Town car

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For the luxury automobile built by the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company, see Lincoln Town Car.
1940 Cadillac Town Car by Brunn

A Town Car or Town Brougham is an historic North American automobile body style characterized by four doors, an open front compartment and an enclosed rear compartment. The front compartment may include a removable cover.[1] Customers intending to be driven by a chauffeur often chose this body style.


1908 Thomas 4-20 town car

In Northern Europe, the term most commonly used for the same style is Coupe de Ville, covering both 2 and 4-door variants.[citation needed] In Southern Europe and the United Kingdom,[citation needed] the Spanish term Sedanca de Ville is used for the 4-door variant, often shortened to Sedanca or de Ville, having been introduced by Count Salamanca in the 1920s.[2][3] The term "Sedanca", without "de Ville", was also used to describe the 2-door variant.[3]

In North America, the term Town Car or Town Brougham was most commonly used by manufacturers pre-World War II for the 4-door variant, Coupe de Ville for the 2-door, and Limousine for variants with a dividing wall.[2]


In 1922, Edsel Ford had a Lincoln built with a town car body for his father's personal use.[4]

Ford introduced a town car body to its Model A line in December 1928. Ford eventually manufactured 1,065 Model A town cars.[5]

In 1940 and 1941, a limited edition model of the Cadillac Sixty Special carried the Town Car name. It was reintroduced as a coupe hardtop in 1949 using the French name for the body style Coupe DeVille and in 1956 as a four-door hardtop called the Sedan DeVille.


Since World War II, few North American manufacturers have built cars with an open front.[2] The contemporary Lincoln Town Car derives its name from this historical body style despite the fact that it does not carry a town car body by the historical definition.

See also[edit]

  • Landaulet—the opposite with the rear convertible and the front closed
  • Coupé de ville—only two doors and without a division between (open) driver and (closed) passengers


  1. ^ Georgano, G. N., ed. (1971). "Glossary". Encyclopedia of American Automobiles. New York, NY USA: E. P. Dutton. p. 217. ISBN 0-525-097929. LCCN 79147885. "Town Car. A body style in which the passenger compartment was closed, but the driver was exposed to the weather. although from the 1920s onward a sliding roof was often provided." 
  2. ^ a b c Ian Beattie (1977). Automobile Body Design. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 0-85429-217-9. 
  3. ^ a b Culshaw, David; Horrobin, Peter (2013) [1974]. "Appendix 5 - Coachwork styles". The complete catalogue of British Cars 1895 - 1975 (Paperback ed.). Poundbury, Dorchester, UK: Veloce Publishing. p. 483. ISBN 978-1-874105-93-0. Retrieved 2013-12-06. "Sedanca A version of the Coupe style, with the rear seat covered by a fixed roof. The front seats are open, but occasionally covered by a sliding panel. Dummy hood irons are sometimes in evidence, as are fixed (occasionally circular) side windows." 
  4. ^ "About Lincoln". Dearborn, MI USA: Ford Motor Company. The Roaring '20s. Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. "One of the most famous custom-built cars that came out of Edsel Ford's leadership was the 1922 Lincoln Town Car, which was built for Henry Ford himself. Town Car derived its name from its body styling, which featured an open chauffeur's compartment and enclosed passenger compartment." 
  5. ^ Gunnell, John (December 25, 2007). Standard Catalog of Ford (2nd ed.). Krause Publications. pp. 27, 29, 32. ISBN 978-0896896154. Retrieved 2012-05-29. "A Town Car model was introduced on December 13, 1928, followed during 1929 by a wood-bodied station wagon on April 25." 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Town car at Wikimedia Commons