Murdered Look? 1971 Ford LTD Convertible

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I didn’t know what to make of this 1971 Ford LTD convertible at first. It looks like something out of Mad Max, and it’s a pretty rare model – ’71 full-size convertibles only mustered an output of 5,700 units. It could be a neat find but…that exterior treatment, I don’t know about that. Regardless, it’s worth a look-see, there could be something of value here. Located in Northridge, California, this full-size drop top is available, here on craigslist for $6,900.

Full-size convertibles were on the way out by ’71 – they were still offered but people seemed to enjoy the air-conditioned quiet of a two-door hardtop so the wind-in-your-hair attraction slowly eroded – and then the gov’t got into the act not long after and threatened to outlaw them due to roll over standards. What’s happened to this example, with the primered out, or murdered look is unfortunate. These, and the ’72 follow-on, were nice-looking cars, the last of the svelte big Fords before five MPH bumpers (there’s that gov’t thing again) and bodaciously huge proportions took over. And, by ’73, the LTD convertible was no more.

From what can be spied, the body of this LTD shows as being pretty straight without sign of rust-through. The bumpers have been poorly painted and so has the trim, at least in places where it’s not missing. The hood is certainly ill-fitting but it could just be a hood hinge alignment matter – at least the convertible top shows well. The 20″ Boss wheels are certainly an ouvert statement – they’re a matter of choice, I guess.

Operating under that huge LTD hood is a final year 255 gross HP, 390 CI V8 engine. It appears to have been modified with a four-barrel carburetor, a bug-eye air cleaner, an aluminum intake manifold, electronic ignition, and chromed Edelbrock valve covers. The seller tells us that it’s “strong” with a smooth automatic transmission.

The interior is an interesting affair in that it is equipped with bucket seats though they don’t resemble the high-back option that was available in ’71. That option also included a center console which is clearly not in place so they are likely an add-on. The seller refers to the interior as “clean” and I would have to say that it shows much better than the exterior. The upholstery, door panels, and carpet are in nice shape and the after-market steering wheel is a welcomed inclusion.

So, final verdict? Well, before making any plans, it’s important to know that this LTD is in possession of a salvage title “due to vandalism from scratches“, which sounds odd. OK, with that item out of the way, I’d say that this convertible has definite possibilities but something needs to be done with the exterior, as in a coat of paint and bringing back the bumpers and stainless trim to their original appearance. Will it be worth the effort? Maybe, it’s probably more of a question as to whether one wants to resurrect what is, arguably, one of Ford’s finer full-sizers. That would be my plan, what’s your recommendation?

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  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Tonight at a car show here in St. Pete, there were two Galaxies that really had this same aesthetic, and also a ’67 Impala. One Galaxie was a ’65, the other a ’67.

    The Galaxies weren’t too bad. But the ’67 Chevy was weird. It was like a junk car that the guy put a lot of money into the engine etc., but the cosmetics were like a junkyard car. I didn’t get it.

    Like 6
  2. Giorgio


    Like 18
  3. John Kolehmainen

    Repaint, rechrome, and stock or something close to stock Ford wheels.

    Like 8
  4. Dave

    I get it. It’s OK but I would have not painted it at all. I have to agree with Giorgio, murdered out is kinda ghetto and it’s so 15 minutes ago.

    Like 5
  5. KC JohnMember

    The black out effect just looks lazy on this car. Who knows what’s hiding under the spray paint finish. The pepboys wheels gotta go also. Just saying

    Like 5
  6. Tommy T-Tops

    I think the seller accidentally put an extra zero in the price

    Like 4
  7. TomP

    I like the car but the color and wheels have to go. I could never understand why someone would think that spray can primer paint looks better than ANY other color… kind of like people that wear handlebar mustaches thinking women find it attractive.

    Like 4
    • Mario

      TomP, why you gotta slam on Dennis Gage? He’s the Pringles guy for goodness’ sake.

      That being said, maybe straighten out the lines repaint a nice color that’s original or at least period correct. And yes, ditch the rims! Find the correct front seats and console and you’ll have a nice cruiser.

