By on February 10, 2010

Here it is, the last of the species autosaurus giganticus. Never again would beasts of this size roam our freeways and driveways with their EPA stickers (10/12) still freshly removed. It was the end of an era; the giant American land cruiser became extinct when the last 1979 Town Car rolled off the lines. And that last roll took a while: two hundred thirty three and seven-tenths inches of steel, chrome, vinyl and deeply tufted leather. No less than the visionary Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome and the very un-Town Car like Dymaxion Car lamented (and lambasted) the passing of the last big Lincoln. Given that he was all of 5’2″ tall, that seems a bit odd. But really big cars were such a part of the American psyche, that when they were gone, it left a gaping hole. You don’t miss your water ’till the well runs dry.

I may have mixed feelings about some of the other big old Lincolns, but these last Town Cars, from ’77-’79, were such bold survivors like the last Wooly Mammoths that roamed the earth, that I can’t help but be in (shock and) awe. The transplanted fake Rolls Royce-like grille from the Mark IV only added to their outrageous rebellion against the grain of the times. Cadillac and the rest of GM had dramatically downsized in 1977. Chrysler’s increasingly irrelevant big cars were gone after 1978. But Lincoln held out, for even one more year after its stablemates, the big Fords and Mercuries, had jumped into the hot wash cycle.

Lincoln finally hit the big volume jackpot in the mid-late seventies. This 1977 Town Car is one of almost 200k Lincolns produced that year, about eight times what the classic ’61 Continental sold at. There was still a healthy gap between it and Cadillac, but nothing like earlier days. The Mark III coupe had been a fairly successful extension of the line, and the Mark IV was a really BIG hit. Well, it was the blow out, before the crash. Downsizing these slabby Lincolns did not go over well, as we’ll see in our next installment.

These cars epitomized the changes that had taken place in the US since the early sixties. The “Kennedy Lincolns” reflected the sense of understated style and artistic sensibility that Jackie embodied. The cars were powerful and optimistic, and projected the ideals of the time. By the late seventies, these Lincolns were a place to hide from a much more complicated and frankly uglier world. Of course these Town Cars did nothing to make the world any prettier or less ambivalent.

With their ostentatious fake grilles, opera windows and other affectations, and their gas guzzling ways in the face of rising gas prices and environmental concerns, they were a 5,000 lb bundle of contradictions. But riding in the back of one was anesthetizing balm; much better that then actually driving one.

Any semblance of performance had long gone the way of suicide doors. The standard engine in this ’77 was reduced to the 400 cubic inch (6.6 liters) mid-block V8, with a mere 179 (net) hp. In 1978, that shrunk further to 166 hp. At least the 460 was still optional. But in its final year in ’79, only the 400 with now 159 hp was on tap. No wonder Lincoln was playing up all the “Designer Series” variations.

Givenchy, Pucci, Bill Blass, and even Cartier versions of Town Cars and Marks drove up prices and profits in ways that would foreshadow the big luxo-SUVs to come. Some of the final ’79 “Collector Series” Lincolns cost over $22k, almost double what a base TC started at. Make hay while the sun shines; or: there’s a sucker born every minute. Both apply equally, as well as a few other choice aphorisms. Blinged-out Navigators and Escalades were barely a generation away.

But the eighties were the transitional decade before that started in earnest. And Lincoln’s first steps into that decade were not a walk in the park. Leaving behind the familiarity of big cars, and transitioning to smaller ones was something GM pulled off fairly well the first go-around. Meanwhile, it seemed like Ford was being dragged into it, and it showed. That must be the reason Ford made so much hay with the last few years of the big Lincolns; they obviously didn’t have a lot of confidence in the clays sitting in their advanced styling studios.

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62 Comments on “Curbside Classic: 1977 Lincoln Town Car...”

  • avatar

    I love cars that have efficiency of design in terms of space and fuel usage.

    This car has none of that.

    And I want one.

  • avatar

    Here it is, the last of the species autosaurus giganticus. Never again would beasts of this size roam our freeways and driveways with their EPA stickers (10/12) still freshly removed.

    Oh, I wouldn’t go that far. This species was just jacked up, given a wagon cargo area, and put on a truck 4×4 platform, and called an “SUV”.

    The true modern descendant of the ’77 Town Car is the Lincoln Navigator-L.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 which is why I loathe SUVs, they’re so dishonest compared to this thing.

