A Guide to the 1996 Lincoln Town Car

Comfortable but not necessarily collectible, the 1996 Lincoln Town Car is a solid choice for lovers of old-school American sedans.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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If hearing the name “
Lincoln
” makes you long for the luxury, elegance, and style of yesteryears, you’ll find it all inside the
1996 Town Car
. With a buttery-smooth V8 engine, this sedan may have left the market, but it kept its place in many drivers’ hearts.
In the original brochure for the 1996 Lincoln Town Car, a white-haired couple in formal wear sail down the road, deep in conversation. Therein lies the brand’s appeal: an invitation to forget the miles of the road in the serene embrace of luxury. In terms of comfort and nostalgia, you could hardly do better—pair it with the perfect
car insurance
and you’ll have complete peace of mind on the road.
It used to be America’s favorite luxury sedan, but is it right for you? Let’s talk specs, pricing, and reliability with
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About the 1996 Lincoln Town Car

Starting MSRP: $36,910
Powertrain: 4.6L gasoline V8 with sequential multi-port fuel injection
Transmission: Four-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
Fuel economy: 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway/18 mpg combined
Seating capacity: Six
Trim levels: Executive, Signature, Cartier
Back in the day, buying a Lincoln Town Car was as much a gift for you as it was for your passengers. With rear air-spring suspension and nitrogen gas-pressurized shock absorbers, even the basic
Executive trim
($36,910) could make you forget you were driving. Propelled by a 210-horsepower V8 engine, you could relax in a cabin nearly as spacious as your living room (with a trunk as big as your linen closet)!
Step up to the
Signature Series
($39,055) and you start to notice the geometric-spoke aluminum wheels, remote garage door opener, and memory seat and mirror settings. At the
Cartier
($42,055) level, there’s no ignoring the fact that you’re in a top-of-the-line luxury vehicle. Leather seating, five-setting heated seats, a JBL Audio System, and real wood appliqué on the instrument panel and window bezels can’t help but draw attention.
That said, Lincoln’s reputation for reliability (or lack thereof) might put you on edge. After all, didn’t
Ford
s luxury line come last in
Consumer Reports’ recent reliability rankings
? Sure, but let’s remember these criticisms were for modern SUVs, not retro sedans. Numerous reviews on Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book praise the hard-working attitude of the old Town Car. It has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 on
RepairPal
, putting it in second place out of 30 luxury models.
In this case, you could consider Lincoln’s recent bad press to be a fall from grace, with the Town Car setting the bar.
When you browse the classifieds, keep your eyes peeled for the following exterior colors:
  • Cordovan Metallic
  • Cypress Gold Frost Metallic
  • Dark Baltic Metallic
  • Desert Violet Metallic
  • Ebony
  • Ivory Metallic
  • Medium Graphite Metallic
  • Medium Wedgewood Metallic
  • Medium Willow Metallic
  • Light Saddle Metallic
  • Opal Opalescent Metallic
  • Performance White
  • Silver Frost Metallic
  • Willow Frost Metallic
The interior, meanwhile, will be decked out in one of these choices:
  • Light Graphite
  • Ebony
  • Portofino Blue
  • Cordovan
  • Cypress
  • Saddle
  • Ivory Cordovan
  • Ivory Saddle
  • Ivory Portofino Blue

How much does a 1996 Lincoln Town Car cost today?

In 1996, Lincoln was still selling about 100,000 Town Cars per year. They’re not especially hard to find, but most carry a high mileage, a testament to the previous owners’ enjoyment.
Kelley Blue Book
estimates an Executive Town Car in “good” condition with 142,654 miles can fetch $1,476 to $3,004, without considering extra options. Even a special
75th Diamond Anniversary Edition
asks no more than $2,200. On the other end of the scale, this
perfectly-preserved Signature Series
has been listed at $25,000 on ClassicCars.com.
Key Takeaway You’ll have to look long and hard for a 1996 Town Car with low mileage; expect to pay significantly more than the average $2,500 asking price when you do.

Where to buy a 1996 Lincoln Town Car

Unless it’s through a pricy auction, you’re unlikely to locate a ‘96 Town Car through a dealership. Look instead for a private seller through
Carfax
and
Carvana
. Not only are prices reasonable, but you can also gain access to any car’s mileage and accident records. Both sites also feature a handy finance calculator if you need to borrow for your purchase.
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Is the 1996 Lincoln Town Car a good buy?

You could call 1996 a golden year for the Town Car. At the time, it was the first choice of buyers looking for all-American luxury and the near-perfect facelift for a second generation that had won
MotorTrend’s Car of the Year in 1990
. It had outlived its nemesis, the
Cadillac Fleetwood
, and become the last domestically-produced rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan. Lincoln also celebrated its 75th anniversary with a special Diamond Edition that laid an accent stripe down the side, leather on the seats, and wood across the instrument panel.
That being said, the 1996 Town Car isn’t an especially collectible or memorable piece of automotive history. Although it knew its fanbase was shrinking, Lincoln made little effort to seriously update the model’s power or styling in the late ‘90s. As a result, the Lincoln name just doesn’t carry the kind of cachet that it used to. If you buy one, buy it for pleasure, and don’t expect the youngsters to be impressed—at least until you give them a ride.

How to find insurance for a 1996 Lincoln Town Car

Lincoln brought an unprecedented level of comfort to driving—now
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