Introduced as an upload trim package in the 1965 Ford Galaxy .
The L T D was a highly successful Ford name plate by 1971 and was well liked by customers as the sales figures demonstrated across all versions of the L T D in 1970 including the Country Squire wagon .
Ford sold 370,000 units of these cars enough to fill 1.5 assembly plants just for the L T D name plate alone , excluding Galaxy and custom vehicles .
The Galaxy would sell an additional 320,000 vehicles on top of the L T DS figures and the custom would sell a little over 110,000 units in 1970 .
However , in 1971 Ford wanted to take its L T D in a bit different direction and elevate it sales even further .
Thus , Ford launched a mid cycle refresh of its second generation L T D that was new for 1969 in 1971 with different looks , not only on the outside but also on the inside outfront .
The 71 L T D got a completely new look that bore more than a passing resemblance to the previous year's Thunderbirds with a very pointy beak type nose .
And the L T D also lost the hidden headlights from previous years , which were now given to Lincoln Mercury Division .
And in the rear , the L T D lost what was the typical twin round or square jet exhaust tail lights which are now replaced by this very handsome full width horizontal tail light treatment where all sections illuminated on the L T DS .
On the lower end Galaxies and custom 500 s , the center section tail light was eliminated and filled with either an allied trim panel on the Galaxy 500 or body color trim on the custom five hundreds .
The side profile of the car was also changed with some very pronounced feature lines running down the body side section and a formal roof line on the inside L T DS lost the super wrap around driver centric instrument cluster , although they still had this relatively driver centric instrument panel in 1971 that was quite handsome .
Unfortunately , aside from the speedometer , fuel gauge and the optional clock , there were very few instruments for the driver to keep tabs on what was happening under hood .
The only way that the driver would know was via illumination of one of the tell tale warning lights in the event , something was not the panel .
Another key feature of the 1971 L T D interiors was the optional Brome trim which gave the buyer standard high back seating , which was extremely comfortable , especially for long trips .
And it was coupled with wonderful seat fabrics .
Perhaps most interesting is that these high back seats were standard on the L T D Brome , but they were optional on other vehicles in Ford's lineup , including the marquee Brome , where the standard bench seat did not have these high backs and one had to opt for the twin comfort lounge seat option in order to get them also when it came to the Lincoln line up .
While the Mark three had these high back seats , the standard full size continental did not have them even as an option .
It was also a unique feature that differentiated the Fords from G M offerings as no G M division aside from Cadillac had seating with similar high back chairs .
Chrysler , however , did employ such seats on select models throughout its lineup .
Beyond the seating Ford advertised these cars as some of their quietest ever and indeed , they were , it wasn't just the overall interior ambient noise that was low in these vehicles .
It was also the impact , harshness and ride over uneven pavement that was beyond superb for the time .
Ford chassis engineers employed a very unique approach to ride on these vehicles and developed a chassis where there were no mounting points from the chassis to the body between the front cowl and the rear package shelf .
The result of this was that when the car traversed over uneven pavement , not many bumps or impact , harshness were felt in the interior of the cabin .
The setup worked brilliantly and anyone who's driven a Ford of this era would have a hard time arguing that the GM and Chrysler offerings of the period rode better than the Fords .
I said road better not handled better .
The only downside to the overall suspension set up in these vehicles was that Ford employed super soft springs as well as shocks , hoping to give customers a pillowy soft ride and that is exactly what it delivered .
However , this did not endow the vehicles with great handling , especially when compared with their Mopar counterparts that handled very well , albeit rode significantly more harshly than Ford's .
Of course , for a mere $20 buyers could opt for a much stiffer firm ride and handling package on any full sizes .
Ford's though few buyers did owning a few of these vehicles with this firm ride and handling package reveals that the ride is significantly firmer than the base cars , albeit they ride similar to Chrysler's of the era .
With the standard suspensions under the LTD offered several different engine and carbo choices .
With the standard engine being a 351 cubic inch V eight making 240 horsepower and breathing through a two barrel carburetor optional was a 400 cubic inch V eight making 260 horsepower .
