Saturday, October 20, 2012

Second Generation Tunnelback XL, 1972

1972 Ford XL SportsRoof, courtesy casey/artandcolour.

C H O P — Ford's 1971 redesign of its full-sized car line reverted to a single coupe style, a severely formal-roofed pillarless coupe with a C-pillar at least three-feet wide. This chop restores the second, "faster" roofline choice, or SportsRoof in Ford parlance. It also restores the "XL" nameplate which was unceremoniously dumped after the 1970 model year. The '69-70 Sportsroof was a flying buttressed, tunnelback, full sizer with almost perfect proportions. The roofline was shared with Mercury resulting in the now-classic Marauder coupes.

For this second generation tunnelback, I greatly enlarged the side windows of the production formal coupe. I gave the C-pillar the look of the '67 Galaxie XL, but with the '69-'70's inset rear window. I left virtually everything else "production" on this "XL," the extra-cost spoke wheelcovers, the bodyside rub strip, the proper width whitewall tires.

And having grown up with a '72 LTD Brougham coupe in high school, LIght Gray metallic with a black vinyl roof, I can verify that those optional spoked wheelcovers are HEAVY but meticulously crafted.

9 comments:

  1. I like the tiny modifications on these classics. This is the only website to chop or recreate what should have been done way back when!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This modification would have been a much more graceful car than the overly crimped car that was put on the market - and had a lumbering look.

      Delete
  2. This is a great idea. I guess Ford was trying to ship the sport emphasis to the Torino at this point -- Torino got the (semi)formal hardtop and the fastback hardtop. I always thought the roofline for the 71 and 72 hardtops was so elegant. I'm jealous that you got experience one!

    Good work, as usual.

    Paul, NYC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! Our Brougham was a very elegant looking car! The paint had issues though. It started flaking off in about 18 months and it was eventually recalled and repainted. Then a few months after they traded it in, it was recalled again for the auto trans selector slipping out of Park into Reverse. 2 years earlier, my mother was warming up the car one winter morning when CRASH, the parked LTD went backwards through the garage door. We "laughed" about it for the next couple of years, at the time Mom didn't put it in Park, but then found out it was an issue with that car's steering column...

      Delete
  3. It's more cool then my own attempt of a 1971 Ford XL. ^^;

    Also, I spotted by luck, this picture of a 1971 Mexican Ford LTD sold in Mexico and the automatic transmission shifter on the floor was still available there from what I saw in this picture.

    I think Ford should had continued to make 2-door sedan after 1969 for the Custom and Galaxie. They could had jazz it with options trims and cosmetic, just like Plymouth did with the 1970 Fury I 2-door sedan when they created the 1970½ Fury Gran Coupe who got the hidden headlights of the Sport Fury.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Stéphane! Very cool photos of that Mexican LTD! it's too bad we didn't get the bucket seats in the big Ford back then. Your idea of the "fancy" 2 door sedan is interesting. It was really the end of the line for low end pillared full size 2 doors back then. An LTD 2 door sedan is an interesting idea!

      Delete
  4. I'm delighted to see that someone else (Stephane) is familiar with the 1970 Gran Coupe. I thought these were very glamorous when they came out. I suppose that since they were not going to carry the 2-door sedan body over to 1971 that they had to run out their supply of them so they dressed it up in very fancy outfits! I really was sorry to see the 2-door sedan go from the full-size cars -- Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth all dropped them for 1971. It was always one of my favorite body styles.

    Paul, NYC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always wondered why they based a top-shelf car on the Fury II 2 door sedan instead of the customary pillarless bodystyle, but the fact they were going to drop the sedan the next year makes a lot of sense. I'm sure they were dropping them due to low sales, so they just might have had a bunch of bodies stamped already. I think we've solved the mystery, Paul. AWESOME, lol!

      Delete