Junkyard Find: 1973 Ford LTD

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

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!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • 05lgt 05lgt on Apr 28, 2012

    Thanks Murilee for reminding me how old I am, how much fun these boats were, and how much I love modern cars.

  • The Dark One The Dark One on Jul 22, 2012

    My Uncle had one of these when I was little; what I remember most about these cars is the huge armrest the front seat had. When it was up, the bench seated 3 adults. When it was down, it seated a 3 year old! Even if the police did care, they porbably couldn't see because my aunt was chain smoking Pall Mall's with the windows up to keep the cold A/C air in. It's amazing people my age lived to tell our stories.

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.