The Lincoln Town Car, produced from 1981 to 2011, held the title as North America’s epitome of a luxury sedan. It had great interiors that would make six passengers enjoy a ride anywhere, making the model the most-used chauffeured car and converted limousine in the US. However, years of improvement in the specs game made an overwhelming impact, and the model was unable to successfully defend its throne, which slowly made it less endearing to consumers. Despite this effect, the Lincoln Town Car had a gentle metamorphosis that spanned three generations.
1981 – 1989: A smaller, luxurious sedan
Adopting the Panther platform, the initial releases of the Lincoln Town Car operated with a rear-wheel drive. The models were characterized as smaller versions of full-size luxury sedans, having a weight lesser by 900 pounds and more compact by 1 inch, 14 inches, and 10 inches in width, length, and wheelbase, respectively. Despite this decrease in size, the trunk was bigger. The Lincolns also wore fake vent windows, a rectangular grille, blade-like fenders, and exposed headlights. For the interior, a leather-grained vinyl roof covering was used along with a split bench seat. Some of the luxury features included a trip computer that displayed the
estimated time of arrival and
miles to empty. Further, there was a keypad entry system that allowed the driver to operate the doors and trunk lid without connecting to a satellite.
1990 – 1997: More aerodynamic, more curvaceous, and much safer
The changes to the second-generation Lincolns were mainly on the design. The look was made more contemporary with the use of sheet metal. The models were more aerodynamic with the redesigned front end and grille, and overall, they became less angular. The interiors wore new seats, dashboard, and door panels. The seats became electrical recliners that could be inflated for more lumbar comfort. The dashboard had a digital instrument cluster with an upgraded message center, but the
estimated time of arrival feature was removed. Moreover, safety became another focus for the units. They had dual airbags, an anti-lock braking system, four-wheel disc brakes, a rear air suspension, and lighter front and rear bumpers.
1998 – 2011: Major restyling for a modern look
Cat’s-eye headlights and a curvier body characterized the third-generation Lincolns. Aside from the waterfall grille design, the units were also bigger by a few inches than the previous models. The interior received major restyling; the controls, switches, radio face, and door and instrument panels were all redone. In terms of safety, a seat-mounted combination head and torso side airbags were installed. Some of the features that came standard were leather upholstery, a tachometer, hidden parking sensors, and a six-disc CD changer.