1988 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 5.0 V8 from North America


The Gem of the 1980s is Still Elegant Today


Slight oil leak.

Passenger side rear window requires assistance to go back up.

Vacuum line seems punctured, causing a low hissing sound inside the cabin at idle.

Amounts of rust on the rear bumper, door panels, and rear underbody.

General Comments:

This car should have been called the highway car, not the town car. It really gets moving at highway speeds and feels very balanced. Around town driving is less efficient, but the handling and steering is fingertip easy. Although the car is approx. 4400 lbs, and 18 feet long, it doesn't seem so huge after driving it for a while.

I bought the vehicle from the original owners of 20 years. They were looking to trade it in in order to upgrade to a 'new' 88 TC Cartier.

I have put a lot of hard miles on this $500.00 gem and have not a single regret or worry that it will get me where I need to be.

I like this car so much in fact, I prefer driving this around over my 1998 Mark VIII LSC.

I can't wait to find one with the digital instrumentation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2008

1988 Lincoln Town Car Cartier 5.0L 302 in² gasoline from North America


A very good car to just get around in or to fix up


Lets see... Drive shaft disconnected in the front while driving. New studs, lugs and rotors for both front wheels. Gas tank leaked. Extensive tune-up required including new distributor cap and wires. None of the doors opened from the outside. Back windows didn't go down. Power steering leaked. Gear shifter off track. That's about it though there are more minor problems.

General Comments:

Very comfortable ride and handles extremely well for its size. The 5.0 Liter engine makes this car a beast in the road. I just hit 91 mph in it for the first time. That's a major task for a 4,000 lb. car. Never has failed to start up. Very stylish, it lights up the road when it comes through. Has an amazing stock speaker set up for an 88. Even though problems have happened with the car I drive it everyday.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2007

28th Oct 2007, 17:56

With 5 litres I would assume around 300bhp? Should be able to do more than 91mph.

29th Oct 2007, 07:51

Oh my God, only 91mph out of a 5.0? What happened to all the power? I'd expect 91mph out of a 1.2 over here in the UK! I had 101mph out of my 1984 Volvo 340 1.4!

8th May 2015, 14:29

The 5 liter has 156 HP and about 240 lb of torque... the top speed new was 106 mph.

8th May 2015, 21:36

Actually the Ford 5.0 L (302 CID) in these Lincolns is rated at 150 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque. Not terrible for this vehicle from my experience, as it has more power than most think, despite the ratings. It does great on the highway, and around town it gets the job done.

To the guys surprised that this Lincoln only got to 91 mph; the Town Car's top speed is 106 mph, although not many will ever get it to that. Remember that this car only has a 4-speed automatic and a 3.08 rear axle ratio, so it won't exactly be a speed demon. From the get-go it was designed to cruise the long stretches of highway that the US is known for having smoothly, and to get reasonable fuel economy while at it.

9th May 2015, 00:03

Blame an emissions-choked and detuned 5.0 on that, combined with long gear ratios.

These cars are okay cruisers at 60-mph, but their brakes and comical handling don't exactly inspire one to go any faster.

1988 Lincoln Town Car Base 5.0L V8 from North America


Big Bad Boat-mobile-YUCK!


Not very much.

Brakes started to drag and it caught fire (it was contained in the rim)

General Comments:

The Lincoln Town Car is not a very good car and it never was. The leather seats aren't of very high quality and they're stitched with steel. The incredibly dated 5.0L V8 only puts out 150HP, and the widely geared four speed auto doesn't help (slow, like old people). The steering is very numb and it lacks any road feel at all. It's also incredibly light to the touch. The wood dash trim is made of metal and the nasty blue plastic warps and cracks. The glove box is also notorious for warping as well. Don't expect a controlled ride, as the beast wallows and floats over bumps and can be quite jarring over pavement expansions. Overall I don't like this car at all. The only reason I said that I'd buy another car from this manufacture is because of the all new MKZ, MKX, Mark LT, and the Navigator. This isn't even my car, but trust me, I've driven it quite a lot. By the way, the piece of junk is also a total gas hog. If you want a great Lincoln sedan, PLEASE just save yourself from humiliation and get a quality Lincoln MKZ!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2007

22nd Oct 2007, 11:05

The 302 wasn't all THAT 'dated' in 1988.. sure it might be now, but that's 19 years ago.

Anyway, dated is a postitive characteristic in my automotive book, since most 'advances' over the last 10-20 years have been towards greater complexity, and less durability. Nothing I like better than an all cast-iron push-rod engine, but then again I also like boats, wallowing, etc.