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.
I often ask myself whatever happened to the Lincoln Town Car. It was doing so well before Dearborn got caught up in the SUV craze, followed by the combover, er I mean crossover, craze. It seemed the venerable TC became largely ignored by product planners in the Glass House, before finally disappearing after a small number of 2012 Town Cars were built in mid-2011. Perhaps Panther fans’ love of the 1990-97 model and subsequent watering-down of said top-dog Lincoln had something to do with it. Making essentially identical cars from 2003-2011 certainly didn’t help, but those final boxy 1995-1997 just seemed a little more distinguished. A little more special.
The Town Car. The last Lincoln. Or so some say. Frankly, I think the current, resuscitated Continental is a fine automobile, but that’s not the subject of today’s post. Nope. It’s all about the Town Car, that famous full-sizer that started out as a trim package on late ’60s Continentals and became a luxury car mainstay for decades afterward.
Of course I am biased, being a Town Car owner myself. And while, like all cars, they have their drawbacks and advantages, I do enjoy them enough to have two of them.
As a result, I am known alternately as “That Town Car Guy” and “That Fool” locally. Enough so that my preferred salesman at Strieter Lincoln, Peter Clarke, emails me when a nice Town Car gets traded in. Just a couple of weeks ago this nice ’07 in Dark Cherry Metallic arrived with 77,000 miles on the clock. Moonroof too, which was the last year it was offered-Canadian TCs were not available with it. If you see an 08-11 with sunroof, it’s aftermarket. I was tempted, but not enough to trade off one of my existing TCs. And I’m not a fan of the aftermarket tops. Priced at $9900, it sold in less than a week. I think the general manager told me it was on the lot about five days.
In 1987, Lincoln was making hay while the sun shined. After the drastic downsizing of arch-rival Cadillac, which started in 1985 with their FWD Fleetwoods and DeVilles then continued with mini-me Eldorados and Sevilles in 1986-87, Lincoln was poised to take advantage by offering some traditional American luxury!
Note: This post was originally published at the old site and was written by a friend of mine, Anthony Gucciardo. He shares my compulsion of owning multiple Lincoln Town Cars. -TK
It’s 1997 and I am 16 years old. My family was planning a trip from Latham, NY (which is north of Albany) to the New York City/Long Island area for Thanksgiving with relatives. I grew up middle class and my parents tell me my first word ever spoken was “car.” My parents both had decent vehicles in the mid 1990’s but both were aging so I came up with the idea to rent a car for the upcoming trip. My Dad had a 86 Cutlass Supreme with the V8 4 barrel. I loved the sound of the 4 barrel accelerating but something better was soon waiting.
Years ago when I was about 12 my parents rented a 1992 baby blue Cadillac Sedan DeVille from Alamo where my sister worked. We had a ton of fun driving to New York in that car so I figured we should try and rent again. Little did I know that this Thanksgiving trip would be the start of what would become a long admiration and near obsession with an American Luxury car that has lasted over 20 years and continues until this day.
Yes, that’s right. It’s been nearly two years since a part-time employee of mine cut a deer in half with my Town Car — but the damage is now fixed, courtesy of my friend Josh.
I want to take a moment (and a blog post) to recognize what Josh did for me, because it was fairly above-and-beyond and because it gave me yet another opportunity to understand character.
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