Ten years ago this month...

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Ten years ago this month...

Postby ContiFan » Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:20 pm

...the last Lincoln Town Car rolled off the assembly line (August 29, 2011 to be exact). It was the end of a 30+ year run (as a model). At that time, Lincoln offered three sedans and three crossovers/SUVs but is now exclusively a crossover/SUV brand...although a new sedan (Zephyr) may be in the works for some markets.

Town Car sales had risen in the early 1980s but then declined in the mid to late 1980s only to rebound in 1990 with the new design. 1990 would be the model's peak as far as sales. By 2000, sales had dropped more than 45%. By 2010, they were down to just over 11,000 units and most had become livery/fleet sales.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby LithiumCobalt » Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:19 pm

A terrific platform. I've had multiple Town Cars through the years. My current 2007 Signature Limited with 61k on it is pulling daily driver duties. Sadly, it is getting tough to find these cars in really nice condition with low miles. I had to travel twelve hours to get my current '07. I'll be damned if I am going to drive a shitbox SUV with a overboosted 4 cylinder.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby action » Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:37 pm

I wanted to buy another personal luxury ride. But Lincoln stopped building that kind of car with the 1998 Mark VIII

So I bought one of the last Lincoln Navigators with a V8. I wanted a second gen Limited and flew to Florida to pick it up and drove it to Phoenix.

Worse than a six banger is what is coming in the future.
Electric power
And breathalyzers for every car in the current infrastructure bill.

The world is just going nuts

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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby LithiumCobalt » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:11 pm

Action, if you in the market for an exquisite Mark VIII, there is one was just listed here: https://www.specialtymotorcars.net/current-inventory

This guy has all kinds of good stuff.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby action » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:33 pm

It is a nice ride. The kind I like. Built with lots of options which is what I would want

My issues are space -
I have nothing left except a spot in Michigan with my Mark III. I have been looking for a triple white 70 Mark III for that slot. Unless my teen age daughter wants to give up her Fusion, then I would have a spot in AZ. You might say Fusion v Mark what's the decision? Get the Mark! My daughter only cares about plugging in her phone to get tunes. OK so a mod could be made.

The car in in the NE. Not like NY or PA North East, but in the land they they talk real funny NE. That is a trek even for me.

The used market is very soft on the Mark VIII. The used car dealer is holding out for a higher price. I would likely get turned down.

Action
Phoenix - Yeah, it's hot, however it's a dry heat
2006 Lincoln Navigator Limited 5.4l 3V
1996 Lincoln Mark VIII 2DR Coupe Diamond Anniversary 4.6l DOHC, 4R70W, 3.07
1970 Continental Mark III Triple Black 460 4v, C6, 2.80 (Used for Woodward Dream Cruise or just generally stored in Michigan)
1966 Lincoln Continental 4DR Convertible 462 4v, C6, 3.00
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4DR Breezeway 410 4v, C6, 2.80
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby ContiFan » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:53 pm

action wrote:I wanted to buy another personal luxury ride. But Lincoln stopped building that kind of car with the 1998 Mark VIII

So I bought one of the last Lincoln Navigators with a V8. I wanted a second gen Limited and flew to Florida to pick it up and drove it to Phoenix.

Worse than a six banger is what is coming in the future.
Electric power
And breathalyzers for every car in the current infrastructure bill.

The world is just going nuts
Fortunately, just because certain things are being proposed doesn't mean they will happen. What is pretty much assured is that every generation has had people feeling "the world is just going nuts." Back in the early 1900s, some thought driving around in motorized vehicles was nuts. What's with these "road machines" or "automobiles"? I’ll stick with my horse and buggy, thank you!

I do, however, think "electrification" will move fairly rapidly (keeping in mind how few EVs are currently being produced/sold). That is, unless it is determined that the electric grids/infrastructure can't keep up with the growth and/or new safety issues arise and/or battery raw materials become too scarce, etc.


action wrote:The used market is very soft on the Mark VIII. The used car dealer is holding out for a higher price. I would likely get turned down.
A 1995 Mark VIII with 39,000 miles sold on BaT a couple of months ago for $9,500 ($9,975 including buyer's fee).

