Bargain Big Block Project: 1970 Ford LTD XL

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If you are willing to measure a potential classic project car on a dollars-per-pound basis, this 1970 Ford LTD might represent one of the all-time bargain buys. It has been sitting in storage for around 15-years, but this 4,085lb classic could be yours for the BIN price of $1,750. That’s a lot of steel for your money in anyone’s language. The LTD is located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and if it appeals to you, then you will find it listed for sale here on eBay.

Giving the Ford a decent look over, it appears to be a fairly solid car, and the panels are relatively straight. The majority of dings and dents seem to be confined to the vehicle’s rear corners, which suggest that someone has been partaking in some reversing-by-Braille at some point. Rust looks to be confined to some surface corrosion on the cowl, along with some spots around the rear wheel opening on the driver’s side. All of the exterior chrome and trim looks like it is present. Some of it might need restoration, but that’s to be expected at the asking price.

The interior of the LTD is the home of both good and bad news. The front seat is going to need a new cover, while the dash has some noticeable cracks. The door trims look reasonable, while I think the carpet might respond to a clean. The bad news is the smell inside the car. It appears that while the car has been in storage, Mickey Mouse took up residence in that warm and cozy interior. Unfortunately, he invited his relatives to join him, and now the LTD features that lovely fragrance that these little critters have a nasty tendency to leave behind. Just how bad the smell is isn’t that clear, but depending how deeply it has become ingrained within the trim, it could be resolved by a good clean and deodorize, or the next owner might be faced with replacing significant quantities of trim and padding. It’s worth bearing in mind that mice also make chewing wiring a hobby, so there could also be a few electrical gremlins in the car now that weren’t there when it was parked.

The owner says that the Ford was driven into storage around 15-years-ago, meaning that this is one of those cars that ran when parked. I get the impression that the owner hasn’t tried to get the car running again because he says that he assumes that the engine is stuck. Still, it might not be, so who knows. What you get for your $1,750 is a 429-2V engine, a 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. When new, that engine would have pumped out 320hp, but it didn’t take much work to extract 360hp or more from the car. Even in standard form, these were a surprising performer. Alright, they aren’t in muscle car territory, but a 0-60mph time of 8 seconds is not at all shabby.

At the end of the day, a 1970 Ford LTD is not a car that currently commands huge dollars, even in good condition. It is possible to find some quite nice examples for around the $12,000 mark if fitted with the 390 engine. When fitted with the 429, the game changes slightly, and nice example can then push ap around $18,000. This one is a bit of an unknown quantity, but with the BIN price so low, it’s a car that might be worth taking a punt on.

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  1. Tirefriar

    I recently came across photos of the original Van Nuys Cruise nights. This would be a perfect candidate to bring back to life modded in the style of yesteryear to recreate the look, sound and feel of those days. It’s a coupe with a 429, what else do you need? A manual trans conversion can be done as part of resurrection. Back then I wouldn’t have had the $$ to do it right, today I don’t have the time….

    Like 3
  2. Miguel

    I had a white 1969 with this engine. I really miss that car.

    It is the only car that when I went out to buy it and offered the owner the price, they came back at me with a lower price. I accepted.

    Like 6
  3. Gaspumpchas

    Car from Minnesota–check the frame real good–in the rust belt of NY the ironworms got the frames on these early on, and they didn’t spare too many. Good peppy car, good luck to the new owner!!


    Like 3
  4. scottymac

    Don’t think this should be labeled as an LTD.

    Like 3
    • GTiDave

      I agree. We had one when I was young and I only remember it as an XL.

      Like 3
    • BoatmanMember

      Definitely not.

      Like 1
    • CCFisher

      There was never an LTD XL. It was Galaxie 500 XL for a few years, but starting in 1967, it was just XL.

      Like 2
  5. Gaspumpchas

    we used to call them LSD–hard to work on and you needed to work on them often. That’s one huge smog pump\.


    Like 2
  6. Del

    Buy this for the engine and put it in a Torino.

    Stay away from the interior :

    Hanta Virus

    Like 7
  7. TimM

    It’s worth the money for the motor!! The rest of the car is a gift or a curse!!!

    Like 3
  8. Troy s

    I don’t believe the 8 seconds to 60 stated above, maybe with the four barrel thunder jet 429 and even that’s a stretch. It’ll go a bit, some Ford guys are split when it comes to the FE and 385 series big engines. But in all fairness this was just a nice big full sized car with plenty of leg room and ample low end torque which didn’t make much noise.
    For a foolish guy like me it would be spot on with a built up 429, shift kit in the auto, and enough gear to make it pull real hard yet manage highway speeds without screaming for overdrive. Too bad about the interior though as this cheap classic deserved better.

    Like 1
  9. JOHNMember

    A similar car I would absolutely love to have would be a 70 Mercury Marauder X/100, the rear view (with the matte black paint accent )is just plain awesome for a big car! Then add a Chrysler 300H to the collection!

    Like 3
  10. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    My first car was a ’69 Ford Custom 4-dr sedan with a 428 PI and a C-6 trans. Not much to look at but it was an awesome performer on the highway. This similarly styled ’70 looks mostly complete but how much rust it has would determine if it’s worth getting it back on the road. The 429 is a big plus assuming it’s not locked up and the fastback-style C-pillars give it a sporty look. The desirable hide-away headlights and the wheel covers are cool. I’d love to have it as it reminds me so much of my first car but, while it’s no money for a big block car, it’s 1,600 miles away. That pretty much takes care of that idea.

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      Ford Guy, those aren’t wheel covers.

      Those are wheels off of a newer Grand Marquis.

      They look odd to me on this car.

      Like 3
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

        Thanks for pointing that out, Miguel. I guess I’ll have to pay closer attention to the details but, as my wife would be happy to point out, paying attention isn’t my strong suit!

        Like 1
    • Troy s

      Like the ’69 with the 428 police interceptor, that must’ve had some real scoot. Not that it matters, but I don’t think this 2 barrel 429 could touch it.

      Like 2
  11. the one

    Pull the drive train and with a little hackin’ and a hewin’ stuff it in that business coup!!.

    Like 1

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