Is this car Rare?
I own a 1978 Ford LTDII S It has factory T-Tops. I've never seen another car like it except
for mine, I've owned the car about 6 years and have tried researching the model and have
came up with nothing. Does anyone know about these cars? How many were produced,
How rare they are or what the factory options were? Any Info will be appreciated.
There sure isn't much information on them, you're right about that. They were only made for 3 years, 1977, '79 and '79. Related to the Ranchero Platform, Couldn't find sales numbers other than the '77 sold well then the sales were so poor for '78 and '79 Ford discontinued it. If you have not already seen this page take a look at: http://ltdii.webs.com/ ... there are links and photo galleries and here is a video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMafeIB5u08 ......and one more site: http://www.motorstown.com/imgs/38885-ford-ltd-ii-7.html ..this is a 1979, cant see the grille on your car
And this picture was from a Ford TV commercial for the 1978. the pictures will get full screen if you click on the image ..geez half the dang car is hood, and there were some pretty big engines available then, what's in your '78? 351 maybe? I bet that car would move...this was after the 1973 gas shortage but Ford and the other American car companies still made muscle cars.
Yes the engines is a .351W H/O The grille is the same on my car as the picture you provided
These cars were a restyle of the 72 - 76 Ford Torino. In fact the instrument clusters, both base and full, are the same, with different trim around them. They also shared a basic body structure with the Ford Thunderbird of the same years. The Thunderbird outsold all body styles of the LTD II AND Mercury Cougar combined. Most people who wanted a 2 door got the Thunderbird, as the up charge was quite reasonable for a car with a more up market image. Even on the Thunderbird the T-Top option was rare. I would imagine it is beyond rare on the LTD II. To be sure, I would invest in a Marti report for the car. That will tell you exactly how many were built, and how many of those were in that same colour. My instinct is that you may well have a factory one of one. Engines that were available started with the base 302 with 2 bbl carburetor. One up was the 351, and it was almost random whether that was a Windsor or Modified block, both fitted with a 2 bbl carburetor. The top engine choice was the 400 Modified block with 2 bbl carburetor. The Modified block was the old Cleveland block with a taller deck height to allow for the longer stroke of the 400. It was then underbored for the 351M, so it is not the same bore or stroke as the original Cleveland, even though the blocks are based on the same architecture. If you want a good improvement in both fuel economy and performance, put on a good dual 2 1/4 exhaust system with an X cross over, low restriction cats and Dynaflow or FlowMaster DeltaFlow mufflers. You'll gain about 20 horsepower and 5 mpg. The good thing about this mod is that it is a strictly bolt on affair and is easy to undo if you ever want to return the car to show condition. Tuned and set up right, you should be doing well over 20 miles to the U.S. gallon, even with the 351. My 78 Thunderbird with the 351M was doing almost 30 mpg measured with the Imperial gallon.
Mike, You are correct for the most part. Go have a look at the Ford 335 engine in Wikipedia. This article will take you trough the 351 Cleveland, the de-stroked 302C, the 400 and the de-stroked 400 the 351M. It will even cover the the naming confusion. I went to a Ford dealer in Houston in 1979 because someone told me that they were installing new Cleveland in new cars. They were calling the engines Cleveland's on the Monroney stickers,(window stickers) It said something like "351M (Cleveland) engine." they were definitely banking on the Cleveland glory. The 400 makes a hell of a lot of power when you up the compression. Have a look at Jon Kaase racing engines website.
When it comes to production numbers, there were something over 300,000 Thunderbirds produced in each of the 3 years, with an almost equal number of LTD II and Cougars built. So, in the 3 years, there were about 1.3 million cars on the Ford mid-sized platform built. Not exactly a sales flop. This was during the time of downsizing, and since the 79 LTD and Marquis were put onto the 2 door mid-sized frame, the mid-sized cars were moved down to the Fox platform uni-body. While the LTD II coupe, especially with T-roof is not common it is also a very easy car to get parts for and keep running very well indeed.