1978 Lincoln Town Car - SOLD
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This 1978 Town Car shows just 52,482 original miles and has been collector owned for more than half of its life.

This is it, the car that is unquestionably the biggest piece of American luxury ever created. There may be others that are an inch bigger here or a touch wider there, but in terms of sheer sheetmetal acreage, nothing can top this stupendous 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car. It's so large that it takes a normal man at a walking pace almost ten seconds to cover the distance from bumper to bumper. It's so large that three normal-sized people can sit in the back seat and their shoulders won't even touch. It is so larger that it is the only man-made object visible from the moon. OK, I made that last part up, but you get the point—this is a GIANT car.

Why am I making such a big deal over the car's size? Because of what it means to automotive history. The Lincoln Town Car marked the end of an era and there will never again be cars like this fantastic heavy cruiser in new car showrooms. It was the ultimate expression of comfort and luxury, with a ride that absorbs bumps like a hovercraft, pillow-tufted seats that are more comfortable than anything in your home, and a silky-smooth V8 engine that moves it with the effortlessness of a cruise ship. All you need to do is aim that massive hood towards the horizon, set the cruise control, and keep one finger on the wheel, and the Town Car will get you there with ease.

The time is coming when these iconic cars will be collectable, and perhaps that time has already arrived. Members of the Lincoln Continental Owners Club know that they are superlative highway cruisers and the best ones have been immaculately maintained over their three-decade-long lives. This 1978 Town Car shows just 52,482 original miles and has been collector owned for more than half of its life. And unlike so many of its peers, it wears a handsome color combination that will always be fashionable. As far as we can tell, the Dove Gray paint remains 100% original and in very, very good condition and we really had to look to find any flaws (that's a lot of sheetmetal to examine!). There might be one or two minor chips on the nose due to highway use and maybe a few others on the rockers from some stray stones, but the overall look is extremely impressive. Despite what you've heard, build quality on these big cars was quite good for the period, and all four doors close with a precision that you may not expect. In fact, you may have to give them a little harder slam than you're accustomed to doing with modern cars, as the heavy-duty weather seals that make it tomb-silent inside are still quite supple and effective. Likewise, the chrome is excellent (there's some light pitting on the grille shell, but I bet you won't see it without using a camera flash like we did), the wonderfully ornate parking light lenses are just beautifully rendered, and the padded half roof shows no rips, tears, or other notable demerits. And yes, the headlights work as they should.

The wonderful gray velour interior is pure 1970s, but it's tasteful instead of over-the-top. You almost fall into the pillow-tufted seats, which are still comfortable enough for 10-hour cross-country cruising. There's no notable wear on any of the seating surfaces and they're still firm where they're supposed to be firm, soft where they're supposed to be soft. The carpets are deep enough that you could lose a shoe, and as I said, with those heavy-duty weather seals, it's dead silent inside this car. There's a lot of faux wood on the dash and door panels, and even the steering wheel, but it contrasts nicely with the gray dashboard, which also features a brushed metal speedometer face for a bit of a high-tech look. The options list is extensive, with this car carrying every available feature except the electric moon roof: automatic climate control, power windows, locks, and seat, cruise control, automatic headlights and dimmer, an exterior thermometer, power antenna, tilt steering column, and an AM/FM/8-track stereo radio. Better yet, it all works! See, yet another reason for this to be your next road trip car. Your passengers will be stunned by the amount of space they have in back and the trunk is large enough for everyone to bring, well, everything. The original spare tire and jack assembly are still in place, hidden behind their own carpeted bulkhead.

Downsizing was on the horizon, and 1978 was the last year that you could get Ford's biggest V8 in a Town Car, a 460 cubic inch mill that never seems to work very hard. It was optional, believe it or not, and since this car is loaded with options, it makes sense that the biggest engine would be on the list. With just 52,000 original miles, it has never needed anything but routine service items and still runs superbly. Turn the key and it starts almost instantly and settles into a smooth idle that you can sense, but isn't terribly noticeable. There's torque all over the map, which is why you want a big cubic inch engine pulling your luxury car around, and like a good servant, it never, ever calls attention to itself. The engine bay is wonderfully original and very well preserved, with Ford Blue on the engine, air cleaner, and other parts, all of which remains bright and clear. It is notable in the fact that little things like the hose clamps, fasteners, distributor cap, and other small parts that are often discarded are all correct and likely original. The big 4-barrel Autolite carburetor is nicely tuned and has no bad habits and it's content to run on the cheapest gas you can find. Parts are plentiful and maintenance will be easy in the future, so no worries about this becoming a money pit, because I just don't see how that could happen. It's rugged, simple, and very well designed.

The big V8 is backed by a C6 3-speed automatic transmission with seamless shifts and good reflexes. Yes, if you hammer the throttle, the big Lincoln will gather up its skirts and hustle, although it prefers not to. Instead, it's best at gliding around town where the luxury-grade suspension can vacuum up potholes or out on the interstate where it can gobble up pavement at a voracious rate. With 2.73 gears in the rear end, 80 MPH is effortless and there's only a whisper of wind noise past the A-pillars to let you know how fast you're really going. The chassis is extremely clean, albeit original, so you're going to see some light surface scale on some of the heavy metal parts like the front suspension arms and driveshaft, but nothing that should cause you any alarm. It has obviously not been used in winter weather. Braking is almost too effective, with heavily-boosted brakes that will toss you through the windshield if you're not careful. And as you'd expect, the exhaust is just a muted hum thanks to a new muffler and correct resonator out back. Polished aluminum wheels were an expensive option and are the most desirable wheels on these big cars, and they carry recent 235/75/15 whitewall radials for an appropriate look.

Documentation includes owner's manual, sales brochures, and a full set of shop manuals, which are invaluable for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

We have to admit that we like this car a lot more than we expected to. It's beautifully preserved, a joy to drive, and you can't help but feel like a millionaire when you're behind the wheel. It's probably the most car per dollar available anywhere on the planet and it is already a popular car for AACA and LCOC events simply because it's so easy to drive and so comfortable for the whole family. At this price, what do you have to lose, and you will be getting one of the best examples we've ever seen. Call today!

Vehicle: 1978 Lincoln Town Car
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 114102
Mileage: 52,482
VIN: 8Y82A877926
Engine: 460 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.73
Wheelbase: 127 inches
Wheels: 15-inch polished aluminum wheels
Tires: 235/75/15 whitewall radial
Exterior Color: Dove Gray
Interior Color: Gray cloth
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