50K-Mile Garage Find: 1973 Ford LTD

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Coming on the verge of the gas crunch in 1973, this 1973 Ford LTD is a beautiful example of a line of cars that would shrink within a few short years. The seller has this low-mile recently-out-of-storage example posted here on craigslist in one of the great cities of America: Richmond, Virginia. They’re asking $8,500 for this big beauty. Thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip! Here is the original listing.

Last fall, our man in the trenches, Adam Clarke, showed us a very nice and very similar 1973 Ford LTD two-door here on Barn Finds. I had to do a double-take to make sure it wasn’t the same exact car. It even had/has similar mileage at around 50,000 miles. Then I noticed the white vinyl top on that one and the great brocade fabric interior and I knew they were different vehicles. I don’t know who’s hiding all of these great old LTD two-door cars but I like seeing them.

Ford made the second-generation LTD for several years and it underwent major design changes during the period of time from 1968 for the 1969 model year through the 1978 model year. The 1973 LTDs had a major design change to what you see here, obviously, since this is a 1973 model. Cap’n Obvious strikes again. In 1975, Ford offered a fancier version called the LTD Landau with hidden headlights and rear fender skirts and they required all male owners to wear a burnt orange leisure suit while driving one. I’m kidding about that last part.

Adam’s LTD post showed a nice brocade fabric but this LTD has tan vinyl. It appears to be in time capsule condition inside as well as the outside as you can see from the many good photos that the seller has uploaded to the craigslist ad. It’s a very good day here when we run across a well-done craigslist ad and this is one of those times. The seats look great from what I can tell both in the front and in the back and but they do say that there’s a split in the driver’s side seat. They have even included an underside photo showing what appears to be a rock-solid car.

The engine is, I believe, a V8… well, we know that for sure as the 351 was standard but I can’t quite see the engine size sticker on the air cleaner and I’m far from being an expert at identifying Ford’s V8s of this era or any era. Is it a 400? One of you will know for sure by looking at it. The seller doesn’t list a VIN or show a photo of a data card so that’s a bummer. In any case, this LTD has been stored in a garage for several years and runs great but needs new tires due to their age. Are there any fans of these big LTDs out there?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. CVPantherMember

    Great looking car, and it appears to be really clean.
    Fun fact – the length of this 2 door coupe is over a foot longer than a 2022 Expedition and only an inch shorter than a 2022 Suburban.
    Wish I had the room, I just couldn’t let this sit out in the weather.

    Like 12
  2. Stevieg

    My Dad had a 1974 LTD Brougham coupe in these colors. His had the rare factory sunroof, a 460 V-8, and a beige factory crushed velvet interior. If this one were equipped like his, I would love to buy it.
    Brings back memories!

    Like 12
    • Brett

      My dad had that exact same car. Only because I totaled his 1972.

      Like 10
      • KWLa

        Same story. Except I almost totaled my Dad’s car. It was the same color and year except had cloth interior. Literally used a sledge hammer to somewhat beat the hood and right front fender so they didn’t stick out so much. Insurance totalled and he used the money to buy a new Pontiac Grand Prix (another story that did not include me). It lasted a couple of more years till a semi ran over it with my brother and his friends inside. They had to be cut out of the car but had only minor injuries, thanks to this car.

        Like 0
  3. gearjammer

    If the stars were in alignment, I would go and snap this beauty up right now! It’s high on my list of must-have geekmobiles!

    Like 6
    • Geof

      Much agreed! My late Mom had a gold 73, four door, w/ 351and it was a great car. Miss it. And someday as I’m able I do plan to add this vintage Galaxie or LTD, coupe. Only wish I could snag this one!

      Like 6
    • space GREGORY POLLACK

      I had a 73 Ltd in the early 80s and mine had the 351 Cleveland

      Like 1
      • Jerry

        I had the 73 Wilson I had the car for 23 year’s and when I left town and still running.

