Well, I’ve finally done it. You may have gotten hints from my ebay find 1991 Eldo Biarritz and my lengthier treatise on the world of the 1977 Cutlass Supreme Brougham, but fact is, I’ve been thinking about a nice old car as a toy for some time. Thanks to you, our viewers, and some of the other writers here on CC, I’ve done it! I’ve bought an American luxury car–my first.
I imagine those of you who read the ’77 CSB post thought I’d get it. Indeed, for a few days I was scheming about it all day at work! But upon talking to Mark at South Hampton Service, it sounded like the owner wanted a bunch for it. And upon further reflection, I decided I did not want to mess with a carburetor. Another big plus to acquiring a CC is I have no wife or girlfriend to say, “oh no you don’t!” Hey! I don’t need spousal/significant other approval! I have the money. I can do whatever the hell I want!
I am a German-stock cheapskate from way back. Plus, I work in the accounting field. Frugality and pragmatism are rather built into my genetic makeup. I still have golf shirts from high school that I wear regularly–and a pair of Bass Weejuns I bought the year this Townie rolled out of Wixom. But, come on! Everyone should buy something they really want but don’t need at least once! It was, by God, very liberating.
And, I love Lincoln Town Cars. If you remember Lincoln Week, I waxed extensively on my love of Ford’s premium motors thanks to my grandparents’ patronage of the marque. But one thing I did not mention was Dick McCarthy.
Dick McCarthy was my friend. He and my Grandpa Bob started a law firm after WWII, and they both got their law degrees thanks to their service in Big Two. After my grandparents passed away, and I got my drivers’ license in the fall of ’97, I started going down to the law office to “shoot the bull” with Dick. We’d talk in between his phone calls, and we got along famously. He had the amazing ability to carry on multiple phone conversations and our in-office chat without one miss. Need I mention that he was in his mid-seventies at the time? He also provided a running commentary on his callers–sometimes good, sometimes not.
We’d also frequently go out to lunch. Harris Pizza in Rock Island was our place (Rudy’s Tacos, the “cheap Chinese place” on 18th Avenue and Happy Joe’s also occasionally merited a visit), and usually, either Pete Church, John Callas, Frank Fuhr or one of the other lawyers would join us too. We’d all hop in his Town Car, or John’s Explorer Sport Trac (later a 300C), or my Volvo S70, and head to the restaurant. The Reuben was our favorite, with Harris’ homemade potato chips or waffle fries.
Waitress: What’ll you have?
Ironically, today I work for the family who owns Harris Pizza! Funny how some things turn out…
In between, we’d talk of current county and city political maneuverings, local idiots, good (and bad) restaurants, and other interesting stuff. Early on, Dick had a gunmetal-gray ’95 Executive Series (and before that, a silver-blue ’86 Signature that he drove into the ground), but in 2004 he traded it off for a lightly-used Silver Frost 2002 Signature Series. That ’95 was the only 1995-97 Town Car I have ever seen with a cloth interior. At this time, Dick could have gotten anything he wanted–maybe even a Lamborghini!–but having grown up during the Depression, a lightly-used Lincoln was just the thing. One time, we joked about his trading the Lincoln in on a Hummer H2. “Damn it Tom, maybe I will!” Of course, he didn’t, but we all had a good laugh picturing him driving one of those things.
The ’02 looked just like this one, and had a light gray leather interior. This was our lunch transportation, more often than not. And many times I was the chauffeur. We’d be in his office, and he’d get John Gianulis on the phone: “Hey John, it’s McCarthy. We’re going to lunch and I’ve got my chauffeur today. Get your ass out front in five minutes or we’re going without you!”
Back then, I was in my early 20s and Dick was in his mid-to-late 70s, but we really got along. We were both interested in politics (and harping on all the elected idiots!), the Quad Cities, food and of course Lincolns. So the fact that I bought a Lincoln near identical to McCarthy’s is no coincidence. I respected him, and all the amazing things he did in his life.
He never retired. In about 2006 he was out on his farm property outside of Milan when he fell into a chuckhole. Broke his ankle. Boy, did that piss him off! The doctor made him stay at home, and that pissed him off even more. My Uncle Dave stopped by to see how he was doing one day and he had a fax hooked up. Turned his living room into an office, and he was running his secretary ragged. I can just hear him: “Goddamn it Doc, I don’t want to stay home! I have way too much shit to do!!” Yes, Dick did not mince words, and did not suffer fools. He was a genuine person.
