10K Mile Signature Series: 1997 Lincoln Town Car

We are stylin’ now! It’s one thing to have a Lincoln Town Car and another to go full-tilt with a “Signature Series” model Town Car. As the 1997 Lincoln’s sales brochure states, “I think someone who is successful is someone who is comfortable with himself.” I have no idea what all that hocus-pocus has to do with a Lincoln other than to suggest a potential owner has to be successful in order to pay the Town Car Signature Series tab which ran about $40 large in ’97. This magnificent, 10K mile 1997 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series model has depreciated down a bit since ’97 but the bidding, here on eBay, has reached $8,250, reserve not yet met. Chester, New York is where you will find this fine specimen.

The Lincoln Town Car (a combination of a Continental Town Car and a Town Car) experienced its first production run between ’81 and ’89. The second generation spanned ’90 to ’97 so this example is among the last produced. Town car offerings for ’97 were the Town Car or “Executive”, The Signature Series, and the top drawer Cartier model.

We have come across many 25 to 35-year-old, very low mileage, excellent condition cars here on Barn Finds lately, and more than one has been a Lincoln like this Mark III or this Mark V. There are a lot of old, nice quality Detroit-Iron models that have been patiently parked for years and are now surfacing for sale. As the seller states, this Lincoln is a true time capsule, and “this car is in original condition. The original paint is stunning and retains a new car shine.”  There is no indication where this Lincoln has been and for how long, other than to state it was garage stored and bought from the original owner. There are a lot of external excesses to take in here, chrome wheel arches, chrome panels adorning the lower door, fender and quarters, a padded landau top, and brushed finish landau crossbar with embedded opera lights. But wait, there’s more! How about gold and white stripe Vogue tires mounted on alloy lattice wheels? Yes sir, no more beans for breakfast, done hit it big now! This Town Car is, for all of those excesses, in truly splendid condition.

Inside is BarcaLounger approved. The upholstery is a dove gray leather that contrasts nicely with the burgundy exterior. This is a high-maintenance shade as the slightest bit of fly-goo will stain it. And the spotless condition is certainly representative of this Town Car’s low mileage. The interior has a very inviting atmosphere about it, much like a comfy living room. It actually looks a little too inviting as I can see dining out with your significant other and then nodding off on the way home – a self-driving feature could come in handy! All of the standard features such as air conditioning/climate control, cruise control, power locks, power windows, power mirrors and power seats apply in this case. The assumption, though not explicitly stated, is that they all function.

Under the hood is Ford’s 4.6 liter, SOHC, V8 engine that leisurely generates 190 net HP and drives through a four-speed AOD, automatic transmission. The seller doesn’t elaborate on this Lincoln’s running capability so we’ll have to assume that it operates as expected. He does claim that the following have been replaced, ” new battery, brakes, calipers, brake hoses, fuel tank flushed with new fuel pump and sending unit, brand new vogue tires.” He further adds that this Town Car was never driven in snow or salt-covered roads – good to know considering that it is an empire state resident.

I like Town Cars of this era having rented several back in the ’90s. My biggest, and really only, complaint is how cramped the back seat is on an automobile of such largesse.  This example, as magnificent as it is, is a bit too over the top with all of the exterior gee-gaws, it politely suggests (Lincolns suggest, they never shout), “Look at me!” Again, this is a subjective position on my part and I’m sure there are those that will appreciate the more ostentatious aspects of this Lincoln’s bearing. Four days to go in the bidding and it is still in a reasonable range but the reserve is unknown. If the bidding and/or the reserve tops at $12K or less, this Town Car is probably a good buy. And I would put it in the “buy it, drive it and enjoy it” category, it’s really not a collectible. What do you think, what’s a good value for a fine condition, ultra-low mileage Lincoln like this?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’m with Jim on this one, the extra “stuff” is over-the-top and detracts from an otherwise nice Lincoln.

    Like 5
  2. Hazardman

    I’m sorry,I really am. This style Lincoln is butt ugly.

