The FC LTD marked many changes in LTD history, just as the XD Falcon had done for the Falcon name when it was released 3 months before. The FC had been on the drawing boards for quite a while, with many mods to the design along the way, but was still released well ahead of Ford's schedule, in June of 1979. As with previous models of LTDs, such as the P6, there was a distinct difference between the appearance of the LTD and the Fairlane.

The FC was 172kg lighter, 92mm narrower and 342mm shorter than the previous P6 model. To add to this, many technological steps and improvements in all aspects shaped the new FC, and it brought along a whole new face to the LTD name. Despite all this, the FC suffered disappointing sales compared to that of the P6, which caused more of a sensation selling 5900 units. The FC sold a mere 3980 units. Many consider the FC LTD to be one of the most underrated LTDs of all time - if not the only. Throughout its life, the LTD has always enjoyed a lot of popularity and a rather sweet reputation, yet the FC was the first model not to "takeoff" as had been expected.

Countless exterior differences from the P6 meant a whole new image for the LTD, and it incorporated a longer wheelbase, yet decreased front and rear overhangs, plus an increase in leg and head room for all passengers. The now distinct LTD grille had been carried through to the FC, with a shiny chrome surround and the usual hood ornament overhead. For once, the Ford badge was sported on the left bottom corner of the grille. The outer front panels were moulded 18mm backward from the edges of the grille, at the same time extending outwards by a few centimetres to create a small gap between each side of the grille and the headlamps. The orange turn indicator lenses shared the front corners of each side with the bumpers and led to the all new design. Although a longer wheelbase was featured on the FC, the turning circle had been tightened to just 12.7m. Chrome wheel arch liners extended to line the rear bumpers, immediately below the very well known tail lamps of shared by the FC and FD models.

The tail lamp lenses of these models have been the subject of much controversy, as some believe they are too dark, and are too inconspicuous. However, when, for example, a driver applies brakes, it is quite evident that the globes underneath the lenses produce more than adequate light to represent the correct signal at the correct magnitude. The darkened lenses are purely for styling and cosmetic reasons, and have no bearing whatsoever on the vehicle's safety, nor anyone else's safety whilst on the road.

Standard features on a new FC included Alloy wheels, "Reaction Injection Moulded" bumpers (new at the time), central door locking, a newly developed warning system capable of informing the driver of inoperative lights, brake status, alternator and radiator status. Finally, an AM/FM radio was now a standard feature! Wow!

Sitting from any of the leather upholstered seats, visibility was drastically improved by the new design. To add to this, noise levels were decreased, comfort increased, fuel economy from the standard 5.8L V8 improved, and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) incorporated to top the lot. Twin head restraints for rear seat occupants were now standard, as a safety measure in the event of a rear crash.

As to be expected, a special edition of the LTD was released, this time it was called the "Cartier Edition". At the time, it was described in advertisements as pure "Luxury, elegance and sheer good taste. All put together in a distinctively styled version of LTD". All Cartier Edition models of the FC came finished in a spectacular sparkling Champagne colour, accompanied by marone pin striping and a choice of either matching velour or leather upholstery inside. Cartier logos were sported on the rear most side window, the bootlid centre-badge and glove compartment. Added to the special edition as standard features were unique Cartier items such as a key purse, a coin bag and a ladies' purse to match. The Cartier Edition was available for about $2000 extra above the starting price for an FC.

Despite a highly polished luxurious and elegant image put together by Ford for the FC, the LTD still handled very well on the road, even at speed, and was a vast improvement on the P6. It was described as having "good road grip, excellent handling and finesse, regardless of conditions" by reviewers at the time.

Altogether, the FC was indeed highly underrated, despite a lot of good publicity. This may have contributed to the slower and decreased sales. Aside with the minor setback, Ford weren't prepared to let their hard work go to waste just like that, so they gave it one more shot in early 1982, with the introduction of the FD.


June 1979 - March 1982

3980 built



Ford FC LTD Photographs

Ford FC LTD Technical Data