Namely, a taxi! I saw this car yesterday evening, on I-80. I understand Town Car taxis are über common in large cities, but where I am, they are decidedly sparse. It’s always sad to see a once-proud luxury car living out the last of its days in such thankless duty, but at least it will serve in Bristol fashion for hundreds of thousands of miles to come!
Panther Outtake: What A Luxury Car Should Not Be!
– Posted on August 30, 2014
Yeah Tom. I agree. The best you should use to transport the plebeians should be a MGM. Crown Vic preferably. Otoh possibly the driver wanted to work in luxury. Either way, you are right. Unless wrecked it’s going to be around for a while. I think we will be seeing the Panther for several years. Just wonder what it’s functional replacement will be. A Tahoe?
I do consulting for a company in NYC that uses a livery service. The drivers own their cars. In July my driver for the run to JFK had purchased one of the last “new” Town Cars that he keeps in beautiful condition. He’d put around 75K on it and had plans to retire it within a couple of years and to keep it in his garage for posterity (and his sons). At least one of these cars that may have a bright future – and with no light on top!
These are wonderful cars, but I also strongly suspicion many of them are being used for this same purpose without all the mailbox stickers plastered all over them.
Several months ago we were in Kansas City and my offspring woke up sick. Since the new plan was for me to stay with Little Person and later to pick the wife up at her appointment; doing so, she needed transportation to the downtown area. The car service showed up in a baby blue Town Car with no markings whatsoever.
Was it this color? I really like it, but it’s not commonly seen. Image from gtcarlot.com.
I didn’t see the car, but this sounds like what she described.
Nice, perfect color for a KC cab!
Quite appropriate as we were staying across I-70 from the Royals Stadium.
Town Cars are still far and away the most dominate town car which is different than a taxi and in most areas don’t require any identification. Taxi drivers have largely abandoned the Crown Vic around here but the stream of Town Cars heading to the airport is as strong as it has ever been.
Well, Tom, if you ever feel the desire to earn a a little weekend mad money, you’re ready to go!
Barely a “luxury” car. A mildly gilded Crown Vic.
Lincoln let these cars die on the vine giving them only a Mercury dash, never adding updated safety features or updated luxury features. They are so dependable and what a waste it was to let them die.
As for the taxi issue; it is inevitable given how quickly the domestic luxury cars depreciate. Sometimes I wonder if the livery business is the domestic luxury car maker’s only target.
Agreed. I also think this generation of Town Car was not all that good looking (the tail lamps are terrible) and alienated retail customers. It is a rare thing to see these cars in a color other than black and without Livery plates. Sad…
They did not get the Mercury dash, the TC had its own unique dash until the end.
Eric is correct. LeBaron may have been thinking of the 1978-79 Continental and Town Car/Coupe, which lost the cool 1970-77 instrument panel and got a mildly updated Marquis IP.
“I understand Town Car taxis are über common in large cities, but where I am, they are decidedly sparse.”
An Uber pun there Tom 🙂 I’ve used them six times and the cars were:
Jetta IV 1.8T Turbo
The pros had economical cars and drove really slow to conserve gas. The Jetta driver was a newbie and drove like an asshole.
The Uber cars mirror the private taxi fleet in downtown LA, which is pretty much all Prius these days. Still see Crown Vics and TCs at the airport but that’s about it.
I didn’t even know Uber the car-sharing company even existed until a couple of days ago. I was thinking more of the German word. 🙂
I wouldn’t call Uber drivers pros, maybe Uber Black drivers and if you go that route you’ll find mainly Town Carsm at least in our area.
Usually seen as a stretch limo in the UK,interior full of puke from stag and hen nights.
They might just be a “gilded Crown Vic” but it all depends on what you want out of luxury. I, personally, would love to have a Town Car and as far as I’m concerned, if I don’t have the scratch for a new 7 series or a S-Class (which I’m not holding my breath for) then that’s exactly what I want out of a luxury car. Cushy ride, pretty bulletproof engine, hood ornament, analog clock in the dash, not too much (as in, pretty much no) electronic gagetry that I don’t give a crap about anyway-and the split bench seat w/ steering wheel column shifter that I love. I know the Panther was getting long in the tooth, but too bad they don’t offer a “Town Car” MKS with hood ornament, split bench and wheel shifter-Lincoln would have handily cornered the blue hair/people like me market hands down.
If its not going to be a “real” bespoke luxury car (and pretty much all domestic luxury is a gilded something, XTS is basically an Impala etc.) I’d rather they gilded the Ford or Chevy up right and I think Lincoln did with the Town Car.
A big +1. Plus, no $3000-up repair bills on the Townie, unlike more bespoke German fare.
The Krautmobile sonderklasse aren’t even really “bespoke”, they’re more like super-high end mass production. Maybe the Bently’s and Rolls Royces are still, I don’t even know.
