V.I.S.I.T. – All's Right With The Universe Edition

One of these things is not like the other ones…

The vehicle you see directly before mine is a near virtual enigma:  An apparent 30+ year old daily-driver in pristine condition based somewhere in Frankfort KY, of which I’ve been graced random glimpses at inopportune times for the past several months.    It’s one of those cars that is not in itself otherwise noteworthy except for being a survivor in every sense.   And despite these pictures, it continues to elude…
You might for a moment imagine my elation upon exiting our local Big-Box USA Debtmart with family and cart in tow, and seeing the familiar shape of this green monstrosity sticking out of a parking space, just 3 days after I joined the 21st century with a new camera phone.   YES!   Not only can I get a closer look, I can photograph it too… and the owner even parked at the back of the lot for a clear unobstructed view! After casually stowing our imported necessities my excitement quickly dispersed to confusion, for upon backing out of the space and heading for my quarry, I was shocked to find it was gone?!  “He’s leaving too!” was the cry from my wife, dutifully on the point and directing my glances toward the unmistakable green silhouette now slinking away yet again, a veritable monster in Lot Ness.
I had no choice but that of desperation: follow its tracks as it amusingly tried to dart through two empty spaces to eke a shortcut to into the reverse-direction lane, nearly getting stuck owing to its massive size and turning orbit.  Oh foolish mortal, mock not lest ye be mocked yourself, and I found my lousy stupid #*%^$ FWD family truckster bloatwagon a near-victim of the same fate.   I had no choice – if I had gone the “right” way and all around, have you any idea the untold numbers of traffic and pedestrians ‘twould get between us?
Not to be outdone, several more questionable traffic maneuvers were enacted, and I wonder who was the more surprised:  Me – that the owner of such a car would actually drive in a hoon’s manner, leadfooting, shortcut-seeking, and becoming a 2nd-gen red light sneaker… or He –  that the crazy SOB in the minivan who mimicked his every move through that parking lot morass, became a 3rd-gen red-light sneaker behind him for no apparent reason?    (Remember kids, I’m a semi-pro idiot who does not condone such behavior, so do not try this at home).    But how could I not?    Turns out that was easy enough to decide: so when common sense wife-mandated errands ultimately prevailed, letting this car escape once more into the unwashed, road-salted masses, I took comfort nonetheless, for I now had a bonafide personality to equate to it.
Two lanes, three signals? Don't ask – it's Kentucky.

It just seems so very right that an elderly gentleman of apparent blue-collar ethic, with his straw Sunday driving hat on display at the ready for a break in the weather, would be the one to preserve and drive one of Ford’s (and indeed, perhaps all of Detroit’s) most questionably baroque malaise tanks.   In classic 70’s two-tone pea-soup-and-baby-yark green no less!    It’s not a hot-rod, a classic cruiser, a luxo-boat, or a hoonable sleeper, but having survived this long, it doesn’t need to be.  Just look at it: it mocks you and your soullessly efficient techno-appliance.  It laughs at your over-engineered road rocket.  It spits on your restored over-compensator.   It can do this, because it and its driver just are, by virtue of their very continued existence, and that’s all they need to be.  They are the silent middle fingers that lend balance to our overeager vulgarity.
So whoever you are, Mr. Supergreen 1975 Ford LTD Squire Coupe Driver, I salute you.   Until we meet again and I finally have to cut you off so I can get a better picture.   Out of due respect of course, so please don’t take it personally… and please don’t hit me for spite.  Your car would win (unless I’m driving the Angstmobile… then it might get interesting).

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  1. engineerd Avatar

    René Descartes said, "Cogito ergo sum." This is usually translated as, "I think, therefore I am." I think that this car and it's driver exemplify a similar, yet more hoontastic, philosophy. "Exsisto odio tempus temporis." Loosely translated, this would be "Exist despite time." Cars like this have seen the great majority of the vehicle produced alongside them rust away, sent to the crusher, or driven over by monster trucks. That's what makes the survivor that much more special. The car may not have been anything groundbreaking, and in fact may have been a hateful chunk of metal. However, the fact that is exists despite time makes us perk up and take notice.

  2. citroen67 Avatar

    Did you say coupe? I like the two-door examples of this particular design of LTD. Sadly, being from Michigan, the last time I saw one of those it made the 'Uncle Buck' LTD look like a Pebble Beach show car.

