10k Original Miles: 1989 Lincoln Town Car

This 1989 Lincoln Town Car shows a tick over 10,000 original miles and is every bit the creampuff you’d expect as a result. Despite being the pinnacle of American luxury automobiles when new, the Town Car of this era is mostly seen as a cheap, abused used car, if it’s seen at all. This example had to have been spent time with an elderly person, clearly not seeing much more use than short, in-town drives would demand. The leather looks perfect and the ashtray has never been used. With bidding already over $10,000, have collectors begun to take note of time-warp Panther platform specimens? Find it here on eBay and located in Chicago.

Of course, the Chicago location could also mean that an ex-mobster once sat in the front seat and had to relinquish ownership following a prison sentence. But more likely is the scenario I laid out above, wherein a retiree used it for local, in-town trips for a few years before relinquishing the keys. For a while, there weren’t many competitors for cars that so clearly conveyed prestige and success if you only bought American; of course, the European competition made quick work of the driving dynamics if handling was a priority, but for many shoppers, couch-like comfort and soft-touch opulence was all that mattered.

Luxury was never in short supply in this generation Town Car, with plenty of wood-like dash inlays, leather, thick carpeting, and a high-end stereo. The seller reports this example retains all of those features that set the Town Car apart, and even has a CD player. Without seeing it, we can’t confirm whether it’s factory or aftermarket, but CD players were finding their way into OEM head units in higher-end cars. There’s also a power moonroof, and given the seller confirms it was loaded up with every factory option when new, it seems likely that this Town Car left the assembly line with every box checked.

Look at that ashtray – if you need more confirmation that the Town Car was never smoked in, I’m not sure what proof to offer you. The details look right with this one, with no obvious sullying of the light-colored interior surfaces and carpets, and no signs of prior poorly repaired accident damage on the exterior. The current bid surprises me a bit, because even though the Panther platform is due to become a collector’s item for its significant presence in the automotive marketplace and for the many iconic vehicles it spawned, I didn’t think it was quite there yet. The Town Car has no reserve price to clear, so it will find an owner – but will it reach $20K, or stay closer to the current bid?

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Comments

  1. Troy s

    You don’t carve corners or play stop light hero in a car like this. It’s not so much a driving experience but more of like being in a comfortable recliner,,, in the living room, and eventually finding yourself at the bank, store, maybe the yacht club….
    the enthusiasm is of a different sort, one I could never grasp. Nice car.

    Like 11
  2. corey

    I inhareted my Gradfather’s prized 1991, top of the line, Mercury Grand Marquis in 2006 or so. He had a full, canvas landau top installed. Most only had the 1/4 top. It was mint and only had about 25k on the clock. I got it with his collection of Sinatra tapes in the glove box. It was a very nice car that rode like a leather couch and cruised down the highway like a magic carpet. I stupidly traded it for a 90s Civic after a few year because of MPG issues. Gas was about $5 pg and I was a poor, new dad. I would love to have this 1st cousin of a Lincolin today. Couldn’t personally justify that price but I think it is worth that.

    Like 10
  3. David

    My wife and I special ordered one in 1989 just like she wanted-probably the best car we ever owned. Triple black with cloth, not leather. Rode like a cloud. I sure wish I still had it.

    Like 10
  4. Gus Fring

    This is a car that could be driven for another 20 years, easily, with just simple maintenance. The fuel-injected 5.0 was nearly bulletproof. Even better, are the later 4.6-powered versions of the Panther Platform Town Car. These cars will run forever and, even though they were priced like a Cadillac or Chrysler Fifth Avenue, They were a world apart in terms of reliability. These cars, along with the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis, were the most reliable, well-built, and easiest to maintain cars ever produced in the USA…they rank right up there with a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry.

    Like 16
    • Ralph

      Fifth Aves were cheaper cars, closer to a nice Buick price tier.

      Like 1
  5. Ralph

    The CD is factory, these were some of the first cars with a factory CD player starting around 1987 or so, its a rare option.

    Like 3
  6. Racer-X

    My dad traded in a 1978 RX7 (stick) for a new 1985 Lincoln Town Car.
    He had already promised me the RX7 as soon as I got my license which would have been 8 months later. He said he needed to trade the Mazda to offset tax on the Ford.
    So instead of driving the RX7, I bought a used GLC. Yay!!!
    I forgave my dad but I’ll always hate Lincoln Town Cars.

    Like 2
  7. JEFF S.

    I owned a 1981 Town Car in 1990. Best $3,000 I ever spent on a car. With 4 kids there was room for the whole family and we put 60,000 miles on it until the timing chain broke at 153,000 miles and bent all the valves. This beauty will last the new owner years before the timing chain needs to be done, but I would do it at 100,000 miles to keep it going for another 100,000. If I did not have a new 2020 Ford Edge setting in the driveway, I would make sure this one was mine. Truly a Hot Rod Lincoln when you need it to be.

    Like 3
  8. Russ

    Why does the Experian report indicate mileage of 48,879 in 1993?

    Like 3
    • Keith

      Yep, the mileage is not adding up, ODO rolled over but well taken care of?

      Like 1
      • JEFF S.

        I guess if you are going to claim 10K original miles, you do not include a history report link. But I did not click on link, maybe the bidders failed to check because the car looks so good. Now with 110,000 price needs to be around $7,000. The $3,000 I paid for my Town Car in 1990 = $6,100 today.

        Like 2
  9. Ted-M

    Most land yachts are well taken care of by older senior citiZeus!

  10. Maestro1 Member

    I agree with Gus Fring. Ford got very lucky in these years, and I remember very clearly an owner of a New York Limousine Service telling me that these were the best Lincolns ever built. He was holding on to his versions longer than usual for that reason. Two of them had crossed 175,000 miles each with no issues. I’m not a Ford man. What’s not to like?
    If I had the room I’d buy it.

    Like 2
  11. Argy

    As we always say in the used car business- condition, condition, condition! Low miles and all the options plus a great color combo should keep pushing up the price. A good car to tuck away for a few years and not get burned.

  12. Bob_in_TN Member

    Reading the write-up and the comments, two thoughts came to mind:

    — Even for cars with (seemingly) minimal collector interest, clean, low-mileage examples bring solid numbers.

    — In their day the Panthers were well-respected by their core users (which, during the later years of production, were mostly police and taxi/limo). But now that they have been out of production for a decade it seems the cars are developing a broader sense of respect. Straightforward, unpretentious, reasonably luxurious, comfortable, dead reliable. For what they were designed to do, they did a great job.

    No, they never will have the broad appeal of something like muscle cars, but I think history will be kind to them.

    Like 6
  13. Christopher Gentry

    My future father in law had one when these when they were new. He told me to use it once to run to the store. I hated it. I drove a 78 Toyota Corolla at the time. This thing felt like driving a air craft carrier. No road feel at all. But while I would never want one. Does seem a shame that such a traditional American style if automobile has just vanished.

    Like 2
  14. TouringFordor

    I had one in blue, and it was a great car. This one is either low mileage, or the driver didn’t use the door arm rest – they are usually split open. Since the arm rest is part of the door card, it’s not an easy repair.

    Like 4
  15. Phlathead Phil

    Nope, no Lincolns phor me unless they are Zephyers.

  16. vsluggo

    I’ll bet one of those power windows doesn’t go down

    Like 1
  17. Vic M

    Nice car if the miles are right, however if it has 110k it still has plenty of life. I owned a used 1988 and a 2004. Both drove nice and were great highway cruisers and family cars’
    The 2004 was a better handling car, especially in bad weather and snow. I loved that car and it got pretty good gas mileage.

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