Somebody Save Big Red: 1975 Ford LTD


Offered for sale here on craigslist in St. Louis, but apparently located in the small town of Louisville, Illinois, is this 1975 Ford LTD coupe. This should compliment the selection of other 1970s vintage offerings from the blue oval featured recently here on Barn Finds, such as this Cougar, this Thunderbird, Maverick and this Mark IV. Those were all low mileage, original survivor-type cars, and so is this one. It’s got some pretty neat features, and may be worth taking a look at.

Claimed to have exactly 88,480 miles, the pictures suggest a nice, unmolested example, that at least cosmetically, needs little work. The body shows bright red paint and beautiful red interior. This particular shade of red is a little darker than what might normally be thought of as “bright red”, but is lighter than burgundy or maroon, and is non-metallic. The seller’s incredibly sparse description doesn’t even say whether the car runs or not, but it doesn’t look like it’s been sitting where photographed for too long.


This clean original Ford is starting to show signs of minor neglect, the low tire, the detached rear view mirror, the want for some interior detailing, but at this point it looks like it would be easily saved. The seller says he has the fender skirts, but installing them for the photos while the car is for sale and should look its best, doesn’t seem overly important to him. I believe this model has hide-away headlights, similar to Mercury Marquis of the era, and  many people find them attractive with this full size body style.


The single interior photo reveals at least two items of optional equipment, the tilt steering column, and power windows. By 1975, power steering, power front disc brakes, and air conditioning are almost a given, but are not specifically mentioned in the ad.


This car would be an easy, enjoyable and satisfying save. If it’s mechanically up to snuff, many of the minor problems it has could be solved in a single day. The seller doesn’t appear disproportionately concerned, and apparently has many other Ford projects going on, so maybe he’ll negotiate a lower price for this one. What do you think of this big red highway cruiser?


  1. Francisco

    Okay. So where’s the link?

  2. randy

    I think the reason most of these types of cars are “survivors” is because there was not a lot you could do with one. It was a grandma car. The rest have been laid to rest for obvious reasons. Lack of love for one.

  3. David Wilk Member

    Here’s the link on St. Louis Craigslist:
    Asking price is only $2900, which seems quite fair. These were boats and never a car I wanted when they were new or newer, but as a two door it’s better than most and its garishness kind of grows on me now.

  4. Tirefriar

    If it was closer, I’d be tempted to buy it and paint it black. Would make that bordello interior really pop!

  5. Rick

    Even tho there were never very many of these in the two-door version around even back in the day, rather than restore it, I’d bag it, slap some 24s on it and turn it into a scraper and then head to the Tommy’s over on Beverly and Rampart for a chili cheese tamale w/ everything . . .

    • Jason Houston

      So, why not save the gas and just drive it straight into the crusher, instead?

      • Chebby

        I LOL’d

  6. Barzini

    This reminds me how much cars have changed in a relatively short time. And it makes me wonder what the next generation of cars will bring.

  7. EmmyJ

    The covered headlamps and fender skirts mean this is an LTD Landau, which was the top of the line luxury model. (Other LTDs had exposed headlamps).

  8. Luke Fitzgerald

    cheap Mk IV alternative – one of the reasons there are always a good selection of low mileage boats of this era is this (my opinion only) – they are bought by wealthy people (a given) with space and other cars – when one of these monsters plays up (read motorcraft 4300D brick) they sit covered and protected – something else gets bought/ driven – someone passes – land yacht on market – usually mint, low mileage missing documents & keys (tossed in with the rest of the house contents in a skip) – cynical, but a sad fact

    • Mark S

      Your not cynical, young and up coming folks for the most part are not interested. They have been taught that these must go as they are bad for the environment your just seeing the start of things to come. A lot of these people don’t realize that demographics would tell you that all these old cars when on the road are few and far between, and there impact at this point is minimal. Personally I think that some of our new technologies are no better, they just look good on the surface. Example electric cars need charging, if you live in an area with a dam then there is a huge impact on that region. If it’s coal power than there no better than gas powered cars. The other question is what is going to happen to all these spent batteries and what environmental impact is there to make them. Well I digress sorry about that. The bottom line is most of these nice old cars are at some point going to end up in the crusher regardless of condition. End of rant. ( my views are mine alone and not necessarily the views of this network )

      Like 1
      • randy

        To expound on your rant just a little, the lead for the batteries comes from Canada, gets shipped to China where the batteries are made, then to Japan or wherever the Prius are made, then we get to worry about disposing of the old batteries. The Prius leaves a much larger environmental footprint than a Hummer.

