This is an authentic 1977 Ford LTD police car that originally saw service with the Ohio Police Department in the late 1970s before being comprehensively converted to LAPD specification by “Cop Cars By Rick” in 2007.
The Ford LTD (pronounced “el-tee-dee”) was originally introduced as a luxury option for the Ford Galaxie before becoming its own model series in 1966. It was popular with police departments due to the spacious interior, large trunk, and for the hefty V8s it was offered with that made it suitable for highway pursuit duties.
Fast Facts – The Ford LTD
- The Ford LTD was sold over four model generations between 1965 and 1986, these cars were typically among the largest and most luxurious offered by Ford at the time of their release, and they were commonly used by police departments.
- No one really knows what “LTD” stands for and Ford has always remained ambiguous on the subject. Some believe it stands for “Limited,” some say it’s for “Luxury Trim Decor,” and others still believe it meant “Lincoln Type Design.”
- Each generation of the Ford LTD had a luxurious interior with ample space, a large trunk, and many high-end features normally seen on more expensive Ford nameplates like Lincoln and Mercury.
- The 1977 Ford Ltd you see here is a former Ohio police car that was converted to LAPD specification, it’s now being offered for sale and it was previously being used as a wedding car.
The Ford LTD – “El Tee Dee”
The Ford LTD started life as the Ford Galaxie 500 LTD, a luxurious package of features and options applied to the Galaxie 500 that included power windows, a power driver’s seat, power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, a plush cloth interior with woodgrain accents, and a number of other highly desirable additions.
The LTD proved popular enough that Ford launched it as its own model in 1966 and sold it purely as the Ford LTD. The first generation of cars was made from 1965 until 1968, the second generation of LTDs began production in the 1969 model year based on a lengthened chassis and an entirely new body and look.
The smallest engine you could have in your second generation Ford LTD was the 302 cubic inch (4.9 liter) Windsor V8. Over the course of the 10 year production run seven different engines could be optioned including the 351 Cleveland, the 390 Thunderbird Special, up to the 460 cubic inch (7.5 liter) V8 on the top end.
As tastes changed towards the end of the 1970s and into the 1980s the LTD series became smaller and a little lighter. Emissions regulations played some part in this, but in general, many new car buyers were looking for something more practical than the land yachts of old.
The 1977 Ford LTD LAPD Police Car Shown Here
The car you see here will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever seen a film or television show based in the 1970s that included a police chase. The LTD was popular with police departments across the country, with the 460 V8 engine option being sought after for high speed pursuit use.
The physical size of the second-gen LTD made it ideal for police use as it could fit up to six passengers inside and the trunk was large enough to carry equipment. Police could squeeze up to three suspects at a time into the back of the car, and when they weren’t rounding up criminals the car was a comfortable, luxurious place for them to spend their days.
The car you see here started life as a real Ohio police car according to the seller, as mentioned in the introduction it was later converted to LAPD specification by “Cop Cars By Rick.”
Interestingly, the car was being used for weddings up until recently, it would certainly be a good way of getting unusual wedding pictures as the bride or groom arrives by ’70s cop car with the lights and sirens blaring.
The car is currently for sale with The Market by Bonhams, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of The Market by Bonhams
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