A sobering dose of reality comes into clear focus when watching this 1969 429 4-bbl Ford LTD getting hammered around the track, doesn’t it? That reality is that while we all love to think back about “big cars and big blocks” from this era, the fact is that a modern mini-van with a four banger can out perform them in every facet. Before you throw a brick through my window, I am not saying that a mini-van is better, I am just making an honest observation here. From the braking performance to the 16-second quarter mile time to the steamship handling, this LTD is a big, comfy barge in every way. Yes, a 427 Biscayne is bad ass. Yes, the 7-litre Galaxie is a bad ass. Yes, a 440 TNT powered Mopar C-body is a bad ass. This car just isn’t quite a bad ass. It’s cool and we could cruise it cross country with a smile but it’s a boulevard bruiser more than anything else, not a street racer or a sleeper.
One of the weirdest features of this car is the location of the radio which is on the LEFT side of the steering wheel in the “cockpit” style dashboard. While we’re always of the opinion that the driver controls the tunes on any trip, the fact that no one else can even reach the thing seem kind of weird. You aren’t just in control of the radio in this LTD you are the damned dictator of the airwaves and no one can even challenge your stereophonic supremacy.
Are we the only ones who think that the 429 was the kind of flabby replacement for the 428 and FE series. The 385 engines just never seem to have had that edge or that scintillating strength that the FE was known for. Obviously this one makes good power but just not enough to pull two tons and a 2.80 gear quickly.