Sadly, in early spring of 2008, he started feeling poorly. Went to the doc and found out he had lung cancer. Now, he smoked–like everyone else!–when he was a young man, but he hadn’t done so in probably forty years. And in April of that year, he said goodbye to all of us and went on to his reward.
At that time, I had had surgery, and also had a cough to boot, so I was unable to visit him in the ICU. My parents did though, and relayed my well wishes. After my germ had passed I tried to see him at Friendship Manor (where they moved him after he came out of the ICU), but they had moved him back to the hospital. When I got to the hospital 15 minutes later, they didn’t know which room he was in. And, just a few days later, he passed on.
I really regret not getting to say goodbye. He was a good friend, and I really feel bad about it. But we were always on the same page, and I know he knew how I felt about him. But it still sucks.
So, when this 2000 Cartier showed up at my favorite Volvo dealer, I had to go investigate. I saw a picture on the website and thought, “it’s probably all beat up and has 200,000 miles on it, but I should go take a look anyway.”
Upon arriving at McLaughlin Motors and the salesman, Brian, pulling the car around, I was shocked to see that this car was near-pristine. The leather had hardly any wear, it purred like a kitten, and rode as nice as you’d expect of a car bearing the Lincoln Star.
And, it was a Cartier. I remember seeing Cartiers on the lot at Strieter L-M and Classic L-M when they were new, but very few were on the road. I always liked the analog clock that was exclusive to the Cartier model. Also, the special upholstery and chrome wheels.
The back seat appeared to have never been used. The car sat nice and level, the paint shone brilliantly, the tires were good, and all it needed was a new, caring owner. I thought it over, looked over my books, and realized that, yes, Virginia, you CAN own a Town Car!
So I bought it. On Columbus Day, to be precise. I found my 1999 Town Car brochure in my literature collection and found out some interesting Cartier facts. For instance: The Cartier (and seldom-seen Signature Series Touring Sedan) got the Limo Package, which included dual exhaust, bumping power from 205 hp/280 lb-ft to 220 hp/290 lb-ft. Cartiers also received heated seats with five settings and cushion/backrest or backrest only settings.
My car is also equipped with the 6-disc CD changer and full-size spare. Which is good, because I’ve seen thrashed Town Cars in traffic with the goofy little donut spare, and they look terrible!
The amazing thing is how different the Cartier-exclusive Ivory Parchment Tricoat paint can look depending on the lighting. As you’ve probably noticed, it can range from pearl beige…
to pearl white…
…to light honey gold. I’ve seen it in at least four different colors so far. It is a great color!
The 4.6 is also a great match to the Townie. Smooth and quiet. And this car has so much sound insulation! Just about anything but tractor trailers generate no interior NVH in this car. Quite nice!
I would like to thank Eric Van Buren, JP Cavanaugh and Jason Shafer for all the great info pre-purchase. If not for them, I might have let this fine automobile slip though my fingers. I would have taken the “safe” route, and have gotten no Lincoln enjoyment. I also like to think that Grandpa Bob and Dick McCarthy are looking down on me and this car and saying, “the kid did all right.”
Not everyone can understand Panther Love, but let me explain it in the words of Ferris Bueller: “But to be honest, I love driving it. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” Sure, he was talking about a Ferrari, but those immortal ’80s words also apply to me and the Town Car. So pick one up; they’re cheap, and very fulfilling. Just make sure you get a good ‘un!
This CC is dedicated to Richard W. McCarthy. I scheduled it for November 5, Election Day, in honor of his love of politics–and his scorn at some of the fools that get elected!
Awesome! It’s good to see you are enjoying the Lincoln. As was said in another movie from the ’80’s, the Lincoln will “love you long time.”
You are also right, the Panther platform is one of the most misunderstood and under appreciated platforms in recent times. I’ve driven a bunch of them and they all drove really, really well.
The 4.6? Well, that’s an all-time terrific engine that will be alive and kicking for decades yet to come.
Good choice! It sounds like things are going splendidly.
Congratulations and enjoy the ride, nice mixture of classic looks and modern technology.
