The Ford LTD was introduced in September 1976 intended as a rival to some of the
prestigious brands from Britain and Europe.
Unashamedly big its styling was clean and crisp in the American manner. The wheelbase
was 3074mm, the longest of any modern passenger car in Australia. The engine continued
to be the well proven 5.8-litre V8, designed to meet newly introduced emission controls.
Transmission was the T-bar operated three-speed Cruisomatic and braking efficiency
through the four-wheel discs was increased with the addition of a larger capacity booster.
The Silver Monarch, a super-luxury optional version of the LTD, featured Stardust Silver
exterior paint with especially imported Normandy Grain, silver vinyl roof and Cranberry
Red crushed velour cloth seats and door trim as well as white sidewall tyres. Other
metallic exterior finishes were available in Regency colours of blue, green, lime and
The LTD came equipped with variable ratio power steering, power-operated windows, air
conditioning and heater demister system, tinted side and rear glass, two-speed wipers and
washers, flow-through ventilation, foot-operated parking brake, as many interior lights as
would ever be needed, 24-hour clock, laminated windscreen and front seatbelts to name
just a few of the standard features.
This front engined, rear drive luxury sedan was powered by a 5.8-litre V8 fuelled through a
Carter four barrel carburettor which developed 162kW at 4,500rpm and capable of
180km/h top speed in third gear from its automatic transmission. Front suspension
comprised rubber bushed upper arms, angle poised ball joint type, coil springs with a
torsion bar ride stabiliser and anti-dive geometry. The rear suspension used semi-elliptical,
variable rate leaf springs with diagonally mounted hydraulic shock absorbers, rubber
bushed shakles and ISO-clamp axle mounting.
Developed to give more precise handling and road holding for long distance touring, an
option was available to improve handling comprising heavy duty shock absorbers,
increased fade resistant brakes and a slightly increased ride height. Coupled with a long
range fuel tank (79.5 litres) and either of the factory fitted towing options to tow a boat or
caravan made the LTD an excellent long distance tourer. Practical as well as prestigious,
the big LTD made light work of towing up to 1587kg of cruising boat. They were also
popular for pulling horse floats.
The long wheelbase contributed to the excellent legroom available to rear seat passengers
in their contoured seats. The rear seats featured their own air-conditioning ducts, ashtray,
cigar lighter and power window switch on each door, individual map pockets, a pull-down
central arm-rest and good forward vision afforded by the use of narrow front head
The dashboard was revised for the LTD with the crash pad lowered for better forward
visibility. The speedo was strip style with a series of warning lights. The parking brake was
foot-engaged with a twist handle release. To allow greater legroom, the steering wheel
was flattened on the bottom, giving an oval shape. Knee padding was placed below the
dash. However, in spite of the many opulent features, the stereo cassette player and
AM/FM radio were still optional extras.