1972 Ford LTD Brougham: Triple Black Beauty

Share
1972 Ford LTD Brougham Triple Black Klockau Classics
Thomas Klockau

Brougham. It got started in the 1960s, at least with the “low-priced three” trio of Ford, Plymouth, and Chevrolet. Both Chevrolet and Ford offered a luxury full-size starting in 1965 as a special package on the Impala and Galaxie 500, respectively. Plymouth joined the fray in ’66 with the VIP, essentially a super-luxury version of the Fury III two- and four-door hardtops, although it didn’t have nearly as much success as the Ford and Chevy. The VIP disappeared after 1969, but the later Fury Gran Coupe and Gran Fury models took over from 1970–77.

Ford

One way to describe the LTD was a Mercury interior in a Ford body, with extra exterior frosting. Seats and door panels were much more plush and Marquis-like, and 1969–70 models even received concealed headlamps just like the Lincoln Continental Mark III and 1967–69 Thunderbird. For the 1971 model year, all full-size Fords, from stripped out taxi-spec pillared sedans to loaded, climate controlled woody Country Squire wagons and LTD convertibles, were totally restyled. I remember them best from the 1971 films The French Connection and Diamonds Are Forever.

Ford

The 1971s had an even more-pronounced, longer, lower, and wider look. A narrow, deep grille with flanking deep-set quad headlamps and “power dome” hood suggested plenty of oomph and luxury class aspirations. Though the Custom/Custom 500 and Galaxie 500 came standard with a mere 240-cubic-inch six. LTDs and LTD Broughams came with a two-barrel 351 V-8. Naturally, larger engines were available, but you had to pay.

Hemmings

For 1972, the then-expected annual model change meant all big Fords got a revised grille with a new, more horizontal pattern. The top part of the bumper went all the way from side to side for better protection; the 1971 Ford’s beak was rather susceptible to parking lot bumps and bruises, much like the 1970–71 “Bunkie beak” Thunderbirds. Out back, the taillights moved down into the rear bumper itself.

Hemmings

The LTD was no longer the strictly top-of-the-line car by 1972, as an even fancier LTD Brougham subseries had been added above it in ’70. Still, even the basic LTD was pretty well equipped for an early ’70s domestic: power front disc brakes, electric clock, plush seat trim and door panels, chrome pedal trim, wide bright bodyside moldings, 351-cu-in V-8, SelectShift automatic transmission, heater-defroster, and power ventilation.

Hemmings

Then there was the LTD Brougham. It was-naturally-Broughamier. And even a plain LTD was pretty impressive. These were very large cars: 218.4 inches long with a 121-inch wheelbase. Just to give you an idea, a new Rolls Royce Phantom has a 149-inch wheelbase and overall length of 227 inches. So this was a lot of car for folks in the suburbs.

Hemmings

The biggest difference could be found inside. As the brochure related, LTD Broughams included a “deep-cushioned High Back Flight Bench seat … lustrous new cloth and vinyl fabrics, soft and supple, come in Black, Dark Red, Medium Blue, Medium Green, Gray Gold, or Tobacco. Thick cut-pile carpeting, in the same decorator colors, adds elegance.”

Hemmings

Brougham identification graced the sail panels and door panels, and Broughams got full wheel covers, instead of the chrome hub caps seen on lesser LTDs, Galaxie 500s, and Customs. But the main draw was that extra-fancy interior. Mechanically and dimensionally, it was the same as the cheaper big Fords. Three Brougham models composed the series: $4047 four-door sedan, $4090 four-door hardtop, and $4050 two-door hardtop. The coupe was the most popular, with 50,409 produced for 1972.

Ford

Being an American car of the early ’70s, many options were available—things that are standard now on probably 85 percent of 2022 cars: power seats, power windows, power locks, tilt-wheel cruise control, power trunk release, and a reclining front passenger seat. You’d think a model with “Brougham” in its name would have power windows as standard, but alas, they too cost extra.

Ford

One cool new option for 1972 LTDs was a power-operated sunroof. While common today’s cars, it was a pretty novel feature 50 years ago. The take rate was very low, but it remained an option through 1978. Thirteen standard paint colors and three “Glamour” metallic paint choices were available. Being 1972, greens, yellows, and browns were popular.

Hemmings

Despite the midsized Torino, compact Maverick, and subcompact Pinto, Ford was still selling plenty of full-sized cars. In 1972 a total of 475,292 LTDs were produced, in addition to 269,199 Galaxie 500s and 87,782 Custom/Custom 500s.

Hemmings

And if that wasn’t enough, 1,855,201 Fords of all types were built in ’72 for the U.S. market. It was the first time Ford Motor Company sold more than three million vehicles in a year—presumably including all FoMoCo products sold worldwide.

Hemmings

This was the last year for slender bumpers on most domestic cars. Come 1973, the new 5-mph safety bumpers would be required up front, along with 5-mph back bumpers in 1974. Some makes added large bumper guards as a stopgap, but the redesigned 1973 big Fords would jump in with both feet—with massive “park bench” bumpers front and rear. And indeed, on most all Fords, Lincolns, and Mercurys.

Hemmings

I spotted this most excellent example back in December on Hemmings. According to the ad, which was still live at the time of this writing, “1972 Ford LTD Brougham, triple black, 429-cu-in engine, automatic, 90 percent original, right front fender has been replaced, strong engine and trans, tire smoker! Daily driver, has one rust spot right quarter panel in front of tire. Drive anywhere.

Hemmings

“Not perfect, but #3 car runs great, stops straight, good interior. I have too many vehicles and need a good home for this fun car. Clock works, radio doesn’t. 92,200 miles. $11,000.” Plus, it had the four-barrel 429 CID V-8 instead of the standard 351, so I bet she hauls—with class!

Hemmings
Share Leave comment
Read next Up next: Dune riding at Wheels and Waves is heaven on sand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.