        Like 1
      • Mark S

        I agree Randy and it is shameful. The general public is being lied to and there buying in.

  9. z1rider

    No mention of the 460 engine? That might explain the low miles. THAT would make me want this. Gas prices are low these days.

    I’ll bet this has every option available at the time.

    For those of us old enough to remember, the Arab oil embargo led to the creation of “rebates” as sales tools. At the beginning of the embargo dealers could get full sticker for Pintos and Vegas, but had to discount full size cars like this AND apply manufacturers rebates to move them off the lot. Within a few months of Saudi Arabia turning the tap back on the opposite was true. Rebates were offered on Pintos and Vegas as people dumped those or traded them in on these cars.

    The unfortunate knee jerk result was C.A.F.E. legislation, which only mandated manufacturers raise fuel economy with no increase in taxes on gasoline or crude oil. So what did the public do? They continued to buy larger cars (and started switching to trucks) and also started driving more. Average mileage increased as did our dependence on imported oil. So in my opinion and many others CAFE was a failure.

    Make no mistake, I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but if the price of fuel to the final consumer does not increase people will continue to drive vehicles that are larger than they might really need and they will also dive more.

    Ok. Rant over.

  10. Jason Houston

    If this is really an original-finish, factory red car, it’s a rare find indeed – most especially in the condition it’s in. Bright red cars are uncommon and the most fragile color there is, and too quickly are lost to neglect and abuse. I’d replace the w/w tires, put the skirts back on and save it for special occasions. THAT would be a fun car. There’s nothing like a clean, shiny bright red car to brighten your day!

    Like 1
    • Chebby

      I totally agree, and I’m not even a Ford man. Lose those awful wheel covers and put some Lincoln turbine wheels on with the nice whitewalls, detail her and you’re cruising for pennies. I imagine you could wake up that 460 pretty easily these days.

  11. Gerry

    A steal @ less than 3 grand. Since the red paint still seems to look very good, it must have been stored inside for a very long time. 460 , a great engine.
    Perhaps @ the time , a less expensive alternative to the Mark !

  12. Ed P

    Even with a 460, the performance of this car is as bad as it’s gas mileage. Nice car for the occasional Sunday drive, but not a commuter car.

    • randy

      I bet it makes a wonderful “Giant sucking sound” when you open her up!

      Only if you turn the air cleaner top upside down. ;>)

  13. Ed P

    Electric cars don’t pollute is the biggest joke on the planet. While a 460 v8 in any vehicle is not exactly eco-friendly, there is a downside to electric cars. The batteries are a problem and the electricity comes from generating stations that use coal, gas, oil, or nuclear energy.

    • Mark S

      So true Ed but it sure comes in a nice package easy to buy in.

  14. Jasper

    I never gave these much respect but it looks red from the factory and some one, one of the very few, appear to have (probably special) ordered this without a landau top. Bonus enough right there. Install a beefy hitch, a trans cooler and a set of Bilsteins. Who needs a truck when you’ve got a car like this. Id like to see it on some of those funky, period, four wheel disc alloys or some big spoke Cragar wires.
    A modern Ford truck diesel swap could be interesting.

  15. randy

    Bilstein shocks would not help, you’d need the old school air shocks.

  16. piper62j

    Big.. Very big.. Hope you own your own gas station to feed this puppy,,

  17. Jim Ward Member

    What difference does it make on the gas milage of a collector car. More often than not they are driven so little it does not matter the price of gas or the miles per.

  18. Mike

    I had a Grand Marquis with a 2 door, the power plant was a 302, nice running car, but it had 2 problems, drank gas, and the doors hinges, liked to brake, but having a Dad that owned a body shop, I got them fixed for free, because I had to do it!!!!
    The one I had was a cruiser, and as the old saying goes, would pass everything on the highway except a gas pump.

  19. Troy

    Would be a good daily driver…Should get 15 mpg which isn’t bad..

    You could redo the engine and make awesome power out of it….

    The 70 Lincoln with the 460 those were powerful beasts..I would drive it daily..And I own new cars/trucks/suv and a few classics..No Ford’s though..

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