In honor of Thanksgiving, this Fan Car Friday will feature a vehicle large enough to haul your entire family and maybe even your in-laws… if you can bear them. We’ll be taking a look at Charles’ choice 1989 Town Car Limousine. Fan Car Friday is a segment where we want to share with the world the automobiles that our fans have. These cars are not for sale and we have absolutely no affiliation/relationship with the cars, the build or the owners, we simply saw the photos and felt they should be shared with the world to inspire others on their build. Or, simply put, its great eye candy for those of us who can’t make it to car shows or meetups as often as we would like. This post was made with written consent from the owner.
The Town Car Limos from the 80’s were easy to find in the US during their heyday. Over in the UK, it’s quite a different story though, they were somewhat rare and hard to find when they were new. So when Charles found this vehicle back in 2011, he knew right away that he wanted to do a full restoration and bring it back to its former glory. That meant new paint, a new interior that kept its distinct ‘80s vibe, a very large new vinyl roof, a better made ceiling structure and brand new mechanics all around.
Despite a number of modifications being done to the vehicle, it is still an almost all numbers matching car; probably the only numbers matching 1989 Town Car Limo at this point. Charles has restored a number of vehicles from Cadillacs to Trans Ams, despite that Charles felt out of his comfort zone with this build. In fact, he is the only fan so far we are aware of who has done a restoration on a Limo!
The vehicle originally came to Charles with the paint chipping, the heating core unusable, headliner was sagging, the steering was worthless, the control arms pulled back when accelerating and the brakes were iffy at best. The car was damp, it smelled when you opened the door and there was water entering the Limo. Needless to say, this was far from the epitome of luxury it was designed to be.
After getting the Limo home, the transmission blew up on Charles. He had to find a replacement. Once he did, he then had to make it fit. Luckily, there is more room on a vehicle like this compared to most, so it wasn’t too difficult an issue to solve. He was able to sort out the suspension, brakes and fuel lines on his own from having the experience from the previously mentioned restorations. But when it came to the body mounts, he understandably had it sent out to a shop. Once it came back, Charles went back to work on the heater core, the only comment Charles had for that process was “Thank god for YouTube”.
Now that the mechanical components of the car were done, it was time to move onto the looks of the vehicle. All of the rusted panels were cut out, new ones were created and welded in. Then it was time for a repainting. The car was originally silver, but Charles wanted it to be done in a Ford white so it could be used for weddings. Afterword, he started to strip the headliner so he could get to the bolts that held the sunroof in. That sunroof had to go; it was letting water in and was a problem for the car’s overall longevity. Once it was filled in with metal to create a continuous roof, the entirety of the roof was sealed in with Por15 to prevent any issues from coming back. Charles rounded it all off by putting in a new straight through exhaust system, a bigger transmission cooler and gave it a new filter as well to finish the car in mid 2016.
The car now is used for weddings, hauling lucky couples around on their big day. Charles did not buy this with the intention to make money for himself, but it always helps with the bills. It gets to see a few outings a year. It is always a special moment when an older couple who met in the late 80’s get to ride in this, it really captures a feel that brings them back to the days when they were younger and had just met. We’re not big on living like a celebrity or being glamorous here at FantomWorks; we are simply guys working in a shop who happen to be filmed doing their work. But Charles offered to give us a ride if we’re ever in the UK and, well, we may just have to take him up on that.