There is Bill’s Burger Bar, and Bill’s Gay Nineties, and then there is Bill’s Van & 4x4 Center on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, where you can often find relics of The French Connection-era New York, like this ‘72 LTD.
It is said Bunkie Knudsen brought the beak-like front-end with him from Pontiac when we left there for Ford in 1968. Mr. Knudsen was not with Ford long. Lee Iacoccoa fired him in 1969, but this dramatic look was applied to the Thunderbirds and LTDs of the early seventies.
This dated-looking living-room-on-wheels is what comes of designing chiefly for the showrooms, the dealers’ lots, and magazine adverts of 1966 America. The styling of this 4,390 lb. behemoth clearly had nothing to do with aerodynamics, or anything else that might aid performance. Where the angled grille on 1966 models at least suggested motion, the perfectly vertical form here suggests stasis.
Just think of what American engineers and stylists might have been able to accomplish had they focused their efforts on efficiency, safety, and functionality.