(Quote KC and the Sunshine Band: “That’s the way I like it”)
So….there’s a Volvo sleeping on the driveway from now on ?
Yes, the Volvo will be an “outside car” now. I intend to get a cover for it, though.
Sweet! Enjoy every minute!
Nice car. The nice thing about them is that from 98-2011 the body was thr same and parts be a plenty. Plus you can get engine parts off the GM and Crown Vic
As it is a 2000 model with the 4.6l, you will want to see if the intake was replaced(the originals cracked and leaked) and that the timing chain tensioners are good(they used plastic and those wear through so any chain noise at all and you need to replace them)(it is an easy enough job though a bit time consuming)
You got one of the best years of the brand as the 2003-2004 models had cheap plastic inside door handles which broke and you had to replace the whole door panel(no longer made and $1000 when still being made)
You are right about not screwing with a carb. It sucks. The TC is a comfy car that surprisingly gets good gas mileage on the highway for its size(I think I banged out about 24MPG when I rented one years ago.
It looks like a winner
Congrats on your buying of it.
GREAT. Funny story except for when it was a sad story. I really enjoyed it.
Beautiful car. Hope you aren’t fickle though because with a minimum of work (yup, they do break and need fixing but it isn’t normally serious stuff) this thing will go forever. They stopped the testing for chain wear at 500k because it wouldn’t break.
When I was looking for an S10 replacement this was one of two vehicles I had narrowed it down to. I am jealous.
Fickle? Oh no. I intend to keep this car a long, LONG time!
Panthers! The last American car.
In a way, you got that right. And, for better or worse, we will never see its kind again.
Amazing what an attractive car this is with no vinyl roof, bordello interior, etc. Big cars can be beautiful, as long as you let the basic lines shine thru.
Agree with Syke, and while this sort of car is not exactly my cup of tea I find this particular one oddly compelling, with its clean lines, subdued interior, lovely color and most of all, The Clock!
Was very touched by the story and your ability to articulate and share how a beloved object can help us retain emotional connection and evoke memories of those who have passed on.
Thanks Syke. I thought you might be a bit hard on me for purchasing such a vehicle. But I just had to have it.
And the fact that it didn’t have a landau top/fake convertible top/JC Whitney chrome package was a BIG factor in my purchasing it.
Congratulations and welcome to Club Panther! You have found a beautiful car, which I hope you enjoy for many years. I have come close to Town Car ownership a couple of times, but have never found the right one at the right time.
Funny, isn’t it, how a car can remind us of someone from our past. Those of us into cars seem to make links between the people in our lives and the cars we associate with them.
Congrats on the car! I was hoping you’d gotten the Cutlass, but glad that you’ve found something you’re really happy with (and sounds like a good deal to boot). It was great to read about Dick McCarthy. He sounds a lot like my Granddaddy Will. Though Will was older (WWI vet), and his cars of choice were Ford LTDs instead of Lincolns, the mindset was exactly the same. He believed in hard work and was a wonderfully opinionated, no-BS guy. I was only 14 when he died, but still remember him so well, and also got along with him famously. Never got to say goodbye either, as Granddaddy Will died suddenly, in his office, working on a Saturday. Exactly how he would have liked it!
The interior is one of the nicest from Lincoln not to mention a host of other cars. You actually start to relax just looking at it – all that room unlike so many of todays cars where you’re surrounded by cockpit-like styling and a myriad of electronics.
The one thing that I’ve never been fond of with this generation of Town Car is the grill. If only they hadn’t rounded the bottom corners.
A great tribute to an old friend and a legendary panther, wear it well
The Lincoln Town Car is the ONLY panther platform I would ever consider. Crown Vic? Grand Marquis? Fuggetaboutit, too much Impala love running through my veins.
When I lived at home, our next-door neighbor, Mr. McGrath, was a guy I connected with. Also a WWll vet. Told me his latest jokes, advised me about life, talked about cars and just about everything else.
He was a Chevy guy and drove a real nice 1965 Impala sports coupe, silver – that color didn’t show the dirt! He wanted to sell me that car when I came home on leave in spring, 1970, but as I was tied up with my old 1961, I declined. Big mistake, too – I’ve told that story recently!
He replaced that car with a silver 1969 Impala sports coupe – his “baby Cadillac”!
