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Lincoln's Dracula-like Town Car Gets Heart-Staked... Sort Of.

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On: Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 2:30PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Lincoln's Dracula-like Town Car Gets Heart-Staked... Sort Of.

The latest installment in my non-existent series “They Still Build That?!?” brings terrible news for car-hire businesses and old people alike: 2011 is the final year for FoMoCo’s finest model, the range-topping (oh, yes, it is!) Lincoln Town Car.

Like the Mercury Grand Marquis (OK, Mercury, period) and non-cop Ford Crown Vic before it, this last of the rear-drive, body-on-frame luxury sedans from the Blue Oval Boys will greet its first sunrise and be converted to ash or whatever happens to vampire-like vehicle lines when they get tired of living forever without aging.

But fear not; Lincoln has seen fit to “transfer” the Town Car name to a wholly inappropriate vehicle the named-after-the-dude-on-the-penny folks want to cram down our (and limo/taxi companies’) throats.

[More on that in a minute.]

Unless you’re of a certain (advanced) age, travel often on lucrative "business" or if your business involves driving said businesspeople around, you might not have noticed that there even was a Town Car, let alone a (technically) new one.

Heck, even Ford’s own media site for Lincoln doesn’t mention the Town Car’s existence. In fact, you can’t see it in model year 2011 or 2010 listings, and if you try to go back further than that the site locks up (a keyword search will get you a few 2007 images, but they're just the 2006 ones used again).

So maybe the Town Car is like herpes cream: You don’t need to know anything about it until you NEED to know, know what I mean?

[Me neither. Wink, wink.]

Anyhoo, as it turns out, those in a business some call “livery” need to know about it—the car, not the cream (or maybe the cream ALSO, not exclusively)—and therefore have kept tabs on this gentle giant while “consumer” sales have fallen off sharply and cannot, apparently, get up.

An MSRP of $47,225 to start may be why, as you can buy a car actually DESIGNED in 2011 for that, not just one that’s CALLED a 2011 model. Then again, the very fact that they didn’t change anything might have been the TC’s strongest selling point; it contains no new-fangled whatzits and doohickeys and has a nose-mounted V8 driving the rear wheels just as God and Ike intended.

Plus, if you’re the kind of buyer that hates making decisions, the Lincoln Town Car is one of the few models that only come in two flavors: the prettily-named-yet-still-base “Signature Limited” and somewhat-longer-and-$5,670-more-expensive “Signature L.”

[I’ll leave it to you to “Build Your Town Car” at Lincoln.com if you want the particulars, but there’s another old-school nameplate you can opt (and pay a little over a grand) for on the shorter TC. Find and win (nothing)!]

Other than that tidbit, there’s really no reason to build one as they’re just not out there to buy. Even without selecting ANY “required” options I could find only five within 60 miles of me, with three at one dealer and one each at two others.

If that doesn’t strike fear into your heart, you must not own or be involved in a business that requires a vehicle with a large and opulent back seat, commodious trunk, and the lowest service and repair costs possible.

Lincoln wants to assuage some of that panic by slapping their finest-aged nameplate on their youngest offering, the MKT. But even though they “worked hand-in-hand with the Limo/Livery Advisory Board” and “talked directly to the people who would be using the vehicles the most” when coming up with the “MKT Town Car,” the best they could do under the circumstances was to admit defeat on the cost front and go with the supery-duperest interior that’d fit.

[And considering it’s now in the belly of a relatively-large SUV, a LOT fit.]

The good news for “real” Town Car fans (if that’s the right word) is that it will take decades for the existing cars to trickle down from top-shelf ride-suppliers to beat-to-hell inner-city “Escape from New York”-style taxis, so regardless of your station in life if you call for a ride from a “black car” service you’re more likely to find your behind in a Town Car than anything else for the foreseeable future.

Town Car, we completely knew ye, yet will miss you just the same.

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tony p | 8:03AM (Fri, Jun 24, 2011)

It may be big but it was one the most reliable and long running vehicles around

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