The Truth About Cars » 1973 Ford LTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » 1973 Ford LTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Time Machine Dilemma: It’s 1973 and You Have Enough Cash For a New LTD. What Do You Buy? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/time-machine-dilemma-its-1973-and-you-have-enough-cash-for-a-new-ltd-what-do-you-buy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/time-machine-dilemma-its-1973-and-you-have-enough-cash-for-a-new-ltd-what-do-you-buy/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441706 The discussion of yesterday’s Junkyard Find, a 1973 Ford LTD, got a bit heated at times. Some felt that the ’73 LTD was an abomination too horrific to contemplate, while others (including most who had actually driven one back in the day) opined that it was a pretty comfy pseudo-luxo-chariot and no worse than its […]

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The discussion of yesterday’s Junkyard Find, a 1973 Ford LTD, got a bit heated at times. Some felt that the ’73 LTD was an abomination too horrific to contemplate, while others (including most who had actually driven one back in the day) opined that it was a pretty comfy pseudo-luxo-chariot and no worse than its contemporary rivals. Both sides have valid points, which got me to thinking about what I would do if a time machine were to drop me off at Auto Row in 1973 with the money to buy a new LTD (assuming I was required to spend the money on a new car, instead of giving it to my 7-year-old 1973 self with instructions to buy Microsoft stock a few years hence). Would I get the LTD… or something else? If something else, what?
So, the list price of a 1973 Ford LTD four-door hardtop sedan was $3,833, equivalent to about $19,800 in 2012 dollars. Consulting my stack of Standard Catalogs, I’ve come up with a few choices in the same price range; those of you with your own sources for 1973 car prices should refer to them now.
After a lot of agonizing, I’ve narrowed my choices down to two. One would be a ’73 Plymouth Scamp, equipped with the optional 240-horse 340-cubic-inch V8, four-speed transmission, and limited-slip rear axle with the craziest gear ratio available at my friendly Plymouth dealership. The base V8 Scamp was $3,000, and the drivetrain options would have pushed that price up to around $3,400. With the remaining 433 bucks, I would be torn between blowing it all on a loud aftermarket 8-track stereo and a bunch of Black Sabbath tapes and blowing it all on the usual street-racer-style intake/cam/carb/headers engine upgrades.
My other choice would involve a trip down the street to the Datsun dealership, where I’d be tempted by the incredible $2,306 price tag on the ’73 Datsun 510. With $1,533 left in my pocket, I’d be able to take the 96-horsepower L18 engine and add Webers, a big cam, etc., then throw some fat sway bars and stiffer spring at the suspension … and still have enough left over for the aforementioned 8-track and Sabbath tapes.
So, here are some more 1973 cars with list prices below (or not much above) the LTD’s $3,833. Sorry, the cheapest BMW 2002 was $4,498 and the Alfa Berlina was $4,437.
AMC Javelin AMX: $3,191
Audi 100 Coupe: $3,695
Buick Luxus Hardtop Coupe: $3,718
Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: $3,470
Chevrolet Impala Custom Coupe: $3,836
Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau: $3,806
Dodge Challenger with 340: $3,192
Dodge Charger Special Edition: $3,375
Dodge Polara Hardtop Coupe: $3,752
Fiat 124 Sport Coupe: $3,674
Ford Maverick Grabber: $2,541
Ford Mustang Mach 1: $3,088
Honda Civic Hatchback: $2,250
Mazda RX-2 Coupe: $3,495
Mercury (Ford) Capri V6: $3,261
Mercury Cougar XR-7: $3,679
Mercury Montego MX Wagon: $3,417
MGB: $3,925
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Coupe: $3,323
Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Wagon: $3,788
Opel Manta: $2,850
Plymouth ‘Cuda: $3,120
Plymouth Duster 340: $2,822
Plymouth Fury III Hardtop Coupe: $3,883
Plymouth Satellite Sebring: $3,109
Pontiac Catalina Hardtop Coupe: $3,869
Pontiac Firebird Formula: $3,276
Pontiac LeMans GTO: $3,494
Triumph TR6: $3,275
Saab 99L: $3,845

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Junkyard Find: 1973 Ford LTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1973-ford-ltd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1973-ford-ltd/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2012 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441583 Every time I see a junked Ford LTD of this era, I recall my early-childhood memories of my grandfather’s ’69 LTD hardtop. My parents had a ’67 Ford Custom and a ’49 Cadillac sedan at the time, and I thought Grandpa’s super-clean LTD was the most luxurious transportation imaginable. Nowadays, of course, most big Fords […]

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Every time I see a junked Ford LTD of this era, I recall my early-childhood memories of my grandfather’s ’69 LTD hardtop. My parents had a ’67 Ford Custom and a ’49 Cadillac sedan at the time, and I thought Grandpa’s super-clean LTD was the most luxurious transportation imaginable. Nowadays, of course, most big Fords of the 1965-75 period that one encounters are total hoopties… but even a junked Early Malaise Era LTD still retains a bit of its original class.

You know, the ’73 LTD really was a better deal than the ’73 Jaguar XJ6!
Lowriders, hot-rodders, and ironic rockabilly hipsters don’t care for big Fords. They suck alarming quantities of gas, so it’s hard to justify one as a cheap beater. Mostly, these cars just get used up, then sit in a forgotten driveway for decades before getting crushed.
These cars were very comfortable, and held together reasonably well (as long as you didn’t mind electrical problems and lots of front-suspension looseness after 50,000 or so miles).
This one boasts the shockingly heavy but torque-centric 429 engine. Real-world highway fuel economy was probably just barely into the double digits, which became an issue not long after this car was sold.
Look, it’s one of the infamous Park-To-Reverse Settlement stickers!

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