After I returned home from the USAF, he and I spent lots of time in “driveway talk”, mulling over just about everything from cars to local politics at the time. Sadly, he died in the mid-80s. His wife died in 1994.
Everybody should have a neighbor they can connect with and learn a few life lessons from, the kind you don’t learn from your folks.
Tom, I’m happy you had such an experience, for it’s not as common as one would like to believe. You sure scored a very sweet car as well! Keep us updated as to your ownership experience, because a friend of mine has one of these and it is one fine ride!
I hope by Impala love that you mean cars with the Impala name up till 1996 and not that Blah that came out in 2000 and still haunts us today in 2014 guise(It still looks like a rental car queen even redesigned)
Nice Ride! Congratulations. As a former four year owner of an ’87 Grand Marquis LS, I understand Panther love!
A few years ago, I was hoping our rental car on a trip to Vegas (to see family) and a planned drive to Anaheim to catch Disneyland would be one of these. I wanted my kids to see what travel in a big six passenger car with a big trunk was like – as this was really the last sedan in any rental yard that would do the job. Alas, we had a Kia Borrego, a short lived but actually pretty nice near full size SUV that Kia arrived with too late to the large SUV party.
I love your new car and the accompanying story. Thanks for sharing. I have been tempted by Town Cars a number of times but the closest I ever got was the purchase of a used 89 Continental in 1992 which turned out to be a nightmare. We loved the car but I mean to say it was a mechanical nightmare that we only kept 18 months. I predict your Town Car will be far more enjoyable. For now I will continue to enjoy my 07 Volvo V70.
To a European, the entire interior, especially the quality of the materials, screems ‘made in Russia’. Unbelievable to see that a car so outdated and cheaply built could be sold to Americans as a premium vehicle. Probably also indicative for the quality of the other American offerings at the time.
But having seen this, I may have come to understand the charm of the car as well. NO mercs would be able to do that.
That’s no “cheaply built” car. Have you had the opportunity to drive one? The Cartier and Signature versions were especially nice places to roll on the miles. These are unashamedly American luxury — a floaty ride where you can drive 8 hours straight and enjoy the day when you arrive. They’re truly amazing.
I owned a ’01 Lincoln Continental in this same color combo. Same 4.6L engine but FWD. I put 90K on the clock before handing it to my mother when her ’98 Marquis started giving her fits. I picked up a new Avalon at the beginning of this year. But, I miss that Lincoln just about every time I think about it.
Please enjoy this car and drive the wheels off it. You’ll love it!
Congratulations on your purchase. I’ve been seeing a bunch of Town Cars being used as taxis around here (Witch City)& it’s great that yours will not share this sad fate. Also, it was nice to read about your friend. It reminded me of someone who was a bit different than your friend but was quite a character.
One of the reasons I bought this car was to save it. I figured it would either A) become a taxi, B) be purchased by some skinflint who’d never maintain it and trash it inside of a year or C) it would get Donked–the worst possible fate.
Not this one!
I like the way you think Tom! I’ve “committed” to several vehicles to prevent them from going to degenerates/Donkers.
Reading about your “Club” was very enjoyable. Being accepted by a group of men you look up to is a great feeling. Personally, older people intrigue me & I like to hang out with them whenever the opportunities present themselves.
I attended the “Last Stop” Sunday School class at the church I used to go to. I was the youngest guy there by more than twenty years but they accepted me & I loved being around all that wisdom. Sadly, osmosis did not occur and I’m still as flaky as ever.
By the way, congatulations on your High Class Ride! 🙂
Nice find there Tom,
I noticed that when the sun begins to set, the car takes on that honey color, but yeah, it does shift shades, depending upon the light its under, and the angle you are viewing it.
Enjoy it. I too had hoped you’d get the CSB too, but with FI, it’s much easier to keep running in my estimation.
Great Find and a beauty. Enjoy that “Deep Ride”. A Town Car is definitely on my list for my next car. As a single man with no wife or children when you go from 1 car to 2 cars; if 2 is good 3 is better and 4 is great and maybe 5 will even be greater, which is were I am at now. Took me about 20 years to go from 1 to 5, but it is fun. I am presently getting the new car fever, do I want to replace something or just add to the fleet. Something like yours does hit a lot of the right buttons.
Congrats, Tom! It looks like one fine automobile.
Very, very nice car. Enjoy!
