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1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

4dr Sdn Executive

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $38,525 original MSRP
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1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

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1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

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1999 Lincoln Town Car

Source: The Car Connection

The second-best-selling vehicle in America takes a bow.

by Robert Ahl

You’re looking at the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado, the soldier of the future in the largest and longest running new-vehicle war in the United States - the battle of full-sized pickups between GM and Ford.

Ford’s F-150 and GM’s Chevy/GMC C/K pickups have occupied the top two slots in vehicle sales (cars and light trucks combined) for the last 10 years. (Dodge’s Ram has made strong inroads in the pickup market and ranks in the top 10 in vehicle sales in the U.S.) Why are big pickups so popular here? One reason is low gas prices that allow U.S. customers to indulge freely in their preference for larger vehicles. Another, more important reason is that full-sized pickups are genuinely versatile vehicles - ones that can seat up to six while also hauling thousands of pounds of bulky cargo.

The Silverado, and its twin at GMC, the Sierra, replaced GM’s 11-year-old C/K pickups last year. Like the full-sized rivals at Ford and Dodge, the Silverado can be can be ordered thousands of different ways. Four different wheelbases are available, and three different cabs - a “regular” two-door, an “extended” three-door (with a cramped rear seat), and a “crew-cab” (with four full-sized doors and a full-sized rear seat.) Short (6.5-foot) and long (8.0-foot) cargo beds are available. A short “Sportside” bed, with steps in the side for easier loading, is also available.

The list continues. You can choose either rear- or four-wheel drive. There are five engines - a 4.3-liter V-6; a 4.8-, 5.3- or 6.0-liter V-8; or a 6.5-liter turbodiesel - and two transmissions - a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Dual rear wheels (two per side) with extended-width fenders are available for towing heavy trailers - up to 11,000 pounds.

Inside, the interiors run from the most basic, with rubber floor mats and vinyl seats, to opulent, with leather seats and thick carpets. Detroit’s cars used to be sold like this too - with thousands of option combinations - but those days are gone. Pickup trucks, though, must appeal to a much wider cross-section of buyers - from plumbers and carpenters to old folks looking to tow a vacation mobile home to luxury-car owners looking to make a fashion statement.

Make that a conservative fashion statement. GM’s new pickups don’t look much different than the boxy trucks they are replacing. This is a sharp break from the styling trend set by the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram, and critics have already labeled it a mistake. But GM is confident that conservative styling sells, and it points to its hot-selling minivans as proof. GM also notes that the current Chevy/GMC pickup is still hot on the heels of the F-150 in sales, despite its 11-year-old styling.

GM’s trucks may not be the sharpest-looking full-sized pickups on the road, but they may be the nicest to drive. The first thing you notice is just how stiff this truck is. Full-size and midsize pickup bodies, with their separate cabs and beds, tend to flex a lot over large bumps. To make it stiffer, GM applied car technology (such as hydroforming, from the Corvette) to the truck’s ladder frame. The new frame is 23 percent stiffer, but lighter than the previous one. The cab is also much stronger than before. This is the first GM full-size pickup to be designed completely on computer.

The stiff frame allowed the suspension to be tuned more precisely. Four optional suspensions are available. There’s a suspension for off-road use, and one offering a firmer, sportier ride. There’s also a heavy-duty suspension for plowing snow, and one with electronically controlled shock absorbers with driver-adjustable damping. Two-wheel-drive models get rack-and-pinion steering, while four-wheel-drive models have a recirculating-ball setup. Our test truck, a two-wheel-drive extended-cab model, handled nimbly for its considerable size. The steering was light and pleasantly quick and made the truck feel smaller.

GM also invested considerably in the Silverado’s brakes. Big vented discs on all four corners, with ABS, are standard equipment. The company benchmarked BMWs for brake feel, an almost laughable goal for a vehicle of this size. But the firm pedal did have better feel than that on any other truck we’ve experienced. There also wasn’t much fade after numerous high-speed stops. These are excellent brakes for a truck.

