I always assumed that the Ltd in Ford LTD stood for Limited - as in exclusive, limited production - that sort of thing. Not so, apparently. It seems there’s no definitive answer to the question of what LTD is supposed to stand for.
Popular opinion points to Lincoln Type Design, but there are many who believe otherwise. It seems Ford has never produced a definitive statement on the matter, or if they have, I've never found mention of it.
A recent post on a Ford forum claimed to see a Ford hubcap in the 1960s with the words ‘Lincoln Thunderbird Design’.
Then there’s the book Super 60’s Fords which states LTD stands for Luxury Trim Decor.
Who really knows, and more importantly - who cares?
And while on the subject of names for 1970s Aussie luxo barges, what about the daftly named Chrysler By Chrysler? Who the hell else would the Chrysler be made by - Chrysler By Ford...Chrysler By Holden perhaps? Couldn't they have borrowed one of the tried and tested nameplates from the US Chrysler stable - Newport, Imperial, LeBaron or Cordoba? Anything but...Chrysler By Chrysler.
The Chrysler sedan was never a big seller, though it wasn’t a disaster either (whereas the hardtop version most definitely was) The first road test comparisons of the CbyC, Fairlane and Statesman had the big Chrysler come out on top in terms of all round performance and features. The biggest drawback was without doubt the styling - which didn’t differentiate enough from the plain jane Valiant sedan on which it was based.
Both Ford and Holden were more successful in disguising the origins of their equivalent LWB luxo barges. Though it took Holden a couple of attempts - the earlier Brougham sedan too obviously a dressed up Kingswood with a huge boot tacked on.
As for the Statesman, what did you call more than one - Statesmans, or Statesmen? I’m still trying to figure that one out. And despite Holden putting the name to rest for six years from 1985-91, it’s the last of the local LWB luxury cars, having outlived the CbyC by forty odd years, and the LTD/Fairlane twins by close to ten years by the time production lines close for good in late 2017.
Names aside - from 1971 through to the final Chrysler By Chrysler of 1976, Australians had five glorious years to choose from one of three local long wheelbase luxury sedans. Luxury car buyers were spoiled for choice with the fully loaded, hidden headlight LTD, the full house Statesman Caprice, or a Chrysler by Chrysler with electric leather armchairs and the biggest of the V8s at 360 cubes. We’d never be so lucky again...