Fancy Falcon: 1974 Ford Landau

The Australian breed of muscle car isn’t especially rare, with GM, Ford, and Chrysler all building muscle cars somewhat analogous to their American counterparts. What was more rare was the Australian personal luxury car. ‘Personal luxury car’ isn’t a term we use in Australia, instead we prefer to call everything with two doors, regardless of it being a Toyota Corolla or a Rolls-Royce Corniche, a coupe – even if they might be a hardtop. Interestingly, the Landau never featured a landau roof, which is as much of a blatant lie as calling your eighth child “Precious”. Find this 1974 Ford Landau for sale in Williamstown, Victoria, for $20k AUD ($14,600 USD at the time of writing) via gumtree.

The Landau rode on the XB Falcon chassis, however, it borrowed its fascia from the upscale LTD sedan (Australia had its own Falcon-based LTD from 1970) to differentiate itself. Falcon coupe prices have risen considerably, helped no doubt by the Mad Max franchise, and the Landau has followed the same trajectory – $20k isn’t all that unreasonable.

The Landau featured an Australian-built 351 (5.8L) Cleveland V8 producing 290hp, driving the rear wheels through a three-speed automatic. Along with the LTD sedan, the Landau was the first Australian car to feature four-wheel disc brakes, and it came with an impressively small options list: leather seats, and a cassette deck. This car appears to have had both, although the cassette deck seems to have been left behind in a time when it was useful.

Clearly, this example is in need of a lot of body work, and there’s no word if the big V8 turns, runs, or drives, although the latter might be a bit much to ask. There’s a small rusthole behind the rear window on the driver’s side, and the whole rear portion of the car seems to have fairly deep surface rust. The engine bay looks like it was originally blue, so perhaps a return to factory colours would be possible during restoration. 

The Landau only lasted three years, with production ending in 1976, after only 1,385 were built. This would be a really interesting car at an Australian show or meet, but imagine taking it to a Cars & Coffee in the States: it’d be downright confusing.

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Michael is a teenager who’s been obsessed with cars since he was able to talk, but has no ability in mechanics whatsoever. His daily driver is a manual transmission Nissan Maxima – the Australian Infiniti I30.