429 V8 Drop-Top! 1970 Ford XL

Quiet! That’s the watchword all over the 1970 Ford sales brochure. Performance was certainly in vogue but it was rapidly being surpassed by luxury in terms of full-size car platforms. Chevrolet dropped its Impala SS and SS 427 models at the conclusion of the ’69 model year but Ford stuck to their big XL, offering both a hardtop and convertible body style for ’70. And today’s find is in fact a convertible, located in Loveland, Colorado and available here on craigslist for $7,000. Thanks to Gunter K for this tip!

Making “luxury a sporting proposition” as the ’70 Ford sales brochure opines, XL came equipped with ventless side glass, hideaway headlights, full wheel covers, dual side stripes, all-vinyl bench seat, and wood appliques. The standard engine was a”lusty” 351 CI V8, an adjective that probably wouldn’t pass muster today. Note the bold extended C-pillars, ala Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Corvette, and ’66-’67 GM A-Body. According to Hemmings, the XL was still pretty popular in ’70 with over 33K produced but of that number, only 6,348 were convertibles.

The seller claims that he has seen this XL in operation with its 320 gross HP 429 CI V8 engine but it has been a few years. This big powerplant is fed by a two-barrel carburetor which must be like trying to run a marathon while breathing through a straw but it must have worked adequately. The seller states that the engine will turn over but not start. A three-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes.

There are two images of the exterior and neither is very good. The seller admits, “It has not been adequately stored in the last few years. The interior has suffered from this, but the exterior, due to our Colorado climate, has not suffered except from lack of a wash, wax, and general TLC. No rust that I can see on a superficial check“. True that! It appears to have been stored, outside, with either the top-down or the top in shredded condition. We’ll have to take his word regarding body/structural condition, the images just aren’t revealing.

It’s easy to imagine that the interior, as the seller references, is in rough shape. There are two images of door panels that look OK and one of the Ford dealership add-on A/C unit but none of the general upholstery. The door panels actually look pretty good but the dash pad is cracked. And that’s about it for the interior.

This is really a neat find, it’s a great combination of luxury and performance, as Ford claims, wrapped up in a huge package that sports top-down fun. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more and better images included so a potential buyer can make a better, initial assessment. This one needs saving, wouldn’t you agree?

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Comments

  1. Gunner

    My ’70 XL ‘Vert was Blue/Blue with a White Top. 429-4 equipped with auto console. Loaded with many options. I remember it had horrible denotation when I put my foot into it. Fun car. Got to many speeding tickets in it and sold it to a lady for 2K about ’88. The only ‘Vert I ever owned. Good times!

    Like 2
  2. JoeNYWF64

    A red convertible was driven by Charlton Heston in “the Omega Man”.
    http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_1649-Ford-XL-76B-1970.html
    The next best thing to hidden wipers on this car – those that park as low as possible – another lost art.

    Like 2
  3. Terrry

    If the guy really wanted to sell this, he should have taken some really good photos with some detail. So what if the interior is trashed, show it! It won’t scare the serious buyer away.

    Like 7
  4. Howard A Member

    Always get a kick out of the writers banner headline,,,429!!! Oh boy, images of wheel standing Mustangs come to mind, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 429’s were slugs in cars like this, it’s what it took to move this sled around, especially with that a/c a crankin’ and 300lb. granny in the back. The 2 barrel was a meager attempt at some sort of reasonable gas mileage, but cruise like no other, they would. These were highway cars, and did a remarkable job. In 1970, interstates were new, and airplanes were still falling out of the sky, all the car makers went full tilt, to make highway cruising the way to go, and with these, it really was.
    Sadly, as the fizz on these beaters runs lean, and these have to be a lot nicer. We’ve come to expect, every car like this has to be like new and very few would restore this. And a shredding we will go,,what’s scrap going for today?

    Like 7
    • Billyray

      I wonder how much actual experience you have with a 429-2V? I have a ’69 Marquis conv. With a 429-2V and my car is even bigger than this XL. But with its 10.5:1 compression, running high octane premium, my car will shove you back into your seat when given some throttle. True, the 4V will keep you pasted to your seat at WOT, which is what 4 barrels are designed for. But in ordinary driving in traffic, even a 4 barrel is only running 2 barrels. Plus the mileage benefit is real. I’m getting about 15 mpg in my car in city driving!

      Like 20
      • Don Eladio

        Billyray Cyrus…your Marquis is the same sized car, built on the same platform, as this XL.

        Like 3
      • Tiki Vegas

        I had a 70 thunderbird 429 4v. When my buddy, who was totally into the z28 scene drove it his comment was “this thing is incredibly fast out of the hole”. He wasn’t patronizing me, it was fast..

        Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        To quote my favorite band, Lynyrd Skynyrd,,”I know a little”, look, I grew up when these cars were new, big block motors were all the rage, like I say, not because of their tire smoking abilities, these were just big heavy cars, and that was as big as it got to move this thing. They put these motors in a variety of tanks, especially wagons where I encountered most, with a variety of drivers, most that couldn’t tell you what a 429 was, just where to put the oil in. I don’t remember 2 barrel motors with that kind of compression, in ’72 they had reduced compression( 8.5:1) for regular fuel, and pinged like a Geiger counter, mostly to the blissfully unaware driver who just wanted to get home.

        Like 3
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Personally, I like these big Fords. I had a ’69 Custom and a ’72 Custom, both of them ex-State Police cruisers with big block Police Interceptors; both absolutely awesome cars. I think this car has potential but it would be a labor of love because there’s not a lot of interest in restoring these models but for the right ask, I’d take a shot if there’s minimal rust and the frame is sound. Adding a good intake, a four barrel carb, dual exhausts and a few other speed goodies would be the way I’d go.

    Like 6
  6. Craigo

    Absolutely terrible pictures

    Like 4
  7. piper62j

    Seller states the car is now on EBay with starting bid of $2500. THAT is a fair price for the car..

    Like 4
  8. Mike

    I have to admit that this kind of bugs me a bit…

    Seriously, does one realize how much time, effort, and money it will take to make this worth something?

    Engine turns over but doesn’t run? Make the effort to run it off an auxiliary tank so you then KNOW what you have. Won’t make that small effort—I’m thinking it isn’t worth much of anything….

    The big bucks belong to the owner who actually spends time and money on it, DID the work, and prove what they actually have for sale….

    Barring that simple and honest effort, it shouldn’t bring much…

    Like 1
  9. Taco

    My Dad traded a 69 LTD 390 2V on a 71 LTD Brougham
    429 4V.I learned to drive in both of those cars,Mostly the 71 & that 429 would scream.
    2:73 rear end ratio,wasnt much from a dead stop,but ease up to bout 30-35 MPH,floorboard it,It would downshift to low,take off pretty *^=# fast! My first car in 76 was a 72 Thunderbird 429 4V,it ran good,only had 32K miles wen I got it,but I remember that 71 LTD 429 4V would smoke the doors off it. I even remember one of my friends Mom had a 70 LTD wit a 429 4V,wen my friend drove it,he would brake torque it,get the right rear tire spinning,let off the brake & it would smoke that tire till he let off the gas! So if U really dont know,meaning youve never driven one,dont assume that jus because theyre big,makes em a pig! They Arent!

    Like 9
  10. Kevin

    Sounds like it could be a “diamond in the rough,worth saving, this would really be a comfortable cruiser.

    Like 1
  11. Quadcam

    Try buying a 429 ford motor. Let me know the price. Thanks

    Like 3

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