1980 Ford LTD is as good as a Rolls Royce at something

In 1965 Ford tried to sell potential LTD buyers on the fact it was quieter than a Rolls Royce because, as well all know, interior noise is a huge factor in car buying. 15 years later, even though the LTD's low decibel advantage had turned into a barely audible tie, Ford was still proud of that fact the LTD was as good as the Rolls at something.


Long time weekend Jalopnik readers may recall my predecessor's classic ad watch feature of Ford's vintage advertisement in which the new for 1965 LTD out-quieted a Rolls Royce. At several different speeds, the '65 LTD was shown to be several decibels quieter than the significantly more expensive Rolls. 15 years after the original Ford set out to prove the LTD could still beat a Rolls Royce at something besides affordability. When it came time to go testing, Ford engineers quickly found out it couldn't, and this uninspiring commercial was born.

Beyond the fact we don't think anyone in the market for an LTD would purchase a Rolls Royce (or vice versa), Ford's enthusiastic celebration of comparable interior noise leaves us puzzled. Was the 1980 LTD really so bad it's interior noise levels were all it had to brag about? Did the Ford actually think this decibel draw would sway potential Rolls buyer's to purchase the LTD? Why bring back an advertising campaign from 15 years earlier to show your competitor is improving?

While these questions (and many more) will likely remain unanswered, it isn't much of a stretch to assume the $57,700 price difference between the two cars in 1980 had more impact on car buyers than any decibel meter in the world ever could.


I would have thought that Ford would have made a comparison test with a Chevrolet, not a Rolls Royce.