Today's Down On The Street car could be looked at two different ways. You could see it as a beat-up heap, suitable for nothing but lowering property values and no doubt owned by the evil silhouetted guy on the Neighborhood Watch signs, or you could look at it the way you'd look at a once-glorious mansion now fallen on hard times. I'm pretty sure you know where we stand on that question.
Well, maybe "mansion" is a stretch, but this is a big two-door hardtop, a reminder of a time when a great big Ford could be considered somewhat sporty.
As we all know, 1970 was the pinnacle of engine output prior to the Malaise Era decline. The standard engine for the '70 LTD was the 250-horse 2-barrel 351 Cleveland.
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However, the kind of man who would want to roll in a two-door hardtop shouldn't be expected to settle for the base engine. Oh no, he'd want something with more sap. Say, the 265-horse 390, available for a reasonable $86. But hey, why not spring for the 320-horse 429? Only 168 bucks!
However, were we to jump in the Jalopnik Time Machine and head down to the local Ford dealership, we'd pay whatever it took to have a Boss 429, with a U-joint-snapping (and probably underrated) 375 horsepower, factory-installed in our LTD. With 4-speed/bench seat combo, of course.
The big Ford for '70 (in four-door form and probably with the Custom nameplate) was a favorite among police departments back in the day. Look at that taillight- you can tell this car means business.
This LTD, which parks down on the Estuary waterfront a couple blocks from a very mean-looking Econoline pickup really doesn't look out of place in its industrial neighborhood, which is all sailmakers, outboard-motor repair shops, and the like. No property-value damage caused by its beaterosity (although how hard would it be to fix the flip-up headlights? Wait, don't answer that).
It's pretty rough, but a nice candidate as it sits for vintage Cragars, big-block, and Cherry Bombs.
tDown On The Street: 1972 Mercury Monterey [internal]