    • 0 avatar

      True, this thing is at least honest. The huge SUVs are used by posers that will never go off road, tow a trailer, or fill the thing up with 8 passengers. The huge Lincoln doesn’t claim to do any of that. It is your living room couch, with a huge hood and trunk attached.

  • avatar

    Run a new Impala straight into that beast and see who wins. You didn’t drive these cars, you piloted them. Trunks you could carry a Smart4two inside. Seats so comfortable you could fall asleep anywhere anytime. A back seat suitable for procreation if there ever was a need.

    This car was all about the driver and taking care of driver’s needs to be comfortable. If you wanted fast or frugal buy something else.

  • avatar

    sad. This is such a come-down from the Kennedy/LBJ Lincolns.

  • avatar

    This has been a fun and entertaining series. Please don’t cop out at the end with a predicable “Lincoln Versailles as badge-engineered denoument” or “80’s Continental as baroque parody” article. It’s been done to death.

    To me there is a more interesting and challenging subject. How and why did the Lincoln brand retain a traditional large-car image and market as Chrysler collapsed and Cadillac committed suiside? Was it merely a case of lucky last man standing, or was it a conscious marketing decision?

    Did Ford Motor bumble into the grown-up’s big-car and livery markets as a happy byproduct of starving Lincoln for new product after giving it the Panther based platform? Or was Ford crazy like a Fox (pun intended) as it focused its near bankrupt resources on proliferating the smaller rear-drive platform, and building the F-series franchise, until the Next Big Things (Taurus and Explorer) were ready to be exploited?

    I’d love to hear a Ford marketer’s thoughts on the matter. Say what you will about the product’s intrinsic qualities, but the Lincoln Town Car is an archetype, a brand icon, even if it’s market has faded.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    I don’t understand the hostility toward these cars. I think the styling is beautiful. The engineering may not have been so hot (a V8 producing a paltry 159 hp…) but these cars filled an important niche in the marketplace when they were built. Where else could you get a large (gigantic) comfortable luxury car? As you say, Cadillac and Chrysler had downsized.

    I wish American cars still carried this unapologetic panache.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      Yeah, awareness beyond yourself, my-car-is-bigger-than-your-car-and-therefore-better logic, conscience, taste, providence and prudence are bad things to develop. Not to mention it is flat out ugly.

      This car is embarrassing and represents boorishness stretched to its cartoonish extreme.

      70’s American car design strikes me as a precursor to the staggering obesity problems today. Partially functioning, slovenly, bloated, sputtering yachts plodding along the streets. Reminds me of many people walking around a Wal-Mart or Disney World. If people couldn’t be wasteful and over-sized in their car, they’ll do it with their waistline. That’s a can-do spirit!

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with Amendment X. I drove one of these beasts (black interior and exterior)while delivering flowers during my college years, and had a great time cruising around. Big American cars have always found a soft spot in my heart. My then-girlfriend’s parents had a dark green ’79 Coupe de Ville with the sofa cushion velour seats. Her mom would frequently let me drive it during trips to the shore, and it was a SWEET cruiser, smooth as glass and not a sound to be heard. Not all cars need to be canyon cutters.

      Sorry, Dr. Nguyen, sometimes size does matter. It’s OK for a car to be a symbol of irrational exuberance. No need for moralizing. I would much rather drop some of my chili-slaw dog and milkshake on the seat of that Lincoln than a low fat soy latte on something more logical and conscientious.

  • avatar

    I was waiting patiently through this series of Lincoln look-backs, but now I can FINALLY bust out my floppy hat and platform shoes.


  • avatar

    There were no designer series Town Cars in this era (bodystyle) the Givenchy, Blass, Pucci and Cartier cars were all Mark V’s. Cartier and Givenchy were also Mark IV’s. There was a 79 Collector’s Series in both the Town Car and the Mark V and in 77 there was a Williamsburg edition Town Car which was two tone with a full vinyl roof. In fact, not all Lincoln sedans and coupes were Town Car/Coupe models. The model was called Lincoln Continental and Town Car/Coupe was a trim/appearance option. It included the pillow sew style seating, split bench seats, dual 6 way power seats and the padded half roof. Opera windows were initially a stand alone option on the sedans and became standard in I think 78. The only designer series Town Car ever built was the Cartier but that wasn’t until the early eighties.

  • avatar

    Not for me, then or now, but the condition of that 33 yr old interior is incredible.

  • avatar

    That leather interior looks beautiful, fake wood and all.

    If that car is bigger than the LTD land barge I saw frequently here during my childhood, man is that thing BIG.

  • avatar

    Not only did you get an ash tray in each door, but I believe a lighter sized appropriately for cigars as well.

    I love these old boats, as well as the Mark series of cars. Their defiant boxy styling and refusal to play to the new rules makes them cooler than any of the comparatively modern cars of the era.

    • 0 avatar

      And the ashtrays were backlit when the headlights came on. Ya know, so you never spill your ashes on that soft pleather door panel.

      If only today’s Lincoln Town Car had that interior, that “go f-yourself” styling, and the new Mustang’s powertrain…

    • 0 avatar

      Sajeev, I agree with you that given those parameters, that sucker would sell. Any livery owner with a brain would stop buying Hummers, Escalades, Navigators, and that other crap.

  • avatar

    I love this sucker. Wonder how much the mileage would improve with the 460 balanced, blueprinted, and the four barrel carb replaced with some kind of TBI unit? Add a gear vendors overdrive or a modern transmission and you might actually hit 20mpg highway.

    • 0 avatar

      Modern set of heads (nothing fancy or race, just better flowing), cam and multipoint injection. Also some headers or better exhaust manifolds.

      Then a overdrive tranny. Done.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe the best thing to do would be to swap in a mid-90’s modular V8. If it has the torque to move this beast off the line. The 460 survived a long time in certain truck and RV chassis applications but nothing in which designing for optimal MPG was ever a factor.

      As a fan of 70’s land barges I really want to like this car. However, I owned one in 1990-91 and it was a disappointing mess. Could not get the gas mileage into the double digits no matter what, and the electronic ignition left me stranded more than once. The Cadillac 500 with Delco HEI ignition gave better performance, better mileage and better reliability.

  • avatar

    It’s butt ugly. Somehow the slab sides worked on the Kennedy/LBJ cars, but not this one. It’s a box. Or, more precisely, 3 boxes. I would not be surprised to find chrome letters on this car spelling out ZIL, or maybe Dong Feng. No, I take it back, communists can do a better job than this.

    • 0 avatar

      Wrong, it’s gorgeous. Thanks for this Curbside Classic!

      Now it’s time to pull the smog equipment of, swap the cam and heads on the big 460 and head to the race track.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Back when I was in college (as a young already married adult), I was shopping for a “new used car” and found one of these at a deaker in the southern city which I’d got to for studies. It was 6 or 8 years old at the time and the price was right….

    Drove it home to my wife who was VERY impressed with it until she asked “what kind of gas mileage does it get”? At which time my face fell/she gave me “that look” and I drove it back to say “no thanks”.

    The promptly went out and got a used Volare’ station wagon which continually broke down. Gas is cheaper than parts…..

    Years later, I was visiting a pal of mine and bonding while working on a car in his garage, and it’s Saturday evening – the car parts place 17 miles away was closing in 15 minutes, and the roads between our village and the town in question were small, windy and had plenty of stops.

    He had one of these (I think it was a ’75 with a 460 V8) and we made it with 3 minutes to spare, got the parts and drove back (at somewhat of a lesser speed). I still have the gray hair to prove it. So they weren’t entirely incompetent at speed – with the right driver at the helm, anyway.

  • avatar

    May I ask why the wheelbase wasn’t about 18″ longer? There seems to be such a high trunk-hood/passenger compartment ratio. I bet you could get rid of 18″ of hood, 18″ of trunk and have an extra 3′ of interior space.

    It must be much longer than a 750Li yet has far less rear seat leg room.

  • avatar

    I was admiring the ashtrays, too.

    Man, what a POS! This car just smacks of laziness, with seemingly no effort or thought put into its design. Big doesn’t have to be so slab sided and banal.

  • avatar

    Never cared for this generation of oversized box on wheels Town Car but thats just me. I always liked the downsized Caddys, Olds and Buicks of Deville/98 and Electra vintage far better. Hell even there smaller 5.7 liter 350 4 BBL V8 had more HP than Lincolns still huge 400 at 170 vs 166-159, the interiors were very nearly as oppulant and gas mileage was better by about 5-6 MPG! They look far more gracefull too. I remember driving(docking) one of these to the mall which was 30 minutes away in a neighboring town with a couple of friends many years ago. We put in 3/4’s of a tank of gas. When we got back from the hour trip the gas needle was on a 1/4! The only sounds we could hear: our wallets shrinking drastically.

    What a crying shame that Lincoln no longer sells the RWD Town Car today. It was discontinued by the end of 2008 from what I understand and only a handfull of 2009’s were produced. Imagine what they could have done with some simple styling tweaks, a 6 speed automatic from the truck line, stiffer suspension settings and more modern versions of the 4.6 with dual over head cams and 300 HP! Now that would have been a cool TC

    • 0 avatar

      While the Town Car has undeniably been neglected, and will soon be gone, it isn’t done quite yet. They are still being made for fleet sales through 2012, and are still being sold through dealers in certain markets, we have a number of new 2010s sitting on the lot right now.

  • avatar

    This one is also equipped with the 8-track Quadraphonic AM/FM Stereo option!

  • avatar

    big cars = big waste. happy to have them gone.

  • avatar

    It’s amazing to see people stubbornly lamenting Ford’s rejection of this type of vehicle. This thing vomits excess and waste in the most vile of ways.

  • avatar

    The instrument panel on those Lincolns was quite sparse. Not much more than a speedo and a fuel quantity indicator. Oh, and a number of warning (idiot) lights designed to alert you to several potentially catastrophic engine system failures (after said failure had already occurred).

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, Lincoln always had more guages than did Cadillac. The “GM instrumentation package” was almost always a speedo and a gas guage.
      Lincoln kept (i believe) the full instrumentation (including ammeter and oil pressure) thru the 77. The guages were in the pods in the level below the speedo. The 78 dash ditched most of the guages. I cannot recall if there was a temp guage or not, but the ammeter and oil pressure were definitely gone.

    • 0 avatar

      Hate the minimal instrumentation of many “modern” cars. I’m glad my 2004 F150 has battery, oil pressure, and temp monitoring gauges. Curiously one of the current polar opposites of the Town Car the 2009 Hyundai Accent 3 door has on the base models both a tach and a shift light.

    • 0 avatar


      Do the Fords have tranny temp. gauges as well?

    • 0 avatar

      No they don’t (not on the old F150, mine is a “Heritage Package” so it’s got the 2003 styling). If I was going to do any serious towing I would install one. I’m also mulling it over for whatever commuter I buy next. (Thank god for the aftermarket!) I’d like to buy something new and see how many 100,000 of miles I could go with just gas, oil, trans fluid, belts, hoses, and tune ups.

  • avatar

    The last Lincoln that my dad had that I really liked was a white 78 Town Coupe. He had hung onto a 72 Mark IV for 4 years, and decided in 76 that “its getting un-american to drive a big car.” So, he special ordered a 76 Mercury Monarch with leather, all the toys and a 351. By 78, he was back to his cherished Lincolns.

    I was in high school at the time, and vividly remember this car. he was not much for maintenance, and when I was allowed to borrow it for my prom, I had to spend the entire day cleaning it, because it was filthy.

    He had the 460, but had cordovan velour instead of leather inside. It was not tremendously fast, but it was really quiet and smooth. My biggest disappointment was that they re-did the dash that year and the full instrumentation was gone. At the time, I was also disappointed that the full fender skirts were gone, but in retrospect, I like the 78-79 “miniskirts” better.

    I am the first to agree that it was no longer a 61-65 in quality, but it felt better than any of the competition. The unibody New Yorkers were just never as quiet (though they handled better) and lacked that solid feel that the Lincoln had. The 77-79 Cadillac with the 425 was faster because of the lighter weight, and was of notably higher quality than the 71-76, but I never thought they were really very attractive, and they seemed so, well, small.

    If you think that this one is big, I spent some time driving a couple of 6 door Lincoln limos stretched by Armbruster Stageway. A 78 and a 79, I think. the 79 with the 400 was dog slow. One of them had a driveshaft vibration that the company could never lick, and they both felt more like airport busses than the Lincoln Contintenals I was used to. So yes, there is such a thing as a car that is too big. But the featured Town Car sedan is definitely not it.

