1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Ahoy Polloi!

Jayson Coombes

My friend Jayson Coombes attended the Lincoln & Continental Owners Club’s Eastern meet in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June (I’m a Lake Shore Region member). Initially I had thought about going myself, but it appeared to be about a 10-hour drive, so I demurred. It was a twofer for Jayson though, as his folks live nearby, so he got to see some beautiful cars and visit with his parents for a few days.

Jayson Coombes

As Jayson explained, the show was not gigantic, but there were some absolutely high-quality cars at the event. In addition to today’s spectacular example of Broughamage, there was a Lincoln Versailles with a fantastic aqua velour interior, a burgundy 1968 Continental sedan, a 1949 Cosmopolitan, and several showroom-condition 1977–79 Mark Vs. But this 1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car was one of the first I zeroed in on.

Jayson Coombes

What spectacular colors! I know I’m a broken record on this subject, but man, what colors used to be available. Glancing at my copy of the 1977 Continental brochure, the hues included Ice Blue Moondust, Yellow Gold Diamond Fire, Dark Jade Metallic (one of my favorites), Cinnamon Gold Moondust, Midnight Blue, Dove Gray, and Cream.

Jayson Coombes

But you won’t find our featured car’s color in that ’77 showroom brochure, because it was custom ordered when new. The color itself, easily visible from across a parking lot, is Rosé Diamond Fire, which was available on the Mark IV in 1976. Apparently the original owner of this magnificent vessel wanted that color even though it was no longer on the chart and was willing to pay extra.

Jayson Coombes

One indicator of a special order color is the silver-painted filler panels. That was done on all cars with custom paint, likely in order to streamline assembly on the production line. It’s just beautiful, and the optional turbine spoke alloy wheels, a new option for 1977, only enhance its good looks. This is luxury car with a capital L.

Jayson Coombes

Ah, yes, the age of the land yacht. I missed the golden years, but I remember all the Fleetwoods, Continentals, Ninety-Eight Regencys, and LTD Crown Victorias from the 1980s and ’90s. And, of course, there were still myriad ’70s survivors at the time, ranging in condition to pristine and driven by little old ladies with hats, to one step away from the demolition derby at the Scott County Fair.

A 1977-78 Marquis Brougham. Thomas Klockau

Speaking of demolition derby, back around 1990, my cousin Suzy’s boyfriend bought old clunkers and ran them in the fair. I remember one time he stopped by my aunt and uncle’s house in a bombed-out blue 1975–78 Mercury Marquis sedan. It was the same type as the one in the John Candy classic, Uncle Buck—and in about the same condition—except the movie car was a coupe, not a sedan. “Wanna go for a ride?” Heck, yes!

A 1977-78 Mercury Marquis Brougham. Thomas Klockau

So we went on a quick and speedy five-minute ride, and when we got back I noticed it had one headlamp door remaining, with the emblem on it. “Can I have the emblem?” I asked. “Sure!” he answered and proceeded to break off the headlamp door, unscrew the emblem from it, and hand it to me. That car went out in a blaze of glory almost 35 years ago, but I still have that emblem in a drawer somewhere.

Pardon my digression, but the headlamp doors on this Continental took me back! Funny how that happens sometimes. But back to Lincolns. The 1977 models received a moderate facelift. The biggest change was the front end, where the previous year’s low, wide grille was replaced with a tall, narrow one.

Jayson Coombes

It was very similar, though not identical, to the one on the Continental Mark V, and I’m sure the resemblance was intentional. As had been the case, Continentals came as either a two-door coupe or four-door sedan.

Jayson Coombes

The four door started at $9636 (about $48,923 today); the coupe, $9474 ($48,100). A total of 68,160 four-doors and 27,440 coupes were produced for the model year, including both standard trim Continentals and those with the Town Car or Town Coupé packages.

Jayson Coombes

Town Cars and Town Coupés added “floating pillow” seating, a full vinyl roof (the landau-style coach roofs, whether on coupe or sedan, were an optional extra), leather upholstery, carpeted luggage compartment with matching spare tire cover, six-way power seat, AM/FM radio with four speakers, power antenna, and Automatic Temperature Control.

Jayson Coombes

As one would expect, a V-8 was standard, along with Select-Shift automatic transmission. Other standard features included power vent windows, cornering lamps, a Cartier-signed digital clock, white sidewall Michelin tires, tinted glass, power windows, power brakes, power steering, automatic parking brake release and fender skirts. The 208-horsepower 460-cubic-inch V-8 came on all cars except those destined to go to California, where a 179-hp, 400-cu-in V-8 was installed instead.

