The Continental Life: 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé

“Nil fato relinquemus…”

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 1

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 3

The finale to the American luxury car is the 1978 Lincoln Continental. These are the last full-size automobiles that offered pure, unadulterated prestige. The Lincoln Continental Town Coupé is the fancy alternative to the elegant four-door Town Car. These stunning automobiles are large enough to qualify as limousines.

American luxury cars were the purveyors of automotive art no other country could replicate. The limited edition Town Coupé two-door hardtop offers eminent personal luxury with spacious six-passenger roominess. It is for the luxury car connoisseur that prefers a formal look in coupé configuration.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 4

A Lincoln was always a highly desirable luxury automobile. With the Town Car option available for the Continental, it made the brand even more desirable. The Lincoln Continental two-door was built at a highly restricted pace which makes them highly attractive to collectors world-wide.

The Town Coupé option escalated luxury to an even higher level of distinction. It is Lincoln’s answer to Cadillac’s Coupe deVille. The 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé is especially appealing to the ladies with its two-door elegance.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 28

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 25

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 8

The sumptuous interior makes the difference. The 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé offers exclusive button-tufted floating pillow-style seating. These luxurious lounge seats are extremely wide and deep-seated for comfort. They make a long distance jaunt enjoyable. It is a private guest room on wheels.

A Lincoln was always large and exquisitely appointed. The 1978 Town Coupé continued the tradition with high style and a distinctive appeal all its own. The front seats are 50/50 twin comfort lounge seats with individual six-way power and separate folding center arm rests for each front seat passenger.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 9

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 12

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 16

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 18

The spacious rear seat compartment has a folding center armrest and a bench seat that accommodates three passengers in the lap of luxury comfortably. This elegant interior was available in extra-luxurious velour or glove-soft leather.

Handsome fixed rear quarter coach windows carried a Continental star and afforded extra privacy to rear seat passengers.  Deep 17 oz. cut-pile carpet is lavishly under foot. It also lines the deep 22.4 cubic foot trunk. This is two-door personal luxury with four-door virtues…

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 13

The Lincoln Continental Town Coupé offered many features and accessories as standard equipment; the competition offered as optional equipment. A full vinyl roof with coach lamps was standard. Power windows, power steering and brakes, Cartier Digital Timepiece, courtesy lighting, Select-Shift 3-speed automatic transmission, Automatic Temperature Control, power front disc brakes, whitewall radial ply tires, tinted glass, dual-note horn, and Anti-theft rear deck lid were among the myriad features standard for the Continental.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 15

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 19

The Town Coupé option is an additional $1,440 and includes all Continental features plus: power mini-vent windows. The Town Car option has unique interior door and quarter panel trim and “Town Car – Town Coupé nomenclature affixed to the dash and outside rear sail panels.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 10

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 20

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 11

The 1978 Lincoln Continentals were engineered for excellence. A triple sandwich of steel beams is built into each door structure. The steering wheel is energy absorbing and is designed to collapse under heavy impact. Available Sure-Track anti-lock braking system controls all four wheels.

New for the 1978 model year was an electronic ignition system, and a maintenance-free battery. Its AM/FM radio system is redesigned using fewer components. Even after the Lincoln Continental Town Coupé is built, it is further scrutinized. Rigorous road simulation is a testing feature using the “Burke-Porter” machine.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 6

1939 Lincoln Zephyr

1939 Lincoln Zephyr convertible coupé

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 2

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 3

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 4

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 5

1940 Lincoln Continental 2

1940 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1940 Lincoln Continental 1

1940 Lincoln Continental 3

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 7

This scrutiny goes to the Continental’s exterior as well. Fit and finish examination ensures the exterior sheet metal panels are within tolerances. Exterior lamps and ornamentation are all under the toughest scrutiny. This is why the finished car is absolutely gorgeous. I will always keep my 1979 Town Car, it’s the only car I ever owned besides my DeVille that I loved enough not to trade in when I bought new cars.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 5

1946 Lincoln Continental

1946 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1947 Lincoln Continental

1947 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1948 Lincoln Continental 2

1948 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1948 Lincoln Continental

1948 Lincoln Continental 3

1948 Lincoln Continental 4

1948 Lincoln Continental 5

1948 Lincoln Continental 6

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 21

You could have added distinctive options to your 1978 Town Coupé such as the popular “Illuminated Entry System.” It is activated when either door handle is lifted. This feature lights the interior for night-time safety. The available “Interior Light Group” adds lighted vanity mirrors, and dual beam map lights.