  • avatar

    My dad had one of these in the mid 90’s (probably a 78′). he called it his mafia staff car. It was like a butter yellow and he tinted the windows (including the opera windows) just for fun. I remember sitting in the back and feeling like I was literally on a couch, like I could feel the springs. I sure remember driving it too (I had an 84′ CRX at the time so…kind of a different experience from this). His instructions: be sure to watch those first few times you turn till you get the hang of it, you’ve kind of got to telegraph it! Also had to pluck a dead bird out of that big slab of a grill one time – I think he got sucked into the vortex of awesomeness.

  • avatar

    I drove a triple black ’79 (named Raven) for years and loved it. Very solid and comfortable, although the 400 could be quirky, especially the emissions system.

    The vacuum seal that was supposed to keep the headlight doors closed was another weak point–a mile of little tubes connected the door motors, two juice-can vacuum reservoirs, and the god-awfullest headlight switch ever seen by man. It stretched about a foot between the dash and firewall and had a whole maze of electrical and vacuum connectors on it. There was yet a third connection wired in, to the automatic twilight sensor on top of the dash. About dusk that thing would open the vacuum system with a low whoosh and then cue the lights. I’ll always remember how Raven sighed at sundown.

  • avatar

    I actually owned a 77 town car for a while back in the late 80’s. Mine had the 460 engine. I can tell you from experience that even though the car was listed as a 6 passenger you could actually fit 4 normal sized adults across each seat comfortably.
    These cars were well built and had bulletproof drivelines.

  • avatar

    I just noticed the comment by john fritz. Actually, john, those cars had a set of gauges, alt. temp and fuel gauges sat to the left of the steering column, and were very easy to read. They also had a low fuel warning and door ajar warning lights.

  • avatar

    My grandmother and grandfather each had the Mercury Marquis and it really wasn’t that different from this. it had the quadraphonic 8 track, too. It’s funny though, these drove so poorly compared with my dad’s 1974 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with the 455. That was also a big car but such a better car.

  • avatar

    Watch Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (great film). Tells the same story Paul does about the collapse of integrity, optimism and enthusiasm in the 1970s. I think Lemmon’s character even drives one of these monsters.

    To me, the full-sized fuselage Chryslers were the keepers of the flame, at least through the mid-seventies. Innovative design-wise and far cleaner lines. Even then, the last few years of these were tarted up with waterfall grilles, opera windows and tufted vinyl.

  • avatar

    I have to extend a BIG THANK YOU for the CC Lincoln series… Have always had a soft spot for the Lincolns, kinda cheering for the underdog against Cadillac…grew up in a mostly Lincoln/Mercury family with a few Pontiac Grand Prixs mixed in over the years.

    Out of high school in the mid-80’s I had a small stable of “slightly better than beater” rides…including a ’76 Sedan deVille and a ’76 Town Car at the same time. The Caddy was more responsive, with variable-assist steering, and a more poweful engine…but the Town Car was, overall, notably smoother, quieter, with a better quality interior, and an absolutely unbelievable cloud-like ride…as well as the lightest, most vague steering I have EVER encountered, before or since. LOVED both cars, but wish the Lincoln had even a little more steering precision, I found it almost dangerous on the road. You probably could have run over a pedestrian and NOT EVEN NOTICED…pretty sure I didn’t do that though.

    If I had the cash, and the storage space…I’d have one of each right now…really hope a good number of these beasts get saved for posterity!

  • avatar

    That different dash on the ’78-’79 models, mentioned by JPCavanaugh, was lifted straight from the LTD/Marquis. Not sure why Ford, when they knew this version was going to be ditched after ’79, would have bothered revising the interior design – unless it was a cost-saving measure. Nonetheless, it certainly degraded its essence of “Lincoln-ness”… Other “diminishments” would also have to include the steady loss of power and the addition of the grotesque “safety” bumpers from ’74 onwards. At least the ’73’s handled the front bumpers quite tastefully. My vote would include nothing past a ’73…and it’s gotta be a Town Car. There was no comparison in the interiors between that and the base model…especially in black leather!!

