When I acquired my 1989 Lincoln Town Car about 3 years ago I quickly concluded that it had some nasty cosmetic problems caused mostly by being parked outside in the hot desert sun. I also concluded that, in spite of some obvious cosmetic neglect, the car had not been abused and still had “good bones”. After a couple of years of ownership and a cross-country (Palm Desert CA to Virginia Beach VA and back) trip in the summer of 2012, both conclusions were remarkably accurate. One obvious cosmetic problem was the ’89 Town Car interior, which contained multiple related problems. The things the dashboard had in common with the other problems were the interior’s dark “Currant Red” color and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. In this missive, I’ll share something about the dashboard and glove compartment door that I found.
Photo 1 – The Town Car’s glove compartment door as seen from the driver’s seat.
Intense heat inside the car caused, among other things, severe warping of the top edge of the clove box door. The door’s vinyl cover appears to be held in place by the opener/lock mechanism and the two upper corners. I inquired about a replacement ’89 Town Car glove compartment door in my color. When I learned how much a new one would cost, I reminded myself that I was not going to “restore” the car. My plan was (and is) to “purpose-modify” then use the car as a long distance highway cruiser. And my highway cruiser didn’t need a perfectly straight glove compartment door that badly!
Photo 2 – The sun/heat damaged driver’s side dash speaker grille. It appears the bug
couldn’t take the heat, either.
I took the photo above from outside the car on the driver’s side, shooting through the windshield.
The Town Car’s dashboard speaker grilles are not replaceable parts, but perforated openings in the actual dashboard surface, beneath which the car’s sound system speakers are mounted.
At first I thought this was a dubious, or at least very cost-conscious, design. But, in retrospect, how many people park their Town Cars outside in the southern California desert on a regular basis? I doubt that a properly parked Town Car would ever have this problem.
Photo 3 – Here’s the passenger side of the dash, seen from inside the car.
This photo, from inside the car, clearly shows the heat-damaged speaker grille and a nasty crack from the grille area up and almost to the rear edge of the dashboard.
The car’s dark red interior and exterior colors, while quite striking in an air conditioned Lincoln dealer’s showroom, are not exactly suited to where I live. The largest percentage of car colors in the greater Palm Springs/Indio area is, not surprisingly, white.
I have no present plans to have the Town Car re-painted Lincoln’s “Arctic White” but I have, obviously, given the subject some thought. Stay tuned for developments.
Photo 5 – I purchased this very large “Budge” car cover a day or so after I acquired
the Town Car.
The car cover was an interim step while I looked for a garage parking space in our neighborhood. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find a new, protected home for the Town Car. But I kept the car cover and wheel well spring clamps. Just in case.
Why the four clamps? It can get windy where we live, so I purchased four light duty spring clamps for four large but low pressure (unlike large binder clips, etc.) attachments for the car cover at the tops of the four wheel wells.
Please come back again. In a future Blog posting, I’ll share how I dealt with the sun-damaged dashboard problem.