1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Your Best Bet’s A…Well, You Know…

As a member in good standing of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015, I always have an eye out for interesting old Lincolns. That includes when I’m on the way to work, stuck at a red light, or perusing CL and ebay. Just last week I spotted this one on the electronic bay, and the condition was such that I was compelled to share it!

A triple Wedgewood Blue 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car with the mighty 460 CID V8 and only 50,300 miles on the clock. Yowza.

Go on ebay at any time, and odds are there will be several 1975-79 Continentals. Many were made, many were purchased by well-to-do folks who cherished them and drove them sparingly. But this one stood out. I mean, look at this car. What really sold it for me was this picture of the top. If you recall Laurie Kraynick’s update on her 1970 Fleetwood Brougham last week, you know that vinyl roofs were notorious for degrading. Splitting and peeling, trapping moisture and rusting out the sheetmetal beneath. But here we have an as-new molding, perfect sheetmetal and paint, and even the stitching looks fresh. This is a car that’s been cared for.

In 1979, the 460 was no longer available in Continentals or Mark Vs, with only the 400 left to motivate them. These were big cars, and with only the 400 under the hood, acceleration was, shall we say, not brisk? So a ’78 with the 460 is the one to have.

But back to the car. I love the triple Wedgewood Blue! It may be over the top for many, but this was an over the top car, to loudly announce your good fortune and country club membership. You’d made it. No sense in hiding it, you know.

Selecting the Town Car package to the standard Continental sedan added, among other finery, these sumptuous, floating-pillow thrones.

And while all Cadillacs save the Eldorado had been downsized the year before, the Continentals, and lesser Ford LTDs and Mercury Marquises, were unapologetically giant. These were true six passenger cars. Perfect for taking to the supper club for prime rib, a football-sized baked potato with butter and sour cream, and several gin and tonics!

If you’re familiar with mid- to late ’70s FoMoCo automobiles, you’ll know that the woodgrain trim on these steering wheels were notorious for breaking off on the ends of the spokes, by the cruise control buttons. Even on near showroom new, low mile examples. But as you can see on this one, they are totally intact. That takes some serious care.

I’ve just always really liked these. Part of this is due to our neighbor across the alley when I was a kid in the ’80s. Bill Yokas and his wife were probably in their late ’50s when I was ten. But Bill had a magnificent 1979 Continental Collector’s Series in white with navy Kasman II cloth. It had been his brother’s car, and when he passed away Bill inherited it.

It was a garage queen, only driven to the Greek Orthodox church on Sunday. He was very tolerant of me and my brother, and we’d often go over there when he was working on a project in the garage, or just trimming the hedges facing the alley. I remember sitting in that car, and just being overwhelmed by the plushness. Now this was a car! A fine car.

Heck, even the original FoMoCo license plate bracket is mint! Even on nice cars, these are usually beaten and sporting surface rust. Not this one.

Intrigued? If so, check out the ebay auction, and remember a time when American cars were unquestionably American, not a riff off of primo Euro and Asian cars, or-God help us-crossovers. And if you happen to get a car like this, don’t forget the Billy Joel cassette or 8-track tape.

4 Replies to “1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Your Best Bet’s A…Well, You Know…”

  1. John C.

    Some sniff derisively at these for the shift back to the separate frame from the relative modernity of unit construction. The separate frame was better for isolating the owner from noise and impact harshness. The fact was in the 60s that a Mercury or even an LTD was quieter than a 60s Lincoln.

    Recall the trouble RR had with their move to unit construction. Even with subframes there was a lot more noise transmission into their cars. Combined with trying to get the Citroen licensed suspension to work as promised, they were really in an embarrassing situation with the early Silver Shadows. They were even forced to delay introducing radial tires until they could figure out a way that the stiffer tires would not to make things even worse.

  2. Glenn Kramer

    Beautiful car. Peak Brougham! Size, individual tailoring, colors galore, power and a total dedication to comfort, plus a true counterpoint to the downsizing all around it. You could almost see the meteor heading for the Yucatan!


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