Unlikely Candidate: 1977 Ford LTD Landau

1977 Ford LTD Landau

Here’s a head scratcher. Why would anyone perform a full frame-off restoration on a 1977 Ford LTD? I’m guessing that this big four-door held some fond memories for someone because it obviously wasn’t a financially driven decision. After spending $20k they do have one heck of a cruiser though! A 400 cubic inch sits up front and everything is power equipped. The LTD was Ford’s full-size luxury offering so it offered a plush ride and lots of trim. It took a special kind of person to restore this one and I have a feeling it is going to take a special kind of person to buy it now. You can take a look at all the photos here on Motorcar Portfolio where they are asking $14k. That may seem steep, but it’s significantly cheaper than having the job done and where else are you going to find a basically brand new LTD?

The word Landau in the model designation dates back to when people were still riding around in carriages. It was a title given to carriages that had convertible style tops, many of which used curved bars that held the top’s frame together. You would probably recognize the bar today because the same shape found its way until the c-pillars of many cars even though their tops didn’t actually go down (Thunderbird for example). Somehow over the years the word went from referring to carriages with convertible tops to automobiles with vinyl covered roofs. I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but many a luxury model has been graced with the title. We have all seen it, but now we actually know what Landau means!

LTD Interior

Well, here’s a good reason to buy this car! Just look at all that space. Even here in America, it can be difficult to find a real full-size car these days. People say our cars have grown, but after sitting in one of these, I bet those same people would change their tune. There’s lots of room in there and the seats look more like sofas than car seats. I doubt you could buy this much new car for that kind of money. It’s not fuel efficient and the seventies style might be a little much, but I bet you’d turn a few heads and you might even win a few car shows. Heck, you’d probably be the only one in your class!

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Comments

  1. jim s

    vehicles in background. look at all the vehicles they have for sale! you could write up every vehicle they have. the dealership is located in a hotel. how did you find them? as for this car it looks nice enough to be someones only car. car should be able to more then keep up with todays highway speeds. great great finds.

  2. Rick L

    I don’t believe this is a Landau. The vinyl wouldn’t go all the way forward. It would only cover the rear 1/4 or so of the roof. Let me know what you think.

    • Mike S

      Rick L….I think that you are correct….A landau top only covers the rear portion of the roof.

      • Mark

        The two door’s did have the rear only top….but the name was also used on the four doors with the full top.

        Like 1
      • Tom

        I own a 75 LTD Landau and its a full vinyl top…..Ive owned the car since 1981

        Like 2
    • Tom

      Yup, it is. I had the exact same car (green though). Glad people are out there bringing `em back.

    • Brian S James

      Gorgeous no matter how far up the roof goes. And those WHEEL SKIRTS!!!

      Like 1
  3. Tirefriar

    ” That may seem steep, but it’s significantly cheaper than having the job done and where else are you going to find a basically brand new LTD?”

    The question here is WHY would anyone wish to do a ground up restoration on the mid-70’s LTD? Unless this car poses a sentimental value for the would-be-buyer, I don’t see anyone paying anything close to the asking price. Not to detract from the excellent appearance of the car in question but what are you really going to do with it? These were not the best times for Detroit iron either…

  4. Bob Lichty

    Be sure to look at the underside photos on the web site, looks just like the upper car. Seems a shame to use and drive this car, but if a person ever wanted a new 77 LTD here it is. OR, trailer to shows until it is more collectable. What a better car to enter into Hershey this year? If you add up the $25,000 restoration price and lets say $5000 for the car itself, not counting sentimental value which exactly why the guy spent the money, you have over $30k worth of car with an asking price of well less than half that.

    • RayT Member

      “Trailer to shows until it is more collectable”?

      Much as I’d like to, I don’t think I’ll still be going to car shows in 2140, which seems the first time this LTD will really be collectible.

      Sentimental value is one thing, and I applaud it for those who can afford it. Put me in Bill Gates’s financial class, and I’d have a full resto done on a ’59 Hillman Minx, which was my first car.

      Picking a lump like this as an “investment” is a whole ‘nother thing….

  5. Booya

    I’ll bet it has less interior space than a 2015 Malibu, really. And the Malibu is superior in just about every other way as well, surviving a curb-jump excepted.

    These cars were pretty awful, really. Even for their times. Clunky, awkward, slow, and thirsty. But . . . as I like to say: Some people golf.

    • Jason

      A 2015 Malibu? Superior in just about every way? C’mon dude, put down the booya pipe you must be smokin’!

      Like 2
      • Booya

        Efficiency
        Power
        Handling
        Comfort
        Safety
        Reliability
        Acceleration
        Interior space
        Fit and finish
        Entertainment systems
        Warranty
        Noise

        Yep. Superior in just about every way. Or, try a Taurus. Or a Kia Optima. Or a Chrysler 300. Or a Passat.

        They sure don’t make them like they used to. And in this case, that’s just fine.

        BTW, pass the pipe the other way.

      • TBall

        Jason – I have to agree, if Booya is going to compare this car to a 2015 Malibu, he more than likely needs to find a different website to cruise. Having said that, I have to agree with a lot of other commenters, “Why?”. All things considered, $14k is a low price for a “new” full-sized cruiser – however the trade-off at the pumps would be scary (this from a Raptor driver). Nice “find” non-the-less.

      • Charlie G

        Don’t pay attention to him Jason. Booya got his hands on some bad smoke. Let’s see him hump his old lady in the back seat without having to have the doors open and then stretch out afterwards . THAT’S ROOMY!! Give me another 1969 Plymouth Fury III, Chevrolet Impala, or even this Ford. After 53 years of working on and driving those types of vehicles; I can attest to their good points. If my dad can tune a 69 Fury III with a 318-2bbl carb to smoke its tires for 3 cars lengths on regular pump gas, and teach me the same thing on a 67 Dodge Monaco, or even the old 63 Impala with a 283, then I guess I’m not doing too bad. All of this and I’m getting better than average gas mileage because he knew the little tricks of the trade. Entertainment systems should not even be on the list, unless you’ve got a stripper pole and a dancer to go along with it. My sons will swear that on those long over the road trips, that they got a better nap in my older cars than in the ‘feel the pavement’ type of ride that you get in the newer cars. Coil-overs aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. And all things can be upgraded to newer specs if your’e willing to take the time and do it.

    • Jason

      Malibu, Taurus, Kia Optima, are you joking? Maybe I should have said crack pipe!

      • Bob Lichty

        Maybe Booya, can stay tuned to Barn Find long enough and someone will post a barn full of Malibu’s and Kia’s for him?

  6. don

    all I can say is, WHY?

    • Beau

      Why? Special addition Ford factory color combination both inside and out. It was only offered for a very short time in 1977 and was only available on the LTD LANDAU 2-DOOR AND 4 DOOR CARS. LTD LANDAU was the car model line had nothing at all to do with the vinyl top. the LTD Landau had hide-away headlights as well, the 1977 LTD had dual exposed headlights with bezel trim. The LTD was the starting point the LTD Landau was the top of the line. You could opt for a “Full Top” or a “Half Top” too. I have the 1977 LTD LANDAU PILLARED 2-DOOR SEDAN in Cream (6P) Paint and Metallic Blue (BB) Vinyl top and side moulding vinyl inserts. The interior was Cream with special metallic blue piping on the seats, just as pictured on the feature car. Mine also has 49,895 K on the clock. Never been touched since it was built 40 years ago, original, paint top and special embossed and trimmed interior seating. Powered by the original 460 4bbl V8 coupled with a C6 transmission and posi-traction rear end. You could also order 4 wheel disc brakes as an option. Mine has rear drum brakes but my Son’s has 4 wheel disc brakes. there were so many options and combinations no 2 were identical. they actually had an order form at the dealer with check boxes for options, no package numbers like today. hope this clears up, “Why”. By the way, the original owner of mine was a huge West Virginia Mountaineer football fan and the cars were pushed and advertised in the Morgantown, WV region as the “Mountaineer Edition”.

      • Tom

        I own a 75 LTD Landau and its a full vinyl top…..Ive owned the car since 1981

        Like 1
      • Greg

        I just wanna shake your hand; bro, for keeping that baby goin’….

        Like 1
  7. braktrcr

    Not sure why…. but I like it. Seems like a nice, fun, barge. A pretty comfy family cruiser.
    If you keep it as nice as it is now, in another 20 years or so, you should be able to get ALL of the restoration costs back. Ok maybe 30 years.

  8. Todd Zuercher

    An interesting lineup of cars listed on their website. They seem to have a thing for unloved 70s and 80s cars in mint condition. Canton, being in the heart of the rust belt, is an interesting location for these pristine oldies too. I was sitting in my elementary school classes not far away when this car was new. I certainly don’t understand why anyone would restore a car like this either but I’ll admit a growing fondness for these overwrought 70s behemoths if for no other reason than you rarely see them on the road anymore.

  9. Tirefriar

    Just checked out their site. Aside for a reason of novelty, I dont see any rhyme or reason to pick this car over their ’71 Coupe de Ville or the ’79 Buick Electra Coupe? I can see paying that kind of scratch for the Caddie. Even the Electra Coupe sort of makes sense with less than 15k miles on the clock.

    the landau top was a partial vinyl top, usually covering the roof and C & D pillars on sedans and B & C pillars on coupes.

  10. Andrew M

    I’m just kind of wondering… age aside… what costs $20K to fix on a car with only 56,000 on the clock? The interior looks like a generic replacement, vs. actually finding NOS material. The description says the “correct Ford 400 ci. V8” sits under the hood? That says to me “non original engine”. Granted, the car looks clean, but it’s a terrible color, the interior looks cheesy and lets face it… this car was a dog when it was new, and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t be now.

