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Estate Find: 11K-Mile 1976 Ford LTD Brougham

Most people won’t instantly think of the old TV show Barnaby Jones every time they see a brown Ford LTD from the 1970s, but I do. Maybe that’s why I have no friends, I spend too much time on TV trivia. This 1976 Ford LTD Brougham two-door pillared hardtop can be found listed here on eBay in the great city of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the current bid is $5,000.

If you can spare three minutes, check out the full unedited version of the Barnaby Jones theme song, written by the great Jerry Goldsmith, here on YouTube. Now, try to get that tune out of your noggin, it’ll be bouncing around in there for quite a while. The first thing we notice about this unbelievably nice-looking example is that the photos aren’t the best. They’re mostly closeups of the exterior and maybe that’s because this car is almost 19 feet long. Still, pull it out of that crowded garage and get some good photos, a car this nice deserves better photos.

“LTD Brougham. So close to top-line, you’ll take a second look. LTD Brougham gives you spacious luxury just a step below Ford top-line distinction. With styling so superb, it’s often mistaken for a costlier luxury car.” So says a brochure showing the LTD lineup for 1976.  The “top-line” they’re referring to is the Landau, which had hidden headlights and other fancy features. Barnaby Jones wouldn’t have driven anything that fancy, or even as fancy as a Brougham. Here’s his ’73 LTD. We saw a drool-worthy 50k-mile ’73 LTD here on Barn Finds a couple of years ago.

The second-generation Ford LTD was made from 1968 for the 1969 model year until the end of the 1978 model year and they changed tremendously for the 1973 year. The interior looks as close to new in this car as I can imagine. We don’t see the back seat but I would have to believe that it looks even nicer than the front seat does, if that’s even possible. The trunk also looks perfect and the underside looks rock solid. The seller lists the miles as 11,808 and this sure looks like an ultra-low-mile car. I’m guessing the steering wheel wrap is there to protect a perfect wheel but we don’t know for sure.

One hour spent cleaning and detailing this dusty engine bay could have made a difference in the ultimate selling price of this otherwise perfect-looking car. This is Ford’s 400-cu.in. OHV V8, which was factory-rated at 180 horsepower and 338 lb-ft of torque. This is an estate car that hasn’t been started in two and a half years, so it’ll need some work to be a daily driver again, but this could be a show-stealer in this condition with these incredibly low miles. How much would you pay for this time capsule? And a better question: did you watch Barnaby Jones?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I never used to pay much attention to the full-size cars of this era, but now I better appreciate their place in time. Large, comfortable, quiet, nicely appointed, they were great Interstate cruisers. Even saddled with Malaise-era ills such as the big bumpers, this LTD looks to be an excellent survivor. And to think, it’s a two-door.

    Better photography would have helped, as well as a detailing. But after time spent cleaning it up and doing maintenance, you’d have something to be proud of. Period-correct colors would stand out in today’s sea of gray cars. It could serve duty as a show car, for errand-running or local trips, even to fill in while your daily driver is in the shop. All for not much money.

    Good work Scotty.

    Like 27
    • Randy Hammett

      If you watch the TV series through it’s many years I believe the LTD might have been a Brougham edition because of the hideaway headlights visible in some episodes. He got a newer model in the last years of the show and the changes are obvious. ME-TV has reruns overnight through the week.

      Like 1
      • Nelson C

        Landau

        Like 2
  2. Jon Tucker

    Nice Car!! But, the later GM Delco radio really make me go “HMMMM.”

    Like 0
  3. Mark

    The 1980s GM Delco radio does not belong in it yet the ad says everything in dash is original.

    Like 0
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      True. Fords came from the factory with Philco radios, Ford’s electronics division, which also built electronics for various DOD programs and NASA. So if a Ford has a GM radio in it, it can’t be original, now can it?

      Like 0
  4. Nelson C

    Another beautiful old LTD. Seems like not long ago that these were everywhere. As Bob said the color looks so good against the gray scale we see today. Although it says LTD Brougham it’s equivalent to an Impala. The manufacturers reshuffled names and trims to keep moving you up if only in perception. The personal luxury trend meant that entry level value was no longer a virtue. Bel Airs, Biscaynes and Customs were not offered domesticly although they did hang on in Canada for a while longer.

    Like 11
  5. Ypris

    Streets of San Francisco.

    Like 1
  6. Rumpledoorskin

    I think there is a Delco cassette deck in there from the mid 80’s. It is a nice looking install, regardless.

    Like 10
    • Boatman Member

      Love your handle!

