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Last time we began discussing in very general terms the history of the Lincoln Town Car. Today, we’re going to shift our focus to talk about what a town car is exactly so you can better understand what Lincoln has brought to the table.

The phrase “town car,” is actually taken from a French term “Sedan de Ville.” This term was used on models put out by Cadillac in the 1950s. “Town Car” is the literal translation of “Sedan de Ville.” This style of vehicle harkens back to a limo used frequently in the 1920s where the chauffeur was in the open air. When Cadillac brought back the term, they did so with a four-door vehicle with a hardtop. Then Lincoln came on the scene with designs that certainly featured callbacks to the Roaring Twenties era.

Since these cars are used frequently for modern limo service providers, it’s important to know from where that inspiration stems. In many iterations of the Town Car through the 1970s and 80s, the vehicle sported a roof that mimicked the open style from the earlier model. It also had opera lamps to hint at a partition between the driver and the passengers in the back.

Lincoln first used the term “Town Car” in 1922 on a model they created specifically for Henry Ford. However, the name didn’t reappear with the brand on a consumer model until 1959 on the Lincoln Continental Mark IV. This vehicle had a padded vinyl top, was available only in black, and was quite unique for the time it was released. The Town Car name disappeared yet again for 10 more years until it reappeared on an interior package tacked onto the Lincoln Continental in 1969. The next year, it was a trim option.

The name “Town Car” stuck as the top-tier trim package for the Continental all the way up until 1980. This trim option outfitted this, often used as a limousine car, with velour interior. It wasn’t until 1981 that the “Town Car” finally became its own model name, distinct from the Continental.

Following this move, the Lincoln Town Car has seen three separate generations. The first came in 1981, as you know, the second in 1990 and the third and last brand new model was released in 1998. There were several “refreshes” done in between these releases as well.

Be sure to come back again soon to learn more about the History of the Lincoln Town Car!