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4-Speed, Two-Ton, Big-Block Behemoths:1969 Ford XL At HOT ROD Power Tour 2017

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 2017-06-15 Thom Taylor

HOT ROD Power Tour 2017 Is Presented By Chevrolet Performance And Driven By Continental Tire

001-2017-Power-Tour-big-block-4-speed-full-size.jpg © Thom Taylor 001-2017-Power-Tour-big-block-4-speed-full-size.jpg

You gotta love these big, bad, behemoths, and Jan Schnur's XL Sports Roof is one of the last and rarest. Believe it or not, Ford made these monsters in both 1969 and finally in 1970 when they switched to even larger full-size cars than in previous years. Of the over 1-million full-size Fords made in 1969 Jan's is one of only 88 made with a 4-speed—we cant even guess how many they made in 1970. From the latter 1950s to the mid-1960s big, full-size 4-speed cars were not common, but there were plenty being produced, because there were no intermediate size cars for many years and so if you wanted to drag race and preferred a 4-speed, you bought a big, bulky sedan. By the late-1960s it made little sense when you had not only intermediates, but also Mustangs and Camaros. So the big 4-speeds soldered on for a few years until evaporating in 1970. You could also get 3-speed manual full-size cars into Fords and some GM products into the early 1970s.

001-2017-Power-Tour-big-block-4-speed-full-size.jpg 4-Speed, Two-Ton, Big-Block Behemoths:1969 Ford XL At HOT ROD Power Tour 2017

As for Jan's XL, he bought it two years ago out of Kansas City after looking for years, after seeing one that a neighbor had when he was just 16. This car was produced at the Ford plant in California, and sold through a Ford dealer in Sacramento, where it went to Texas. Jan is either the third or fourth owner. He's cleaned it up and drives it, and loves it. It has a tick over 88,000 miles over its almost 50 years of use. These XL's had the Sports Roof with the extended sail panels, mostly with vinyl tops—hey; it was almost the 1970s. There was also a two-door sedan in this body style, as well as the 4-door sedans, convertibles, and station wagons. These things are huge—but you can't beat getting on a full-size American monster with a 4-speed. These throbbing beasts torque over, twist, creak and pop, making lots of noise and action, clawing for every inch of pavement.

Survivors are rare as you can imagine, but besides images of Jan's beaut we have included a dozen other 4-speed boats spotted on the Power Tour. Where else in the world would a bunch of unicorn rarities be but at Power Tour!

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