      Like 6
    • Boatman Member

      I don’t know how they got that deck in there or how well it’s secured, but in the pic anyway, it looks great!

      Like 7
    • Christopher Gentry

      As far as the steering wheel wrap , I believe that is very period correct. Dad put one on every car he owned , including his red 76 LTD brougham. The wrap was considered “sporty” at the time. You can still buy em at O Riley’s. The color choices are down to grey tan and black. But the are available in multiple sizes. Put one on my ford focus for sentimental reasons

      Like 1
  7. RICK W

    Cars as stars of TV and film! 🏆 Streets of San Francisco featured 73 Ford and other FMC vehicles. Banachek had vintage Packard convert, sports car and chauffeured Cadillac Limo. Stu MacMillan had Imperial, Lincoln Continental and Cadillac, wife drove Chevy wagon 😳. Matlock drove Crown Victorias. Heat of the NIGHT featured Ford and Chevy patrol cars, but used many others. DYNASTY and other prime time Soaps featured so many upscale vehicles! Poor Colombo was stuck in a car as scruffy as his appearance 😢. Those cars WERE big stars 🌟. Those were the days! Even Archie and Edith sang about their Old LaSalle!

    Like 12
    • King Creole

      Manix drove Chryslers, as did Mike Brady. Miss Hathaway on the Beverly Hillbillies drove a steady stream of Dodge converts. Where would Rockford be without his Pontiac? There are so many great cars in old TV and movies. As someone said her recently, they (as do I) watch old Adam 12 reruns to see the cars along the road. I shout them out as my wife patiently puts up with this old cooter. Our kids and grandkids scratch thier heads over this, but they do not know how great the car culture once was in this land.

      Like 19
      • RICK W

        This Rolls Canardly (Roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next) back in the mid 50s, was encouraged by Dad to identify cars while driving. Today most vehicles all looked like melted jelly beans, and unfortunately most Dads don’t have time for their kids. But, Thanks for the Memories. Oliver Wendell Douglas drove Lincoln Continental converts on his GREEN ACRES. And Mr. Drysdale and Dash Riprock drove Imperials with windshields removed to avoid glare from studio lights. Oliver’s Continental even had body treated to reduce glare. 😉 Golly, Granny, I’m hungry! Well Jethro, I’m busy!😡 Go next door and eat the Drysdales! 😀 😄 😁 🤣

        Like 9
      • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

        Ditto. For some reason, Ford and Chrysler products seemed more prevalent on TV. GM appeared occasionally, but not as often as the other two. It could be that GM didn’t see the need for the product placement as much as the smaller guys, and perennially cash-strapped AMC couldn’t afford it. The only time we saw an AMC product on TV was on Adam-12, when Malloy & Reed traded in their Plymouth Satellite for a an AMC Matador, and that was only because Jack Webb insisted on accuracy! So, when the LAPD ditched Chrysler products for American Motors, he did too!

        Like 7
      • RICK W

        TV Mission Impossible used a 66? AMBASSADOR LIMO for a couple episodes. Actually found photo on the net. Don’t know how many were built, but recall double page magazine ads (with chauffeurs) comparing AMBASSADOR to Cadillac. Later AMC referred to one 🤔 of their small cars as the LITTLE RICH CAR! 🤪

        Like 2
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      I was partial to “The Streets of San Francisco”, myself, with Karl “Don’t Leave Home Without Them!” Malden as Detective Lt. Mike Stone and Michael Douglas as Inspector Steven Keller, “A Quinn-Martin Production!”. A link to the theme appears below:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mijBMpnS3a4

      Add another Quinn-Martin production to the list, “The FBI”, with Efram Zimbalist, Jr., as FBI Inspector Louis Erskine!

      Like 1
  8. Zen

    Nice car, someone put dual exhaust on it, I bet it moves pretty decently with that 400 engine. I wish I could buy it. I had a 78 4-door LTD with a 302 2bbl, and it was a dog! Couldn’t get out of it’s own way. Comfortable, though, with the same interior as this one. I hope it finds a good home.

    Like 3
  9. Robert Atkinson, Jr.

    A link to the FBI theme follows:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Q0eDFXDx4&t=261s

    At the end of some episodes, Efram Zimbalist would profile one (1) of the fugitives from the FBI’s famous “Ten Most Wanted” list, including, most famously, James Earl Ray, the man convicted for the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr..

    “He always closed the episode with the following warning:

    “If you see this man, take no action yourself! Contact your local police, or your nearest FBI office.”