A dealer in Michigan (Vanguard Motor Sales) currently has three very pricey Mark VIIIs. A 1995 with just 11,000 miles for $34,900, a 1997 LSC with under 30,000 miles for $34,900 and a second 1997 LSC with just 6,800 miles for $39,900. :shock:
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby ContiFan » Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:02 pm

LithiumCobalt wrote:A terrific platform. I've had multiple Town Cars through the years. My current 2007 Signature Limited with 61k on it is pulling daily driver duties. Sadly, it is getting tough to find these cars in really nice condition with low miles. I had to travel twelve hours to get my current '07. I'll be damned if I am going to drive a shitbox SUV with a overboosted 4 cylinder.

Some nice ones come up on places like eBay and BaT but can get pricey, plus distance/location can be an issue.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby LithiumCobalt » Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:34 pm

ContiFan wrote:
LithiumCobalt wrote:A terrific platform. I've had multiple Town Cars through the years. My current 2007 Signature Limited with 61k on it is pulling daily driver duties. Sadly, it is getting tough to find these cars in really nice condition with low miles. I had to travel twelve hours to get my current '07. I'll be damned if I am going to drive a shitbox SUV with a overboosted 4 cylinder.

Some nice ones come up on places like eBay and BaT but can get pricey, plus distance/location can be an issue.


Oh yes. Most dealers know what they have since it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find them. Most are asking almost double book value. I paid $11k for mine with 46k on it. Many would say that’s insane for that old of a car, but until you’ve had one, you don’t understand.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby Mike » Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:49 am

Part of the reason sales plummeted is because Ford stoped advertising them. Just like the other Panthers. But at least they were constantly being improved over the years. The changes in 2003 were a big one, then the better gauges with the tach.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby LithiumCobalt » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:57 am

Yeah, my opinion, they dithered around the edges rather than actually upgrading it. There were many features that were common on high-level Fords and other Lincolns during the time period, but no effort was made to incorporate them into the Town Car. Hell, you couldn’t even get an auxiliary input for the radio, ever. Ford let the platform die a shameful death.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby ContiFan » Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:12 am

Mike wrote:Part of the reason sales plummeted is because Ford stoped advertising them. Just like the other Panthers. But at least they were constantly being improved over the years. The changes in 2003 were a big one, then the better gauges with the tach.

Excluding an occasional up year here and there (most notably 1990), the Town Car pretty much such a steady sales decline starting in the mid-1980s and during periods of active marketing/advertising. Sales declined around 11% between 1986 and 1989, rebounded in 1990, then declined again 38% between 1990 and 1995. Even the redesign of the Town Car in 1998 only managed to briefly boost sales around 6% that year. I don't think it was until the early 2000s or so that Lincoln basically stopped advertising the car and by then, sales had already dropped around 50% or more from 1990. The Town Car remained a meaningful part of the Lincoln website pretty much to the end, however.

Although not as big of a seller as the Town Car, the RWD Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham/Brougham also saw fairly steady sales declines from the mid-1980s through its discontinuation in 1996. Both the Lincoln and Cadillac were simply dealing with a market shift away from these types of land yacht RWD sedans. It wasn't that there was necessarily anything "wrong" with the cars, tastes were simply changing.
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby action » Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:18 am

ContiFan wrote:
Mike wrote:Part of the reason sales plummeted is because Ford stoped advertising them. Just like the other Panthers. But at least they were constantly being improved over the years. The changes in 2003 were a big one, then the better gauges with the tach.

Excluding an occasional up year here and there (most notably 1990), the Town Car pretty much such a steady sales decline starting in the mid-1980 and during periods of active marketing/advertising. Sales declined around 11% between 1986 and 1989, rebounded in 1990, then declined again 38% between 1990 and 1995. Even the redesign of the Town Car in 1998 only managed to briefly boost sales around 6% that year. I don't think it was until the early 2000s or so that Lincoln basically stopped advertising the car and by then, sales had dropped nearly 50% from 1990. The Town Car remained a meaningful part of the Lincoln website pretty much to the end, however.

Although not as big of a seller as the Town Car, the RWD Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham/Brougham also saw fairly steady sales declines from the mid-1980s through its discontinuation in 1996. Both the Lincoln and Cadillac were simply dealing with a market shift away from these types of land yacht RWD sedans. It wasn't that there was necessarily anything "wrong" with the cars, tastes were simply changing.