  3. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Uncle Buck's LTD is one of the greatest unheralded Movie Cars of our time. I will, someday, have my own car that can similarly backfire on cue.

    1. citroen67 Avatar

      You can't forget the complete lack of functioning rear shock absorbers(and the gigantic CB whip) just to round off the overall look and feel of that ride. 🙂

  4. LTDScott Avatar

    Squire Coupe? So someone lopped the rear end and back doors off a wagon?
    For some reason, these LTDs seem to be fairly common survivors.

  5. Goingincirclez Avatar

    What were the trim levels on LTDs of this era? I thought "Squire" was a trim level in addition to a Wagon designator in its own right. I thought "Brougham" but then wasn't sure if that was a GM-only mark. You'll have to forgive me, Ford has always been pretty schizophrenic with naming and trim / badging conventions. This one was a little more high-end than your basic LTD model.
    There should be a number of survivors out there: these were popular fleet cars and pretty durable and reliable for their time. That said, I can't remember the last one I'd seen… much less in this condition.

  6. scroggzilla Avatar

    I half expect Frank Cannon or Barnaby Jones to step outta that LTD.

  7. LTDScott Avatar

    You're kinda right. Squire by default = station wagon, but it was the uplevel model with wood siding.

  8. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The Ranchero Squire begs to differ:
    <img src=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c1/1970RancheroSquire.jpg/800px-1970RancheroSquire.jpg width=500>

  9. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The Ranchero Squire begs to differ:
    <img src=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c1/1970RancheroSquire.jpg/800px-1970RancheroSquire.jpg width=500>

  10. LTDScott Avatar

    Right you are, Ken. But I was referring to LTDs. You will not find an LTD sedan or coupe Squire.

  11. LTDScott Avatar

    Sorry, my reference was a little too obscure.

  12. Stumack Avatar

    Uncle Buck drove a Mercury Marquis, not an LTD.

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      Six of one…

    2. citroen67 Avatar

      Well, technically it was a Grand Marquis Brougham, but writing LTD is a lot easier, because let's face it…a Grand Marquis Brougham is nothing more than a re-badged LTD anyway.

  13. Froggmann Avatar

    Ahhh… the days of when cars were battleships and bumpers were made of metal… and you could bump them.

  14. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

    Incidentally, if you had said to the average car nut of 1975 that the LTD had soul, you would have provoked either stares of horror or gales of hysterical laughter. If you told a Classic car aficionado that someone (even state DMVs) would one day call it a classic with a straight face, they would have stalked off in a froth of offended sensibilities. In their day, these cars were considered the most soulless examples of rolling appliances imaginable.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      Doesn't need to be said, but compared to today's rolling appliances, that LTD is one awesome battleship. Makes me shudder to think what in the future will make a Camry of today look as cool as this LTD. Yeah, I hated those gigantic bumpers back then, but now I hardly notice them against the brobdignagian bodywork and sheer outrageousness of full wheel covers and Landau roofs. I always have loved big, wallowy, nautical cars like this, and they look better now than ever before.

      1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

        I think a lot of it is just familiarity. The thing that bugs me about the LTD and its mid-seventies contemporaries is that they all looked an awful lot alike, all lunching off the same neo-classical cues of the Lincoln Continental Mark III/IV/V. In their time, it was a sea of dreary sameness, and if you'd wandered in with a Camry, it would have been genuinely striking. (I would argue that Toyota recently seems to have embraced a similar love of nautical handling, but that's another matter…)
        There are only a very few cars that really stand out regardless of your time period. A Citroën DS, for example, looked like it was from Mars when it first appeared in 1954. Even though some of its aerodynamic concepts have become common, it still pretty much looks like a prop from a science fiction movie, as does the later SM. (I noticed with some amusement that the recent Battlestar Galactica and Caprica series have used Citroëns for background shots on the 12 Colonies; the producers said they wanted to have cars, but they didn't want ones that would be too easily pegged as belonging to some particular era.)

  15. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Ok, fine.
    Who's Ken?

  16. superbadd75 Avatar

    I hope you catch up to it one day. That thing looks immaculate, at least in the pics. Unbelievable that it still exists in such shape.

  17. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    There is a brown one of these cars, but a 4-door, that I see parked occasionally at local auto shows / swap meet-type things in the Detroit area, and I'm always amazed at the level of detail on the small parts.
    For example, the reverse lights are delicately detailed with ridges protruding, painted to make some kind of an intricate pattern. Wish I had a picture.