Back in May of 2016, I was running a couple of errands after work when I spotted something that is getting harder and harder to find out on the open road: A 1980-84 Town Car. The 1980 Continental and Continental Mark VI were downsized compared to their impressive, chromed Pullman car 1975-79 forebears, but in this day and age the first Panther Lincolns no longer look small, and among silver silvermist and beige beigemist Camrys and Altimas, it stands out as an elegant rectilinear throwback to the early 1980s.
1980 was the last year the Continental nameplate was associated with the Town Car. As had been the case for most of the 1970s, the Continental coupe and sedan were the standard models, with the Town Coupé and Town Car being the top trim level for the Lincoln Continental.
The expected extras, such as more chrome trim, plusher seating with floating-pillow cushions, door lock/unlock keypad, and other extras were among the niceties.
The Continental Mark VI, naturally, was also all-new for 1980, and shared bodies with the Continental, but added the Mark styling cues, with hidden headlamps, oval opera windows…
And, of course, the spare tire hump on the trunk lid. It was basically the same car, same wheelbase, same running gear…much like the 1958-60 Lincolns and Continentals.
Just one was slightly pricier, with slightly more ostentatious styling, both inside and out.
And so the status quo name-wise carried on in 1980. But for whatever reason, when the 1981 Lincolns appeared in autumn of 1980, the names were changed on what was, for the most part, an unchanged car otherwise. Now the Town Car was the model name, not the trim level.
So what had been the Lincoln Continental Town Car in 1980 was now the Lincoln Town Car Signature Series in 1981. Confusing? Yes.
I suspect this was done in advance of the smaller, bustle-back Continental which was due to debut for the 1982 model year. However, the Continental Mark VI nomenclature was unchanged during its 1980-83 production run, so I really am not sure what the thought process was at the time. Curious, certainly.
To make things even more confusing, the two-door Town Car was not called Town Coupé as had been the case for most of the prior decade, but was now the ‘Town Car Signature Series Two-Door.’
Yes, that is actually how it was identified in the brochure. This would be the final year for the two-door though, as production had not been very high at all in 1980, and would sink even lower for 1981, with only 4,935 Town Car two-doors built.
Sedans sold much better, with 27,904 Town Car four-doors made. Total 1981 Lincoln production came to 69,537, including the Mark VI.
This two-tone example I found was very nicely equipped, with Signature trim, navy velour interior, Turbine alloy wheels and in very good condition.
The two-tone color combination of this car, in Medium Pewter Metallic over Dark Blue Metallic, was especially pleasing. With navy blue velour interior. It appeared to be a very well cared for car, with apparently original paint, trim and upholstery.
I hope whoever buys this one takes great care of it. It was a really nice Lincoln.