The car most people envision when they hear the word” limo”, Lincoln’s Town Car practically had the livery trade completely sewn up over the course of its lifetime (and frankly, it still does for the most part). The last surviving large rear-drive American luxury car, the Lincoln Town Car is a throwback to the era of “longer, lower, and wider” American luxury sedans. The Lincoln Town Car was also the largest sedan available in North America in its final years of production.
The Town Car appellation was first appended to a Lincoln product back in 1959. It found permanence when it appeared as a trim package for the 1969 Lincoln Continental. It became a standalone model unto itself in 1981, when Lincoln’s product planners decided to position the Town Car above the Continental in the Lincoln lineup. Many have speculated this was done because the Continental was moving to a front-drive platform, and Lincoln’s marketers recognized the value of the rear-drive Town Car for the livery business.
Whatever the reason, the Town Car has been wildly successful as a chauffeur-driven automobile. Exceptionally robust, easy to repair, and of course highly comfortable to ride in; Lincoln’s Town Car singlehandedly ruled the limo business until it was discontinued after the 2011 model year.
And frankly, the market has yet to come up with a suitable replacement.
Lincoln produced three generations of the Town Car between 1981 and 2011. This retrospective will pick up with the launch of the third generation car, which ran between 1998 and 2011.