The “Headlamp Convenience Group” option has the “Autolamp” feature which would leave the head lights on up to three minutes to light your path safely. It also includes an automatic headlamp dimmer for night-time driving. A standard “buzzer” alerts the driver if they exit the vehicle with the manual headlamp switch activated.  The “Power Lock Group” includes central locking for doors and deck lid with power release. The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé pampers its occupants.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 22

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 23

Sumptuous, prestigious, elegant, opulent…I could go on and on about its distinguished exterior styling. The two-door version of the four-door counterpart has the same mission; providing spacious six-passenger luxury. The long knife-blade fenders sweep the length of its prominent silhouette.

The luxury of a Lincoln Continental is legendary. Its timeless design will challenge the years gracefully. I will always adore this last big-body Continental, these cars are keepers. I like the sheer size and the car’s road-holding attributes. The 1978 Continental two-door Town Coupé lends an air of aristocracy and elite sophistication adding to its exclusivity and supremacy –

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 26

1957 Lincoln Premiere

1957 Lincoln Premiere

1958 Lincoln Continental MK III

1958 Lincoln Continental MK III hardtop sedan

Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental 1

1961 Lincoln Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental 2

Elwood Engel gave the Continental its identity

1961 Lincoln Continental 3

1962 Lincoln Continental

1962 Lincoln Continental

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 24

The 1978 Lincoln Continentals are stunning with their elegant front end ensemble augmented by hide-away headlamps and a Rolls-Royce inspired grille. The large wrap around bumper yields a five mph impact with no sheet metal damage. The parking/turn signal lamps are vertically placed for high visibility. Standard cornering lamps affixed to the lower front fenders below the side marker lamps light the way into turns to increase night-time visibility.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 35

The rear end styling ensemble is equally as dramatic as the front end design. Extra-large tail lamps are built into the rear fenders and a full-width red reflector that runs beneath the deck lid from fender to fender assures high visibility for night-time safety.

The wide wrap around rear bumper also accepts a five mph impact without damage to the sheet metal. These cars are built to protect themselves eminently. And one must be extra careful driving these luxury behemoths; it is dangerous to run into a smaller vehicle as it would completely destroy it upon impact. This is the last of the real cars.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 29

The 1978 Continental Town Coupé is designed to satisfy the most discerning owner in terms of styling, solidity, and overall quality. It’s saddening to realize there will never be another automobile such as this to roll off the assembly lines. The capacious interior and its extra-long wheelbase attributes to the Town Coupés popularity among the world’s finest automobiles.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 2

In comparison to other luxury cars, riding comfort and ease of operation, the Lincoln Continental had a more comfortable ride and was easier to drive than its competition. These luxurious automobiles have a ride all their own…they seem to just glide along with an integral integrity impervious to road conditions. This is due in no small part to its solid body on frame construction.

The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé has the luxury length of 233”, rides upon a long 127.2” wheelbase, and is 79.6” wide. The Town Coupé has a roofline and rear quarter windows that make it more glamorous than ever. It is designed to offer a greater degree of luxury. This is the largest passenger production car ever built in America. It’s even larger than the 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham sedan. The Brougham has a larger wheelbase at 133”.

1966 Lincoln Continental

1966 Lincoln Continental two-door coupé

1966 Lincoln Continental 3

1966 Lincoln Continental 2

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 31

The 1978 Lincoln Continental was available with either the 6.5 litre 400 CID 16-valve Cleveland V8 or the “proper” 7.5 litre 16-valve 460 CID V8 engine. The Ford 385 Series 460 CID V8 is equipped with a Motorcraft 4350 4-bbl carburetor. The engine cranks 210 hp @ 4,200 rpm with 484 Nm of peak torque @ 2,200 rpm.  The engine is mated to the Ford C6 Select-Shift 3-speed automatic transmission.

