JUNKYARD THERAPY: 1989 Lincoln Town Car – Mine’s Bigger

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From the post-downsizing era comes this 1989 Lincoln Town Car. It is a fine example of what made the Town Car such a delight to both the its owners and maker.

This generation of Town Car debuted for the 1980 model year in a downsized state. It went from a ’70s dreadnought to something lighter and more in line with the tightening ’80s efficiency standards.


Rival GM was forecasting a mid-decade fuel crunch, and for 1985, it introduced another round of luxury-sedan downsizing, with a jump down to a front-wheel drive chassis and previously mid-sized lengths for its Cadillac deVille, Buick Electra and Olds Ninety-Eight.

They also looked a lot alike, on which Lincoln capitalized with this classic 1986 ad.

The Town Car shared Ford‘s “Panther” platform with the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis; by this example’s 1989 model year, the tooling for these cars had long been paid for, and so they pretty much became an ATM for Ford, especially when they were in their more profitable versions, like this Signature Series with its coach roof.

This Signature Series had a base price of $28,206, which adjusts to just over $55K in today’s dollars.

Find a Town Car near you with BestRide’s local search.


Power came from a detuned version of Ford’s 5.0-liter V8. This engine made 225 horsepower in the ’89 Mustang GT, but the Town Car’s version made do with a lower compression ratio and 150 horses. Still, torque was a reasonable 270 lb.-ft. at a low 2,000-rpm peak, so the Town Car had plenty of pulling power.


It’s fun to see the pulleys behind the displaced grille.


Lots of fake wood and plastic inside.


US car manufacturers loved their banks of buttons. Louder than anything, these banks said: TECHNOLOGY.


Supplanting the cassette with a CD player would have been a $617 option, which is a stunning $1,180 in today’s dollars.

Automatic climate control was standard in all Town Cars.


Lots of shiny accents…


…and lots of visual details.


Seats were broad and throne-like.


The loose-pillow cushions added to the luxury ambiance.


Rear legroom was a majestic 42.1 inches. By comparison, the Town Car’s modern replacement, the Lincoln MKT crossover, comes up 0.3 inches short.


Ford’s evergreen keyless entry system was a $225 option, which would be $430 today.


This Signature Series is the last year of rigidly boxy Town Car styling; it moved to a more rounded shape in 1990 while retaining the same basic chassis. It appears this one proved to be quite durable for its owners.


Find a Town Car of your own with BestRide’s local search. Try it now!




  1. The day I turned 16 (I’m 30 now), I bought an Olds Delta 88 for $800 and drove it for 2 months before the transmission went. I scoured the local newspaper and came upon a 1987 Town Car for $1200. Charcoal grey, black cloth top, moon roof, red leather interior, and automatic everything. The car was slow, cumbersome, unreliable, leaking every possible fluid, and generally falling apart around me, but it was hands down the coolest car I’ve ever owned. It may be ridiculous, but I still stop and stare nostalgically whenever I see one of these puttering down the street.

  2. Great car, still have a 1988 and it runs like a dream!

  3. Should have been a signature Mafia edition on these cars..

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