My 1994 Continental runs great at 148,000. It's my highway car, since I work 50 miles away from home. So, I drive it only on the highway Mon-Fri. All of my electronic features work great. Only thing I've done is replace the air shocks with coil springs.
I am on my fifth '94 Continental in 12 years. I can honestly say the only issues I have had with them are the typical dash issues; check DCL and oil pressure on one, and just oil pressure on another.
I have had two with the air suspension converted and the ride just isn't the same as with air ride.
I've had other cars in between the Continentals, but keep going back to them when I can find a nice one - which is nearly impossible in 2010.
My current '94 has 165,000 on it and is going strong. I have to admit that I cross my fingers every day that it stays that way.
They really are great cars, you just have to be prepared to spend the money to keep them on the road. Care and maintenance is the key!
I must agree with you about this car. It has been a nightmare to own. I got the car for free from my cousin, and after the first $3500 I had to put into it, I've been trying to avoid him, because I just might pop him in the mouth. Its been one thing after another. The experience I've had with this car has left a bad taste in my mouth about Ford cars. NEVER AGAIN!!
That's kinda your bad for dumping so much money into an old heap. Man, didn't you suspect there was some reason you were getting it for free?
For $3,500 you could have bought yourself a pretty decent used car. Like other people said, these Lincolns, really like most high-dollar luxury cars, go south fast when they get to be 10 years old and things start to wear out. You should have taken that $3,500 and bought a Taurus, Sable, something like that without the air ride suspension and bells and whistles. Of course, if you thought you were going to roll pimp-style in a Lincoln that you got for free, you had to find out for yourself.
But seriously, don't be mad at your cousin. You know deep down that it's really your own self you're mad at for blowing that much money, and for falling into the trap of thinking you'd get something for nothing.
It isn't so much about the age or the 'luxury sedan complexity', it's more that this is just not a great model for durability or reliability - in fact few are nowadays. The fact is more modern designs are almost always more problematic and expensive to repair and maintain.
If you buy a 10 or 15 year old Town Car or Mercury Grand Marquis in reasonable condition, you'll have just as much (or more) comfort and luxury, and very little trouble or expense.