Congrats on the purchase, and an excellent story to go with it.
I really like the wheels on your Lincoln, they look much more classy than the alloys offered on most new cars. Not everything looks good with “5-spoke mags”.
Now that ’77 Olds looks good with the factory 5-spoke (painted steel) wheels. Between the two, the Olds would’ve been my vehicle of choice, but I’d rather have a car with no computer than a car with no carburetor. 🙂
Has the intake manifold been replaced?
By the way, welcome to Club Panther!
Well I think it goes without saying that I love it!
Back during the winter of 1999-2000 I worked for a small F-L-M dealer in northern Michigan and the owner had one identical to this ordered for his mother. I made sure I got to do the detailing for final delivery, including taking up town to fill the tank. It was so elegant and classy!
When this body was getting ready to debut for 1998, I stopped in at Mr. Sesi’s car lot, and the sales manager had an advance preview brochure sitting on his desk. As much as I loved the 1990-97 Town Car, this car looked like it was ready to take on the world, Cheshire Cat Grin and all! He saw me admiring that little mini-brochure and he gave it to me! (Yes, I still have it)
The only thing I can think of that the car needs is a stand up hood ornament from the 2003-up model, and a matching Town Car emblem, like the one on the fender, tastefully affixed to the lower right of the trunk lid.
Also, though I hadn’t made mention of it, I designated this week as Lincoln Week at The Brougham Society in honor of your new car!
Lovely car, who much did you pay for it, may I ask? For an area of wide, straight roads, I wouldn’t think twice about driving a car like this.
I am also sorry for the loss of your friend. I had an older friend for many years who passed away, also from lung cancer, a couple of years ago. This has left an empty place in my life that has yet to be filled.
They were asking $6300, and I got it for $6K. I was actually thinking of some of your prior posts: Get a nice, one owner well-maintained luxury car, and you’ll be ahead in price and driving enjoyment. It had about 93K on it; I’ve probably put 500 miles on it the last three weeks.
It is my “toy” and will not be driven in the rain or snow; I kept the Volvo for that!
Tom, this story really made my day. I learned more about you from it than meeting you in person. Thanks for sharing your life’s loves, hopes and memories, and may that Lincoln bring you much happiness!
In a world where the tendency is for people to stratify and associate with only those that share the same interests, tastes, politics, culture, cars, etc., its gratifying to see that CC is a place where we can expand our little comfort zone circle. I’ve never driven any Panther, and it doesn’t fit into my life, but I have come to appreciate its appeal and qualities, thanks to you and others here. Thanks for that!
If not for CC, I bet I wouldn’t have bought this car. Thanks for the kind words!
Congratulations on your wonderful find. Similar to some others commenting here, I’m not really a “Ford person”, but this is one that definitely has a lot of appeal. The photography is fantastic, too, especially the details like the clock and Cartier emblem.
You bought it for all the right reasons, the most important being the personal connection it offers as a tribute to your friend. Enjoy it!
What a wonderful car – you’re going to really enjoy that for a long time, Tom. The car simply *glows* in that forth photo down (left-rear view).
You picked a good time to buy, too – these aren’t getting any younger, and pristine examples with low miles are only going to get harder to find. I could see us in one for our next “trip car,” except that will be a decade from now (having recently bought the Routan). I doubt there will be any left this nice by then.
I very briefly had an ’83 Grand Marquis (it was my grandmother’s car and she had me sell it for her when she stopped driving at 90 or so). As I lived with my grands in college, it was also the car my wife and I used for our wedding. Other than the high seating position common in Ford products of the era (which left for a cramped feeling for a tall driver) and the marshmellowey handling, it was a super-comfortable road car.
Tom, you were lucky to have a friend like that, and I congratulate you on finding such a nice car to remind you of him when you drive it. I believe that one meets people for a reason…even though that reason may not be evident at the time.
I’m not really a Ford guy either but I’ve come to appreciate Panthers in general from this site, and from having rented a couple of them over the years.
Not much of a Panther fan here as you know but that does look nice in an overstuffed way the only one like that locally has an extra 3 metres in the middle making it useless as a driving car, enjoy.
Fantastic story and he sounds like a heck of a guy. I’ve always bought into the mantra that live is too short to drive a boring car and there is always an “interesting” car for every taste and budget. Looks like you’ve snagged yourself one. Lovely condition too. Nicely done.
