“Nil fato relinquemus…”
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
1939 Lincoln Zephyr convertible coupé
1940 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé
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.
1946 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé
1947 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé
1948 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé
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.
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 –
1957 Lincoln Premiere
1958 Lincoln Continental MK III hardtop sedan
1961 Lincoln Continental
Elwood Engel gave the Continental its identity
1962 Lincoln Continental
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.
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.
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.
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 two-door coupé
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…
It looks strange to see a real engine doesn’t it?
1968 Lincoln Continental
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 Lehmann-Peterson stretch limousine
1979 Lincoln Continental Williamsburg Town Car
1979 Lincoln Continental Collector’s Series Town Car
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…
Special Thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, Leftcoast Classics, Wallpaperup, and Lincoln Motor Division Press Club.
The Lincoln Continental Concept
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The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé