Friday, January 6, 2017

Bringing it back for back to back LTD posts

On a beautiful Summer day in Old Forge, PA I drove past this sweet ride:
This is a 1968 Ford LTD in Wimbledon White. In 1965 the LTD debuted as the highest trim level of the Galaxie 500. In 1966 the LTD had become its own line separate from the Galaxie. 
This is a 1 year only car as the main body remains the same as the '66-'67 but the roofline is more formal and the front got this awesome hidden headlight treatment.
This grill is one of my favorite moments in all of Ford history! The headlight doors are operated by a vacuum hose running off of the engine. If the vacuum was lost while the car was running the doors would default in the open position so you could still drive at night. I just think it looks cool with the front all grill like the General Lee Charger. The covered headlights were only available on the high-end LTD and the station wagon. I've seen a green wagon with these covered headlights and faux wood trim and it was fantastic.
The dimensions of the car are very straightforward but the subtle Coke bottle curve to what would otherwise be a perfect brick keeps it lively. The turn signals are tucked under the lower corners of the grill surround and don't take away from the look as a result.
This was a massively popular car in '68. In fact 138,752 total LTDs left the factory that year, most of them 4 door sedans like this one. Those dog dish or "poverty" hubcaps are from an early '70s Ford.
There was a Brougham trim package available that is really only identifiable by the interior. If this car were so equipped that bench seat would be split in the middle.
This has the optional Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The radio has a small chrome rectangle between the knobs which means it's an am/fm model as opposed to the basic am. There was a Stereo-Sonic 8 track player as an option but it would be mounted under the dash with its own set of knobs.
You've gotta love the era when cars wore gaudy jewelry. 
Clean and crisp is the order of the day on the rear end too. 
These lights are an evolution of Ford design hallmarks going back to 1952. Rounded taillights with a jet engine look reached a crescendo with the early '60s Thunderbirds (they really look like spaceship rocket engines). 1968 provided the final iteration before becoming horizontal rectangles. 
I find the craftsmanship of these taillight housings beautiful. 
This ride is in great overall condition with the exception of that vinyl roof and some surface rust.
This ride sat for sale for at least a month until one day it disappeared. When I drove by at a later date it had been replaced with a slightly newer 4 door LTD for sale from the early '70s. Brand loyalty from a relative that passed away maybe? Regardless I slowed down each time I passed before finally getting out to snap these. Looking at these pics now I wish I'd at least called for a test drive. I did find it on posted on the local Craigslist (some people watch tv, I scroll through classic car ads) for $2,000. If I had driven it I might've felt compelled to drop an offer on it and who knows if the guy would've said "Sure $1,500 is fine" and then I'd have a 48 year old Ford. Maybe next time!

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