At $15,000, Could You be Tempted by This 1978 Ford LTD II Time Capsule?

This Malaise-era coupe is in amazing condition and sports what the seller touts is a rare graphics package.

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Nice Price or No Dice 1978 Ford LTD II
Photo: Craigslist

Despite its name, today’s Nice Price or No Dice LTD II isn’t a sequel to Ford’s biggest car, but a model that slotted in beneath. That odd naming choice aside, there’s a lot to like about this still-big coupe. Let’s see if that includes its price.

It’s pretty easy to determine the “use-by” date when it comes to short-lived products such as milk. Typically, the carton will tell you via the date on the side. And, if you’re too bleary-eyed to read that, a quick sniff or taste will confirm the chuggability. It’s a much harder determination, however, when it comes to cars. Take yesterday’s 2011 BMW 750i Sport as an example. It’s almost twelve years old and is a super-complex piece of machinery. Even well maintained as averred in the ad, its age could spell trouble down the road. Now, at $13,995, its price puts it well within the reach of those who can’t afford trouble. Enough of you felt that a risk worth taking, giving the big Bimmer a 72 percent Nice Price win and pushing out its “use-by” date for at least a couple more years.

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Photo: Craigslist
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Plenty of years have gone by since today’s 1978 Ford LTD II coupe left the factory, although that’s not apparent by looking at it. Before we get into the weeds on this big Ford’s condition, tthough, let’s briefly review where it once fit within the company’s lineup back during the Carter administration. Positioned as an intermediate body size, the LTD II represented a consolidation of Ford’s expansive Torino, Grand Torino, and Elite model lines.

At the same time that Ford was shuffling the deck on these models, the company moved the Thunderbird down a notch to the LTD II’s platform from the one formerly shared with the brontosaurus-size Lincoln Mark V. That meant that the LTD II coupe shared much of its profile with the fancier Thunderbird.

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Image for article titled At $15,000, Could You be Tempted by This 1978 Ford LTD II Time Capsule?
Photo: Craigslist

The II would prove to be a stop-gap model awaiting the introduction of newer more efficient models both above and below it in Ford’s lineup. With the introduction of the Fairmont in 1977 and the Panther-based LTD Crown Victoria following in 1980, the LTD II’s ungainly size and the comparably small interior suddenly became viewed as uncompetitive. As a result, the model was dropped in 1979 after just three years in the dealers.

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This 98,000-mile coupe was built dead center of that run and looks to have been pampered ever since. The seller claims the unique graphic treatment to be all original and to be one of just three cars suspected to still exist wearing such a combo. Below that are some amazingly deep-dish Rallye wheels wearing, appropriately enough, raised white letter BFG Radial T/A tires. The car’s nose is notable for wearing stacked rectangular sealed beam headlamps. Those are paired with substantial fender fins on either side of its forward-canted egg crate grille. Out back, the massive sail panels create huge blind spots for the driver, but give the car proper proportions for its massive size.

Image for article titled At $15,000, Could You be Tempted by This 1978 Ford LTD II Time Capsule?
Photo: Craigslist
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The interior is all plastic and vinyl, right down to the skinny, hard-rimmed steering wheel with its unpleasantly sharp-edged cruise control buttons on the spokes. There’s some obvious wear on the center console, but otherwise, everything looks stellar. This being a pretty big car, there’s also plenty of room.

The ad notes that the car has a V8, but fails to disclose just which V8 that might be. That can be confusing since this model year, the coupe could be had with any one of four! A 302 cubic inch displacement engine served as the base motor, but alternatively, buyers could option up to a 351M, 351W, or, at least until this model year, a 400 CID 355-series V8. The benefit of the bigger mills was in torque as none of them produced much in the way of horsepower with even the top 400 only making a mere 166 ponies. A three-speed C4 automatic was the transmission of choice on the LTD II.

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Image for article titled At $15,000, Could You be Tempted by This 1978 Ford LTD II Time Capsule?
Photo: Craigslist

Per the ad, the title is clean and the seller states that they consider the price set for the sale to be fair considering the car’s rarity.

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That price is $15,000 and it’s now time for us to consider just how fair that might reasonably be. What’s your take on this survivor LTD II and that $15K price? Does that feel like a deal to get your malaise malarky on? Or, is that too much for a car that already was old before its time?

You decide!

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New Orleans, Louisiana, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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