FORD LTD P6
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.