Thirty-four months ago, during a “Panther Appreciation Week” that strained the patience of TTAC readers to the breaking point as we celebrated the last full-sized sedan platform to be built in North America, I detailed my purchase of a 2010 Town Car Signature Limited with approximately 22,100 miles on the clock.
As you can see, the Town Car and I have been remarkably busy, racking up an average of seventy-six miles per day for every one of the days between then and now. During that time, I’ve averaged about 21.8 miles per gallon while enjoying Panther Love in what amounts to its final form. But what until you hear what’s broken in the last seventy-eight thousand miles.
Well, at about 40,000 miles I had to have the dealer address a left rear door lock that was occasionally refusing to pop up when I hit the power-unlock button. And, um, well, that’s it.
What about consumables? The original equipment Michelin Energy LX4 rubber lasted about seventy thousand miles. I can’t give an exact figure because I swapped in Goodyear’s Ultra Grip winter tires for both of the past snowy seasons. Rather than replace them, I bought a set of take-off 2012 V6 Mustang wheels from Roush and got some free 215-width tires included. It was actually cheaper to do so.
Bad luck befell the Town Car when I lent it out to someone who then hit a deer with it. The deer was cut in half, the car suffered a bit of bash-up to the passenger-side front corner. It turns out that although the big Lincoln weighs well north of two tons, it does have an aluminum hood that is particularly resistant to dent and crease repair. Any day now I’ll get that fixed, I swear. In the meantime, the damaged hood, broken headlight, and cracked grille give it a rather menacing demeanor. Nobody ever fails to yield to it in traffic. Occasionally I’ll leave it at home and take my 911 or Boxster out. When that happens, I usually come very close to losing my front end to somebody’s RX350 because I naturally expect that I’ll be given a right of way that isn’t granted to cars that don’t look like they’ve already rammed someone that morning.
Around Putnam Park last month, my “Signature Limited” proved to be interesting and predictable to drive, but considerable care was needed to keep the brakes from getting hot. Those brakes, by the way, lasted nearly 90,000 miles in front and have yet to be renewed in the back. I don’t drive the car gently, as my passenger can attest. That’s simply quality componentry and consumables from the OEM.
What else can I tell you? Well, the cream-colored leather has suffered considerably from the assaults of child seats, dirty race tires, SWR 4×10 bass cabinets, and various inebriated passengers. It’s still presentable, however. The driver’s floormat has worn to the base threads where I rest the heel of my braking foot (the left one). The touch points are all in good shape. I expect the car to last another two hundred thousand miles. It’s my primary means of transportation and I’ve come to feel a great deal of genuine affection for it. It always starts, it doesn’t give me any trouble, it is fast enough to keep up with traffic, and in rain or snow it can even amuse a bit, tank-slapping on frozen ground like a Mustang GT coming up the hill from the Carousel at Shenandoah.
Now that I think of it, I’ve been dishonest in claiming the sticking door lock as the only “Thing Gone Wrong”. Last month, the “L” of the Lincoln logo on the decklid fell off. So for a moment, it was an Incoln Town Car. My son had an idea. He convinced his mother to buy a Decepticon badge. We then removed the rest of the letters together, rubbed some Goo Gone to remove the sticky stuff, and rebadged the Town Car as an evil Transformer. “It’s a bad guy car,” he told me. “You and I are the bad guys.”
“Sweetheart,” I replied, “that’s only really true about me, not about you.” But even if the six-digit-odometer Town Car is the bad guy car, it’s proven to be a very good car on its own merits. Quiet, reliable, enjoyable, safe. It’s nearly a perfect American car. So naturally they had to get rid of it, right?