From a company prospective -
All the models in Panther platform along with Mustang/Capri fox body were rolled out in the late 1970s with the thought process that it was the last for both. Those models were slated to end in the mid-1980s. Mustang/Capri were to go FWD (maybe with a name change) and Lincoln would downsize but that path was not clear as to how that would look as there were different possibilities. The Panther platform was big shift to a lighter platform with substantial weight savings. Viewed as transition to electronics and the pressure to achieve better fuel economy. In general FWD saved weight so that was the direction both platforms were to go. Smaller and FWD.

Funny thing happened.
For Panther - the competition left so that (aging) consumer bought Crown Vic, Grand Marquis & Town Car in numbers. To support sales both the Ford and Mercury products got into Fleets. The C.V. aimed at law enforcement with G.M. attempting to market to car rental companies and government entities. The Town Car catered to the aging consumer. That particular consumer was aging but they had money! So they kept buying the product. Sales were sufficient that the early 1980s the models got a refresh and design changes were extended to later. The company was going to ride this platform for as long as it could. Later changes would take more metal/weight out such that the platform could no longer tow anything. And the average age of the buyers continued to get older! But it was OK because the cost of the platform change had been paid for by 83/84. As long as the company didn't have to spend the money on a platform change the company did not need big sales numbers. Towards the end it didn't matter if there was advertising or not. Advertising didn't increase sales enough and there really wasn't a manufacturer that was building in that market. The replacement platform was D3, Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego. Which was sold along side of CV/GM/TC for about 5 or 6 model years. Because cost of Panther was so cheap and there was a buying market. By this time Ford was was pushing hard into fleet sales, while TC got into Limos. Part of the issue with fleet sales is there is not much money in it. Advertising doesn''t work for that segment either.

The platform lasted far longer than it was ever expected to do.
It didn't die a shameful death. The consumer far extended the end by continued (and unexpected) sales with little money needed for engineering changes.

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Phoenix - Yeah, it's hot, however it's a dry heat
2006 Lincoln Navigator Limited 5.4l 3V
1996 Lincoln Mark VIII 2DR Coupe Diamond Anniversary 4.6l DOHC, 4R70W, 3.07
1970 Continental Mark III Triple Black 460 4v, C6, 2.80 (Used for Woodward Dream Cruise or just generally stored in Michigan)
1966 Lincoln Continental 4DR Convertible 462 4v, C6, 3.00
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4DR Breezeway 410 4v, C6, 2.80
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby TonyC » Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:23 am

And now the resale is jumping for survivors. I recently saw a guy in the shop working on a '97, and he still loved his car. Funny how people take things trivially, for granted, until those things are gone.

But, on the up side, if the public demand for the return of such cars ever flares up again in the future, the respective brands can market them as a "fresh, novel, brand-new concept in automotives." :lol:

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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby Mike » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:02 am

LithiumCobalt wrote:Yeah, my opinion, they dithered around the edges rather than actually upgrading it. There were many features that were common on high-level Fords and other Lincolns during the time period, but no effort was made to incorporate them into the Town Car. Hell, you couldn’t even get an auxiliary input for the radio, ever. Ford let the platform die a shameful death.


2003 was more then a dither, the whole chassis was re designed. New suspension front and rear, new steering, brakes, even engine cradle changed.
They didn't need fancy new features because the majority of the people buying them didn't want them or know how to use them. The radios were the same as every other Ford at the time, inputs only made it big within the last couple production years and most buyers didn't care. They were still playing cassettes and cd's and would have been happier if they could order an 8 track player again over an ipod hookup :dance:
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Re: Ten years ago this month...

Postby ContiFan » Sat Aug 07, 2021 11:05 am

action wrote:The platform lasted far longer than it was ever expected to do.

That's for sure. Neither the Town Car nor Fleetwood Brougham were expected to go beyond 1984-85 or so (in those forms) but gas prices fell and the models were kept in production. Cadillac ended up having much better success with FWD models than their RWD Fleetwood Brougham/Brougham but the Town Car remained Lincoln's top seller (despite fairly steady declines in sales) until around 2007. By that time, the MKX and MKZ were each outselling Town Car. Of course, a greater and greater portion of Town Car sales had become livery/fleet. The average retail buyer for these cars had gotten older and older too.
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