        Like 0
  4. Moparman MoparmanMember

    Except for the color of the vinyl top, this looks just like the car Buddy Ebsen drove in the series “Barnaby Jones!” :-)

    Like 16
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      10 points for a Barnaby Jones reference!

      Like 16
  5. gearjammer

    Just looked again, and you can barely read on the air cleaner cover that it’s a 400 C.I. engine.

    Like 11
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      Thanks, gearjammer. I enlarged that photo and thought that I could somehow see both 351 and 400 in that scratched decal so I wasn’t positive which one it was.

      Like 5
      • Bob C.

        Looks like it reads 400 2v, which is the only way they came. It’s in the Cleveland family.

        Like 8
    • BoatmanMember

      Really? I couldn’t!

      Like 1
  6. Mikefromthehammer
  7. Claudio

    I am going to be cursed but …
    I believe the designers of these ugly boats had to be trying /using all kinds of drugs
    There is absolutely nothing good looking on theses cars
    Wether it was ford /Chrysler/chevy , they were all oversize bloated boats
    I know you guys have childhood memories associated with these but i don’t!

    Yolo

    Like 6
    • Don P

      I do have childhood memories of these cars, and I would not buy this for $850.

      Like 8
      • Johnny

        I can see your point. Because you either don,t have $850 or you expect people to always give to you. Its a nice car and well taken care of. and probably another reason. You used to the little cars and can,nt drive a full size car. This car is alot better made can . Then any of the way over price pieces of junk coming of the assembly line today

        Like 20
  8. RickMember

    In 1975 I owned a 1973 Mercury Marquis Brougham 2 door with a 429/4brrl. Split front bench seats. Great car for the highway but terrible gas mileage in town. Very comfortable and I always thought they looked so much better than the LTD’s. Hidden headlights and fender skirts helped. Traded it in on a new 1976 black Camaro with a 350/4brrl. Loved the Camaro but sure did miss the opulence of the Merc.

    Like 9
  9. Paul

    I had a 74 like this in the early 80’s only it had the brown vinyl top and brown interior, it had that Lincoln float ride to it! It had the 400ci V8 and it had plenty of back seat room for extra curricular activities. And it had the same headlights as the police cars of that time so just a flash of the bright lights would move them out of the way, lots of good times were had in that car, and it was only 400.00.

    Like 10
  10. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero

    Cars like this, a Volare, a Dart and Malibu station wagons are the cars from my 80’s childhood that had me believing everything and anything produced in the mid to late 70’s must have been hit hard with the ugly stick.

    Like 6
  11. Dave

    I had 74 coupe with 351W. That engine ran flawless. The rear bumper was held up by a chain.

    Like 7
    • Gregg Bell

      what color was your 74

      Like 0
  12. WilliamMember

    I think actor Michael Douglas drove a similar one in the TV series “Streets of San Francisco”

    Like 0
  13. Steve WidlundMember

    Streets Of San Franciso, minus 2 doors!

    Like 7
  14. John Oliveri

    Barnaby Jones always had a LTD, from 1973, up, later ones had sunroofs, my Aunt Claire had this exact color car w a darker roof,we all used it when our cars were in the shop, rode smoothly, cold a/c

    Like 7
  15. chrlsful

    351M, 1 variety (not a Clev here) of the motor – the 400, was the largest ‘square motor’ in production. Amazing (esp w/a modern cam change).

