Rarer Than a Ferrari? The Lincoln Blackwood Was More Than Just a Fancy F-150
It’s obvious that we live in an era of SUVs and pickups these days, but this is far from the first time that American auto buyers have had truck and SUV fever.
There might not have been as many models available back then, but the late ‘90s and early 2000s were also known for their trucks and SUVs.
Town Car Meets Country Truck
And at this time it was luxury SUVs that were especially hot, led by the models like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. Over at Ford, the success of the Navigator (which was basically a fancy version of the Ford Expedition) lead the company to experiment with a Lincoln-badged luxury pickup truck—and the result was the 2002 Lincoln Blackwood.
The idea behind the Blackwood was to combine the capability of a pickup truck with the luxury amenities and comfort of a Lincoln sedan, and the term "ultimate utility vehicle" was used to hype it up.
Its chassis and structure was shared with the Ford F-150 pickup, while its front sheet metal was basically carried over directly from the Navigator SUV.
All Blackwoods would come in a four-door crew cab configuration, and again just about everything inside the cabin was carried over from the Lincoln Navigator with a 2+2 seating configuration and a center console that went into the back seat.
DOHC V8 Power
Under the hood came an engine that you couldn't get in an F-150. A DOHC version of the 5.4 liter modular V8 that could also be had in the Navigator. It made 300hp and 355 pound feet of torque and only powered the rear wheels.
But the place where the Blackwood differed the most from the F-150 was behind the cab. While the Ford had your typical boxy, open truck bed, the Blackwood had a completely different bed with a permanent tonneau cover, carpet-lining, additional weather sealed storage and a dual-hinged tailgate.
The bed offered a lot less overall space than the F-150, but it helped make well on Lincoln's promise for the Blackwood to be the combination of a pickup and and an American luxury sedan.
Bad Idea or Ahead of Its Time?
Ultimately though, Lincoln was targeting a market that didn't really exist, and the more rugged Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup from rival GM ended up being a lot more popular.
Production of the Blackwood ended after just one model year in the United States, with about 3,300 examples being built—making the truck rarer than many exotic sports cars.
Lincoln actually tried the luxury pickup truck thing again in 2006 with the Mark LT, which used the more traditional F-150 pickup body and although it sold more than the Blackwood, it too never really caught on among buyers. The Navigator though, has continued to be one of Lincoln's bread and butter models, with more tech and luxury than ever.
But when it comes to pickups with "regular" brands offering all sorts of fully-loaded, luxury laden crew cab pickups there isn't really a need for different luxury-branded models any more.
Was the Lincoln Blackwood successful? Definitely not. Was it a great vehicle? Probably not. It was, however, one of the most interesting American pickup trucks of the last 20 years and a potential collectors item even if due to its rarity alone.
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Want to see another interesting project Ford was playing with 20 years ago? Here's our look back at the Forty-Nine Concept.