Emissions regulations finally killed off Chevy’s famous small-block V-8s, the engines that powered GM’s pickups for decades. The new cast-iron V-8s in their place are based on the aluminum LS1 V-8 in the Corvette. The 5.3-liter V-8 will likely be the most popular engine in the Silverado. With 270 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque, it pushed our 4600-lb test truck to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds (with the four-speed automatic transmission.) These 16-valve V-8s may look like simple designs, but they’re probably the most sophisticated pushrod engines in the world. The 5.3-liter idled so quietly, we ground the starter twice trying to start it, thinking it was off. The V-8s can even be run without coolant - if the engine overheats, the computer alternates fuel delivery between each cylinder bank. While one bank cools with air, the other powers the truck, allowing it to limp home.

The four-speed automatic shifts expertly, something we’ve come to expect from GM transmissions. It has a selectable “tow/haul” mode that upshifts the transmission more firmly and at higher rpm for better control at low speeds with heavy loads. The base four-wheel-drive system can only be used off-road. An optional “Autotrac” on-road system distributes torque to the front wheels only when slip is detected.

The interior is about as exciting to look at as the exterior. It also has too much cheap-looking hard plastic, a common problem with many GM cars. But the controls are exactly where you would expect them, and the dashboard has a full complement of instruments. Included is a small “driver message center” that can read out 18 different messages, from “transmission fluid hot” to “change oil” to “cargo lamp on.” The Silverado’s rear seats in the extended cab have properly reclined seatbacks, head restraints, and ample knee room and thigh support. The Ford and Dodge seats, in comparison, seem like design afterthoughts.

At first, Chevrolet was alone, lacking a “clamshell” rear door on each side of the extended cab as have the Fords and Dodges. GM misjudged the competition and introduced the extended-cab Silverado with just a passenger-side rear-entry door. That’s about the most obvious mistake it made with this truck. By 2000, the Silverado will come with two rear doors like its competitors.

Bet you never imagined that such minor details could matter so much in a truck. But full-size pickup buyers - particularly those that rely on their trucks for their businesses - take such details very seriously. With 1,700,000 sales a year split among just three automakers, so do the automakers.

Base Silverados will start at about $17,000, while loaded versions will top out at about $33,000.

© The Car Connection

 

The way they used to be made isn’t so bad, after all.

by Robert Ahl

Want to know how Detroit used to build large cars? Just look at the Lincoln Town Car. Its body is made of conventional stamped steel. There’s a separate full-length steel frame underneath, rubber-isolated from the body. Under the hood is a big cast-iron V-8 engine that drives the rear wheels. Inside, there’s room for six.

Thirty years ago, that would have described nearly half of the new cars sold in the United States, but today, Ford is the only domestic automaker left that offers a large, body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive car. (Chrysler and GM switched to unit-construction bodies and front-wheel drive years ago.) With a base price of $38,500, the Lincoln Town Car is the most luxurious and expensive large car Ford offers. (The Navigator costs more, but it’s a truck, after all.) It may represent the way Detroit used to build cars, but the Town Car is not an antique, thanks to significant revisions this car received for 1998.

The most glaring change to the Town Car in recent memory has been its new and quite radical styling. The former squared-off fenders and roofline have been replaced with a much swoopier body, incorporating some Ford design themes we’ve seen before. The arching roofline and curved C-pillar recall the Lincoln Sentinel show car from 1997. In front there are “cat's-eye” headlamps (another favorite Ford theme) and a prominent chrome grille, following the tradition of Lincoln’s Continental and Navigator.

Photos don’t do this car justice. On the street, it’s more enticing, although we still wouldn’t call the Town Car beautiful. “Bold” is more like it. (You’ll recall we said the same of the Navigator when it came out last year.)

Slide behind the wheel, and other changes are obvious. The previous Town Car had lifeless, over-boosted steering; a limp suspension; and a live rear axle that had the tendency to step out around bumpy corners, all of which conspired to discourage brisk driving of any kind. With so much room for improvement, it was easy for engineers to address these problems without increasing the Town Car’s costs very much.