You scored! This car screams pristine; not “made in Russia” inferior materials. Although the Town Car was considered a premium offering, it was a more ‘down to earth’ premium vehicle – a smooth, sizeable full size entry level luxury machine. It was no Mercedes S class, no 740 or 750 BMW; the Town Car wasn’t pretending to be one either. Carolus’ post seems to think this car was supposed to be on that level. What he fails to understand was that the Town Car was an executive car much like a slightly upscale hotel; not overly pretentious, stately – smooth riding – good, torquey powertrain – good assembly quality. Nothing more, nothing less. If you wanted absolute premium materials and an autobahn screamer, then get a Benz S class, Bimmer 7 series or Audi A8 equivalent (which they really didn’t have back in 2000). Be prepared to spend 3x as much as the Town Car.
Any reason you see liveries and fleet executive car pools with so many of these? There’s a reason for that.
Carolus – go suck an egg. There’s a car for every purse and purpose. I own a Benz (a ’13 GLK 350; an ’11 E350 was the trade). I also love these Town Cars too.
Yeah, let’s see what the leather in a BMW or Lexus looks like once it has even 300K on it. Around here you’ll find TCs with 500K miles on Craigslist that have been in livery service with interiors that almost look like new.
I joined the Panther club six weeks ago and really love my red LX Sport.
What year? Does it have the rare 3.55 gears or the common 3.23 gears. Pictures please.
I’ve been eying a couple LX-Sports on Craigslist for my next car but I also have a hankering for a Signature Series Touring TC.
The one LX-Sport has been hot rodded and has gauges on the A-pillar plus it has been wrecked as the one front fender is missing the pinstripe. The other looks quite nice, both are silver though and I’d rather not have another silver CV as I’ve had one for over 10 years.
Congratulations on the new ride, and kudos on the elegant way you’ve honored a friend. For many of us, particular cars connect us to particular people. To me, this Town Car bodystyle seems like it came out yesterday. I was attending a wedding in Cambria, CA on the central coast, and the parents of the groom had a Hertz Town Car rental. It was the first of the restyled Townie I’d seen and, relenting to my numerous hints and pleas, they let me chauffer them around for the weekend. I think they were amused that I got such a thrill out of it, since most of the crowd was a Bimmer/Mercedes bunch. We became fast friends that weekend, and every time I see one I think of the bridal party. They still seem like newlyweds to me, and it has to be almost 15 years ago.
Enjoy your new ride!
Cartiers have always been my favorite town cars regardless of generation. I really lust after a long wheelbase model with heated rear seats to go with the heated front ones. Remove the resonators and make it sound like a Mustang GT 🙂
I know within the next several months I will be searching for a BAS (big ass sedan).
I want an L too but around here they are hard to find with under 3-400K, though you can occasionally find at 2009-2011 that have under 100K but they are in such high demand that they are more than I’m willing to spend.
That’s what I find too. Although occasionally one pops up on Auto Trader with roughly 100K and without too bad a price. The zip codes are always in Arizona and I sometimes wonder if a few senior citizens accidentally ended up with LWB models or some crafty dealer “up sold” them?
Congrats on the purchase! I feel connected to this generation of Town Car, as my dad owned a pearl white ’98 Signature when I was a teenager, and I learned to drive on it (longer than a Suburban, for the record), as well as on my mom’s ’94 Deville. The “perks” of having older parents.
My dad turned down a Lexus GS400 at the time as company car in favor of the Town Car. He was working for a small Japanese firm at the time and I’m sure they looked at him like he had three heads when he made that request. But he got it!
I really enjoyed driving that big-ass Town Car. Its steering was much tighter and more communicative than the Deville. None of my friends thought it was cool, but they were all happy to be chauffered around in it. It was known as the “limo car,” and I took it to prom, naturally. The Brougham version of that new Audi commercial. Best part was that cops didn’t give it even a first glance. Fond memories of that car.
By the way, I find the original styling on the ’98-’02 version preferable to the later versions of the Town Car. That design was a step backwards and made the car look older, in my opinion.
But…but…but Tom, where’s the coloured interior? Not to mention the padded vinyl roof… 😉 On a serious note, looks very nice, I’d love to drive something like that. Shame Panthers weren’t available new here (and as Bryce notes, the vast majority of the used ones that have arrived tend to have quite a bit of extra metal between the front and rear doors). Mind you, we got and still get the Aussie Falcons, so we’re probably about equal!