      Like 0
  8. Troy

    Obviously purchased from CoPart or IAAI insurance auction you think they would have at least removed those stickers and the keys zip tied to the steering, rattle can black the best part is you turn your signal on in traffic and someone will let you in because it looks like something without insurance. Can probably get it for $4k in cash maybe less, $1500 in paint and a harbor freight paint gun re shoot it with a nice gloss and some clear and post it on a auction site for $14k

    Like 3
  9. Russ Ashley

    It’s sad to treat a nice car like that. It was a nice looking car until it wasn’t. It could still be restored with a little bit of work and some lacquer thinner to remove the paint off of the chrome parts.

    Like 2
  10. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Needs a skull and crossbones on the hood.

    Like 7
  11. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    Ever since the flat black look with no chrome whatsoever came about, I’ve hated it. At least this car has chrome door handles and chrome wheels. But. As John K. Said, repaint, recharge, back to stock 1971.

    Like 5
  12. TomP

    How about handlebar mustaches, yay or nay?

    Like 0
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

      @ TomP


      Like 0
  13. Bud Lee

    I’m only here to see what FordGuy has to say about this.

    Like 4
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

      This is what you get with a restoration budget of only $50. Like any other car, you can bring it back if you dump enough money into it. The question is, will it be worth the time, effort and money it will take to restore it. I think I’d just find a nice original turn-key LTD convertible and skip all the hard work. Why pay almost $7,000 for this beater when you can buy a really nice one for less than $20k? I really like these cars but just say no to bad ideas. Howzat, Bud Lee? LOL!

      Like 0
  14. Robert Levins

    You would have to buy it for yourself. No matter how you add it up, this car will take too much money and time to ever even brake even. Even “ flipping it “ won’t work. This 1971 Ford Galaxy convertible is a “gotta have it “ car for yourself with the knowledge that you will keep it. It has potential for sure. You could give it try, but anybody that does should be prepared to keep it or give it away. Good luck to everyone. Great article too.

    Like 1
    • Steven Baker

      Other than parts it’s no good to me. Where I live, if it has a salvage title, it can only be registered after taking it to the main state police garage and getting a costly inspection, which only come out clean on 1% of all salvage inspections. Since it’s that difficult to retitle it, and I can’t go tomy secondary residence either because you can’t title it there with a salvage title at all. It’s only worth making it a pure drag car. Or demolition derby car. Parts drag or derby is it. No good to me.

      Like 0
    • Mel

      Why do you call it a “Galaxy” when it’s clearly an LTD?

      Like 0
  15. MikeG.

    Definitely yay!!!

    Like 0
  16. SubGothius

    The “salvage title ‘due to vandalism from scratches’” isn’t so odd depending how long ago it was written off as a total loss, merely meaning insurance determined it was more expensive to repaint than the car itself was worth at the time.

    That’s probably when (and why) the rattle-can murdered-out look was applied instead. It’s not supposed to look nice; quite the contrary, it’s supposed to look crude, sketchy, uncouth and menacing. And succeeds in that regard, even if it’s not to everyone’s taste.

    Like 5
  17. Big C

    This looks like the results of a beer and weed filled weekend, when the teenagers parents were away.

    Like 2
  18. Chuck Dickinson

    This is the answer to “How to get away with murder”! RIP LTD.

    Like 0
  19. PRA4SNW

    I wonder how much the seller (flipper) paid for it at Copart.
    Note the zip tie around the steering column with the keys attached.

    Like 1
  20. B Wallace

    This car has potential depending on what you could buy it for. The top looks relatively new. The body panels look straight. Repaint it, fix the bumpers, find the proper wheels and tires and with the top down it would be a good looking car.

    Like 1
  21. AMG

    I actually bought this car back in May for $3,500. I got it to keep and to practice/learn to restore classic cars. So far I have tuned the Carb, ran compression test and getting the tools to perform a leak down test, but the engine will need to be rebuilt and replace piston rings and all Gaskets. Definitely going to bring back the chrome and going to do a glossy candy white. The top looks to have been slightly torn but patched, I got a car cover so I’m not too worried bout that. Also thinking of dropping to 18s or 17s from the 20s with American Racing Torq Thrust 2 wheels. It has been a pretty decent reliable daily driver so far. It also needs new wiring especially for the rear lights.

    Like 2

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