1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Triple Aqua Cabin Cruiser For The Win

I’ve always had a thing for 1950s to 1970s domestic land yachts finished in aqua. Whether the bright turquoise of a 1955 Thunderbird or the light-metallic aqua of a 1966 Olds Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan or ’61 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country, I will go out of my way to check it out once spotted at various and sundry cruise nights, car shows, craigslist ads and ebay auctions. And if the car has a white or aqua interior, well fuggetaboutit. So when I saw this lovely boat of a Lincoln on eBay about eight years ago, I was immediately hooked.

According to the long-gone auction listing, this car is all original and only had 67,000 miles on the clock. Being a ’79, it does have the 400CID V8 and not the more desirable 460, but still–what a car.

In addition to the Medium Turquoise Metallic this car is painted in, you had such cool colors as Crystal Apricot Metallic, Midnight Blue Metallic, and Cordovan Metallic, not to mention the other 15 available hues.

Just look at all those colors. Quite the difference from the me-too beige beigemist, gray graymist and silver silvermist everyone wants. And that’s not counting the many different vinyl roof and interior colors that were also available. And different fabrics as well. You might not be impressive on the Burgerkingring, but you’d waft sedately to the Moonlight Bay Supper Club for cocktails and a steak dinner.

As impressive as the metallic aqua paint is, there’s even more inside. Dig that plush aqua crushed velour with wall-to-wall aqua carpet inside. And everything is color keyed: seats, carpets, instrument panel, headliner, seat belts. Heck, maybe even the cigarette lighter. The only thing that would make this better, in your author’s humble opinion, would be if it was leather instead of velour. There’s a scent to vintage Lincoln leather upholstery that I just love. I remember it well from the ’77 Mark V and ’87 Continental that my grandparents owned-and in which I rode in frequently during my formative years. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

The only demerit I have on the 1978-79 Continentals is that sparse instrument panel. The 1970-77 dash was much, MUCH cooler looking. This one is more of a gilded LTD/Marquis dash than a Lincoln’s, though I do dig the Quadrasonic stereo with 8-track this one has.

The 1978-79 dash does look appropriate for a big brash American luxury car, though, with all the simulated woodgrain and chrome “Lincoln Town Car” script above the glovebox. If you got a basic Continental, the script said, appropriately enough, “Lincoln Continental.” Interestingly though, the top-of-the-line 1979 Collector’s Series Continental was NOT a Town Car, despite having the Town Car seat style, albeit in “Kasman II luxury cloth” instead of velour.

The back seat, if anything, has even more room than the front. With the ride this Lincoln provides and the acres of aqua-tastic bliss, you could be forgiven if you thought you were out to sea while riding in the back. I’m on a boat. No, really.

Hopefully it went to a good home. And is now the talk of Del Boca Vista! Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get down to the supper club for a couple gin and tonics and the early bird fried shrimp special. Cheers!

16 Replies to “1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Triple Aqua Cabin Cruiser For The Win”

  1. Avatartoly arutunoff

    a slightly oblique comment: we ordered my mom’s ’68 caddy with no tinted glass, disc brakes, and a limited slip. there was a special orders book the dealer gave me to take home for the weekend, things like full leather everywhere, any color steering wheel, eldo seats in anything, even the limo, any color stitching. when I inherited the car I made it handle by putting an addco sway bar on the rear, and radials on the front only. it’s eventually understeer but it was such fun chasing alfas and mis up entrance ramps!

    Reply
  2. AvatarJohn C.

    Imagine the first owner’s Mercedes driving neighbor. The Lincoln driver eyes his manual hard MB tex seat and thinks he’s a fool for buying in to less is more. The Mercedes driver looks at this interior and is just embarrassed to be even near it. What a great world it was when there were real choices and different people could express who they were.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      To some degree you are correct, but for many US car buyers who experienced continually lower quality and performance during the 1970s, hopping into a 300TD or 528i or 244 was a revelation in terms of “fun to drive”, easy to park, fuel injection smoothness and easy starting, supportive all day comfort seats (yes often covered in vegan “leather”), double the fuel economy, and far fewer rattles and squeaks. When the Japanese started to bring over well built larger cars loaded with gadgets at very low prices, it was truly game over.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        And to some USA car buyers it was slower and louder with more and more expensive service needs than what was offered from Detroit. They also lacked some basic features like no power steering on Audi 100 or Volvfo144 till 74 and no cruise control on MB till 74, even on S class. Things that never come up in your talking points or in the road tests.

