Here’s what you’ve all been expecting from me. I tried to fight the urge to show off these four, but just couldn’t do it. I’m a weak man.
The second car I ever owned was a 1969 Ford LTD 2 door hardtop. I regularly packed over 10 teenagers in it (seatbelts, we don’ need no stinkin’ seatbelts). Yeah, not smart, but we never went far. Usually just from East High to the Village Inn a few blocks away.
Ever since then I’ve been in love with those huge, old Fords. In my 35 years of buying cars, I’ve owned ten LTDs and two Mercury Marquis (Marquises? Marquis’, Marquii?), which is the identical cousin to the LTD.
I bought the convertible in January of 1999, online from a dealership somewhere in Ohio or Iowa. That was the year they had a month of ice storms in the area and I had to wait 2 or 3 long weeks before they could ship it out to me. I can still remember them pulling it off the car carrier in the parking lot of Skyline High. White, with a bright red naugahyde interior, it was love at first sight. Other than having the engine rebuilt about 10 years ago, I’ve done very little to it, although right now it’s waiting for me to save the money for a new transmission.
It wasn’t until October of 2007 that I decided to add onto the collection. I always wished my first LTD had been a 4 door hardtop, straight out of Hawaii Five-0 and with that big opening in the side with all the widows down, it was the next best thing to a convertible. And even better in the winter. So I got online again and found this one in the L.A. area. Flew my two brother’s out there and it made it all the way back to Salt Lake City, smooth as silk, until the battery gave out on the exit ramp going to my brother’s house.
Around that same time I saw this wagon in a parking lot nearby and commented to my little brother that I’d love to add that one to my collection. Six months later he ran into the owner in another parking lot, got to talking to him, gave him my phone # and said that if he ever thought about selling it to give me a call. Six months after that, in July of 2008, he called and I bought.
In November of 2009 one of my brother’s neighbors mentioned an old LTD they had in the driveway that they were going to just have towed away. It was old, had been sitting for several years, a little bit rusty and was just taking up room. My brother and his wife (The Gearheads) said “Uh, No. We’ll give you a couple hundred bucks for it.” Then they made the mistake (or maybe intentionally) of telling me about it and agreed to let me have it. They didn’t really want the car, just hated seeing it go to scrap. So I paid $200 for it, put a new vinyl roof on it ($450), new dual exhaust ($450) and 4 new tires (hmm, about $450 also). Other than a couple bottles of gas stabilizer and a few tanks of gas to run out the years old gas in the tank, the car has been the best running and riding one of the bunch.
So, there’s my Quartet of Classic Cars.