1979 Lincoln Continental: Add Full Sized Luxury To Your Life Today!

I had big plans this weekend. Then the weather merrily threw a wrench into them. Such is the capricious nature of the weather in the Midwest in early autumn. On September 20th, it was 94 degrees. This past Thursday afternoon, it was sunny, gorgeous and 71. I had high hopes for the final cruise night of the year for Friday, at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, IA, an hour west on Interstate 80 from home base. But the weather got cold, crappy and drizzly that morning, and didn’t have the decency to go away. But I salvaged things by going to one of my favorite Italian restaurants that evening, and today went to a small car show in downtown Rock Island. Whereupon I spotted this most excellent artifact of late ’70s plushness and luxury: The 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car.

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1979 was the last hurrah for the truly full-sized Lincoln. Cadillac had already downsized their cars in model year 1977, but Lincoln held out just a little longer.

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Although the full-sized Ford and Mercury moved to the new Panther platform that year, Lincoln held out just one more year. Things were much the same as they had been since 1977, with the standard Lincoln Continental two- and four-doors.

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As had been the case for most of the decade, Town Car and Town Coupé packages could be added to the Continental sedan and coupe.

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The Continental, Town Car and Town Coupé received a new Mark-style grill in ’77, and in ’78 received smaller fender skirts and a new instrument panel based off of the Marquis, but with much more woodgrain and chrome trim.

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Checking that box on the order form got you more standard features and a flashier interior, with floating-pillow style seating.

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Anyway, for those well-heeled customers of the late Seventies, this was their last chance for completely non-downsized plushness. This triple cordovan example was the standout at a small show I attended in Rock Island.

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I struck up a conversation with the owner, who also has a 28,000 mile 1989 Town Car Signature Series and 1962 Continental sedan. The ’79 was for sale simply to free up some space.

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Everything works, from the A/C to the power windows, and it runs well. It’s not perfect, but is a nice example. Not too nice that you wouldn’t worry about driving and enjoying it.

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The color combination was very attractive. I sat behind the wheel, and can tell you the seats are as comfortable as the La-Z-Boy in your living room. Indeed, driving one of these around town has got to be as close as you can get to piloting your living room through the streets.

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So, if anyone is so inclined, this Broughamtastic final-year gigantic Continental Town Car can be yours!

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It’s not the true baby blue Continental Billy Joel famously sang about, but I like Cordovan Metallic better anyway. My only change, if I were so inclined as to add a third Lincoln to my fleet, would be to add the lovely turbine alloy wheels. But as it sits, this is a clean example of true American luxury, with chrome, velour and opera lamps proudly applied!

1979 Continental brochure

13 Replies to “1979 Lincoln Continental: Add Full Sized Luxury To Your Life Today!”

      • AvatarCarmine

        190hp from the 4.5 in 1979 450SEL 250 from the 6.9 450SEL’s, these Lincolns however did have a pretty sad 159hp 400.

        If you have to have one of these, get a 1977 and down one with the 460 and the better Lincoln only dash with more gauges vs this cheapo LTD dash with more wood.

        Reply
        • Tom KlockauTom Klockau Post author

          I think the reason they went with the LTD/Marquis dash was in ’78 FoMoCo was trying to trim the weight on their biggies and it was lighter. They did other stuff to lower the weight too, but it was all kind of moot considering they were just big cars. But year, I’d prefer a ’77 myself, with the cool dash and full fender skirts.

          A friend of mine in the LCOC has a triple dove gray ’77 Town Coupé with moon roof and the polished alloys. It’s NICE.

          Reply
  1. Avatarjallen5280

    Sweet. My grandpa had that exact car. Worked his way up from Ford Galaxie to Mercury Monterey, then Marquis, and finally got that. He had arrived. Later traded it for the 80s reduced size model, but it wasn’t as reduced as his brother’s Cadillac that he laughed at. Brings back fond memories!

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Yes, imagine a time when luxury didn’t automatically mean silver, black, or white paint with a black, tan, or grey interior. Just over $1 per pound, the choice Lincoln is cheaper than hamburger.

      Reply
  2. AvatarDirt Roads

    Love these old land yachts. I might even buy one some day, to get away from computer-controlled cars and that pesky fuel injection.

    OK I love FI, and I can troubleshoot and fix it, but I can fix a carburetor without opening a laptop. Then again, I’m 60 years old and the only FI I used to work on was L- or K-Jetronic in ancient VW Type IIIs and the Dasher/Rabbit/Audit lineup. The Bosch injection systems were actually pretty good. Although the FI in the Alfas (mechanical) was interesting. But I digress.

    Reply
    • Avatar-Nate

      @ D.R.: VW Typ III’s and early typ IV’s used D Jet. F.I., a crude but decent system that was fine until you neglected it or touched it unnecessarily .

      The K – Jet system used on the Rabbits was simple and O.K. too ~ fitting for an economy car IMO .

      I don’t mind fooling with small carbys but never really liked 4V ones .

      -Nate

      Reply
  3. AvatarGlenn Kramer

    Vast, silent cars. Driving a ’79 with the 158 HP 400 in Albuquerque (5,200 ft.) with six people aboard meant, uh, leisurely acceleration and dignified hill climbing. The most memorable thing about this Town Car was the incredible silence. On an empty interstate, pegging the 85 MPH speedo created an eerie ambiance, there were not many features close to the road to enhance the impression of speed, so you knew you were going close to 100, but the perception was like watching a movie of a car doing 100! Truly the last design done before the box marked “practicality” was checked.

    Reply
  4. AvatarDanio

    My grandfather had this exact same car throughout the 1980s and it remains one of my favorites of all time. Any time I see a triple burgundy Continental Town Car and the itch to buy one. I’ve passed on a few fine examples because I simply have no more space for such a beast. One day.

    Reply

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