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A True Town Car in Every Sense

It began as a trim for the Continental and was later awarded its own line in 1981. It was easy to maintain and very reliable, and included a spacious trunk, decent luxury, and-most importantly-incredible longevity. The Lincoln Town Car was a true American classic. It was one of the most common limousine and chauffer cars on the road and is possibly the most famous of Ford's luxury vehicle lineup. With some  restyling changes, the Town Car has been built as a body-on-frame atop the Panther platform with rear-wheel drive for its entire life.

The Life of the Town Car

Rear-wheel drive was one of the Town Car's main attractions and helped propel it ahead of Cadillac, in terms of sales, for a short while.  It happened by chance, as Ford was slow in the switch to front-wheel drive and had to wait due to a delay in production. Cadillac went right ahead and switched to the platform and the result was staggering. Front-wheel drive brought an unexpected dip in sales and interest in Cadillacs began to dwindle. As a result of this, Lincoln decided to stick with their original rear-wheel drive concept, which kept consumers and helped sales steadily increase into the 1990s. They were seen as a much more reliable and spacious alternative to the Cadillac. Though a more modern version of the Town Car has parking sensors, THX sound technology, digital cluster gauges and more, high technology was always offered in one form or another since its beginnings in '81, when it offered a digital display of trip, miles to empty, and ETA.

Technology wasn't the only feature that improved with time. Its boxy headlights and body rounded and slimmed themselves down with restyling in 1990 and again in 1998. Its first engine was a 5.0L V8 with 130 horsepower. Town Cars have never been known for their speed, but the engine would continue to up its horsepower with 150 horsepower by 1990.  By the third and final generation in 1998, a new 4.6L V8 was introduced with 200 horsepower that would increase to 239 horsepower by 2011. But the Town Car's best characteristic was its reliability. Some car fleets have reported Town Cars between 200,000 and 400,000 miles that can still run. With its great longevity and easy routine repairs, the Lincoln Town Car will be missed for its basic and quality features that made it the chauffer's ride of choice. 

Lincoln is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by Lincoln or Ford Motor Company. See all trademarks.

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