Same Family 40 Years: 1966 Ford LTD

In the mid-60s, Ford gambled that there was a void in the market for a luxurious medium-price car and created the Galaxie 500 LTD. The idea was a hit and soon copied by Chevrolet, AMC, Dodge and Plymouth. For 1966, the car became a series of its own and would stay in the Ford brochures for another 20 years. This super nice ’66 2-door hardtop is being offered in Bowie, Maryland, but the car is actually in West Virginia and can be brought there. Available here on craigslist for $12,400, this Ford may have as little as 50,000 miles on it. Thanks, Jay L., for bringing this beauty to light for us!

As introduced, the LTD offered features and options that were normally reserved for Mercury and Lincoln models. In doing so, they apparently found more net buyers without cannibalizing sales at the other divisions. The car would first come only as a 2 or 4-door hardtop, but eventually convertibles and Country Squire wagons were added. Ford would be so bold as to advertise that the LTD was actually quieter than a Rolls-Royce, at a whole lot less money. We aren’t able to locate any production numbers that would substantiate the success of the car during its first generation (1965-68).

This particular Ford LTD from 1966 has been in the same family since the 1980s. It was purchased from the original owner by the seller’s father who ended up doing some front-end work and applying a new paint job (we’re not told if that was the result of an accident). We’re guessing it was a weekend-only kind of car given its condition in spite of being kept in a barn when not used. The body and paint look genuinely nice as does the interior, but there are some fuzzy front seat covers that we hope are for protection not hiding worn upholstery.

When the car changes hands, the seller will write on the title that the mileage is unknown, although he thinks the 50,000 the odometer shows could be accurate. The car is said to run and drive well, including the 352 cubic inch V8 and Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission with overdrive. There is a slight noise coming from the right front that the seller believes is either a bearing going bad or a brake shoe rubbing on the drum (not power-assisted). A new set of tires was added to the LTD just last year.

As mentioned earlier, the car is in one place and the seller another, but for serious buyers he’s willing to transport the car. We’re guessing his father passed on and doesn’t have time for two vintage cars, the other being a 1978 Ford Thunderbird, Diamond Jubilee Edition (built to celebrate Ford’s 75th anniversary). Hagerty thinks that the less-fancy Galaxie 500 from 1966 is worth $9-11,000 in Good to Excellent condition, so the LTD may command a few more dollars. Especially one that appears to have been as well treated as this one.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Nice good looking cruiser. The only thing I would add would be front disc brakes and a dual circuit master cylinder and maybe a brake booster if I had to stand on it to stop. I would continue to keep it parked inside and drive it regularly on nice days.

    Like 19
    • Stephen Miklos

      I agree with the brakes but the engine needs a clean up .. to see where the oil is leaking from. If it still has points upgrade to electronic. And maybe a 4 bbl if it’s the 2 setup. Then it would be a fun weekend cruiser. 🐻🇺🇸

      Like 8
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Maybe it needs upholstery work, or other minor repairs. A few weekends doing an underhood refresh would be good. Otherwise this looks like a nice cruiser. One could wake up the looks with some aftermarket wheels, but I think the whitewall/stock wheel cover look is fine with the definitely not-flashy beige paint.

    Like 5
    • Howard Kerr

      My family had a 66 LTD 4 door in the late 60s, ours was a 4 door hardtop (dark green with a parchment vinyl roof) and with a sort of greenish cloth interior. It was bought used at a Ford dealership and was a fairly decent car, though the upholstery was quite badly stained. Our car, like this one, had the nylon tricot (“panty cloth”) upholstery which apparently stained easily yet was difficult to clean once dirty. I suspect the seats under that cover are dirty. Of course, they may also be covered to prevent static electricity buildup, another drawback to nylon upholstery.

      Like 1
  3. Blyndgesser

    The cruise-o-matic never came with an overdrive.

    Like 20
  4. Jcs

    Overdrive? That’s a new one on me.

    Like 10
  5. Joey

    Really, How Many Miles…..

  6. Jerry Larsrn

    The transmission had a 2nd gear start feature and a 1st gear start feature. Some people wrongly believed that the sluggish 2nd gear start selectionwas an overdrive gear ratio. Overall top gear ratio was the same in either position.

    Like 3
  7. K.aburgeski

    You spelled it wrong!! The correct way is Galaxy!!!😱

    Like 1
    • Christopher

      It’s a trademark. If you’re talking astronomy, it’s galaxy. If you’re talking old full-size Fords, it’s Galaxie.®

      Like 11
  8. Ken

    352 came with 4bbl and dual exhaust 250 hp in 63 to 66.Maybe even 67. 61-62 had 2 bbl and single exhaust 220 hp. All took regular fuel.

    Like 1
  9. Larry D

    Regarding his dad talking about the correct grille, he may have been referring to the fact that the LTD has a unique one. It is heavy chromed die cast whereas the standard grille for the lower-series Fords was simply stamped aluminum. The LTD grille looks so much more expensive; probably because it is!

    Like 3
  10. M.Lopez

    I miss the days of big American personal luxury coupes (real 2door coupes)! Nothing American made today compares to those awesome cars! You know, some thing that really embodies the GT moniker, Grand Touring.

    Like 5
    • fantomnutt

      Beatiful car. I’d leave just as it is. Just a little cleaning up here and there. Cars back then had class and personalities all their own. Today, they all look like the design engineers all graduated from the same college

  11. Howard Kerr

    BTW, The Encyclopedia of American Cars shows the LTD convertible as a 1 year only model (1972) so if someone runs across a 72 LTD convertible it might be worth a good look.

    Like 1
  12. Mike

    Nice, cream puff, of a car. I agree with the 50k miles, as correct. The brake pedal doesn’t show much wear…

  13. William Thomas Kircher

    Was this a 351 cubic inch engine? The Mustang had a 351 engine of that time frame.

    • Marty Parker

      Although Ford had both 351 and 352 engines, they were completely different even though they were the exact same displacement. 351.9 CI. The 352 was last used in 67 and I think the first 351 was in 69.

    • Jerry L Larsen

      The 352 was a very different design compared to the 351. The 352 is in the same family as the truck 360, 390.

  14. Jeff L.

    I’d want a good look at the undercarriage, these mid 60’s Ford were notorious for frame rot.

  15. Larry D

    @K.aburgeski
    Feb 14, 2021 at 9:20am
    “You spelled it wrong!! The correct way is Galaxy!!”

    When used to describe a system of stars in the skies, it is spelled Galaxy. Ford used poetic license to spell it Galaxie.

    Like 5
  16. Kevin

    I had a 68 custom 500 302 automatic with manual drum brakes all around, and manual steering at 18 didn’t mind,now..lol no way,would upgrade those brakes,and hope the front seat is as nice as rear,a set if cragar ss wheels and cruise ins,here we come.

  17. Dryheat

    My first car was a ’68 LTD with the hideaway lights, 390 cid. black on black. It was a POS, engine seized, electrical system had gremlins, I had to kick the passenger light bucket for it to open, vacuum leak I never found and the power windows ran on vacuum and yes, the frame and quarter panels were in bad shape. I have no love for them.

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