The Lincoln Town Car is making a comeback, or so it seems according to what I’ve heard on the news over the past few days. Who would have thought? The resurrection of a gas guzzling dinosaur, now, when American gas prices are at their all-time highs? But, yes, it’s true. A prestigious designer, Max Wolff, has been hired (away from Cadillac) by Ford and charged with restoring the Lincoln to its original position at the top of the luxury car list.
The last several cars my father owned were Lincoln Town Cars. They seemed, in comparison to normal sized cars–at least to my brother and me, what the Queen Mary 2 is to Christopher Columbus’s Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. They were tanks in our opinion, and like the QM2, required tugs and docking apparatus just to get parked. I used to say that just by getting into my father’s car, I felt I was half way to my destination because the hood stretched so far into the distance. I was an adult when I was making these judgmental proclamations on my father’s apparent insistence on BIG cars. To me they were unnecessary, uneconomical, and practically unconstitutional, given the amount of gas they consumed just to get a block down the street–and this was well before we were paying close to $4.00 for a single gallon of gas.
I couldn’t undertand my father’s penchant for these ocean liners on wheels. What I’ve just heard on the news explains it to me. When Lincolns first came out they were the car of the rich and famous, or as one of their early ads put it, Lincolns were made for “the privileged world of those who appreciate a fine motor car.” I know this had to have resonated with my father and stuck in his brain for all time as Lincolns had been around since he was nine years-old, no doubt the dream machine for my father’s generation. And, my father loved cars, so certainly fit the group who “appreciated a fine motor car,” if not the “privileged world” part of that group. My father came from the humblest of beginnings–one of three children left father-less when he was only four and raised single-handedly by his mother who became the head of household at a time when women didn’t work outside the home–but she did in order to feed her family. I cringe to think of the hardships she went through.
My father went to work before he was old enough to do that, and he’d had as many jobs by the time he was 20 as most people have in a lifetime. As he moved into his 30s, he was selling cars and trucks–and no doubt dreaming of a Lincoln Town Car of his own. So his attachment to what I’d considered an outmoded dinosaur was really an attachment to a boyhood dream. The way it seemed to me was not at all the way it seemed to my father–his Lincoln Town Car was a symbol of his success and his place in “the privileged world.” I wish I’d understood it then for what it really was. I guess finally seeing it now is the best I can do. How pleased my father would be at this news of the Lincoln’s revival–I’m sure he’s aware of it in his current “privileged world,” and is perhaps whispering ideas into Max Wolff’s ear to help in restoring the Lincoln Town Car to its original position of prestige and glory. Could the Lincoln Town Car become a modern-day dream to a new generation? That’s the way it seems.