Most of us seem to have assumed that the Ltd in Ford LTD stands for ‘Limited’. As in exclusive, limited production, prestige. Not so, apparently. It seems there’s no definitive answer to the question of what LTD stands for in a Ford context. When reviewing the first LTD released in 1965, Car Life magazine couldn’t get an answer from Ford, and so presumed that it stood for nothing.
In Australia, popular opinion points to Lincoln Type Design - which is what Ford Australia PR told the local motoring press. It’s widely believed the local Ford PR people simply made that up in the hope that Lincoln prestige would rub off on the local product (Lincolns were never sold downunder). 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. Another theory has it representing Limited Trim Designation.
Then there’s the book Super 60’s Fords which states LTD stands for Luxury Trim Decor.
They can’t all be right, and perhaps Car Life were right when they surmised that LTD doesn’t stand for anything in particular. It doesn’t really matter in the long run - the LTD badge appeared on some pretty damn cool cars not only in the US but also Canada, Brazil, South-East Asia and Australia…and that’s the important thing.
So when you think of a Ford LTD you can make up anything you like - Luxurious Two Door, or Love To Death, but my favorite is Living The Dream.