$2000 for a Town Car with 200k+ miles and all of these issues?
You were ripped; Vics and Marquis with low mileage show up all of the time for around half of $2000. I will congratulate you on being good with maintenance though.
I can't suggest one myself, due to Ford's cheap material quality, particularly around the transmission.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I agree, I could have gotten a better deal. Keeping in mind, the previous owner also took meticulous care of the car. It had a brand new paint job, rebuilt transmission, and an interior that was actually in very good shape. Never driven in the snow or beaten on either. He spent way more than the car was worth on new parts alone.
I've actually seen quite a few of these $1000 panther platform cars on Craigslist, but they often have frame rot, a transmission that's on its way out, haphazard DIY-style repair jobs, etc.
I understand that there are always exceptions to the rule, but you generally get what you pay for.
Regardless of price, any used car can end up being a heap; look at those expensive Ferraris and Fiskers that have burned up for no reason.
But I can understand buying a decently maintained car; it's rare to find anything that has even had the oil changed.
The transmission issue is pretty common with these. In Ford's brilliant mind, they decided to use cheap plastic bits that generally break at 100k.
You're definitely right about the transmission issue. I replaced the plastic grommet with a brass one just in time. The old one pretty much disintegrated when I tried to remove it. A $2 brass part saves you hundreds in transmission repairs.
These Town Cars generally don't age well. People usually are very lax on taking care of these, and usually sell them when major issues come up. The 1970s models are usually found in far better condition, but they're costlier to buy and run. However, I do think a '77 Town Car with a 460 V8 and a C6 tranny would outdo any '80s Lincoln. Ford AODs suck (valuable lesson); mine slips in the cold, but works fine in warmer weather. Honestly, they should have just borrowed GM's THM-400.
Disagree on that. My parents and grandparents had these new, and were over meticulous. They went into the dealer for even the most minor issues. Riding from Delaware to Florida and back many times, it doesn't get any better. Great comfort and ice cold air conditioning.
My parents had an early 60s Lincoln Convertible long before the Town Cars. That is the one, other than my mom's new 60 MGA, that I wish I had today that they owned. I also liked their new silver 73 Mark.
We also had some new Cadillacs in the 60s, and my dad had early 50s. The comment on one was high oil consumption and it was bought new. Whoever bought any of the later cars got real creampuffs. I am not really into buying these myself today, but on a trip I remember, that is where these cars were made for. You get out and want to keep driving. I guess the ones that buy 20 plus year old ones are going to have different comments.
I've owned 7 88-89 Town Cars, and I'm headed to purchase my 8th one. There are a few cosmetic weak spots - but overall it's a wonderful ride that is so classy... I get a thrill just to see a nice one that someone has taken care on the road.
The car has been my past, present and future... but that's another story. LOL.
Jeff - Cullman, Alabama
My grandparents bought an '89 in 1993, and they took me along to pick it up since they knew I loved these cars even as a kid. That was by far my favorite car they ever had. I can still remember how that thing bounced on country roads. Very fun as a kid! They traded it for a '99 that was a lot less luxurious and stylish. Now they drive Honda mini-vans, what a shame! We will never have real cars like this again, and that is truly sad.
We went from the Lincoln Town cars to High Top Loaded GM Conversion vans with every option. We drive trips, and the luxury seating is like aircraft exec seats in the rear. Seemed like a good progression vs the newer Lincoln models. You can still buy big; it's just not the former sedans. It's amazing how nice these vans are.
I remember driving down country roads back in the mid-80s in a friend's Town Car (though it was an '82 model). It didn't so much bounce as simply - glide. We didn't feel a thing. At the time I was driving a Grand Wagoneer, so the difference in ride was astounding.
Yes, there are still some big offerings out there, but unfortunately they are all based on truck chassis or crossovers that are not as smoothly sprung as sedans, and not as easy to maneuver and handle. Many of them even still offer distinctive American styling, unlike the modern sedans. They do all carry very hefty price tags and have a thirst for fuel though.
I bought a 2012 Enclave new, and while I like it, it just is not a luxury sedan. It has lots of room (even with that center console I hate on cars), isn't horribly thirsty for fuel compared to larger models, the price was mid-range for this class, and the ride is about as smooth as you will find in a modern vehicle. I still don't know if I want another when the lease is up.
I am considering now a late model Cadillac DTS with low miles. I just miss a big car with a split front bench. I wish the DTS was cheaper when they were new; I bought a new Lucerne in 2011, but I hated it and only kept it 10 months. I wish I could have gotten a DTS then instead, but with the rebates on the Buick, it was close to $20K less.
Don't forget that new Lincoln Town Cars prices were "hefty". I haven't found anything newer domestic wise to compare.
If you think a loaded new high top conversion van in the 60k range rides truck-like, you are mistaken. Super comfortable, high swivel, great seats like an exec jet, and a large flat screen and moonroof. See http://sterlingvans.com/newvans/
People going from new to new can find great modern vehicles as we did. Ride and comfort is what people spend the new car money on, not downsizing. Take a ride in a new one; there's no way it's a truck ride whatsoever. Take a cross country trip in one.
Why did you dislike your Lucerne?
I had 2 Buick Park Avenues prior, and they just seemed superior in almost every way to me. The Lucerne did not ride as smoothly unless I had 6 passengers along, the exterior paint was awful, the interior looked cheap and lacked a lot of features the Park Avenues had (which I am now discovering the DTS had), plus I was never crazy about the styling.
And to boot the Park Avenues got better fuel economy; considering the Lucerne was smaller, this really made me mad. Isn't that the whole point why we all have to drive small cars today?? I should have never bought it in the first place. I just got new car fever and thought I should get one of the last cars with a column mounted gear selector and split front bench, since I like that set-up. Plus I figured it may be one of the last bigger cars Buick ever makes.
Hey Jeff, I'm in St. Clair County, Alabama. I purchased a mint 1989 white Signature Series in September. Perhaps, you may see me driving it around. Cheers!
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