Bearing absolutely no family resemblance to the then current XC Falcon, the P6 LTD caused something of a sensation. It was first introduced in September 1976 and all up 5896 vehicles were built. It was eventually replaced by the FC LTD in June 1979.

The P6 was big and looked big. 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 LTD was intended as a rival to some of the prestigious brands from Britain and Europe. 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 bronze.

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.

Leather trim was an LTD option and gave the high-back front seats a real feel of a gentleman’s carriage. 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 restraints.

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.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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