Jayson Coombes

“A standard by which luxury cars are judged … introducing the 1977 Lincoln Continental.” So began the 1977 brochure. It was pretty clear they were referencing the newly-downsized 1977 Cadillacs. “You’ve got your standards … and everything you do has to meet them. You won’t compromise. For 1977, the Lincoln Continental hasn’t compromised either.”

Jayson Coombes

That was definitely true in the Continental’s sheer size and room. These cars had a 127.2-inch wheelbase, 233-inch overall length, and had a curb weight of 4880 pounds for the sedan and 4836 pounds on the coupe.

Jayson Coombes

Of course, as it turned out, Lincoln was whistling past the graveyard. Starting in 1978, the 460 was optional and the 400 was standard. In 1979, the 460 disappeared, never to return. And in 1980, the Continentals joined the Marquis and LTD and appeared on the newly shrunken “Panther” chassis. But it was fun while it lasted.

Jayson Coombes



Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Read next Up next: Fifth-Gen Camaro (2010–15): The one that rose again


    Great Saturday morning Broughamage! Dad got a 73 Marquis Brougham 2 door while I was in college. It had the 429 but was pretty strangled in output compared to the 70 Deuce and a quarter’s (now relegated to second car duty-and my tire smoking use) unsmogged 455. The Merc was all options and very nice, passed everything but the gas pump..

    In the 80’s all of my bosses drove these big Lincolns, great to ride in. Also a staple at the Budget counter when I was traveling a lot. Raced a 911 up to Eisenhower Tunnel in an early 90’s Town Car on a ski trip and damn near beat him! And all the skis fit in the trunk.

    Tom, when did Lincoln stop offering Special Order (SO) colors? Cadillac no longer offered SO colors after Clark Avenue closed in December 1987.
    Beautiful color to bad it was one year only.

    Wow! You sure hit a nerve in me with this 1977 Town Car. My parents owned a 1976. It was a 460 4 barrel Motorcraft carburetor, it had 4 doors, in Dark Red Moondust Metallic. It had the matching half padded vinyl top with a very interesting grain to it and B piller coach lamps. The interior was dark red velour with thick shagg carpeting. We didn’t have the opera windows, which was just fine with me, but everything else you called out on the 77 was all there. As I was wondering why the filler panels for the bumpers were in silver, you were good enough to explain why they were silver. Thanks for adding that detail. That Lincoln was gorgeous. It turned heads where ever it went. They bought it brand new in the summer of 1976, and kept it, mostly in the garage until the fall of 1989, when they brought home a 1990 Town Car Signature Series in dark blue metallic with light blue leather interior. It was a completely different car from the 76. It was much smaller, the engine was the fuel injectioned 5.0, with duel exhaust. The dash was electronic and it included an in dash AM/FM stereo radio with CD player, which at the time was a first. As for the 76, it went to my uncle, like that ir stayed in the family, something I insisted on. It went to my uncle with just 58,000 miles on the clock. We loved our Lincolns. In 1995 I bought a black with black leather interior Town Car Signature Series with the all new 4.6 liter V8, with the new Ford 4 speed automatic overdrive transmission. As much as we loved the 76, and the 1990, which by the way was Motor Trends 1990 Car of the Year, the 95 soon joined the rest of our beloved Lincolns. The 95 had some of the latest technology available at the time, it had features that most people weren’t even aware of. The styling of the 95 was pretty much the same as the 1990. The major differences were to the front end. The grill was more rounded with a thicker chrome frame, and the headlights were narrower and had clear lenses. Those two changes were enough to give the entire car a more sofistcated and regal appearance. Just try to find an early 90s Town Car today on the used car market, they are very rare and if you should find one, you will pay top price for it. The people that have them keep them, and I know why. We also had a 1975 Mercury Marquis Colony Park wagon, they are the station wagon that Lincoln never made. We still love the mid-70s Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns. I keep waiting for cars like these to make a come back with today’s technology. I hope it won’t be long. I do remember seeing Town Cars the color of yours. It’s an elegant color that fits the Town Cars at that time.

    My father got a ‘77 Lincoln Continental Town Car in Dark Jade Green metallic paint with velour interior. Mother chose the colour. One of our jokes was that the complete name of this Lincoln was as long as the car!

    Lincoln was still very special then, so he got the initial plate (WJH) which was centred along the front doors. He sent in a coupon from the owner manual and the plates were custom-made and sent to us.

    I got this car from him in 1990 and it became my first collector car. I kept it until 2008, when maintenance costs got out of hand.

    Those big boats were very comfortable.

