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Thread: Newbie - what to look for in a used 2003+ TownCar Limo - for private use

  1. #16
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2008
    Kansas City Metro Area


    The GVWR of a stretch limo is 7500 lbs

    Additional are a different rear end than a sedan, second alternator, second battery, auxiliary components to the climate system, upgraded brakes, and more.

    I'm pretty sure that if you are going to purchase the vehicle in the States and import it to Canada that IT MUST BE QVM.

    As for fuel economy, I get about 20 MPG when traveling empty down the highway.

    Again, the towing capacity of a Lincoln Town Car is 1500 lbs. You may have towed a camper with your Grand Marquis, but it didn't have an additional ton of material between the axles like a stretch limo does.

    As for parts, consider this, there are a lot of parts that may need to be special ordered for a stretch limo. It may take some time to get those parts, even in some of our more populated areas. What are you going to do when you are on a trip with your family and your limo breaks down in a smaller town? I would think it would be easier to find parts that will work in an unmodified vehicle than it would be a stretch limo.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Crown Point, Indiana (Northern Indiana)


    I wonder how hard it would be to get personal insurance. Either way, since you are going to be hauling kids around, just make sure you are safe. I would be concerned about hauling anything behind it. If it wasn't for you wanting to tow stuff, I would say go for it. As far as mechanical goes, there are certain things that are stretched specific, but for the most part Lincoln builds them to be stretched for the factory, so the dealers and most parts stores have "limo version" parts. Just make sure to ask everytime you buy a part as they do not always think of it.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 |

  3. #18


    Sir, You've already made up your mind. Go buy whatever floats your boat. But please don't have your kids in the car when you're towing that pop up camper.

  4. #19
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Palm Coast, Fl & Service Daytona, Ormond, Jacksonville, Orlando , St Augustine
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    Let me share with you our experience with towing a trailer on a limo. We have an 8x10 enclosed luggage trailer. It is a small single axle that probably weighs about 700lbs. We do a ton of airport and cruise port transfers. This was the main reason for the trailer. It is convenient but the limo did not like the trailer at all. Our limo is a 99 120" QVM by Viking. The limo would pull the trailer however you could not get past 60mph and the transmission was not happy. I'm sure that if we continued to use it we would do some serious damage to the transmission more sooner than later. It was also not fun to drive at all. The engine was constantly trying too hard to keep the car at a decent cruising speed. So in our experience you should never pull a trailer with a limo. We now only use the trailer with our stretched Excursion. No problems with the SUV. As cool as it sounds to have a limo for personal use I would consider it to be more of a hassle than it is worth. The benefits do not beat the draw backs of the cost to maintain and navigating around town will not be fun. You can't make u turns, Parking lots are a pain, and you may want to make sure you can park it at your house. I don't know how things work in Canada but most towns have code enforcement that will not allow you to park a commercial vehicle in your driveway. I know it won't be for commercial use but the town won't see it that way. Good luck !!

  5. #20


    GVR of about 7500lbs, OK - I was expecting a little lower, but it's close to what I'd thought. Given the 8-10 passenger capacity, there could easily be 2000lbs added just by people inside.

    So the rear axles are different eh? Brakes, upgraded as in just pads, or completely new rotors+calipers? Are the upgraded components an 'off-the-shelf' component from another Ford vehicle by chance? Dual battery and alternator are nice to have, easy enough to deal with any issues. Love how the alternators are mounted in TC limo's. Nice and simple.

    Importing - even if not QVM required, I'll probably look for a QVM car anyhow, peace of mind and all. Have yet to look into the details of import - I'm still at least a year away from deciding purchase.

    Fuel economy - 20mpg is closer to what I'd think is possible than 8! I doubt I'd get 20 on average, would be content with combined hwy+city of 15. Most of my miles are in 50mph zones, where 60 is the normal pace. And even on the 65mph multi-lane highways, 65 is a fine speed to travel at (do it with work trucks all the time).

