Affordable Luxury: 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Under the watchful eye of Edsel Ford, cars bearing the Lincoln badge were renowned for their restrained and elegant styling, and their unsurpassed build quality. Once Lincoln came more under the watchful eye of the Ford accountants, the offerings had to still be of high quality, but they had to be able to be produced to a price and in a volume to provide a return on investment. This 1979 Continental could not be described as being restrained, but given its unmolested state, it provides a fantastic snap-shot into prestige motoring of the 1970s. If you would like to own a Lincoln, you probably won’t find many cheaper examples than this one, as the opening bid has been set at $850 in a No Reserve auction. Located in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, you will find the Lincoln listed for sale here on eBay.

The photos that the seller provides leave a bit to be desired, but they do paint a generally positive picture. There is no obvious rust visible, just some surface corrosion on the underside of the car. The only major blemish on the car is to the paint on the hood. Apparently, a previous owner attempted to start the car using a squeeze bottle. This resulted in a carburetor fire which damaged the paint on the hood. The owner says that there was no other damage inflicted from this incident. The vinyl top was renewed about 3-years-ago, while the rest of the car presents really well.

The interior trim might not be to everyone’s taste, but it does appear to be in pretty good condition. The only thing that raises a question mark for me is the dash pad. It’s hard to tell whether it’s dirty, faded, or if it’s just a trick of the light. To people under a certain age, the interior trim probably appears to be quite gaudy, but when this car was new, it really was the height of fashion and desirability. Being a Lincoln, there is no shortage of luxury and toys to make life as easy as possible. The power windows, power locks, and cruise control are all operational. However, the power seat and air conditioning will both need attention, as neither of these features currently work.

There’s no substitute for cubic inches, and while we don’t get any photos of the engine, there is a bit that we do know. Apparently, that 400ci V8 engine survived the carburetor fire in good health and is said to run quite well. The car is also claimed to have only covered 67,000 genuine miles, but there is no indication as to whether there is any evidence to back this claim. What the seller does say is that the car gets very little use, so it would be a smart move if the new owner had the car fully checked, tuned, and serviced before any long trips were undertaken.

In today’s motoring world where cars like the Prius are becoming so popular, behemoths like this Continental Town Car probably seem to be irrelevant, and as a daily driver, this would be right. However, as a piece of automotive memorabilia, it does have a place in society. It provides a window into the automotive world during a specific era, and that makes it as relevant and important as any other classic car that you would care to name. Every car, no matter how good or bad, is a historic artifact that reflects the moods, tastes, and engineering thinking of its time. That’s where the value is in this car.

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  1. Del

    With the properly mounted turret gun , these were deadly on the Eastern Front 🤤

  2. Jim in FL

    These are fantastic turnpike cruisers. In 2001, I inherited a 78 from my grandfather. Typical Florida carport car, the end that hung out in the sun was rusty and the paint was burnt. Interior was perfect, mainly due to the towels my grandmother put on the velour seats since day one. It had a leaky rear main and also needed valve cover gaskets. I took care of that, pulled the seat covers off and drove it daily. The few times I took it back and forth to Philadelphia from Florida, I got an honest 15 mpg, and around 13 day to day with the 460. I sold it for $1500 when my job gave me a company vehicle and regret it daily. They are generally low mileage, lightly worn and lots of fun when you can find them. Prices are rising. I highly advise you to try one before they rise out of silly low. It was an awesome conversation starter. I couldn’t get gas without a five minute discussion about size, gas mileage, comfort, etc.

    • Jim in FL

      I just went looking for some old photos of the Town Car and it reminded me of a poignant story. I rolled the five digit odometer of the 78 over on my way to work, September 11, 2001. There was a tropical storm offshore that morning, but despite the rain bands I pulled over and took odometer shots, plus some cool pics of the car in ominous weather. I went into work bragging about my “new” Town Car. A couple hours later the world changed forever, and my automotive milestone wasn’t so important.

    • Bert Kanne

      Had the opportunity to once drive a new 1979 almost identical to this car. It’s a house on wheels!

  3. Iggy O.

    The final paragraph in this article is very well written and absolutely captures the reasoning behind our passion for classic automobiles. The final sentence in particular resonated with me:

    “Every car, no matter how good or bad, is a historic artifact that reflects the moods, tastes, and engineering thinking of its time. That’s where the value is in this car.”

    That, to me, is the beauty behind my love for classics. Very well said Adam!

  4. dcowan

    I never understood seeing these with no leather interior. It seems like it should be only a special order to not have leather. Anyway kinda gross lol

  5. Kiteflier

    What a car! Like taking your living room for a drive on marshmallow roller skates. Had one when I worked in the mechanical engineering department at a university in the 90s and talked two material techs into putting in two cut out valves in the exhaust. That car defied the laws of physics when I pulled the T- handles under the dash and the exhaust got routed over to two 6 foot straight pipes. Floor it and crank the wheel over to full lock and the whole car shook just a second and then rose up and slowly rotated a full 180. A guy ran a stop sign and hit me midship on the right side. Destroyed his car and crunched mine but I gave it away anyway.

  6. Bob_in_TN Member

    Adam, I also wanted to compliment you on the last paragraph. Very well written, and captures my sentiments about the old car hobby. I try to approach the hobby with a “period correct” perspective, where one considers a given car or truck within the context of when it was designed, manufactured, sold, and used.

    As you point out with this Lincoln, it seems so out-of-place given today’s perspective. But for its time, it was a vehicle many people aspired to own. And, to me it is not much of a stretch to consider that today’s super-popular luxury pickups (I have a F150 Lariat which I love) are the Lincoln’s spiritual successor.

  7. PatrickM

    Great car!! Wish I could afford. Bidding now at $2,505.00. Someone is gonna get a great ride. I hope they appreciate it.

  8. Stevie G Member

    I am stupid enough that I would daily drive it in the summer time. I have a part time night job delivering pizza & I used a 1974 Thunderbird that I had the summer before last to deliver one night. Needless to say, I lost money that night lol.

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