Nice find. I had a part-time gig driving a limo with my neighbor for a few years. The first one I drove was a blue ’97 Signature Series, and while I found the ride a little wallowy for my tastes, it did the job and racked up nearly 750 000 km (original engine!) before the company retired it and put it into taxi service. We then got an off-lease 2006 Executive L with dual exhausts and better handling. Both were cars you could easily drive all day without getting cramped or tired, and the 4.6 always ran flawlessly and got good highway mileage as well. It looks like the previous owner took good care of it, and you’ll likely get years of smooth, comfortable touring out of it.
Congrats on your purchase Tom, you deserve a little indulgence!
A great car and a great story. And a very meaningful purchase in honor of Richard McCarthy.
I could tell you almost the exact same story about a great man, and a 1986 BMW 524td
Tom – Congratulations on your fine purchase! You may be the only person in North America rocking both a Volvo V50 and a Town Car! My brother once rented one of these and we drove it from SF to LA and back, funnily enough at the time I had the Volvo V40 in the driveway. At first I thought the TC to be a wallowy mess but over the course of the weekend and 1000-odd miles it became predictable and enjoyable to drive and I was sad to see it go at the end of the trip. I hope it serves you in fine stead!
“At first I thought the TC to be a wallowy mess but over the course of the weekend and 1000-odd miles it became predictable and enjoyable to drive and I was sad to see it go at the end of the trip”
I think this epitomizes what would ultimately be many peoples’ response to riding or driving in a car like this, if they had enough time. The reaction is partly because most other cars are now modeled off “European Sport Sedans” with very hard, tight handling. Even the softly sprung modern cars like the Camry or Avalon don’t ride exactly like this. So naturally the first reaction is always “oh God, it’s a gravy boat, pass the air-sickness bag”
At least in my experience with a Panther and two RWD C-Bodies, after some driving many people who haven’t experienced the big, BOF type of car handling and feel come to appreciate, if not enjoy it. Part of that is learning to drive it right, and it probably does take 1,000 miles or so if you haven’t done that before to really adjust. People who have driven trucks before seem to have an easier time than people coming from Eurasian passenger sedans.
Very nice article and a beautiful Lincoln in beautiful condition in a beautiful color……
If you aren’t a LCOC member, pls consider joining and sharing it with other Lincoln fans….
Tom, most people would look for months if not years for a car in this condition, and you found it at a Volvo dealer in your home town? There’s no other way to explain it — somehow your friend Richard McCarthy arranged for you and this car to meet.
I thought for sure you’d end up with a B-body or Cutlass Supreme like that beauty from a few weeks ago. Or possibly a Panther since you were always such a staunch supporter of those dreadful Mark VIs. But I never, in a million years, thought you’d end up with a car without whitewalls.
Congrats on that beautiful, beautiful car.
Mr. Klockau, always enjoy your columns. Congratulations on getting the last real American passenger sedan. Drive it in good health.
The ONLY thing I don’t like is the lack of hood ornament. Though if you really wanted to install one, I’m sure it could be done!
This is a wonderful story featuring a wonderful car. Congratulations on your purchase! I love my Panther – with only 63000 miles, it’s not even broken in yet.
This actual vehicle was my parents car from 2000 to 2013 when they traded it in for a new Subaru Forrester. The dealer gave my parents a printed copy of this posting about their car. They were so happy that it was sold to someone who would appreciate it. My Father took excellent care of the vehicle over the years. They took many trips in it from Illinois to a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania where my Father was born for annual family reunions. They loved to travel in that car, it was so luxurious! The Subaru was purchased for practical considerations. They no longer make the annual trek back east – my Father is turning 85 years old on July 1, 2014!! He still misses his Lincoln! It was a vehicle that he always wanted to be able to afford to purchase. Not bad for a boy born in the depression year of 1929!
Thanks for posting this article about their beloved vehicle! I will be showing them the full color pictures of their former car on this website!
PS It is true that the back seat was rarely used. All of their children were grown up when they purchased the car. I believe that there might be a small mark on the back seat from a grandchild’s car seat (right side?). I do remember my father complaining (or perhaps just commenting!) about it.
