Big Burbler: 1970 Ford XL Convertible

Only 6,348 Ford XL convertibles were produced in 1970, making this Canadian car a rather rare drop-top. By this point, Ford had given up on the Galaxie convertible, so the XL was the only full-size Ford soft-top available. This particular one can be found in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. The asking price for all this metal is $7,900 Canadian and we have Barn Finds reader Otto M. to thank for this find!

Ford seemed a little unclear how to market the XL, calling it a “spirited, silent partner” in its ads but offering sporty wheel covers and large engines to appeal to performance buffs. Perhaps that explains the low sales figures?

This car’s dual exhausts imply that the silent part of this car has been replaced with a little more spirit. My uncle was a great fan of large American convertibles and he used to call them “burblers” based on the exhaust note generated by huge V-8s and dual systems. Many good memories! Perhaps you can share some of yours in the comment section — I’ll bet a lot of you have experience with big, V-8 convertibles!

The covered lights and relatively clean front-end styling on this generation of large Ford really appeal to me; much more understated than what came before and after. The pictures are typical Craigslist quality and don’t really tell a rust/no rust story. The ad doesn’t tell us much either, although it does point out that this particular car is one of 137 with the 429 cubic-inch V-8 and that the power top works. All good, but it would be nice if there were a picture of that 429! The car will need a driver’s side interior door panel and that might be a little challenging to find — it also leaves me wondering what happened to the original one!

I think I’d redirect the exhaust pipes to make them a little less visible, and I’m pretty sure those are later vintage factory FoMoCo wheels that would benefit from center caps. Hopefully, the rest of the interior is nice as stated and it wouldn’t take much to enjoy the autumn from the driver’s seat of this burbler!


  1. Gunner

    I owned one on those 137 429’s. It was blue on blue with a white top. I sold it around 1989-1990 to a nice lady for 2k – a good sum back then. I had gotten to many speeding tickets in it and it had horrible denotation from gas that was not “high test”. It was the only ‘vert that I ever owned. I am primarily a hardtop guy. Fun car nevertheless. This one needs a wheel swap and a redo for that hideous exhaust, IMO. There we several bigger bodies of this awesome era of automobiles that I like, and still like today. One thing is for sure on a ‘vert: Put the top up when not in use in hot weather or that vinyl will scald your backside quicker than you can say, Jack Russell!

    Like 9
  2. BW

    My dad was a big ‘vert fan and a Ford guy. ’69 XL, white on white on white. 429 of course. ’70 XL ‘vert, white on white on white. 429 of course. Great memories.

    Like 7
  3. Terrry

    There’s a lot of body pieces that don’t line up or look kosher on this car. It’s been banged around then repainted.

    Like 8
  4. Mikefromthehammer

    No pictures of the interior.
    No pictures under the hood.
    No sale.

    Sad because I have a nephew in the area who could do an inspection for me, however, due to the lack of photos I would not waste his (and my) time.

    Like 8
    • Mikefromthehammer

      I wonder if the seller is following his car on BF? He/she has added 3 more pictures – one of the interior, one of the engine and one of the trunk.

      Like 2
  5. Tom M

    Back in the summer of 1976 I worked at a Ford dealership in West Los Angeles between college semesters. My job was to assist in detailing trade ins for resale. A customer traded in a 1968 Ford XL with the 390 4V for a new 76 LTD. I needed a car and the used car General Manager let me buy it for what they traded in for which was $800. It was owned by an older gentleman from Malibu who always kept it garaged with only 55,000 miles. I don’t think the General Manager realized it’s great condition. To this day it was my favorite car! I regret selling it after getting married, and following the birth of our 3rd child!

    Like 6
  6. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_Diva Member

    My first car was a 1962 Lincoln Continental 4 Dr convertible, then a 1961 Buick Invicta convertible, 1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible, 1962 Buick Electra 225 convertible and a 1972 MG Midget convertible. After that is was all hardtop and station wagons, until 2001 when I got a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.
    I love big V8 convertibles. Duel exhaust and 4 bbl carbs.
    Right now I have a SUV, which I like, but if I get another classic, it will definitely be a convertible and probably a Cadillac.

    Like 7
    • Beel

      I see. Just like my neighbor Mr. Pike, you love them Buick Electrics!

    • Phil G

      Wow A.C. Diva, from that long series of big American boats, to a Midget. Must’ve been a little bit scary at first!

  7. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_Diva Member

    @Phil G

    It wasn’t so much scary as it was nerve racking. I drove it in Manhattan, NY a couple of times and the damn taxi drivers never saw me. And one time driving near home in the county a big buck ran out into the road in front of me and instead of having a severe accident, he jumped over the hood of my car. Had I a land yacht it would have been a different story.
    It was a cute car but way too small, so I sold it after 18 months and replaced it with a 1972 Imperial LeBaron coupe.

    Like 1
  8. Little_Cars Little_Cars

    Poster child, representing the very definition of “RESALE RED.”

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