Unique Cars - - LUXO LAND YACHTS -

In some­thing that reads like a sort of dra­matic tragedy, the Ford Landau was con­ceived for a lo­cal niche mar­ket that was un­proven( lux­ury hard­tops, or per­sonal lux­ury ve­hi­cles in Amer­i­can-speak ), while it bor­rowed heav­ily from USA in­flu­ences for its spec and styling. It was the lat­ter t hat would prove to be its down­fall – just a bit too much for lo­cal tastes.

This is of course said with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight. On paper, the Landau was an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion. A two-door al­ter­na­tive to the fairly suc­cess­ful LTD sedan, it car­ried sim­i­lar me­chan­i­cal spec: 351 Cleve­land power plant, three-speed auto, nine-inch-diff and( un­usu­ally for lo­cal cars) four-wheel disc brakes. The 290hp power claim sug­gested rea­son­able urge, though the car was run­ning a pos­i­tively lazy fi­nal 2.75 fi­nal drive that worked on t he high­way but clipped its ac­cel­er­a­tion.

In­side you were treated to air-con and power steer­ing as stan­dard, a long wit h re­clin­ing bucket seats and a richly-up­hol­stered interior done out in Howe leather.

Pric­ing was up there. When a GT Hard­top with auto would set you back around $ 5600, a Landau was priced at a heft y $ 6900.

Aside from t he overa ll brutish looks, t he one cos­metic fea­ture t hat rea lly stood out was t he cra z y-look ing wheel cov­ers. They’re in fact a Thun­der­bird item, wit h a colour-coded sticker over t he cen­tre. You can still buy t hem as new-old stock in t he USA, a lbeit wit h a dif fer­ent cen­tre.

The his­tor y of t hese cars is sim­i­lar to quite a few odd­ball loca ls. Ini­tia l sa les were slow, wit h just 1385 made. There was a pe­riod there where you couldn’t give them away and the ver y de­sir­able me­chan­i­cals were pulled out to power ot her projects.

Now? Ever yone wants one and the prices have ta ken of f again. Tim­ing is ever y t hing...

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