Ford Landau Review

By: Unique Cars magazine

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On paper, the Landau was an attractive proposition...

In something that reads like a sort of dramatic tragedy, the Ford Landau was conceived for a local niche market that was unproven (luxury hardtops, or personal luxury vehicles in American-speak), while it borrowed heavily from USA influences for its spec and styling. It was the latter that would prove to be its downfall – just a bit too much for local tastes. This is of course said with the benefit of hindsight. On paper, the Landau was an attractive proposition. A two-door alternative to the fairly successful LTD sedan, it carried similar mechanical spec: 351 Cleveland powerplant, three-speed auto, nine-inch diff and (unusually for local cars) four-wheel disc brakes. The 290hp power claim suggested reasonable urge, though the car was running a positively lazy final 2.75 final drive that worked on the highway but clipped its acceleration.

Inside you were treated to air-con and power steering as standard, along with reclining bucket seats and a richly-upholstered interior done out in Howe leather.

| Market review: Ford Landau ZC-ZK 351/LTD/Landau

Pricing was up there. When a GT Hardtop with auto would set you back around $5600, a Landau was priced at a hefty $6900.

Aside from the overall brutish looks, the one cosmetic feature that really stood out was the crazy-looking wheel covers. They’re in fact a Thunderbird item, with a colour-coded sticker over the centre. You can still buy them as new-old stock in the USA, albeit with a different centre.

The history of these cars is similar to quite a few oddball locals. Initial sales were slow, with just 1385 made. There was a period there where you couldn’t give them away and the very desirable mechanicals were pulled out to power other projects.

Now? Everyone wants one and the prices have taken off again. Timing is everything...


VALUE RANGE: Ford Landau coupe

FAIR: $24,000
GOOD: $38,000
EXCELLENT: $69,000

(Note: exceptional cars will demand more)

 

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