Again , making use of a two barrel carburetor and then optional beyond the 400 cubic inch V eight s were a pair of 429 cubic inch V eight S one breathing through a two barrel carburetor making 320 horsepower .
The other making 360 horsepower breathing through a four barrel carburetor .
This would be the last year for a gross horsepower ratings which rated engine horsepower absent the air cleaner as well as accessories and exhaust .
In 1972 horsepower ratings would drop for a couple reasons .
One of which was the change from a gross to net horsepower .
The other was that 1971 was the last year for high compression engines and Fords .
And in 1972 the compression ratios would drop so that the vehicles could run on regular and not premium fuel as a consequence .
In 1972 horsepower dropped on the base 351 cubic inch engine to 153 horsepower on the 400 cubic inch engine , it dropped to 172 horsepower and the 4 29 engine which now came standard with a four barrel carburetor dropped to just 208 horsepower .
However , despite the relatively low advertised horsepower , anybody who's driven these vehicles , especially those with the 404 29 cubic inch V eight S will know that they drive as though they have much more power than what these figures suggest .
And that's really due to the fact that these engines had a significant amount of torque at very low R P MS .
The 3 51 powered cars , particularly the 1971 model aren't total dogs , but they're also not fast as the years would go by , the 3 51 would become less and less powerful .
And Ford would also switch to the 3 51 M engine in the mid 19 seventies .
That really was a quite smogged down engine and didn't have much horsepower engines weren't the only change for the 1972 MDI and the L T DS , the front got a slightly different bumper in part due to the new 2.5 mile per hour impact standards that all vehicles had to meet , but they had to crash into a head on barrier at 2.5 miles an hour and not sustain any damage .
The rear end treatment got a more significant departure where Ford eliminated the very handsome cross car light bar stop lamp in favor of two separate stop lamps that were integrated into the bumper overall , the 1971 and 72 L T Ds and whatever body style you elect to pick whether that's the two door coupe .
The four door hardtop , the four door sedan or the convertible are excellent driving cars and highly reliable , especially when outfitted with two barrel carbo .
The rides are simply quiet and sublime .
The engines are also silent .
Under hood and the interior comfort levels , particularly of the L TB bros of this era are just wonderful , especially for long trips .
The only thing that you have to be aware of is don't expect these cars to be good handlers with a mushy suspension .
And yes , few full size cars of the era were great handlers , but the Fords really were set up more for ride over handling during this time period .
They also were truly as quiet as Ford advertised on TV .
And I can tell you from having owned Fords of this era that they do have a wonderfully silent quality about their ride .
As we close out this discussion of the 1971 and 72 L T Ds .
Take a look at this ad from 1971 featuring Rod Serling of the Twilight zone stumping for the 71 L T D and talking about its quietness .
Amazingly , Rod here is less than 50 years of age , although he looks like he's in his sixties .
Unfortunately , he would pass away just a few years after this video was made with the world getting noisier and noisier .
It's hard to find a nice quiet spot these days and it's becoming harder even out here noise , there's no getting away from it right wrong because while everything's getting noisier Ford cars , stay quiet .
Because quiet cars come from strong cars and Fords are built strong resolve .
The 1971 L T D is one of the quietest Riding Fords ever take a quiet break in the 1971 Ford Ford gives you better ideas .
And let's take a look at one last commercial for the 1971 L T D highlighting the structural rigidity and particularly the side door guard beams .
Cars were becoming increasingly designed for safety in the early 19 seventies .
And this was one feature that was not unique to Ford's , but certainly one that they advertised the 1971 Ford LTD , one of the quietest Fords ever built .
But to build a quiet car , you've got to build it strong .
For example , we put strong steel guard rails behind the doors like highway guard rails .
Just how strong are they watch .
We're going to lift the entire car more than two tons by the guard rails alone .
Let's go steel guard rails , they're strong and durable like the rest of the car , like our new body frame design and our rugged suspension system .
Take a quiet break in the 71 L T D or the new Galaxy .
They're built strong to last longer .
Ford gives you better ideas .
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