The Lincoln Legacy Final Chapter (Maybe)

Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:16 am
By: Doug Lund
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Long time readers of these meanderings are more than familiar with the continuing saga of my 1990 Lincoln Town Car, fondly called White Lightnin’. In her 19years of faithful service, I witnessed, and recounted here, several examples of how she miraculously healed herself from numerous ailments including a leaky air suspension system and power steering unit, erratic heater, radio and power windows. All of these things magically started working again after I began making inquiries to sell or junk her out. It was as if White Lightnin’ KNEW that I wasn’t about to spend any more money on her so if she was to remain a viable contributor to our transportation needs, the car would have to self medicate. This lasted for two years but then last Fall the heater, which would always spring to life after I slid the control bars back and forth a few times, refused to respond. “I can’t drive you in the winter if you won’t warm it up in here,” I said. (Yes, I did sometimes talk to her.) But, she was apparently still mad over having to suffer the indignity of being converted into a leaf hauler each November.

She never got over this indignity

She never got over this indignity

So, with a heavy heart, I made the chilly drive out to Nordstrom’s; half expecting the heater to kick-on just as I pulled into the drive-way. But not this time. I accepted my 30 pieces of silver from Doug Abeln of Nordstrom’s who saw I had my camera along to chronicle the sad event. He asked if I’d like a picture of White Lightnin’ actually going into the crusher. I said no and gave my old rusty friend one final love tap and headed for home.

Parting..such sweet sorrow

Parting..such sweet sorrow

That would be the last time I’d ever see her..or WOULD IT??

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Out of the blue this week, Doug sent me photos of the old girl but gave no explanation as to why she hadn’t been crushed as flat as Roseanne Barr’s singing voice. She had become a DONOR and lives on by providing her vital parts and thereby giving new life to other ancient Lincolns!

white lightning parted out front

white lightning parted out inside

white lightning parted out rear & left side

Go ahead and mock me if you will…but anyone who has ever named a car or believe your vehicles do indeed have personalities..will understand how proud I am of White Lightnin’ at this very moment.


  1. Cam Lind says:

    Good story, I drove about 15 of those old boats, still my favorite car.

  2. kawalski says:

    looks like a lot of good parts left. i would get out there and get the grille and make a wall hanging for your office or garage, just for old times sake.

  3. Dan Iseminger says:

    My favorite car of all time was my 1990 Blue Lincoln Town Car. Now I drive a 2000 Cadillac SLS the local mechanics in town have nicknamed “Chrisitne”. It is definately a fussy female and she pulls a lot of “White Lightnin” tricks on me about every week.

  4. GMAX09 says:

    The bestest old car was my 1974 Chrysler New Yorker that my daddy gave me in 1990 shortly after I turned 40. It was kelly green with a white roof and it could hold oodles of people (9 at 1 time). My friends named it the Love Boat as it was about the size of a cruise ship. They made me a hood ornament out of a toy boat and a pen and asked if they could put a hot tub in the trunk and weld lawn chairs to the roof. We put on many a mile going to concerts and following our favorite country band around the western part of the state.

    Have had a Caddy, a Lincoln, an Olds 98 and 2 Park Avenues since I retired the New Yorker but none of them will ever compare to my old green boat. Ahhh, the memories!

  5. The Big B says:

    GMAX09: I also had a Love Boat. Mine was a 1976 Pontiac Catalina, green with a tan top and interior. I think once in college we got 13 people in it. It had a 400 V-8, and I can distinctly remember the consistency of gas mileage, as it got 16 mpg regardless of whether you were going 55, 65 or 75.

    A few year back, in the middle of some financial difficulties, I drove a 1989 Olds 98, which had almost as many boat qualities as the Catalina. I kinda miss the Olds.

  6. howsitgoinn says:

    Nordstroms is a good business, … you did good.

  7. Dave says:

    Great article… and Nordstrom’s is a good place to do business. I can also understand the attachment to and ‘personality’ that each car has. :) I do wonder as to the fates / whereabouts of my first two cars (a ’91 Ford Tempo that got me through my ‘accident-prone new driver’ phase then a ’94 Buick Century that was just coming due for a LOT of under-hood work when I traded it in).

  8. Michael says:

    I had a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 that I called the “tire melter.” A 3400 pound car that could do an 11.5 second quarter mile. I wish I wouldn’t have sold that car as they are bringing close to $100,000 now in pristine condition, which mine was. I also wish I would have bought Microsoft at $23 a share. I made both of those mistakes the same year, I think. I wish I had 1983 to do over again.

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