It has a top speed in the 116 mph range.  Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 11.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.9 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 68.9 seconds.  It can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.6 seconds. The Select-Shift transmission was improved with a new torque converter which refined the overall operating efficiency. As for the 160 hp 6.5 litre Cleveland V8…we won’t even go there…

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 33

It looks strange to see a real engine doesn’t it?

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 34

1968 Continental 1

1968 Lincoln Continental

1968 Continental 2

It is sad to see the classic cars such as the full-size Lincoln Continentals. I grew up driving cars like these. The elegant puddle jumpers we are forced to drive today lack the formal elegance of cars from the 1960s and 1970s. The full size 1978-1979 Lincoln Continentals are the last of the gangster rides. NotoriousLuxury is all about the beautiful gas guzzling land yachts from the illustrious past.

1968 Continental 3

1968 Continental 4

1968 Lehmann-Peterson Limousine

1968 Lehmann-Peterson stretch limousine

1979 Lincoln Continental Williamsburg Town Car

1979 Lincoln Continental Williamsburg Town Car

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series 3

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector’s Series Town Car

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series 4

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series 5

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series 6

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series 2

1979 Lincoln Continental Collector's Series

The 1978 model year celebrated Lincoln’s 75th Anniversary. Its heritage of luxury is illustrious. The advertising slogan was “Lincoln…what a luxury car should be.” “The Lincoln Continental was truly a standard by which American luxury cars were judged.” This was evident in these highly impressive automobiles. The Continental for 1978 offered traditional American luxury with high-style. The sheer size and comfort…the power…the accessories and features all came together in an automobile of grace and dignity…this was the hallmark of one of the greatest luxury automobiles built in America.

The Town Car and Town Coupé options escalated the Lincoln Continental two and four-door sedans into a higher level of sophisticated elegance. The 1978 Town Coupé offers a personal luxury car embodied as a two-door configuration with the sheer size of four-door roominess. The Town Coupé was built at a highly restricted pace…as all two-door Lincolns. NotoriousLuxury pays homage to the 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé…it’s a private paradise…

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 37

Special Thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, Leftcoast Classics, Wallpaperup, and Lincoln Motor Division Press Club.

Lincoln Continental Concept 4

The Lincoln Continental Concept

Lincoln Continental Concept 1

Lincoln Continental Concept 2

Lincoln Continental Concept 3

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 36

Welcome to Greg’s World…NotoriousLuxury

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 27

The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé

14 Responses to “The Continental Life: 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé”

  1. Al Young Says:

    Your ’78 coupe looks fantastic. Just wondering how much mileage is on this beautiful car and whether it has a price that you’d take to part with it. Take care.

  2. Mark Corbe Says:

    I may not be the first to point this out so I apologize. You completely tear down the 400 engine as opposed to the 460 however you have a photo of the cleveland 400 in this Lincoln beauty with the caption underneath “it looks strange to see a real engine doesn’t it?” Don’t get me wrong, I just purchased a 78 Mark V with the 460 so I honestly don’t know how good or bad the 400 is. I definitely can spot the differences though. You are bragging about the 460 while sporting the 400.

  3. That Maroon and white Town Coupe is the exact car my father ordered new in 1978. That could indeed be my father’s car. Was there ever damage to the drivers rear quarter panel? My father’s car was sideswiped when it was 6 days old and immediately repaired. I’d be curious to know if that is indeed my father’s old Lincoln.

    • This was an extremely popular color combination. It is an original without damage. The Town Coupe is a rare model, if you can find another one I would buy it immediately. The majority of Lincoln Continentals were built as 4-door sedans. Glad you liked the story. I try to give all of my readers what they want to see. If you have a request give me a shout and I’ll put it out there just for you! Have a super day and stop by anytime!

  4. I have one that I picked up a few years ago. It has 54000 original. She is in really good shape too! Should I send you a picture of her? I am moving it my grandmas farm to park it on saturday. Havent fired it up in 3 months so I am excited to take her out on the road! I have a waterproof cover but I think I need to get one of the covers that can fully wrap it up. I hate to leave it out in the elements but I just dont have anywhere else to keep her. She is about 14 inches too long to keep in the garage.

