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I have always been a Ford guy. Primarily pickups though. Daily drive a '66,currently working on a '69 swb. Yesterday I traded a ch**y for a 1976 LTD 2 Dr. After a few minutes of interwebs I discovered the '76 seems to be very unloved. Is there a particular reason? Big bumpers,smog choked engines,or is there a major (pinto like) flaw?Even in other groups I've found most are cut off at '75,or start at LTD II.
I kinda dig this one,metal flake green and all,LOL. Anyway, glad to be here and thanks for being here!
 

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Welcome to The Forum
All of the above you mentioned can be correct
I bought a 1974 Gran Torino new
Pretty Car but was a dog 351w 2 bbl with 155 hp
Don't give up on yours if you like lt
Some times its better to be different
 

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Welcome to the FFO!

From 73 to early 80s there were a number of things happening. Many you have touched on.
Two fuel crunches happened that decade. So generally new car sales were down and big cars were not as well liked.
Which means the car companies had less dollars to work with compared to the 1960s
Emission standard got rather serious and car companies had to spend the dollars to clean up engines that were designed in the 50s and 60s. Those engine designs had been focused on creating power with cheap gas. Gas was no longer cheap
Then crash standards came to be in 1973 with roll over standards that stopped convertible production in 1976. So more dollars were spend on meeting those standards.
Shoulder belts and locking steering wheels happened in 1970.

By the time the mid-70s rolled around there were few bucks left for styling in a market that started buying smaller cars. (No more Galaxie after 1974) Ford did their best with the 1969 design of the full sized car. Stretching that generation to 1978 meaning it went for 9 years. Previously a 4 to 5 year (or less) cycle was the norm.

Yes the mid-1970s were kind of un loved for a long time.

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How about some photos?

I don't think there are any flaws to be aware of. I think unloved just because of the year. Name any desirable/collectible American model from 1976. Corvette? No. Mustang? No. They were tough times! I enjoy having a car that flies under the radar even by Ford people. I'll be going to the Ford nationals at Carlisle this summer and there probably won't be another '72 LTD there.

Drive it and enjoy!
 

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I've always seen the mid-'70s as a major lowpoint for car styling across the board. No one made an attractive car for model years 1975-1978 or so. The colors they were painted, dull oranges, yellows, and greens... "baroque" themes with vinyl roofs and opera windows... bloated swooping styling with anemic engines... it was just a perfect storm of bad. If that helps clear up the un-love for you, haha.

That said, considering what I've chosen as my project car, I get the appeal too. I know the Zephyr is NOT a particularly attractive car. That's one of the things I like about it. When I see cars you wouldn't have considered cool maybe 20 years ago before the muscle car market exploded prices into the stratosphere, such as yours and mine, THOSE are the cars I want to see at car shows. You can only see so many perfect classic muscle cars. Do I wish I had one anyway? Of course! But, they aren't particularly interesting to me anymore. I'd rather talk to the guy building a '76 LTD.
 

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If you would like you can post pics directly to this site.
Links to other sites may or may not work for everyone

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Yes, would love more pics! I own a 78 here (which I do love) however I think some of the other members really hit the nail on the head. Just a combination of events that didn't bode well for that decade of cars. I think the 71 has my absolute favorite body style, which is what I'm keeping an eye out for down the road. However Ford really kept and reused a lot of components till ending the full sized lineup entirely, so I kinda consider them to just be the same family with different seasons. A take I have on them in the restomod scene, is asking what Ford would have done with the motors had they not been strangled by emissions. A bit of a WWFD mindset (what would Ford do?) to the world of V8's. To be fair, the kids these days don't even understand my car was originally just a comfy (but gutless) wonder. I get this kind of stardom in my local town for driving a classic as a daily. That really slams home the reality that is the stance and visual presence of these cars. There's still a very fond and endearing love of the American classics that (at least to whom I run into) have really forgotten the drawbacks these were originally plagued with.

I grew up riding around in late 70's beater cars since my folks could afford little else. So I guess the love of the classics came full circle in that sense. That's why it's wonderful to me that there's still a dedicated group of folks around to talk to about these machines. Not a big group for sure but certainly one that's stood the test of time.
 

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My cousin has a 77 LTD Landau, and its still pretty stock and I hope to help him keep it that way. Needs a bit of work, having been it was sitting since at least 2003 last registered. Still has its stock high altitude 2150 carb. Car was ordered from the Denver area. the 2nd owners drove to South Dakota to buy this car. My cousin is the third owner.
 

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From my experience LTDs are widely liked. I constantly get compliments on my '77, and many people are individuals who remembered their family having one at one point. They all say they loved the car, and about half of them go on to say they wish they still had theirs. Every once in awhile I'll run across a frumpy old-timer who hates '70s cars (largely because of their lack of performance), but by and large most people seem to have fond memories of the slow luxury cruisers of the "malaise" era. Even young people who didn't grow up with LTDs love my car. Sometimes they think it's a gas-guzzling relic at first, but their minds are immediately changed when they get in the car and discover how comfortable it is.

I think you'll mainly see hate if you find yourself in a group of gearheads who think anything that isn't a muscle car is garbage. But that's also probably why you see smaller communities for these cars. A lot of the people working on cars are after performance. The average Joe who loved their glacial LTD back in the day often won't be the type of person seeking out a car community online.



A short story: In college, right after I bought my LTD, I had a job at a small retail store. The manager had a brand new Cadillac CTS coupe that he was very proud of. We always parked next to each other in the parking lot. Customers would frequently look over at our cars while they were walking up, then compliment my LTD as soon as they came through the door. It drove the manager mad because the old Ford with a dented fender got so much more attention than his flashy new Cadillac. Always cracked me up.
 
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