Better Days – 1970 Ford LTD XL

Having just looked at an example of a now-rare Ford coupe, let’s take a look at another less-common coupe from the same manufacturer. Eighteen years makes enough of a difference that if you looked up “complete opposite of the Ford EXP” in the dictionary, you’d probably find a picture of a Ford LTD XL. Funny enough, the LTD XL coupe was never that much of a success either, in spite of its interesting styling, which showed that Ferrari is not the only F-brand that could make cars with a flying-buttress roof. Let’s take a closer look at this 1970 Ford LTD XL for sale for $3500 in Battle Ground, WA.

1970 Ford LTD XL left front

The seller did a good job with the basic shots, showing the four essential views of the car (front 3/4, rear 3/4, engine, interior). White works well on this car, especially with the black vinyl top and Rostyle-looking hub caps. It’s certainly far from perfect, but the overall impression is that of a straight, complete car without too much rust. Apparently, it was the seller’s daily driver for a while, and has no bondo and very mild rust, which is good since these are known to be rust-prone.

1970 Ford LTD XL right rear

This shot does show some weathering, particularly of the sportsroof’s vinyl and the paint. The rear window setup mimics what was seen on some period Mustangs – were the components shared? With the vinyl roof’s issues, you can expect some rust underneath, so plan to peel the old thing off, treat the rust underneath, and then put it back together with some new material.

1970 Ford LTD XL engine

The LTD XL was a true large muscle car. This car is said to have been equipped with the 429 Thunderjet from the factory, good for a monstrous (likely gross) 360hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. With a car of this size, that power is necessary, and probably doesn’t produce stunning acceleration, though once it gets going it likely feels unstoppable. With only 126,000 miles, this engine should be good for a while yet, and the automatic transmission and powersteering mean using the power should be effortless, at least in dry conditions!

1970 Ford LTD XL interior

The cockpit-styled interior is cool, and now we know where Alfa Romeo got the idea for the handbrake on the Milano/75. Bucket seats are probably squishy, but in good shape and original-style material. The only visible downside is the large crack in the center of the dash. How quickly could you drain the gas tank driving one of these? Looks like it would be fun finding out.

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4 Responses to “Better Days – 1970 Ford LTD XL”

  1. Tony Sain Says:

    Oh man…Pretty sweet entry price for relatively easy project with tons of potential. I love it.

  2. Tirefriar Says:

    This is a buy it and drive it as is until the market values reach a point high enough to allow for proper metal work and paint…and who knows what else. To address the rust in the trunk (another common factor shared with Alfa) and almost certainly under the roof vinyl and to refinish the car in the original color, but without replacing the vinyl toupee will cost a minimum of $5k (I feel optimistic this morning). Factor another $1k for whatever else this car may need need and you are at an overall price of $10k (I did say I feel optimistic today). That’s why it’s always better to pay more for a clean example unless you are happy with the car as it sits

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Or the the low cost of entry wins out over the eventual total. Or (speaking from experience) buying an old car is an irrational decision anyway. Learn welding with the trunk floor, peel off the toupee (I like that analogy!) and clean up the rust yourself since it’ll be covered up again, so you’re only paying for the new top, see how much shine you can extract out of the existing paint with an orbital polisher, leave the mild body rust for later…that should take a chunk out of things.

      This isn’t meant to be personal, but I see many people trying to make an old car “pencil out” – do people in gardening, cooking, or travel try to financially justify them too? Isn’t it about the experience, just like these other (not so cheap) hobbies? There’s nothing wrong with being realistic about budget, but sometimes waiting for a better car at higher cost means you’ll never get the experience, even if it’s an example with needs. At the time I bought the Alfetta, I couldn’t have justified spending $5K on a nice one, but at $250 it opened the door to trying my hand at a lot of new things. I’m guilty too of financially justifying my more recent purchases, but doesn’t this put extra pressure and (familial) expectations on something that isn’t solely an investment? šŸ™‚

      Back to the Ford – in its current state, if you found you didn’t like it, it seems you could move it along for the price you paid without too much harm done.

  3. Tirefriar Says:

    It’s all in economy of scales. If this car was $2k, then yeah, I can see the reason in getting involved. At its current price, I’d rather add another three grand and get one in a much better condition. BTW, if I can find a $500 Alfetta that had potential I’d be on it like white on rice

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