We all wish some things could last forever: a sports team’s winning streak, the love of a soul mate, or perhaps the still-kinda-futuristic look of the Lincoln Mark VIII. Aside from showing how every post-Mark VIII Lincoln’s style has been a step in the wrong direction, this car helped “mainstream” design elements (tiny HID headlights, super curvy side contours, etc) while keeping the basic, timeless goodness of American car proportioning. If I didn’t already drink my own design Kool-Aid, the regular stream of compliments from by-standers certainly didn’t help.
The good? A Mark VIII’s bi-plane dashboard made of a blizzard of decadently padded vinyl and rubber coated (like an Audi) hard plastics. The bad? That dated, cheap looking driver’s side airbag.
There’s no flashy emblem, no invisible seam that breaks open when the airbag needs to do its business…it’s all very late 1980s in design. Cutting edge technology means that Form follows Function FTL. Well…19 years later, that is.
Which is fine for a car made in 1993, but my Mark VIII lives in the year 2012. I want to keep that late-model flair alive, so I looked to the not aggressively designed, less futuristic GEN II (second generation, 1997-98) Mark VIII with one significant upgrade: an airbag that looks at home in a late-model car.
That’s better! Agreeing with me isn’t necessary, the thought process behind the madness is what we need to understand. And appreciate. And share. I am sure many among TTAC’s B&B considered a similar upgrade, coming directly from the redesigned version of your whip. What about a new tail light design, like that of a 2004 Sentra? A better door panel, like the 2008 Dodge Magnum? This is the time to share it.
More importantly, tell us how difficult it was to make your design upgrade a reality. Because, for me, the GEN II Mark airbag wasn’t the easiest find, if you wanted it in black. The new airbag didn’t arrive until mid-year 1997, and by 1998 they changed the color to dark charcoal. So when I found a black late-1997 airbag on eBay, I made it happen. Quickly.
Have a great Sunday, thank you for reading.