    Craig, as in William J Heron, or in my case, Uncle Bill and Auntie Norah Heron?! If so, I remember that car and your Dad let me drive it on one of our Christmas trips to visit from BC. I knew the car had stayed in the family, glad you got to enjoy it for a while. Hope it went to a good and deserving home. Also, hope you and yours are well!

    Stunning car! We have a 1976 Mark IV and a 1978 Thunderbird Diamond Jubilee that we are slowly restoring. My wife and I decided this year (we both turned 60) that we want to start attending car shows. We’ve been told it can be so much fun. So this next spring, the Thunderbird will be the longer distance shows and the Mark will stay closer to town!

    If you can find one in good shape, a Brougham will likely be $15,000 or more. A GRAND MARQUIS will be even more. Two doors usually bring a higher price than four doors. The carburetor on 460 motor can be problematic.

    Great cars. I have had a 78 in convertible form, an Andy Hotten unit, for nearly 30 years. It is one of my favorites.

    Looks like you forgot to mention the factory installed CB Radio option! Actually quite useful back when truckers used them a spotted traffic jams, bears taking pictures, etc..

    Let us now return to those halcyon Days of our Lives when OTT excessive chromed luxury on the GRAND scale ruled the streets! While I first fell in love with big American luxury vehicles (58 Cadillac Sixty Special and 61 Imperial LEBARON and last 61 DeSoto) grand finale for Exners fabulous finned fantasies as a teen, the 70s really took Divine Decadence to the MAX. Have owned 78 GRAND MARQUIS, 78 Town Coupe, 89 Town Car Signature, 89 Crown Victoria LX as well as numerous other upscale vehicles. 83 and 85 RWD Fifth Avenues with formal roof and plush velvet interiors held their own on a slightly smaller scale. 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance was a stunner,but subsequent 93 Brougham did not measure up. Currently blessed to have beautiful low mileage Town Car Signature Limited. Not quite as OTT as previous cars, but the last of the GREAT AMERICAN Luxury Sedans. Now even that has been dropped. Who wants to drive a glorified 🚚 truck? Not ME. This Town Car (per my instructions) will carry my cremains to the grave, since even limos and hearses are so pathetic. Those were the days, now Gone With the Wind! What ever happened to CLASS?

    It WAS good 🎵Wasn’t it GRAND 🎶 In fifty years 🎵 It sure has changed you KNOW 🎶 and what have we got to show? 🎵A bunch of junk ,my Bro 🎶 but it was HEAVEN 🎵 Back in those days!

    I lucked into a 1973 Lincoln Continental coupe back in the early 90’s. I traded my clapped out Chevy C10 plus 700 dollars. The car was from the south, rust and damage free. It was that i e green color with dark green vinyl top and dark green leather interior. That 460 ran so smooth, and it rode like nothing I’ve ever owned since. I had to find a driveshaft shop that knew how to deal with the double cardan u joints when one went bad. Sadly, I crashed into the back of a semi in traffic when it stopped and I couldn’t, but I really enjoyed driving that car while I had it.
    Years later, I lucked into another great Lincoln, a 1995 Towncar signature spinnaker edition. It was oxford white with navy blue leather interior. That has to be the quietest car I ever drove, is was silent like a tomb while on the highway. That one I sold due to having health problems that made it too painful to drive it, the car and the seats were too low. Still miss those Lincolns tho.

    We have a ’77 Continental Brougham in our garage that we bought in ’87 from the original owner who purchased it new in the DC area. It drove to the Library of Congress and parked in their garage ona regular basis. It is all white with Burgandy interior and came with the 400 co in engine. Just over 100,000 miles and has been repainted, nothing else!

    Thomas, your “homage to broughmage” in recent profiles, including the ’73 Thunderbird and the ’77 Lincoln here bring back such great memories of my Dad and cars that he owned in that era of “Brougham d’excess.” He bought new a ’71 Marquis Brougham coupe, in medium green with matching vinyl roof, with a 429. This car was pre-park bench sized bumpers and tastefully very Lincoln like in appearance.

    His next was a ’73 Thunderbird in medium gold with contrasting white vinyl roof and side trim, with a 429 as well. I still recall the night he picked me up from after school sports the day he took delivery. The new car smell of the gold leather interior was intoxicating.

    He subsequently traded the T-Bird in on a ’75 Lincoln Town Coupe with the 460 in dark blue with vinyl roof and optional twin comfort lounge seats with blue leather. So much room front and back to spread out on. I agree, such a great array of colour choices available back then, exterior and interior. One of Dad’s nephews used to kid him about his “land yacht” and scraping the barnacles off! Since I turned 16 at the end of ’75 I was able to drive and enjoy first hand one of those Barges of Brougham you speak so fondly about. Long may they sail!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *