CC Capsule: Monday Morning Rarities – 1997 RHD Lincoln Town Car

1997 Lincoln Town Car rear

What is so rare about a Lincoln Town Car I can hear you ask?  Well, there aren’t a lot with the steering wheel on the wrong (right!) side here in Australia!


Lincoln Limousine in Melbourne’s Docklands

And I expect there are fewer that don’t have five extra feet of bodywork inserted in the middle, as the 1990s Lincolns were popular as limousines and a decent number made their way downunder.  On the other hand, they are almost unknown as a private car.



This is the equivalent Australian Ford, the 1996-97 LTD which was available with a 4.0L I6 or the good old 5.0 V8, 4-speed automatic, self-leveling rear suspension and all the gear Ford could stuff inside.  With a length of 5122 mm/201.7 in, it was a whopping 436 mm/17.2 in shorter than the Lincoln, and while the wheelbase was much closer (63 mm/2.5 in shorter) at 2919 mm/114.5 in, legroom was actually the same for the driver and 40 mm/1.6 in greater for those in the rear seat.  The LTD has a smaller trunk (492 L/17.4 cu ft vs 631 L/22.3 cu ft) and is 104 kg/227 lb lighter, making it a good bit faster.


The earlier 1988-94 bodystyle looked much more like a Lincoln, in part helped by being 98 mm/3.9 in longer.  The earlier cars also sold better, because from 1995 the front sheetmetal of the LTD was shared with lower model Fairmonts and sales suffered with the less distinctive, not to mention less formal, appearance.


1997 Lincoln Town Car

Here is the same car 7 months prior to the opening photo.  An interesting trivia item is that the Burwood East store where this shot was taken was the first Kmart opened in Australia back in April 1969, and was also the first Kmart store to open 24-7 in 1997.  I believe that the original store is still standing, although renovations, extensions and the addition of external stores along the frontage.

Kmart Burwood 1970

Kmart Burwood, 1970 – Museum Victoria photo

Further reading:

My Curbside Classic: 1997 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series – What A Luxury Car Should Be!

Large and in Charge: A Visual History of the Aussie Ford Fairlane and LTD