  • avatar

    I have a pristine one of these in my garage. In Hot, wet, sunny, salty south Florida, these cars are few and far between. Mostly gone off the road since the mid 90’s due to most of them being northern snow belt cars to begin with. But I digress. In the land of brand new super high end cars, My Dark Turquoise Metallic 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car with 1.6″ whitewalls get an unreal amount of attention on the road. People point and take pictures all of the time when I am driving. Pull into anywhere and people want to talk about it. And its people of all walks of life. These old Lincolns may be more common elsewhere but its really fun to be seen in where they are rare. It’s supposed to be beautiful out tomorrow in Palm Beach County, Maybe I’ll drive the Lincoln tomorrow.

  • avatar

    JMO: The need for an 18″ increase in wheelbase you suggest would balance out the design comes about because of the adaptations to the original design to integrate the federally mandated 5mph bumpers.

    If you will notice, this is the same body introduced in 1970. The added length and weight is a direct result of government bumper strength mandates, rather than stylists having no restraint. [Value neutral comment, not intended to provoke a discussion of the pros and cons of the government getting involved in private businesses or setting safety and emissions standards. That’s not what I am suggesting].

    This was especially evident in the 70s when all the car makers were scrambling to take designs which predated the safety and emissions laws and cobbling together products that met those demands. Like ill fitting plastic vanity panels between the body and bumpers, fender extensions and carburetors that would cut out on hard left hand turns as well as stalling, lower performance, lower compression and power, etc.

    A lot of the Big 3’s cash went into this, which is why you saw a lot of half baked solutions on old designs rather than clean sheet engineering.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    The automotive equivalent of Jessica Simpson gaining 150 pounds.

    Just. Awful.

  • avatar

    DweezilSFV: Thanks for pointing out that the 1975-79 Continentals used the same body as the 1970-74s, heavily revised. My family had a ’72 for about 5 years, a “Copper Moondust Metallic” four-door with black leather seats. (In ’72 the Continentals had gained the fender-edge trim that extended all the way from the front to the rear fender tips, used through ’79, as well as the revised beltline on the rear doors.)

    I loathed the new greenhouse on the 1975-79 cars. The idea of revising a 5-year-old design in this way isn’t a bad one per se (there must be other examples although I can’t think of any at the moment), but did they have to make the new greenhouse so utterly uninspired?

    Moreover, the pillow-type leather upholstery simply could not have been as comfortable as the tuck-and-roll seats of the 1970-74 cars, and it looked tacky as well.

    Of course I know that these were much more popular than the ’70-’74s. People just loved that tacky stuff – half-vinyl roofs, coach lamps, etc. – which would have looked silly on the ’70-’74s.

    • 0 avatar

      @ DweezilSFV: You’re mostly right in your assessment about the safety features that were being mandated (yes, MANDATED) by the feds. Along with the 5 MPH bumpers, the unleaded fuel & catalytic converters, there were the often threatened, but never legislated rollover standards. This phantom legislation drove GM and Ford to designing some cars with the type of roof pillars known in the GM styling world as “Colonnade”, particularly on four door models.

      @gottacook It made these cars look rather odd, especially when compared to the clean hardtop styling of earlier models. Look at the 73-77 GM four door midsize rooflines for another example of this type of styling. In terms of this car, the styling makes the car look stodgy and especially upright, although maybe in the disco era that appealed to a certain market.

      When first married, my wife and I had a 1977 Olds Delta 88 Holiday coupe, with the pillow-top upholstery not unlike this Lincoln. Ours was velour, and it was quite comfortable, as we took many long trips in that car. I’ve not sit in a split bench seat since then that worked so well. To be honest, only my pickup trucks have had bench seats. All the other cars have had buckets.

      That Delta had the FE3 suspension and the 403 V8. It would have smoked that Lincoln and it surprised more than a few Camaro Z28 drivers with how well it accelerated and got around corners. LIke someone else posted earlier, just because they were big, didn’t mean they were all marshmallows.

  • avatar

    As a kid, I waxed cars for spending money. At 15, one of these babies in green metallic paint was a regular job for me. The highlight of cleaning this car was to sit inside and luxuriate in the living room on wheels. They’re plastic and ugly, but beautiful and substantial at the same time. They are unashamedly gigantic, rolling status machines and perhaps not as exclusive as the rising European luxe brands at the time, but frankly, delightfully, plush.

  • avatar

    We have a 1978 Lincoln Town Car Diamond Jubilee edition we’re interested in selling but need to find out the true market value for it. It has only 72K miles. Blue with blue vinyl top, leather seats, very, very good condition. Atlanta area. Thanks.