They started by stiffening the frame. They also reduced friction in the recirculating-ball steering, and removed the Town Car’s awful adjustable-feel system. In back, a new “Watt’s linkage” was installed to more precisely locate the rear axle. The end result met Ford’s goals - the new Town Car handles more precisely, with less body roll, dive and squat, while maintaining the previous Town Car’s very good ride. Vertical bobbing over large bumps has been virtually eliminated, too.

Our test car had a Touring Sedan package, with monotube shock absorbers, stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars, stiffer front springs, and larger 235/60R-16 tires. This package does little to shrink the Town Car’s immense feel. It does provide some steering feel, however. The body motions seem better damped, which allows the Town Car to be driven fast around curves without embarrassment. The Michelin Symmetry tires are capable of 0.78g of grip, which feels like plenty in a car of this size.

The Touring Sedan package also includes a 3.55 rear axle ratio (up from 3.08) and dual exhausts for the standard 4.6-liter SOHC V-8. The dual exhausts increase the horsepower of the V-8 from 200 to 220. With this package, our Touring Car could accelerate to 60 mph in just over eight seconds. Keep the throttle planted, and the Town Car reaches its 112-mph speed governor 25 seconds later. The standard four-speed automatic transmission is an improvement on most Ford automatics and is capable of quick downshifts and smooth upshifts. A steering column-mounted shifter and the lack of a tachometer in the instruments quell any thoughts of performance-shifting, though.

Fuel mileage isn’t too bad. The Town Car gets 17 mpg on the EPA city cycle, and 25 mpg on the highway cycle. Those numbers allow the Town Car to barely avoid gas-guzzler taxes.

The Town Car’s brakes consists of four discs, ventilated in front, solid in the rear, with ABS. The brake pedal has good feel, and none of the “mushiness” that infected the brake pedals of American luxury cars of a few years ago. On the other hand, we noticed significant fade after four or five stops from 70 mph.

The Town Car’s standard leather interior is spacious and even tasteful, but once again, not very sporting. The standard power front split-bench seat has an inflatable lumbar support but has no side bolsters, so you slide around a lot in corners on the slippery leather. (A Ford engineer showed us that if you pull out the center ashtray, you can use it to brace your knee during left-hand corners. No kidding.)

The dashboard’s uninterrupted horizontal hood makes this car feel really big inside. There’s no convenient center console because of the center seating position, although the center seatback folds down to make an armrest (with storage inside for CDs and cassettes). The steering wheel has convenient stereo and climate controls, and the instruments - just fuel and temperature gauges and a speedometer - are easily visible. Rear-seat room is ample, as you would expect, and rear-seat access is easy through the Town Car’s wide doors.

If you’re wondering how Lincoln can make a full-sized, leather-lined luxury cruiser for half the price of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, keep in mind that there’s a big difference between a Town Car and some of the world’s best luxury sedans. The Lincoln’s chassis, for example, lacks an independent rear suspension and isn’t capable of the high speeds of the Mercedes. Its automatic transmission has just four gears, too. Safetywise, the Lincoln lacks the Benz’s side airbags, its rear head restraints, and its sophisticated stability-control system.

Still, the Town Car is roomy, it drives competently, and it gives the impression of a lot of luxury car for the money. Cars like this especially appeal to older Americans. Last year’s typical Town Car buyer was 67 years old. Lincoln hopes the new version will reduce the average age to more like 63. And the Town Car’s lack of sophistication is actually to its advantage in some respects. Its tough body-on-frame construction makes it popular for limousine and funeral-hearse conversions, and its low price makes it attractive for rental car fleets.

Like the Buick Park Avenue and the Cadillac DeVille, the Lincoln Town Car is a uniquely American approach to automotive luxury. Spend some time out in the land of wide-open spaces, or on a local golf course, and a luxo-boat like the Town Car is easier to understand.

© The Car Connection

 

Printable Version

1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 2 Years/24,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Lincoln Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

6 years or 100,000 miles comprehensive limited warranty coverage from the original in-service date

Rental Reimbursement $45/day
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 200
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1999 Lincoln Town Car Sedan

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