• Sep 14, 2006
UPDATE 1 - Ford announced this morning (9/15) that it will continue to offer the Town Car beyond 2007. More after the jump.

In New York City, black Lincoln Town Cars are almost as common as yellow cabs. Workers who stay late at their offices often pick up the phone, dial a livery service, and collapse into the back seats of the ubiquitous Lincs for the ride home. This sequence is replayed in urban centers across the country. The Detroit News knows this, and wonders what's going to happen if the big Linc goes to automotive heaven after 2007 as has been rumored.

The article mentions the Mercury Grand Marquis and the Chrysler 300C as potential replacements. While this could be a golden opportunity for the Chrysler 300 (and its long-wheelbase variant) to move in, and maybe the Cadillac DTS as well, we'll bet on the Merc and its Ford Crown Vic twin.

Why? They're built on the same platform, have the same powertrain, and equally substantial trunk space. Fleet versions are available with a 6" wheelbase stretch, which takes care of the discrepancy in rear-seat room. Fully-loaded examples are almost as plush, and importantly, servicing them should be no different than servicing the Town Car. We don't see why livery services would want to move away from the Panther platform cars, which have more than proven themselves in America's urban jungles as taxis, police cars, and upscale chauffered rides like the Town Car.

(Continues after the jump)

[Source: The Detroit News]

The platform's not going away, so Lincoln could conceivably relent and keep the big, traditional sedan alive (we're not holding our breath), as it has a definite place in the automotive landscape. Now, is it a BMW 7-series? No way, and it doesn't pretend to be. But it's big, comfortable, quiet and easy to drive (and drive fast, at that). Those are qualities that make it attractive to both paid drivers and the paying passengers decompressing in back.

Lincoln's all about "Reaching Higher" now, and the Town Car just doesn't seem to fit that profile. Unfortunate, since it's greatest sin is simply that it's old. That doesn't mean it's no good.

What will Wall Street do with no Town Town car? It'll do just fine. Hopefully, the same can be said for Lincoln.

Update: This morning (9/15) during its Accelerated Way Forward announcement, Ford confirmed that it will indeed offer the Lincoln Town Car beyond MY 2007. Production of the big Linc will move to the company's St. Thomas, Ontario plant.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      BRL
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thank God the TownCar remains. Love the Chrysler 300 and the looks of the DTS....but, as a Caddy Fleetwood owner, there never has been a credible replacement. The TownCar is pure brut size and power. Hands down. I don't care about precision/sports styling etc. Otherwise, I'd have a Lexus or an Acura. It's the legacy of this platform, debuting with the 1979 mercs and crown vics...each year a bit better...keep it simple stupid - good motto and cheap to fix and insure. Love to see a Coupe again...my 1979 Lincoln Mark V needs a mirror image!
      • 8 Years Ago

      "about the only hearts that would skip a beat seeing one of these would be in the vicinity of a Hometown Buffet."

      LMFAO!!! great post.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Man, in the late 90s, I used to take a towncar home every night.

      What a great car. Sad to see them go. Is the 'way forward' killing all the good stuff?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The winner will be the car what similar to favourite Lincoln
      • 8 Years Ago
      How about the Australian Fairlane and LTD? Tool up the 2008 platform for the US, and there is your solution.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why on God's earth do people think Lincoln will go before Mercury? What exactly IS Mercury's identity? Please someone explain why the rumors are flying about dropping Lincoln and not Mercury.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #12- you drive 1369.86 Mi per day?

      damn, i havent seen your name in Guinness yet....
      BRL
      • 8 Years Ago
      And BTW, I'm 29!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford announced today that it will not kill the Town Car, but instead move production to St. Thomas.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "You have to remember they are built off the 1995 ford F-150 platform. "

      Are you serious with that? This is hilarious.

      The Panther platform dates back to the late '70s. The F150 has nothing to do with the Panther platform. It is true that they are both RWD and both body-on-frame. They both have tires and headlights too. Hey...so does the onld Beetle. Maybe they are related!
      • 8 Years Ago
      the Cadillac is a far superior to the Town Car in every way. I owned a livery business for eight years, and we had Cadillac deVilles exclusively. we put on just under four million miles, without one problem of any kind.

      now, for Lincoln issues: saggy front springs, rear air suspension failures, cracked (plastic) intake manifolds, transmission problems, driveline problems, universal joints, valve seals (smoking), poor fuel economy (and 40-60 less horsepower than the Cadillac), and an inferior warranty. the Cadillac (W20 livery package) is 3 years/150,000 miles; the Lincoln is 3 years/100,000 miles for livery appications.

      the 300L will not really be a viable choice, for several reasons.

      1) it is not being built by Chrysler, but by an outside source, Accubuilt. Accubuilt is talking about building 10,000 units per year (woefully inadequate), and they have had serious quality issues on many of their past projects. I don't think they could build half that many.

      2) durability. with the exception of the 3.5L and Hemi engines (which are good) the other components are of unknown durability in this application. many of the drivetrain parts are from other Mercedes-Benz models (like the transmission) and these are $6,000 items, not $2,500 items like on domestic vehicles.

      3) warranty. Chrysler hasn't announced a different warranty for this application, and most factory warranties specifically exclude vehicles in commercial and livery service.

      4) there are many Chrysler 300 limousines out there; just look on ebay. none of them have a factory limousine conversion package; there isn't even one available. this is scary for several reasons.

      Cadillac has a Master Coachbuilder program, and Lincoln has a QVM program. these provide a specific coachbuilder chassis to authorized coachbuilders.

      it is extremely upgraded; in the Lincoln, it essentially makes everything underneath on the level of a 1/2 ton Ford truck. the Cadillac is even more impressive; eight lug wheels, hydroboost brakes, and brake rotors (front and rear) from a one-ton Chevy truck!

      this may not sound really important, but if you have a 140 inch stretch (like many of the 300s are) this adds a tremendous amount of weight; as much as 7,000 pounds MORE than it was designed to carry as a regular car, all on the original tires, and with the original brakes. scary.

      without having any quality requirements for coachbuilders (and Chrysler doesn't), someone could build one of these in their garage. if one was involved in a serious accident, the results of a bad conversion could be catastrophic.

      the Grand Marquis stretch would be a great choice for this application except for one thing: status. about the only hearts that would skip a beat seeing one of these would be in the vicinity of a Hometown Buffet. the livery business exists because of status; if that wasn't the case, everyone would take a taxi.

      Mike
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think #12 knows what he is talking about and the convo should cease.

      On a side note. Did a Chevy Celebrity ever transport a celebrity?
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