Unique Cars - - LUXO LAND YACHTS -

Our favourite stor y when it comes to t he P6 Ford LTD of t he late 70s is t hat of a hap­less Mel­bourne pri­est in the Greek Ortho­dox Church. He hap­pened to own one of t hese gent le­manly gi­ants and, t hanks to t he ‘Rolls-Royce’ grille on t he front, at least some of his parish­ioners be­came conv inced he had his hand in the prover­bia l col­lec­tion jar – how else could a hum­ble pri­est af ford a Roller?

The ef­forts were made to k ill off t he ru­mours and as­sure ever yone it rea lly was a Ford, and not a par­tic­u­larly va lu­able one on t he sec­ond-hand mar­ket, but to no avail. He had to get rid of it. Sad.

The owner of this car, Kevin Crough, says he had one of these gi­ants when they were a new car. “I used to work for t he gov­ern­ment, and I had one when I was rais­ing four sons and it was great. You could f it ever yone in, f it a ll t he gear, it was comfortable, t he boot’s gi­nor­mous.

“I said to my wife, when I re­tire I want to get one of t hose. So I found t his car.” That was t he be­gin­ning of a four-year restora­tion process, which we’ll ta lk about in an­other is­sue.

Mean­while own­ers like Kevin re­gard this as t he last ‘proper’ limou­sine built by Ford Aus­tra lia. Made from 1976 through to early 1979, t hey shared a lot of com­po­nentr y wit h t he Fal­con and Fairlane ranges, but v isua lly went a ll-out to get away from t he Fal­con look. Buy­ers said they wanted some­thing dis­tinc­tive and t hat’s what t hey got.

Ob­vi­ously t he big bluf f st yling is t he clue, a long wit h t he ‘Rolls-Royce’ grille and t he dis­tinc­tive t win head­lights. Oh, and here’s a bit of triv ia – t hose hub­caps are from a Thun­der­bird. Some 5900 LTDs of this gen­er­a­tion were made, in­clud­ing t wo spe­cia l edi­tions. One was the Sil­ver Monarch (painted sil­ver wit h red velour interior) to mark Queen El­iz­a­bet h’s sil­ver ju­bilee ; Plus t he up­mar­ket Town Car, in­tended to com­bat the States­man Caprice. Some 250 and 400 were made of each.

Un­der the sheet metal, you scored some fairly high-end me­chan­i­cals. A 351 Cleve­land 2V was ap­pointed to shift the 1800kg lump, backed by a t hree-speed auto and a version of t he com­pany’s famed nine-inch dif­fer­en­tia l.

You got four-wheel disc bra kes a ll round, up­graded dampers and roll bars and vari­able-ra­tio power steer­ing. If you ticked enough op­tions, leat her interior and elec­tric seats were part of t he f it-out.

Rear seat room in these things is gen­er­ous – the rear doors are enor­mous (ex­tended by some 12cm), though the front in this ex­am­ple was less gen­er­ous wit h t he op­tiona l elec­tric seat ad­just­ment in place. That can limit t he range of t he t hrones, which is not an is­sue for av­er­age-sized folk, but ta ll driv­ers will f ind it a litt le more rest ricted t han idea l.

RIGHT Ford made sure this thing came with tough and sim­ple me­chan­i­cals.

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