I agree. It was poor corporate management that led to this cars demise.
1985 was supposed to be the last year for this car. However it sold so well compared to the FWD car that was to replace it. As a result, GM decided at the 11th hour to keep building it. The 86 models didn't come out until Feb 86 with a carbureted and underpowered Olds V8. Not a smart move considering the 81-85 models had fuel injection as standard, and Lincoln had switched to a more efficient port fuel injection system.
Digital dashboards were a popular option at the time, and this car was not available with that feature until 90, when they made it standard.
I think the lack of a digital dash option, weak carbureted engine, and high price tag left a bad impression on customers.
91-92 are the best years for the Brougham, and the 93-96 Fleetwoods were very nice cars and are superior to Lincoln Town Cars in-my-opinion.
By the time the 93's came out, it was too late to fix the bad impression customers had of the 86-89 models. Sales were weak and GM felt large SUV's were more profitable.
Ironically, the Lincoln Town Car suffered the same fate as the Cadillac Brougham. The Town Car from 98-2011 is perceived as nothing more than a taxi; not the upscale luxury car it once was. It has been discontinued, and won't be remembered as eloquently or as positively as the Cadillac Brougham and Fleetwood.
Yeah, but that underpowered, carbureted Olds 307 was much more durable, reliable, and actually had more power than the awful HT 4100 V8 that it replaced.
The HT-4100 was a terrible engine in every sense of the word. Weak, unreliable, and useless it was. The Brougham was at least reliable, but the Oldsmobile 307 was underpowered and still carburated up to 1991 I believe. Not a good technique to sell cars, when the competition was boasting multi-port fuel injection.
And about the Town Car suffering an ignominious end, I have to say I agree unfortunately. My 1985 Town Car is an incredible vehicle, and it's sad that the newer ones never matched it. Ford had a chance to correct their problems with the car in 2003, but opted for a small facelift and minimal improvements. Imagine if they actually invested in a good re-skin of the Panther vehicles...
I don't know why a lot of people knock the downsized 1977 Cadillacs; they looked good and at 221 inches in length, they were only slightly smaller than a 1971 Cadillac. Plus, they still looked good and properly proportioned, which cannot be said about the downsized Ford and Lincoln models for 1980.
The only thing that killed the downsized GM cars was their crappy engines. The V8-6-4 for 1981 and the crappy HT-4100 for 1982 both had no business in these large luxury cars. Cadillac should've kept the 368, but I guess they risked losing market share to Lincoln's more advanced and fuel efficient Town Car. To me, 1981 was the last year for the DeVille, as at least the V8-6-4 could be deactivated.
Thankfully, the body style continued in its form for years after, as the Brougham with the underpowered but reliable Olds 307. It got a real upgrade in 1990, with the introduction of the optional Chevy 350 engine for extra power.