Ford LTD II
|Ford LTD II|
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
Pico Rivera, California
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
Mercury Cougar sedan
|Engine||302 CID Windsor V8
351 CID 351 "Modified" V8
351 CID Windsor V8
400 CID Cleveland V8
|Transmission||3-speed C4 automatic
3-speed Ford FMX AutomaticC6 automatic
|Wheelbase||114 inches (2,900 mm) (coupe)
118 inches (3,000 mm) (sedan)
|Length||215.5 inches (5,470 mm) (coupe)
219.5 inches (5,580 mm) (sedan)
The Ford LTD II was the last mid-size car built by the Ford Motor Company between 1977 and 1979 for the North American market. It was based on the Ford Torino, which it replaced, and used the same platform as the concurrent Ford Thunderbird, which was downsized and dramatically reduced in price for 1977 to occupy the market position of the 1974-76 Ford Elite, which was a Torino derivative designed to compete with the popular Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
The largest car ever marketed as a midsize, the LTD IIs styling emulated the squared-off grille and body lines of the larger LTDs, which were produced until the 1978 model year. A two-door coupe and four-door sedan were available in all three model years, with a four-door station wagon (the 1972-76 Torino shell with 1977 LTD II front end) offered for 1977 only. It was also the platform for the final Ford Rancheros.
All LTD IIs came with a V8 engine (the 302-CID Windsor V8 was the base powerplant), SelectShift automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, and steel-belted radial-ply tires. Trim models included the budget-level "S," base and luxury-level Brougham models. Bucket seats with console and floor shifter were available on base- and Brougham-level coupes.
While 1977 sales were reasonably strong, they dropped dramatically for 1978 and 1979 in the face of newly downsized intermediate models from General Motors, as well as Chrysler's new Dodge Diplomat and Chrysler LeBaron and Ford's own Fairmont, which took over the mid-size wagon slot for 1978. Ford downsized its own full-size LTD for 1979, with dimensions very similar to the LTD II, though the Panther body LTD had much greater passenger and luggage space.
The LTD II was not directly replaced in the Ford lineup. The Fox platform-based Granada and then LTD became the midsize entry, mostly through default. The interior dimensions of both were virtually identical to the compact 1978 Fairmont, and quite similar to Chrysler’s K-car series. Noticeably more cramped than the LTD II or competition Malibu and Celebrity; the Chevrolets easily outsold Dearborn’s entry in the segment. Ford would not have a true replacement for the midsize market in terms of interior space until the Taurus was introduced as an 1986 model.
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