    Like 1
  10. Chris Cornetto

    Barnaby Jones, a Quinn Martin production. You never appreciated these until they were gone. I was a Cadillac, GM guy for the 70s mostly until I slid into a custom 78 Continental convertible. I also thought these LTDs loaded up were as good as a Lincoln and likely somewhat better than the Caprice. I have a 71 Impala convertible along with a 71 LTD convertible and I would have to say it must have been tough choosing unless you were a diehard this or that. This one here is quite nice and the 400 Ford to me is a great reliable workhorse if minimally cared for. A great car here and yup in lovely 70s earth tones.

    Like 8
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Sadly, like many actors, Buddy Epsen could never shake that Jed Clampett character.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        That may be what he was remember for today, but he wasn’t typecast. He had a very active career after the Beverly Hillbillies, even staring as a private detective Barnaby Jones during its run of 178 episodes between 1973-1980.

        Steve R

        Like 5
      • RICK W

        So many could never escape a character. DYNO? Buddy was originally cast as Tin Man in Wizard of OZ? He suffered poisoning from metallic makeup. Buddy was also featured in a number of 30s and 40s films. But like Jed, he struck gold in Beverly Hills. AND when Nancy Culp (Miss. Jane) got her first job (before Pamela Livingstone on LOVE THAT BOB (Cummings)) she announced she was there to replace Marilyn Monroe! Well Doggies 🐕

        Like 3
  11. Big C

    I had a ’75 LTD Brougham. It had AC and an AM radio, as it’s “luxury appointments.” Had a 351M in it. Which made it a great cruiser, but I owned it in 1980, when gas was still being affected by Carterville.

    Like 3
    • RICK W

      At least those bumpers were CHROME, unlike today 0when only a few TRUCKS have chrome plated bumpers, while the rest are plastic. Many cars grilles are not really protected, thrusting out! 👎

      Like 6
  12. Ron Cormier

    Beautiful survivor. Took Drivers Ed in a four-door version of this ride. If one could parallel park it successfully, you could also back a boat into a marina!!

    What’s with the “Harrison/Frigidaire” style AC compressor?….had the old York “lawn mower motor” style been preempted by then?

    Like 0
  13. ClassicP

    Nice riding cars. The small Lincoln

    Like 2
  14. Keith D.

    Yeah that’s Barnaby alright. Betty! could you get me a glass of milk!

    Like 4
    • RICK W

      The Cleavers drove Plymouths! JUNE… Ward, you were pretty tough 😳 on the Beaver last night 🌙!

      Like 3
  15. Chris R. Member

    I would purchase this old girl in a heartbeat if I had the room. Many years ago, I owned a ’73 LTD 2 door with the 400. Was a great running and riding car and did great donuts in the snow!! Unfortunately, living in the northeast, the tin worm tore her up.

    Like 0
  16. John

    I’ll be your friend.

    Like 2
  17. Carbob Member

    And I thought I was the only one who wanted MeTV to see the cars. Nice to know that I’m in such good company with other BF nerds. As to this vehicle; well I would prefer it to any of the overpriced cars being foisted on us today. GLWTS.

    Like 6
    • RICK W

      Welcome to the Twilight Zone where we Dinosaurs 🦕 roam before going off to the LA BREA tar pit, like our beloved vehicles!

      Like 2
  18. John Oliveri

    I thought of Barnaby Jones immediately, however he preferred dark brown, and his cars were pretty loaded up like baby Lincoln’s with sunroof too in later years, they rode well, absolutely no feeling in the steering, typical American luxury car from the 70s

    Like 3
  19. Dan

    For a Brougham, this one seems sparsely equipped: no pw, no power door locks, no split bench seat, I don’t even see a tilt wheel lever. But from what I see, this is a true gem and I actually like the color. But the old MI plates (and boy do I miss those) indicate it will need some $$$ to get this running again. It this one had more equipment, it might surpass 5 figures. Too bad my garage ain’t big enough…

    Like 2
    • RICK W

      Believe several 70s cars had tilt and telescope steering wheels. Also recall Thunderbird 🤔? With a swing away steering wheel and late 50s Chrysler Corp vehicles with swivel seats. My 2007 Town Car has a feature that automatically moves driver’s seat for easier entry.

      Like 1
  20. Richard Mcdonald

    On those LTDS and Lincoln’s of that era to adjust the tilt wheel you would push back on the turn signal lever ford utilized that design column on their ford pickups and vans until 1991

    Like 2
  21. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Here’s an auction update: this LTD sold for $6,700!

    Like 1

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