But, yes, basically that is my point. Unless I’m way more wealthy than I ever think I will be, I’d rather have that gilded Ford because basically all I’m interested in when actually facing what I can reasonably expect in life is some nice smelling leather and other “superficial” luxury things. I really like sunroofs but that is pretty basic these days. I like windows that go down or up without having to hold the switch. I like wood trim, reading lamps, foot rests, thicker carpeting, ample room in the back, a fold down arm rest instead of a mini-storage unit etc. All of the stuff that I would want out of a “luxury” car are pretty basic, really but I guess the market isn’t out there for this.
Quite frankly, a regular old Town Car would be sufficiently impressive to the vast majority of people I run into. If only I could get FoMoCo to start up the production lines again with a bunch of screens and technological doodads tacked on and sell it to me for $100K, then I’d sufficiently impress most of who’s left. Most people aren’t “car people” any sort of bangle or shiny thing, even better with a big price tag, will do the trick.
“Look at all the stuff my iDrive can do…” Boring. “Look how this thing corners…” Yawn. “Look at all the screens!” Ugh. “I can sync my phone and tablet to my car!” Blech…but different strokes for different folks.
Wow, for $100k I’ll personally build you a Town Car–with as many hood ornaments and analog clocks your heart desires!
I was being sarcastic. I wouldn’t actually spend that much, I’m saying that if you could clap out a Town Car with a bunch of beep beep boop boop electronic crap and other doodads and it had such a price sticker, it would probably impress the kind of people that think how much you pay for something is how impressive it would be.
An indignity indeed. But, I’ve been in at least three of them and have always enjoyed the experience.
Then again, the E class is a taxi in many parts of the world, and the Town Car would be the more comfortable cab. May the Town Car wear this indignity well!
I’ve seen lots of Town Car hacks. I suspect many of them are livery cars that have reached the 290K mile mark that ages them out of the point where they’re worth maintaining in presentable condition. Oddly, there is usually a row of Town Car cabs in front of the little airport in Charlottesville, Virginia, a place that had about two limos serving its livery needs when I grew up there. When I lived in NYC, I used car services regularly. Most of the Town Cars were so decrepit that riding in them was vinyl seats and a partition away from a cab level experience anyway. The other day, I noticed that San Diego’s big livery outfits are running out of Lincolns. They seem to be gravitating towards the 6-cylinder, poverty spec BMW 740i. I wonder how that’s going to work out for them. Lincoln Town Cars are by no means as trouble-free as people seem to think, but livery mechanics knew them inside-out and could sort out their failure-prone air suspensions and brakes that needed to be replaced every time a new driver was hired who didn’t know how to avoid warping their undersized front rotors. Still, replacing them with turbocharged disposable diapers? It is to laugh.
While the idea of a TC with taxi signage on it is depressing, using one as a “hire car” is actually an excellent idea. Wouldn’t most folks rather arrive at their destination in a TC instead of that other TC some cities are using….the Transit Connect bitty van?
Besides, folks here are forgetting that TCs had a factory stretch model, with the extra length behind the driver. What is it…about 6 added inches of length?
A neighbor had one of these for sale recently. I was almost interested but didn’t care for the grey over grey color scheme. Living in Florida it just screamed old person too loudly to me.
Yes there was a Town Car L from 2002 and on and it gained 6″ of extra length all in the back seat. It also got the same control as used on the steering wheel in the rear armrest to control the HVAC and audio. With the comfort package you got heated rear seats and vanity mirrors. However there were also Crown Vic L’s that were taxi spec only and Grand Marquis L that were GCC (export) spec.
It seems fitting to me that a TC be used as a cab. In my neck of the woods cabs are either Prius for the gas savings, or various mini vans for the ease of access.
Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a proper taxi since Checker went bust.
Wait, what?! There are Lincoln Town cars that don’t look like this?? I thought they all came that way from the factory??
Car service operations and the new Boro Taxis account for over 90% of the Town Cars on the road here. They seem to be holding out better than the Crown Victoria yellow cabs, which are still numerous but rapidly disappearing.
For a long time many of the taxicabs in Camden, NJ have been Town Cars, which does not make it any less depressing to actually find oneself in Camden, NJ.
is the new Taurus comparable to these cars as far as in leg room? comfort? Haven’t seen as Many Taurus’ as I see MKZ which are not very elegant looking. You know, sitting in the rear of a Town Car with leg room and a nice A/C is a nice thing. Was in a Camry taxi Saturday night and was very uncomfortable. Seemed like the seats were plywood covered with some cotton stuff and vinyl and it took the bumps pretty hard. I miss the Caprices.
Used Town Cars are common as used minivans, can be bought fairly cheap. Seeing all the generic “airport Town Cars” has sullyed the name. Lincoln should never use name again.
Should have just rebadged them “Ford Town Car”, in place of the CV years ago.
OTOH, I have seen old Lexus RX’s as cabs, too, and some Benzes. Just not as common.