  5. I know what you mean by the length of it! I keep one of my 1979 Lincoln Town Cars at home. I had to have a house built with adequate garage space for my cars! I like full-sized cars and it does present a challenge with newer homes! Everyone is driving the little death traps that fit anyplace! It takes a real garage to keep our treasures!

  6. Johnny Lagoon Says:

    Imaginary scenario: You are driving from Los Angeles to New York City in the summer of 1978. You are a wealthy young man at the peak of your physical and sexual power, with the ability to drive across the country at your leisure, all alone and ripe for adventure
    through the heartland of Carter’s America. “Saturday Night Fever” and “Animal House” reign supreme in the movie house, Boston’s
    “Don’t Look Back” blares across the radio-waves.

    Which car to you chose to make the journey? A showroom-new 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, a 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe, or a 1978 Chrysler Imperial New Yorker Brougham?

    • I like the way you think? You left out the 1976 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham d’Elegance, and the Lincoln Continental MK IV & MK V! Don’t you miss the sheer size and power to weight ratio of those big land yachts? We drove across country from Ohio to Las Vegas in my 1976 Fleetwood Brougham and another adventure along the same routes with my girlfriend’s 1973 Imperial LeBaron. Big ‘ole floatin’ Barco loungers they were! Driving cars like those, we never got tired at the end of the journey. Too bad we are exiled to the puddle-jumpers of today!

  7. Johnny Lagoon Says:

    All apologies at my oversight of the Jubilee editions! Like turning back the hands of time as one sits in an old abandoned 1978, rust having eaten away it’s golden paint and staring at the broken hands of a Cartier dashboard clock, memories come flooding back of the days of youthful seductions in the back seat, plush velour upholstery brushing up against bare skin, a full moon throwing it’s silvery light though the opera window, a small diamond glinting in the glass…..

  8. Johnny Lagoon Says:

    If, indeed, you had to make one choice (price no object) between the absolute top of the line Lincoln, Cadillac, or Chrysler for that 1978 cross-country journey from LA to NYC, which one would you have chosen between these three strictly American luxury brands, and why? And what was the absolute “top” model, with every conceivable luxury option available at the time, no matter how rare, expensive, or of limited production run? (The 1978 Cadillac Eldorado
    Biarritz Classic with a T-Top roof in two-tone beige and chocolate brown, or one of the 1978 Blass, Pucci, Fiorucci, or Cartier Diamond Jubilee Editions?)

    • The absolute epitome of luxury, elegance, and opulence for model years 1970 thru 1976 were the fabulous Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Specials with the limited edition luxury options such as the Fleetwood Talisman Brougham, the Series Sixty-Special Brougham d’Elegance, or just the Brougham.

      However…for the 1979 model year it was without conjecture the elegant Lincoln Continental Collector’s Series Town Car…people get antsy when I add the Collector’s Series with the Town Car, it was the same car just trim level distinction. I always say the Collector’s Series Town Car to differentiate this from the Continental MK V Collector’s Series. Either of these elegant trim level luxury options won hands down for 1979. These were the last of the real luxury cars.

      The Eldorado for 1977 – 1978 were diluted hodge podges of left-over GM parts. The real McCoys for Cadillac ended with the 1976 model year when the Cadillac sported the 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine. Cadillac ceased and desisted with luxury cars after this end of the line model year.

      Cadillac is now defunct. The music stopped for Cadillac shamelessly in the 1980s. Junk yards were full of Eldorado and Seville models. DeVille/Fleetwood models from 1982 thru 1984 were junk and got progressively worse from here on out. I owned the HORRID 1981 Fleetwood V8-6-4 fiasco, the 1982 Brougham d’Junk and I ended up trading that recluse from the scrapyard on a 1983 Olds 98 Regency coupe which was the best car I ever owned in the 1980s.

      I returned to Cadillac in 1992 with the Brougham d’Elegance, and the 1993, 1994, and 1996 Fleetwood Broughams. I made a horrid choice when I traded my 1996 Brougham on a 1999 DeVille in 1999 which was an awful piece of JUNK.