        In any case there was no reason that all cars had to be one way.

        Reply
  3. AvatarBill

    Cartier clock…a step up from the spring wound car clocks that lasted as long as the factory oil, or the points that wound the spring. A clock in the car marked it as special. Now just look at your phone.

    Reply
  4. AvatarLynnG

    Tom you really know how to find them and you are correct, the use of the LTD dashboard really degraded from the car. The 1970-1977 dask was much better. One has to remember that Ford was milking this car for all they could as they saw the writting on the wall. Cadillac in 1977 had downsized there deVille/Fleetwood line and Ford was carrying through with a 10 year run on this basic design. However, I was in Houston in 1979 and the Lincoln dealers could not keep these cars in stock because of the downsizing coming in 1980. And as John points out, interior material choices and colors choices we will never see again. Note: Tom as you know I am a Cadillac guy but my very first full size car was a 1970 Lincoln Town Car, 460ci, leaded gas, no 5 MPH bumpers and purchased for the a total of $1,500 in 1974 when gas went from 32 cents a gallon to 70 cents a gallon. It had a deep well trunk that would hold four kegs of beer standing up (I know because I was always chosen to drive to the distributor on the Firday before game day to pick up the weekend supplies) 🙂 🙂
    And John you are correct, people forget how plain MB’s and BMW’s were in the 1970… nothing that could compare to these luxury liners like the above described Town Car.

    Reply
  5. AvatarJohn C.

    Do you think this size Town Car could have continued if they had raised the price and just paid the gas guzzler tax? It would have been interesting what would have happened during 84-85 morning in America if one of the big three had a real big one on offer. I suspect sales would have been spectacular. Cadillacs were the first and best executed of the downsized so that would have left Lincoln or Chrysler New Yorker.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      I always thought the Big 3 management were cowards for complying with CAFE, which not only required them to drastically downsize and depower their profitable big cars, but also make their unprofitable small cars with expensive UAW labor. What would Jerry Ford or Jimmy Carter do if GM or Ford said “screw you” – send in troops to shut down the plants? At the very least, the Big 3 should have just continued to make their big cars with decent power and size and sent the gas guzzler taxes to Washington, but instead they just chopped inches from wheelbases and engine displacement to create cars with strange proportions and weak acceleration that sent buyers to the foreigners who had better technology to meet the standards and/or to the SUV/truck side which had weaker CAFE standards and could keep the size and power the most buyers wanted.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        You sure are quick to label American industrial leaders cowards. They were solid men facing challenges imposed by the government they were loyal to. Good citizens comply with laws. Those leaders might have hoped that people like you would offer them one quarter the understanding you always are so forthcoming with those walk on water import guys

        Reply
        • Avatarstingray65

          Solid men? They were heads of some of the largest firms and employers in the world and could have use their power to lean on DC to shape CAFE in a way that would allow them to keep making cars that were profitable and difficult for the foreigners to match – even the UAW could have been used as an ally. Instead, they allowed themselves to be boxed into making cars that many Americans didn’t want and that foreigners had some serious competitive advantages in, which hurt shareholders, workers, and the cities they did business in. I personally didn’t like the land yachts that Detroit cranked out in the 1970s, and I think the Big 3 should have make greater/faster investments in OHC motors, OD automatics, fuel injection, independent rear suspensions, better quality seats, and put more emphasis on assembly quality and durability/reliablity, but I do recognize that a lot of Americans liked the things and that Detroit made good money on them, which the Europeans and Japanese couldn’t do because their home markets didn’t allow such cars to be popular. Meekly accepting CAFE was a major cause of the Big 3 downfall, and management is primarily to blame.

          Reply
  6. Avatarstingray65

    Jack has an recent essay on the rise of the vegan “leather” seat (aka vinyl) in luxury car interiors on the Hagerty site, and I couldn’t help but remember the days when vinyl seats were what the cheap cars and pickups used – easy cleanup and available in many color, while luxury cars offered a wide variety of quality fabrics and leather so that passengers could enjoy the smooth ride as they used 1 gallon of gasoline every 10 miles. Now the rich want to be eco-friendly so they are buying electric Tesla vehicles that feature vegan “leather” in a wide choice of 2 non-colors (white and black), because nothing says eco more than a luxury car with seats made from oil and batteries made with child/slave labor, which is subsidized by taxpayers both rich and poor, and powered by coal in much of the world.

    Reply

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