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Pick of the Day: 1996 Lincoln Town Car for fleet work or personal luxury

This Cartier Edition sedan is offered by a self-described Town Car enthusiast


Executive transportation is big business.  Special events, celebrity appearances, corporate travel and airport shuttles are a few of the duties for which Lincoln Town Cars have been called upon for decades. 

And for good reason. The Town Car’s robust 4.6-liter V8 was a proven powerplant, known to crest several hundred-thousand miles with routine maintenance.  After all, that same engine powered every Ford Crown Victoria from 1992 through 1997 in police fleets across the nation. 

town car

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1996 Lincoln Town Car Cartier Edition listed by a private seller in Lake Elsinore, California, on ClassicCars.com.  Finished in Pearl White over ivory leather, the car has accumulated only 82,000 miles over its nearly 25-year lifespan. 

Clearly, this car wasn’t used for fleet service, and the cosmetic condition suggests that it has been enthusiast-owned its entire life.

“I’m a collector of these Town Cars,” the seller’s ad states.  “My Cartier Town Car is in very good condition and everything works.” 

town car

Originality has been preserved, right down to the original radio head unit.  The windows, heater and air conditioning are functional, the seller says, and the car has new tires with good brakes. 

The digital gauge cluster with integrated compass, dual trip meters and fuel economy information was advanced for its time.  For 1996, the car was fitted with redesigned climate controls, and Cartier Editions such as this one had genuine wood trim on the dashboard and the door panels. 

town car, Pick of the Day: 1996 Lincoln Town Car for fleet work or personal luxury, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Town Car name came into existence initially as a trim level for the Continental, dating back to 1959.  But for the 1981 model year, the name took on its own role as the brand’s full-size luxury sedan.  Its second generation launched nine years later. 

The car’s $42,000 MSRP was a hefty price tag at the time.  For many Town Car buyers, that investment was offset by the car’s usability in corporate transport.  “Black car” luxury limo services in some metropolitan areas these days run upwards of $70 per hour or $4 per mile.    

The 1996 Town Car’s 281cid V8 was factory rated at 210 horsepower, a respectable number for its time although the car weighs in at almost exactly two tons, so performance took a back seat to comfort.  Power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission.  

town car, Pick of the Day: 1996 Lincoln Town Car for fleet work or personal luxury, ClassicCars.com Journal

With its maintenance sorted out and a seal of approval from someone who claims to have owned several Town Cars, this opportunity is compelling.

The seller’s ad concludes, “My price is firm.  You are paying for a well-maintained quality car that doesn’t need any money dumped into it.  This car is ready to drive and enjoy.”   

At an asking price of only $5,000, maybe you could forego the driving altogether and hire someone to do that for you.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. That leather is beat up pretty bad.
    I don’t believe the miles .
    I have same year make and model with similar miles and leather looks a lot better .

  2. I like Town cars having used various models extensively in the USA for govt business .The front seats seem either grubby and need cleaning (like all leather does ) or the leather colourant is worn out, which is surprising for this mileage, and seat materials Could I see further photos showing the back seat please and all doors trim panels. I am interested in the car and would use it on my frequent visits to Sacramento. The price is OK. Please reply to Trevorrogers65@gmail.com

    Trevor Rogers
    Forensic Accountant.

  3. I have a 1989 Crown Vic with 250,000KM 302 V8 and was bought new in Sept.1988.It is still going strong and starts all winter long..not bad for a car 32 years old car exposed to salted roads all winter long.


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