    Like 2
  3. Boatman Member

    Interesting that the cover is missing from the top of the engine.

  4. Kevin

    This “Signature Series” reminds of the similar “Gold Package” options of yesteryear. Cheesy dealer add-ons which looked like garbage and were nothing more than a blatant money grab. Back in late 1993 I bought my first new car, an Escort GT. They pulled out all the stops with me and I was being hustled for about two hours. The trips back to the sales/finance manager and all that. Finally when the “Gold Package” guy came in I called them on their b.s. and said I’m walking. A “Gold Package” on an Escort? After a few days they called me and we agreed on a fair price (with no further games) and I enjoyed the heck out of that car for 12 years and 135K trouble free miles.

    Like 6
  5. Ike Onick

    Agree with all comments. It is impossible to see one of these and not picture it starring in a Scorsese film. These should have been called the “Hitman” Series and the trunk space should have been measured by the number of bodies it could hold.

    Like 4
  6. Will Fox

    Thing poor Lincoln has “geriatric” written all over it.

  7. Eric

    Beautiful car, to bad it’s got that 4.6 liter V8. They were and still are notorious for cracked intake manifolds. Having to replace a total of three of them on a 97 Cougar I had and the 97 Crown Vic I currently have.

    • David Ulrey

      You aren’t wrong about the plastic intake manifold. Chevrolet also foolishly did them too. On a bright note, depending on what vehicle the 4.6 is in, some aren’t bad at all to change. My son just changed the one on his 96 T-Bird ( no prior experience doing one either) in a little over 2 hours. Some can be a bigger though depending on how far back the engine is set and how much crap is under the hood.

  8. Vin_in_NJ

    My father purchased one of these new in 1996. He happily plucked down 40 grand of my inheritance on a white with blue interior and blue roof. Car drove like it was floating on a cloud and rode on 16 inch rims. At highway speeds, the load leveler would rise the rear end for a smoother ride. Then slowly deflate when you got into town.
    I heard some systems failed and left the back end bottomed out.

  9. Gregory Borzewski

    I have a 1990 Cadillac Brougham White with red leather has 74k on the O.D. This car is mint inside and out. Under it too. No leaks. Anything that was replaced, was replaced with A/C Delco parts only. If you may know someone that want a mint Cadillac Brougham have them but it from me and i’ll pay you for it. This car has been mostly in storage since 2002. Never seen rain or snow. None smoker car. I always wanted this type of Lincoln this year car.

  10. P Wentzell

    I owned a 1990 version of this car, similar color combination, Executive series. It was great for trips! When my Parents bought a ’93 Town Car, my sister flipped, exclaiming: “They spent 40K on a new Lincoln!” I replied: “Good for them!” They totaled that car three years later (long story) and got a new 1997. A new 1999 followed, my Moms last car. Needless to say, I have a fondness for these. Regarding this example, I am not so fond of the padded roof and wheel arches.

  11. Steve Bush Member

    Agree with the others; it’s an ugly tacky car. They’re actually nice looking cars when ordered without all the ridiculous add-ons.

  12. Stevieg

    Somehow, I like this look on a Cadillac but not on a Lincoln.
    In my mind, Lincolns generally attract more conservative buyers than Cadillac. I love me a pimped out Cadillac but Lincoln should be more “traditional”.
    Either way, I would probably still drive it. I would just have to switch out the rims to something that goes with the theme of the car better, maybe some gold wire times with Vogue tires.
    By the way, that is not a Landau bar, that is a crown molding. And I guaranty this top is not padded at all, it is a fake convertible top. It is made of either abs plastic or fiberglass, and it is textured to resemble canvas.

  13. '59fordFAN

    Other than the colour of the interior, I love this Town Car. I’m not, yet, 60, either. It, sure, doesn’t scream, “old”, at/to me.

  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $16,033.

  15. EskimoJoe

    Check out the movie Be Cool, Raji (Vince Vaughn) plays a wanna be brother, who has one of these in white with a red top, and is chauffeured around LA by his gay bodyguard, Elliott (The Rock)…hilarious movie!

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