Ford LTD FA
1973 - 1976
|351ci Cleveland V8
|290 bhp (216 kW)
|3 spd. auto
The LTD was launched as Ford's new flagship model,
replacing versions of the imported US Galaxie.
It marked a bold initiative by Ford, determined to
capture the local top of the range market and become
the mainstream luxury limousine of choice for government
and business, but Ford were not the only Australian car
company heading down that road, General Motors gave up the
Impala in favour ot the Aussie built Holden Statesman, and
Chrysler began the manufacture of the "Chrysler by Chrysler".
Happy to alter the basic structure
of Falcon/Fairlane and absorb the cost in the pursuit
of market share, the LTD represented a stretching
of the chassis, acquiring more length most noticeably
in the rear doors and roof.
Powered by arguably the best engine going around at the time,
the Cleveland 351ci, the LTD may have been a little on the
heavy side to provide spirited performance, but as a swift
executive limousine the car excelled.
But the FA got off to a rather shaky start. A crippling
production strike at Ford's Broadmeadows plant put paid
to the company's plans for a big production run during the
first year of manufacture.
But once these problems were sorted, the FA LTD (and Landau)
began selling in the numbers Ford had anticipated, and
production grew to between 3000 - 4000 per year.
Interior appointments were of the finest that could be fitted, and so well-equipped
were the cars that the options list was almost negligible.
Most people assume that the LTD name was derived, as
for the US equivalent, from the term Limited, or
alternatively Lincoln Thunderbird Division.
indicates that, in Australia, the letters were changed
to reflect something a little more meaningful - the
acronym instead standing for "Lincoln Type Design" and
was a measure of Ford Australia's aspirations for
Once again, a two letter code was used to
differentiate the models. It is immediately apparent
that although the basic form of the car is based on the
XA/XB Falcon and the ZF/ZG Fairlane, Ford made efforts
to move the LTD up-market, both in scale and style. The
car featured a distinctive grille with head lamps hidden
behind vacuum operated doors. Tail lamps appeared
full width at the rear, but design regulations prevented
them from being sequential in operation, and the
wheel trims, while proving to be vulnerable, added
to the impression of style.
The 121.0 inch (3085mm) wheelbase afforded a huge amount
of interior space, and Ford
referred to the LTD as "a true limousine design".
There was even a limited edition town car manufactured, which
included bonnet, bootlid and body style striping, Town Car
badge work and a color-keyed cavalry twill vinyl roof. The
Town Car was available in either Burgundy or Classic Grey.
Inside there was a black leather key ring, Knirps folding
umbrella and an under dash stowage bin.
Being released in August,
1973, some months before the XB GT Falcon, the LTD
also has the distinction of introducing four wheel
disk brakes onto the local Australian market. Selling for $7700,
it was considerably less than comparable imports and so, at
that price point, caused quite a sensation on release. While
officially titled the FA, the first LTD was also known
as the P5. The FA/P5 was manufactured between August 1973
and September 1976, and 7003 were produced.