1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car 400 CI V8 from North America
A beautifully made living room that, oh, happens to have wheels too
What's gone wrong with the car? Honestly? Nothing I can complain about. After sitting in a barn for 20 years of this poor girl's life, I was lucky enough to be the one with the cash on hand the quickest and got to take her home.
After all that time sitting, I merely changed the oil, put in fresh gas and a battery, and it fired right up. Only things wrong were basic maintenance items (plugs, plug wires, carb gasket, gunky carb, and a sticky solenoid). Which to me are basic, no brainer replacements on any car this old.
I absolutely LOVE this car! It's just a giant, ultra plush comfy couch. Gobs of room inside and a massive trunk as well. And it looks stunning in its slick Burgundy paint, with matching landau top and leather interior. Anywhere you go in this car, you are guaranteed to get looks and more than a few curious people coming to talk to you.
As for actually driving this 20 foot beast, it's really quite a pleasure. Handling of course is out the window (split power vent window in this case). This is no sports car. There is no road feel. Which isn't a bad thing, really. This is after all a cruising car meant for long open stretches of road. The 400cu under the hood is good enough in stock form to move the car around with ease in modern day traffic, but with a few modifications it can be transformed into a torque monster.
As far as reliability, while I haven't driven the car a ton just yet, my other car (78 Grand Marquis) is very similar, and these vehicles are very durable and hard to kill. And surprisingly everything still works the way it should (windows, radio, power antenna, vents, heat, A/C, and power seats) despite being 40 years old now. Good luck getting that from a newer vehicle, even the good ones. They're just not built this way anymore.
Gas mileage of course is meh. Average 13 MPG town 16 highway, but as others have said already that's not all that different from a truck or large SUV. And parking isn't nearly as big a deal as everyone seems to make it. If you can drive a full size pickup, you can drive this. Just remember that you must back in to parking spaces. Everywhere.
All in all, definitely one of my favourite rides. A car I'll keep for the rest of my life (which is hopefully a while, being only 19!) Would absolutely recommend anyone who has a chance to grab one while they're still relatively cheap and available
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th March, 2018
18th Mar 2018, 13:37
What an awesome review for someone being so young! That makes me so happy to hear. When I was your age (around 20 or so) I bought a 72 Cadillac as my first car because I love big cars from the past.
Flash forward today and I own a 78 Continental like yours, and I just recently acquired a 79 Mark V. I love both cars to death and it was a time when Lincoln actually knew what the hell they were actually doing! These cars are truly amazing to drive, you think an S Class Benz rides nice, but until someone experiences driving in a mint condition late 70’s LC, they will never truly understand what a smooth and totally isolated riding car is like. Those big soft comfy seats in all the Lincolns are the absolute best too. Not to mention the massive amounts of legroom one has to spread out.
Last but not least is their striking, bold, in your face styling. The huge RR grille and sharp crisp lines that were defining and elegant, and it can never be replicated ever again. These cars were tanks, solid and ultra smooth to drive. And I really hope more people come to appreciate these big giant softies in the coming future, as I want to see them at car shows, instead of the typical muscle cars and hot rods that are everywhere and are so played out.
18th Mar 2018, 19:16
It's all a matter of perspective. If this forum existed 40 years ago, someone would no doubt be raving about 1930s-1940s era models as the last "real" Lincolns and dismissing then-current 1978 models as plastic junk. There will always be people convinced that older is better.
25th Mar 2018, 03:46
Always surprised to see how many 400 Modified-powered Lincolns there are still hanging in there :)
Keep up with oil changes or perish - the Cleveland/Modified engines are marginal for oiling.
Having said that, install a 600-CFM 4-barrel carburetor with a suitable aftermarket intake manifold on it, and a dual-exhaust system and that 400 will really wake up ;)
29th Mar 2018, 19:37
I love your review. I have a 1979 blue Collectors Series. I bought it in October 2017, and living in Michigan, it's sitting in the garage, can't wait till spring to drive it. It has 37,000 miles on it. I just want to play with it.
I also own 7 other Lincolns dating back to 1941, and a 2017 Navigator L. The 1970s Lincolns remind me of modern day Duesenbergs. Wish I had 8 of them. Just a car nut.
SAVE THE BIG LAND YACHTS. They will never build them like that again.
Sincerely, Mrs. M.