Thank you for giving me some of the history Sue. I enjoy the car very much! It gets the garage, and my Volvo station wagon sits outside. I have actually taken it to a couple of car shows, the Dahl Ford show this past May, and one of the Cars and Coffee meets in Davenport. It is my “go out to dinner” car, and my mom loves riding in the back! I plan on keeping the car forever, and it will always be cared for, as long as I own it.
Here’s a recent picture, taken by the river in Hampton. It is a really beautiful car! Oh, and by the way, there are no marks in the rear compartment from a child seat that I can see.
Perhaps sometime I could meet your parents. I would enjoy hearing more about their car and its history.
At 16 years old I fell in love in 10 minutes after being lucky enough when my family rented a 1996 Lincoln Town Car signature from hertz. To make a very long story short the love affair/obsession has continued for 17 years. I own some very expensive cars now that I’m a businessman. However, my 1997 Lincoln town car signature is sitting in my garage with only 24k miles. I Purchased it seven years ago from an estate sale in Chicago and flew all the way out to the dealership to see it. It was love at first sight again. It Had the new car smell original floor mats and tires. I have a major soft spot for these cars. My Lincoln Is next to my jaguar and rolls Royce ghost. People bash the Lincoln but the week I spent in the rented town car when I was a kid will stay with me a life time. The rental car was my first intro to what would become a long admiration of the Lincoln town car. I recently picked up a 96 with 59k that I’m bringing back to showroom quality. I rarely drive my 97 because I baby it’s so much it just sits in the garage and goes out for occasional car wash. I’ll never drive a car again that impressed me like the Lincoln town car. When my mother would let me bring hers Lincoln to college I would park in the faculty lot and the car never once got a ticket because she just blended in so well. I hope ford realizes they discontinued an American legend that contributed to many wonderful memories for so many drivers, occupants, and owners. My trip to heaven someday will def be in a Lincoln town car. Congrats on your town car and I love your story.
This is my 96 which arrived from Cleveland last week. I’m giving it to my nephew as that 4.6 liter will last a life time.
My 97 town car is only the finest company. She turns heads when I take her out.
This is my 97 town car signature. It’s truly showroom quality. Original Michelin xw4 tires, full spare, Lincoln trunk mat. 24k miles. I’ll never sell it. Best cars ever with an immense presence.
Very nice! Those alloys are not commonly seen on the Signature, nor is the two-tone paint.
I love my car, but if a similar-condition 1995-97 Cartier had come up, that’s what I would have gotten.
Yes Cartier wheels were an option. it also has heated memory seats and sunroof. Only thing it didnt come with was CD changer. Im not a huge fan of two tone, but you cant be picky. I look on auto trader everyday day for low mileage town cars ages 1995-1997 and the low mileage cars sell very quickly to buyers all around the country. I hope someday I read that Lincoln is bringing back the Town car like chevy did with camaro. It has to resemble the 1997 body style with all the bells and whistles. Town Car will rule again someday I hope. I am sure you have heard, but Warren Buffet drives Town Cars. I believe they are his favorite.
I am hoping that the upcoming Cadillac CT6 will goad Lincoln into giving us a new Town Car.
Fords biggest seller for years was the Town Car. I have written Lincoln letters about what they needed to do. Suprisingly they do respond. They needed an AWD V8 with navigation and firmer ride.
Another thing I should mention. unfortunately the man who owned my car before me died and left his hat and gloves in the trunk which I never threw out. There still in the car along with his handicap sticker. he was 92 years old and his name was Donald. I let his kids know his car would be cherished.
Your story speaks highly of the Town Car…Seeing it in the same company as your Rolls shows how lovely the Lincoln truly is.
Tom the author of this story and I, would like to invite you to join us at The Brougham Society on Facebook, I’m sure you and your cars would fit in rather well there!
Thanks Rich. If I had to pick between giving up my Rolls or Lincoln, I would have to let the Rolls go. I truly believe the Town Car offers character and class found in no other car. Sure I love Jags, mercedes, Ferrari, but there was something different about 1995-1997 Town Car. Its hard to explain and not everyone can relate.
Yes I would love to join. Thanks for the invite and any info I can share about town cars would be my privilege.
Hope to see you over at TBS Anthony. I am an administrator over there, but Richard is the boss! 😉