    The towing issue, I respect the opinions and imput here. But I disagree in principal based on what I know these cars (UNMODIFIED) are capable of, from my own experience, and others. My query isn't should I tow, but can the frame and chassis of a stretched panther handle that one specific 3000lb unit. I'm not sure there is an answer to be found here, given that most TC limos have never been tested that way. Now I'm not saying whatever vehicle I buy is going to be constantly hooked up to a damn trailer! We're talking 2-3 times/year max. And I know that it will be working hard. Which is why I'm not committed to pulling the trailer just yet, it's part of a thought process I'm working through with your help. The ability to or not to tow a trailer is not a deciding factor in this potential purchase. It's not like I'm suggesting going off-roading/rock climbing/tractor pulling with the damn thing, just pulling a camper - the same type of campers that vehicles of much more 'fragile' caliber haul.

    'Elegant-limos' - I understand exactly what you mean. We've had this 3000lb camper on our 94, rated at 210hp, with a 3.27 rear end. Our Marquis, rated at 239hp with 3.55's towing the same trailer is the same feeling as going from your TC limo (99's also have around 210hp) to your SUV limo. So I'm hoping the 25hp bump the 4.6 received in 2001- will help. FWIW, I find enclosed trailers hard to pull as well, it's the wind resistance and cross-winds that make it difficult, not simply the overall weight. Same situation, the enclosed I pull is about the same weight (empty), pulling the 3000 lb camper is much easier, as is the loaded utility trailer (around 4000lbs last time).

    Unique parts can and probably will be a time issue to source. But 'break-down' components that could leave a family stranded are for the most part - non-stretch related. This logic while accurate for a limo also applies to any vehicle type broken down in the middle of nowhere. And usually that is where we camp, middle of nowhere spots. That's life though, if it breaks then we deal with it. Not a deciding factor in choosing a limo. Good to know Ford dealers can source limo-specific parts, I doubted Napa would be able to help .

    Insurance - good point, from what I understand from a brief conversation with my broker, they're insurable just as any other Lincoln Town Car, going by the VIN number. However, without an appraisal of value it is only book-rated for value. Which would suck if our $25k limo got wrecked, and we got a cheque for $10k! Hence the need to insure it at an appraised value. Again, I'm not sure of the specifics, but the long and short is 'yes' they're insurable.

    Ausultimate - in one way I have made up my mind. I do want a Lincoln Town Car limo, that is quite obvious - and yes it does 'float my boat'. In another way, mine is NOT made up to actually buy one. That is why I'm here asking the experts and operators of these cars questions, to determine whether I will buy one or not. If it eases your mind, I'll make sure I do some local towing first with the car without any kids inside to verify it can handle the job. I'd also like to marry Heidi Klum (she's single again), but my wife says I'd never measure up to what she's used to from Seal! So kind..... About the parking at house, no issue there, plenty of room. Municipality wise, maybe, but there are several 18 wheelers (truck part only) parked in driveways, can't see my ex-commercial limo privately used being a real issue - it's just a long car.

    Again, I'm appreciative of the advice guys, please don't take my points as simply discounting items that are important to yourselves, some things listed simply don't have the impact on the type of 'operation' I have planned for my car. The points listed that will affect me, to one degree or another can be lived with or dealt with as they arise. Overall I believe that the pros of owning a limo outweigh the cons, so long as my wife can learn how to drive it.....

    And I'm sure there have been other people interested in using a limo for personal use, and haven't dared to ask - who may read this thread someday and benefit from the advice as well.

    Thanks again Gentlemen,

    Last edited by kdv; March 11th, 2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: can't spel - tipos agane.

  6. #21


    Limos are extremely high maintainance vehicles.Mechanics dont know how to work on them. Towing a trailer is asking for trouble. This opinion is based on my 16 years of experience. But you seem to have already made up your mind, so I wont try to change it. Do it and find out the hard way.

  7. #22


    Two things that don't go together: Limousines and 'middle of nowhere'.


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