The Modern LTD. . .

Although the DA LTD had a refined 3.9L 6 cylinder Alloy Head engine, accompanied by a 3 speed Automatic Transmission (4 speed in the DA II), the car was lacking that extra roar of sheer grunt.

The introduction of the DC series LTD in July 1991 saw the return of the 5.0L V8 to Fords. The new V8 now generated 165kW of power and was accompanied with a 4 speed automatic transmission. The 3.9L 6 was still available, however was not as popular, due to the smaller power delivery. As usual, a whole swag of improvements were made to the DA II to come up with the DC, even though both models looked similar.

External changes which produced the DC comprised of body coloured bumpers, clear lens turn indicators, more stylish and conspicuous rear badging and applique, unique pinstriping and blacker door handles.

The interior was now a fully upgraded version of the DA II, with full leather upholstery as standard, a state of the art Alpine cassette, radio and CD player with 6 speaker sound. Front seats were now almost fully electric, with only rake adjustment left to do by hand.

The DC series II was released in May 1992, and caused as much of a sensation as the DC did initially. The 6 cylinder option was now a 4.0L EFI 6, which took over the previous 3.9L.

The DC/DC II was a popular car, selling out at 1880 units. The DC/DC II LTD was unique in that it had little resemblance to the Falcon/Fairmont of the same time period. As seen previously, some LTDs had no resemblance to other members of the Ford family at all. Unfortunately, the unique image of the LTD was to change in March of 1995.

The new DF LTD was based very closely on the EF Falcon/Fairmont range, and didn't look as distinguished or unique as what LTDs usually do. The front looked frighteningly similar to the Falcon/Fairmont range, and did not suit the fleet flagship very well.

Apart from losing some of the usual LTD class and style, the DF LTD managed (somehow) to maintain a strong luxury image, despite many similarities to the Fairlane, and other Fords. Nevertheless, the lighting and window arrangement suited the over streamlined body of the Ford well, but that couldn't outweigh the lack of speciality that most expect from the LTD.

As with the DC/DC II, the DF came with a 5.0L V8 and 4 speed automatic transmission as standard features, and held chrome plated rims and a steel crossmember on the bootlid bearing the LTD logo. These are about the only external features apart from the unique LTD grille and statuette that could set the LTD apart from the NF Fairlane.

Ford had reverted back to the conventional needle & dial setup for speed and RPM in the panel, and the only digital features still displayed were the 4 funtion trip computer and clock, and the odometer and car map. SRS airbags were now standard for driver and front passenger, as was leather interior shared by the NF Fairlane and EF Fairmont Ghia. Suprisingly, sales of the DF and DF II (introduced 1996) did not plummet due to an increased amount of similarities to other Fords.

In 1997, Ford released the much awaited DL LTD, but many had their own expectations, after seeing that the EL Falcon/Fairmont range looked virtually the same. Not suprisingly, the only change to the DF II was differently shaped rims, and there was the DL, which ceased in 1999.

Over a time span of more than 25 years, Ford has generated a lot of fans and excitement about their fleet flagship, the LTD. They're now into the 10th model of LTD, the AU, which appears to be a much nicer car than the previous DL, but as it stands, it doesn't look like we'll ever see anything as phenomenal as the P5 ever again.

On the other hand, the LTD has always been distinct, unique and a special piece of machinery, some sources terming it "its own genre of automobile", and rightly so. Regardless of how many nice cars exist in the world, there will always be one that has a particular air about it, and that stands out in the carpark. Nothing can beat it: The Ford LTD.