1979 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe
And if you like your land yachts unusual and rare, this 1979 Lincoln Town Coupe represents the pinnacle of Lincoln’s personal luxury in the 1970s.
Your first impression when you approach this 1979 Lincoln Town Coupe is that it’s simply mammoth. On a 127-inch wheelbase, it rivals the biggest cars of the ‘50s, and today anything with 127 inches between the wheels is a full-sized dually pickup. In fact, this car is more than 18 inches longer than a new Lincoln Navigator! But it isn’t merely big for the sake of being big, it has style and proportion and a gothic look that has aged pretty well. These cars have enjoyed a nice uptick in values ever since the guys in the Scorsese flick “Casino” were motoring around in such things, and in 1979, if you owned one of these, you had well and truly made it to the top. Sure, Mercedes-Benz was a minor player, BMW was still building small, light sporty sedans, and Cadillac had already downsized their entire line. No, in 1979 if you could have anything you wanted, THIS is what you drove. And quite frankly, there can’t be many examples nicer than this highly original 34,779-mile car from a large and prestigious Lincoln collection.
The ‘70s were not famous for their color combinations—brown was awfully popular—but the Dark Red finish on this one is contemporary and in excellent condition. Sadly, as brilliant as Lincoln’s stylists were, their color naming department was pretty flat, as “Dark Red” is the official color name, which is kind of dull for such a wonderful luxury coupe, don’t you think? The good news is that it remains in incredible original condition, and has likely not been a daily driver for decades. There’s absolutely no sign of rust or previous accident damage, and knowing the owner and the collection from which it comes, it is unquestionably the nicest of its type. The finish looks far better than most paints of the ‘70s, with just the right amount of metallic to make it sparkle, but without getting too disco-flashy. The flanks are free of even minor parking lot dings, and it sports a contrasting silver pinstripe that emphasizes the straight lines and great length. There’s also an optional vinyl half-roof (called a “coach roof” in period sales literature) that remains in as-new condition with no fading, rips, or other signs of neglect. Chrome and stainless trim are likewise excellent, from the upright Lincoln grille to the bright rocker panel moldings that conspire to make the car look even LONGER, to the unique insert between the taillights, it is beautifully preserved.
Leather upholstery was one of the more expensive options on the list, and it made it into this car. With age- and mileage-appropriate signs of use, but no damage or other issues, it’s pure 1970s inside. Ersatz wood trim, pillow-tufted seats, and brushed stainless gauges all give it a period-perfect look and it’s all in great condition. The seats are surprisingly supportive, with firm foam underneath the leather, and I should point out that leather is notoriously difficult to photograph properly, and it looks far better in person than it does in photos. Carpets are similarly very nice, and the soft parts of the door panels and dashboard are like new. The back seat looks completely unused, and this is a 2-door coupe with legroom like a modern 4-door sedan, and taking six people cross-country in comfort is what this car was designed to do. All of the power accessories work, from the unique power front windows that have separate quarter vents to the A/C, which is ice cold thanks to a recent service. Interval wipers, cruise control, the original AM/FM radio with fully-functional power antenna, and dual power seats are all included as part of the package. The trunk is truly massive—I can’t imagine needing this much space to travel in an automobile, but perhaps Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro found it useful. The original lining is in exemplary condition, and the original spare sits unused in its own compartment after all these years.
Lincoln was still putting big, effortless V8s in their cars in 1979, and this one sports a 402 cubic inch powerplant that provides the kind of smooth power Lincoln owners demand. It starts quickly and settles into an imperceptible idle, and does make the torque needed to make this car feel so luxurious on the road. The engine bay is highly original, showing all its original markings, as well as signs of conscientious maintenance, and a quick detail would make it ready for HPOF or other preservation-class judging. The only transmission available was a C6 3-speed automatic, which has already proven itself behind some seriously ferocious hardware, and there’s a towering 2.47 rear axle, so it just loafs along on the highway, delivering reasonable fuel economy given the car’s size. If you’ve never experienced a cross-country trip in a ‘70s luxury car, there’s simply nothing else that can compare to the feeling of smoothness and silence that it includes. The ride is hovercraft smooth with bumps registering as a dim sound somewhere far away, and a ride that glides over even the worst pavement. The heavily insulated body and supple rubber seals mean that highway speeds are little more than a whisper outside the windows. And I, for one, like the disc-style wheelcovers, which are surrounded by a recent set of 235/75/15 whitewall radials.
In terms of the amount of sheetmetal you get for your money, it’s hard to beat this Town Coupe. And if you like your land yachts unusual and rare, this 1979 Lincoln Town Coupe represents the pinnacle of Lincoln’s personal luxury in the 1970s. The mammoth Town Car would be replaced in 1980 with a downsized version, and we would never again see cars of this caliber roaming the highways of America. More recently, these cars are eligible for AACA membership, and we’ve recently discovered that the owners of these impressive machines are quite passionate about them. This is an excellent example in fantastic colors that is ready to enjoy immediately for a very modest investment. Fly in and drive it home to discover what first-class travel is really all about.