The Ford LTD Landau was a working man’s luxury car

It started in the mid-1960s. The dealers charged with moving metal for lesser divisions of the Big Three started clamoring for more luxurious versions of their largest cars. Rumor has it that the reason stemmed from the division managers being forced to drive cars from the actual divisions they managed, rather than being permitted to choose Cadillacs or Lincolns for personal use. How true this is, we may never know.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/06/14/ford-ltd-landau-working-mans-luxury-car

Hey Richard! Glad to see you here!

As I recall, the issue with the downsized B body GMs and the old full sized Fords is pretty much as described. What I cannot recall, is why the equally large Mopars of the era don’t get the same respect as the Fords do. Outside of the New Yorker, I don’t think they get much love. Maybe it was because the more plebian versions were cannon fodder in every cop movie/TV show that was available back then.

A buddy of mine got one of these big Fords (a Grand Marquis, actually) as a HS graduation present. It was no great shakes, as it was four years old and pretty rusty already. Welcome to the rust belt. In the spring of 1980, gasoline was not cheap and the Grand Marquis could suck fuel with the best of them. But, the car was smooth, quiet and the A/C worked, which counted for a lot back then.

Can’t wait to see what other goodies you dig up!

George Denzinger

Lean Burn was a pox on the house of Mopar.

To really understand why the traditional big cars suffered, you have to put them in the context of OPEC, Carter, and that many of their buyers were members of the Greatest Generation. They’d seen wartime rationing, they’d seen two gas crunches, they saw a timid and weak-willed Democrat at the helm, and they were worried about not being able to fuel big cars at all as much as they were worried about the expense. It was pretty easy for a fifty year old car buyer in 1979 to visualize a world of ten-gallon gas coupons, at which point cars like this would have been yard art. Where I lived, they practically were anyway. Not too many people maintained them after they became almost-valueless trade-ins on early '80s four-cylinder compacts.

I do appreciate Richard documenting this one. It’s important to try to learn from history, even when its obviously not something the billionaires, the UN, the EU and our own political establishment want us to do.

Our family had a 1969 Mercury Marquis Brougham, which was a wonderful car, but it was pretty much worn out when my father sold it in 1976. He then got a Ford LTD Landau Coupe and that was truly the era of the rusty Fords–in Ontario it was rotted out within three years. To my astonishment, my father then turned around and bought a 1979 Ford LTD Coupe! The second car did not rust but it sure liked gas more than corners.