      The dealer had it more than I did the first 3 years. The entire car was rebuilt by the time I went to trade it on my 2002 DeVille (which I still drive as my beater, it has 136,000 miles and still runs like a scalded cat! It looks showroom new too!) I ended up bringing the 1999 DeVille d”Junk home with me in 2002 because the dealer wasn’t going to give me much on it. So I parked it in the garage and drove the ’02.

      When I went to crank the 1999 a year after I put it in the garage…the engine was “ticking” and one of the rear wheels had seized (the black mark is still on the garage floor from where the guy that bought it from me had to tow it out of the garage.) That 1999 was AWFUL I tell you, just AWFUL!!! The damned thing only had a little over 56,000 miles because it was either on the back of a flatbed tow truck or already in the Cadillac service bay most of the time! I hardly ever got to drive it. I just went to look at it after the pretend service was done on it.

      They gave me a Buick Park Avenue as a loaner in 2000 when the dealer HAD THE AWFUL 1999 DeVille ALL YEAR LONG and when I drove that Park Avenue (they had run out of Cadillac loaners, I had the Gold Key Service warranty where the dealer gave me a Cadillac to drive while mine was in service). They gave me that Park Avenue to drive for 9 months. I didn’t want to take it back, I knew I had bought the wrong car when I went back to pick up that AWFUL 1999 DeVille. As for Cadillac…the swan song was that 1999 I kept the ’02 because I used to trade every 2-3 year model years and when Cadillac decided to make the same car from 2000 thru 2011 I kept the ’02. It has a good Northstar engine. I keep it in tune by taking it out on the freeway and chomping the accelerator pedal after hitting 75-80 mph once or twice a month which keeps all the carbon deposits out of the engine. I recommend the use of premium gasoline in all Cadillacs from 2000 thru 2011 because it prolongs the life of the car. I didn’t have my 2002 tuned up until 125,000 miles and the dealer said I really didn’t need a tune up then because the premium fuel I used made the engine burn cleaner and more efficiently.

      I never did baby this car. I run it like a BMW or Mercedes. If you drive a Cadillac DeVille like the Church lady you are ruining it. They die a slow and grisley death! You gotta run a Cadillac from that genre to keep it in tune. And…never buy a Cadillac anything from a “Buy Here Pay Here” junk lot especially Escalade Nightmares…there is no such thing as a bargain Cadillac! Soooo did I answer your question?

      • Johnny Lagoon Says:

        You most certainly did…and then some! I must confess that I actually took that cross-country trip in the summer of ’78, which was undoubtedly one of the most seminal experiences of my life, the memories of which haunt me to this day, if not for how much the America of that time seems as if were some otherworldly dream,
        most pointedly in the general openness and warmth of strangers whose embrace of momentary pleasures strikes the mind as if commenting on the characteristics of some long-extinct species of homo sapien relegated to the smallest historical footnote in the anonymous reaches of cyberspace.

        I rented a white 1978 Plymouth Volare station wagon which took me from Las Vegas to New Orleans, traded it at the rental depot for a metallic green 1978 Olds Delta 88 which took me from there to Colonial Williamsburg, and then completed the journey by way of Maine and Nova Scotia back down to Manhattan in a 1978 gold Buick LeSabre with tufted velour seats.

        I never forgot the round silver dashboard dials in the Buick. For some reason, that’s the physical memory that triggers all sorts of powerful emotions, all of them relating to the dreams of a future that is now long past.

    • Oh, I forgot to mention, those 1978 Biarritz models weren’t built with the same gauge metal as previously, rust ate them relentlessly! They were an embarrassment to Cadillac running around with rust holes eaten clear thru all around the thick padded vinyl roofs and all along the sides where the weld studs were attached to hold the chrome. Same with the Lincolns. You had to keep them off the road in the Winter when they put calcium chloride on the roads. They used thinner metal for the 1978 and 1979 model years…rust ate them relentlessly as well. I bought a Silver Wraith II with money saved from Cadillac repairs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: