Morning Symphony: Banging Gears In A Stick-Shifted Ford LTD II

Morning Symphony: Banging Gears In A Stick-Shifted Ford LTD II

The Ford LTD II was a strange duck. It only ran for three years (1977-1979), was effectively a 1972 Ford Torino with razor-lined styling and a park bench for a front bumper, and had all of Ford’s greatest smogger V8s under the absolutely mammoth hood. It existed to keep the Chrysler Cordoba in check for a couple of years, for the most part. Nothing really replaced it, either. The Thunderbird, a platform-mate, did better. Even the Ranchero got a downsized update in the form of the Fox-chassis Ford Durango. In fact, the only reason I know about these cars is because growing up, a family friend had one of these, an LTD II Sport in black with the orange billboard stripes. That Sport model may have made 150 horsepower on its best day ever back in 1988. Compared to the black version in the video below, it might as well have been powered by a Harbor Freight mower engine. If you ever wondered if late 1970s styling could be improved with about…oh, 400 horsepower more, then here’s your test. Somehow, hearing the roar of the engine and the barking gears of somebody ripping the shifts puts the “intermediate” Ford into a whole new light. It doesn’t look big and bloated when it sounds that pissed off. It looks purposeful and menacing, especially with no hoodscoop!

LTD IIs aren’t common to find, and usually it’s either a well-kept Sport or a four-door that’s somehow avoiding death if you do find one. We don’t know what’s under this hood other than “a lot” but whatever the program is on this Ford, we dig it.

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