    Panatera used the 351 clev 1st, when production ceased he p/u the windsow, later the 5 oh. I still like this 400M best~

    Like 4
  16. Gregg Bell

    curious you talked about a ginger glo brown one with brokade interior and white top, was it an LTD or a Galaxie 500 ? i had the Galaxie but it was loaded Gingerglo color white top 351 Windsor piggy on gas and these cars had a bad blindspot where the rear roof slants down doing a shoulder check is useless but anyhow i was just curious about the other one you had talked about because it may have been mine

    Like 2
  17. Pit Stop Pauly

    I bought a 74 4 door for 200.00 around 1990, had a 351m400 in it, to this day I don’t know if that means it’s a 351 or a 400! When it broke down I bought another one with 77k miles on it for 100.00 dollars because it had a hole in the gas tank. Swapped gas tank, took a chop saw to it and made a 4 door pickup out of it! You could buy these for less than 500$ all day long in the 90s, which explains why they are hard to find nowadays. I currently have a 79 F250 with the 351m400 and a utility bed, paid 250$ for it 2 years ago. Still don’t know what the 351m400 means, lol. I am not convinced that Ford even knows what C.I. this engine is! Take a zero off the end of that price and I would be interested!

    Like 2
  18. Keith D.

    CBS television executives always gave Buddy Ebsen top of the line LTD’s for the Barnaby Jones show, the “Brougham” editions. Sunroof, power windows, passenger side mirror, whatever Ford had to offer for that particular model.

    Like 7
  19. T. MannMember

    Should the LTD model have hiding headlight doors?

    Like 1
    • Keith D.

      The hideaway headlights came only on the 1977-78 LTD’s before it was downsized in 79

      Like 0
      • gearjammer

        And even then, only on the Brougham.

        Like 1
      • Stevieg

        Part correct. They were from 1975 through 1978, but only on certain trim packages.

        Like 0
  20. RH FACTOR

    Definitely a Cleveland engine. Look at the valve covers. So, a 400 would be my guess as the 351 in these full size Fords were Windsors.

    Like 0
  21. Piper62j

    I’m interested…

    Like 1
  22. Piper62j

    I’m going to look into this one.

    Like 1
  23. Rick Rothermel

    Is this the BUDDY EBSEN Signature Edition? Looks suspiciously like his Barnsbe Jones.

    Like 1
  24. E.G Anaquod

    Highly probable a 400 CI under the hood. My parents owned one (Dark brown exterior) when I was 14 yrs old, loved driving that car, lol. I was the envy of my high school friends.

    Like 0
  25. piper62j

    I contacted the seller and will update at things progress.

    Like 0
  26. Gregg Bell

    these cars have the room to electrify them. our 1974 Galaxie 500 drove so nice you couldnt beat the comfort . not like all the new rattle boxes that you can feel every crack on the road. i would love to find my ginger glow 1974 Galaxie 500 bought brand new at Dave Buck Ford in North Vancouver B.C. in November of 1974 in the showroom, we had a choice but i liked the white top on top of the ginger glow . probably one of the last ones that rolled off the assembly line.

    Like 0
  27. Brad460Member

    This looks to me like a 400 2v. My folks bought a new 72 galaxie 500 in gold with white top and brown brocade interior when I was a little kid. Unless I’m mistaken the 400 is part of the 351M/400 variety which overall was called the 335 series engines. I dont believe Cleveland’s were put in the full size cars, just the intermediates

    Like 0
  28. CenturyTurboCoupe

    2V carb…there’s a surprise! I crushed many of these Ford boats, Saved the 460’s though…

    Like 0
  29. Keith D.

    Keep in mind Ken Hutchinson from Starsky & Hutch drove the cousin to the LTD, a junky “mechanics special” total opposite to Starsky’s Gran Torino an identical 73 Ford Galaxie 4-door.

    Like 0
  30. Gregg Bell

    they were 351 Windsors not Clevelands

    Like 0
  31. Keith D.

    I’m awake now (4am) watching Barnaby Jones season 7 episode 1″Blind Jeopardy” on MeTV New York. Barnaby is driving a very nice Burgundy LTD Brougham 2-door with custom hubcaps and the hideaway headlights.

    Like 0
  32. John Oliveri

    Barnaby Jones later cars had sunroofs, there’s either a Cannon, or Barnaby that they are parked side by side with their roofs open, I love the 70s

    Like 0
  33. gearjammer

    Frank Cannon drove a silver Lincoln Continental Mk IV.

    Like 0

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