    • Bob Lichty

      THe cost came from romoving the body from the frame, removing everything and soda blasting it to bare metal, High quality repaint inside and out uncluding underside. frame recieved same treatment, we have photo album of entire process. Interior was resewn as an exact match to original including embroidered head rests. Engine is the original engine completely rebuild, Why? with only 56k on the clock? Because the owner wanted to and the car meant that much to him. Why? to such a pedestrian car? He had sentamental reasons. Once done he realized if he drove it he would ruin what hand been created in the process so he sold it to a deal we know and we bought it from that dealer. Obviously we are only asking a fraction of the cost as our price and even that is negociable.

  11. Howard A Member

    Perhaps the reason someone would restore this car, which I think is a nice car, is in 1979, Ford downsized their LTD’s. So this would be one of the last “biggies”. While this car may not have been a Cadillac or Lincoln, it was one of the nicest rides a middle-class family could have. Before we got into the horrors of the 80’s cars, these were comfortable, nice riding, dependable cars.

    Like 1
  12. Ed P

    These cars were big, comfortable, and quiet cruisers. Before the Arab Oil Embargos they would have sold like hotcakes. They died off because of their gas guzzling appetites. Nice Sunday driver.

    Like 1
    • Bob Lichty

      I agree, my parents had a Country Squire with the 460V8, comfy but 8 mpg.

  13. Charles

    We owned one of these back in the day. Ours was dark blue with the same top. We had a family and the car was great as a family cruiser. Note the GM A6 AC compressor which is factory. That AC with that compressor rated at 3 tons would freeze meat if one so desired. These cars were actually very reliable and durable. We drove ours to 175K and sold it with no problems. 17-18 MPG which sounds awful these days, but was not bad for the 70’s. These models seemed to be prone to rust, if one lived in the rust belt. In South Georgia rust was never an issue. As for a frame off restoration on this model, I feel the same as many of you. The person who restored this car must have had an emotional attachment to it. Maybe it was the original owner, and the family sold the car later on? There are many people who don’t accept the demise of the full size body on frame design of the 70’s.

  14. Jim

    Had one in 77 as wife’s driver. I was selling them and ours was a 2 dr. dark green with a white top. The Landau’s had hidden headlights and you could upgrade the interior with the interior luxury group like the one for sale. Ours was green cloth. Great car and really nice on a long trip. Hard to believe it was 38 years ago.

  15. Ceezy

    Growing up we had a Mercury Grand Marquis of the same vintage. Loved that car, wouldn’t mind having one just like it. This LTD is a great looking car, I bet it would make a great highway cruiser.

  16. '59FORDfan

    My aunt Dorothy bought a new 2-door, red/red, off the showroom floor, in ’76(she was wealthy; no haggle-just said, “I’ll take it”) and, I got to drive it, a few times and, it was the most comfortable, most enjoyable car I’ve driven, to now. My ’80 XR7 2-door Landau, would be a close second. They were pretty similar, anyway. Miss the Cougar.

  17. XYZOL

    Landau or landaulet (as in cabrio/cabriolet) is an open top vehicle with only rear portion foldable and frond part (over the driver’s head) fixed. You don’t have to reach way back to horse carriage days to find a proper example. One of the most recognised fully functional landaulets of ‘recent’ years were Merc 600 Pullman (W100) based.

  18. Steve

    Bought a well used 77 dark blue police cruiser around 1984 out of Texas. 460 block, heavy suspension. Still in my memory as one of the really fun barges I’ve ever had. Couldn’t keep gas in it but it didn’t matter to me at the time. Loved it!

  19. ICEMAN

    Car & Drive had an article comparing a LTD Landau to the contemporary full sized Mercedes. It said the LTD of course was not as good, but it did 99% of what the Benz did, at a far cheaper purchase price. The last of the cars our declining middle class loved.

  20. Jose Rafael

    Mi Abuelo tenía un Ford LTD Landau 1975; un buen carro; que a mi me encanta

  21. Anthony Cowens

    I’ve owned a 77 landau and a 77 ltd and a 74 ltd. And it all boils down to the style of car you like, and do it yourself repairs. Any older is cheaper to repair if you have a little know how. Older vehicles also have style and character that grows on you over time. And when you can do your own work it makes your vehicle seem even more special. The forever rising cost of repairs and computerized vehicles makes me not want to own one. But my wife owns a 2012 nissan sentra because she just likes to ride in old cars but not own one☺ I just hope it never braeks down and cost a mint to fix. I admit newer cars have a lot of advantages but I prefer old school any day especially on those weekend cruzes with my wife and kids☺

  22. david rawlinson

    To me the car was restored out of love for it. But it is also a great advertisement for the mechanic that did the job. A work of art to be admired for it’s beauty, and flaws. Personally, I would rather drive this car than any new car. If it was involved in a wrecck, most likely you would be able to drive it home. You would not be able to drive a newer Impala, any Kia, or like vehicle again as it would be totaled. But really, it is not for us to understand why it was done. It should be admired for the art it is, both in style & mechanics.
    I had a 1980 Mercury Marquis when I was younger. I felt more safe in that car then any newer car I have owned. I regret selling it!

    Like 1

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