that it’s a step below the Landau model, but has a nicer interior than the base.

This car is decently equipped inside. I noticed that it has the automatic climate control, power options, tilt and cruise. The vinyl on the seats was still very much like new. I didn’t get to have a look under the hood, but I’m guessing it would most likely have a 351 under there.

As much as ol’ Henry didn’t want it to happen, he did see the writing on the wall and in 1979 we saw the birth of the Panther.

These were pretty decent cars in their day. There were two of them in my extended family, a rather plain 1975 coupe that my grandparents bought for my aunt as a teenager, and my other aunt had a 1977 sedan with the same interior as this one but in brown and cloth. Both cars lasted a long time, despite looking rather battle weary as the years wore on.

I have always wondered if these cars did well in places like Texas, or just in Cattle country in general, because let’s face it, much like my grandparents’ 1976 Mark IV, there is a lot of Meaty goodness here, and I would imagine that Texans, with their affinity for all things big, would have devoured these.

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner. Or at least a Whopper.