  • avatar

    Hi everybody, i’m an italian guy and I love these big, gaudy land yachts from the ’70s. I can’t understand why America doesn’t make cars like these anymore or, at least, something that would carry on their heritage…stop blaming those cars for being vulgar, tasteless and so on, Mercedes and Audi are driven by equally vile people here in europe but they’re much less cool and entertaining. I guess it’s the old story ’bout the neighbour grass’s always greener than yours (it’s an old saying down here that i’ve traducted litterally). By the way: what the §uck is “LATTE” :) ?!? Latte it’s the italian for the §uckin’ milk:)!

  • avatar
    Lincoln admirer

    OK this article is nothing but a hatchet job on so many levels.
    1. Use a photo of a car that looks like it is about to be rolled into a junkyard with bad paint and a peeling roof to reinforce your false contention that it was “ugly” and did not have the style of the “Kennedy era Lincolns”. Why didn’t you use a pristine condition car and then make such a stupid comment?

    2. “Fake Rolls Royce grill” OK evidently you don’t know much about cars in general. Rolls Royce is not the only car to ever employ that type of grill. Originally the “grill” was the actual radiator and hood ornaments evolved from fancy radiator caps. Packard, Lincoln, Cadillac, Pierce Arrow,etc etc had very similar “grills” over the decades. Lincoln simply CONTINUED the styling statement and copied NOTHING from anyone.

    3. Gas guzzler? I have had 6 Lincolns, my present Lincoln being a 1996 Town Car. I had 2 late 70s Town Coupes. A 1978 and a 1977. They both had modified 400 engines (351m400) with a 2 barrel carb. When I came to Florida on vacation in 2000 in the 1977 model Town Coupe from Ohio I got 25 mpg. It had dual exhaust and could beat off the line or on the highway most any new throw away car you would probably rave about. They were not necessarily gas guzzlers and could hold their own against most other cars.

    The late 70s Lincolns were works of art. This article was poorly written, biased, false, and just plain irritating. If you are going to write something you should know what you are talking about before hand.

  • avatar

    It is hilarious how polarizing this car is. I got a 1979 Connie from my dad that is pretty much cherry. I wish the article had found one in better shape because they really are beautiful cars.

    To clear up some strange misconceptions:

    The 400M V8 was not built for horsepower. That rating that kept going down in the 70s was the result of more and more restrictions on emissions. The engine itself didn’t change much. The 400 was basically a 351C with an extremely long stroke, and you can feel the torque when you pilot on of these guys around town.

    The handling of these cars is really pretty good. You have to get used to the fact that the steering is very easy at all RPMs. I like the suspension just fine after I replaced the shocks. 100 mph feels the exact same inside the boat cabin as 10 mph.

    The fuel economy for me has always been good, but I also have tricks. I got rid of that retarded catalytic converter system that hung off the manifolds. Mine has straight pipes with a cross over (which isn’t as obnoxious when your pipes are 12 feet long) and Accel superstock plugs and wires. I get around 17 on the highway, which is better than most SUVs that can comfortably haul as much stuff and people.

    I take mine to drill weekend hauling four soldiers and all our gear fits in the trunk.

    I have also strapped my raft to the top of it and hauled a whole river party (with gear and beer) to the put-in a few times. I took it hunting quite a bit. It’s basically an International Travelall with big, comfy couches for seats.

    This summer, my band is hooking a trailer up to it and going on tour.

    The few people I know who hated it on sight really changed their opinion when they rode around in it. And really, is it any more environmentally friendly to have the materials to build a new car mined out of the ground or get 15 mpg out of an old vet like these guys?

  • avatar
    gonzo di dottore

    I just bought a ’78. 7.5 mpg in town.

  • avatar

    I have a pristine one of these – unlike the pictured one, I look after mine. Ice Blue Moondust, no vinyl roof (I had it removed), no opera windows, and a medium blue velour interior that looks new. A PA state Feb 1977 Town Car with the 460. It’s my daily driver/commuter and an absolute joy to own and drive. I wish every trip was longer and arrive at every destination relaxed and soothed.

    It averaged about 6.5mpg city (I live in a big, congested city and work downtown) and barely reached 11 on a highway cruise, so I had it fully converted to LPG, and now its even better to drive. Smoother, and far cheaper to run.

    Am I able to post pictures here?

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