By on April 24, 2017

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

The last Rare Rides we brought you was really quite fantastic; a Toyota Town Ace with all the brown, diesel, 4WD, and multi-window things you could ever desire. Go check it out if you haven’t yet, as it will elevate your mood before today’s Rare Ride drags it right back down into the dirt.

As we’ve seen in some past editions of Rare Rides, things which are rare and “special” are not always good. And frankly, this Lincoln Blackwood Neiman Marcus Edition sucks.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

A one year, one-off model, the Blackwood was devised by the Lincoln Motor Carriage Establishment and Coachwork, LLC to cater to the specialty high-end luxury truck market. And I use those last few words in their loosest form here, because the Blackwood was confused and hampered [from the factory] in many ways.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

Let’s start with the drivetrain. Ford’s ubiquitous 5.4-liter V8 is here, and that’s fine. But it powers only the rear wheels — and that’s not so good. Ford thought it unnecessary to use a 4×4 or all-wheel drive system like in the popular and successful Denali and Escalade lines.

The exterior modifications in turning the Blackwood from an F-150 into a Lincoln truck are interesting crap as well. The body is clad in dark wood appliques, and while normally I have no problem with exterior brougham treatments, it simply doesn’t work in such a dark shade and on a truck-shaped vehicle like this. However, I will assert here that I believe the Blackwood to be the last vehicle available from the factory with wood appliques. Prove me wrong if you can.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

Additional handicapping came at the back of the vehicle, where the mandatory powered tonneau lifted up and horizontal tailgate doors swung open to reveal — wait for it — a carpeted trunk. Space was reduced by storage boxes on either side of the bed, and there were some stainless panels to collect scratches from any cargo sharper than a beanbag chair. The box itself was produced by Magna Steyr, and caused the vehicle’s introductory delay due to the producer’s supply issues.

The Blackwood was available in only one color, because of how special it was or something. That didn’t change for today’s even more special version, the Neiman Marcus Edition. For its 2001 spring catalog, luxury department chain Neiman Marcus ordered 50 total Blackwoods built to its specifications.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

These special editions received a short list of upgrades, but the price went from the base of $52,500 to a staggering $58,800; approximately $81,800 in 2017 dollars. Those upgrades included stitched headrests with Neiman Marcus logo, a leather rear console lid, and time capsule 7-inch DVD player with headphones, and a cooler. You also got a certificate of authenticity, verifying that you were, in fact, insane for purchasing such a stupid vehicle.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

All Blackwoods sat only four people, as the rear center console was not optional.

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

Happily, the Blackwood lasted just one model year. Ford did a better job the next time around, when they introduced the much more successful and less ridiculous Mark LT for 2006.

[Images via Mecum]

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58 Comments on “Rare Rides: 2002 Neiman Marcus Lincoln Blackwood is a Garbage Truck...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hey without these and Navigators – where would the custom truck crowd get their “custom” front ends for F150s?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Everyone always forgets the custom crowd. For shame.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Locally there is a 1990s stepside low-rider Chevy truck that is bright metallic green and has a Cadillac Escalade front end grafted onto it. It also has the upright Cadillac taillights off an early 90s Deville.

        A very Klassy Kustom.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I like the taillights, tres classy.

        • 0 avatar
          KOKing

          I’m guessing those GMTxxx front end parts are pretty interchangeable, since I’ve seen a couple of tow trucks locally with Escalade bits up front.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I see them all the time, particularly hilarious on a base model truck that was only made to resemble a lowered Escalade from the front, and a work truck from every other angle. I could see it if you had a loaded Chevy/GMC Z-71 with front end damage and a repo ‘Slade for parts, but on a base model? No. If you’re going to build a Cadillac truck, make it a proper loaded vehicle.

          Better to build it as a Chevy or GMC “sport truck”, stick a 6.0L in it and go f with people in Camaros, with your blacked out grille and custom head/tail/signal/marker lights. Light and fast. Hell, paint the steelies black if that’s your thing, put performance tires on ’em. All appropriate for your base model truck. Not a pretend Cadillac with roll-your-own windows and a 4.3L.

  • avatar
    kkop

    Carpet in a truck bed is actually a good idea – Bed rugs are pretty popular as bedliners. Certainly easier on your knees, the items you carry in the bed, and the metal of the bed itself.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree, my dad has done it. Corey seems to forget, the bed was made to hold expensive wine, golf clubs and perhaps luggage for four for a trip to the resort/country club, etc. It wasn’t made to haul fertilizer and beauty bark. If you wanted that, it’s perfectly capable of towing a trailer that you can load with grimey cargo. Lessened its usefulness in “truck” ways? Yes. But honestly nobody was buying Navigators because they were hardcore trail kings, they bought it for a luxurious way to travel. Lincoln assumed the same when it designed this vehicle and hampered its success by removing the possibility of it being used as an actual truck.

      Lincoln did make some mistakes on this, and it showed in its one-and-done life. I believe the biggest failing was that it didn’t offer AWD. There was a perfectly fine system used on the Navigator. No, it isn’t a trail rig, but it would make it more useful in bad weather, pulling a boat out of the water, etc.

      By the way, Corey, the Escalade EXT was not out in 2001 when the Blackwood was sold. So, it didn’t have competition from its closest rival initially, it was a class of one.

      Cadillac did make theirs (launched in 2002) successful, by making the concept much more useful, so you’re right about that but your wording makes it sound like Lincoln tried to go up against the EXT and failed to offer what it did, which isn’t true. It was a toe in the water, nobody had jumped in yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I just meant that the Denali and Escalade already existed in AWD format, and Lincoln should’ve taken a hint and put the Navigator’s system in there.

        Or heck, the 4×4 from one of the trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Yes, the 4wd/AWD system in the Navi was right freaking there, I agree it was a dumb move to saddle it with a 2wd-only configuration.

          Lots of retrospectively obvious mistakes, but again, it was really just a concept that somehow found its way to an assembly plant for a little while.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    said rear console also had a rather unflattering resemblance to a toilet.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I agree, it does now that you mention it.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        *sheds tear*

        I mentioned it the other day in the Navigator article, Corey! You never listen to me!

        Lol kidding of course, my friend, although I really did bring it up there. Please don’t think I meant this seriously though, just joking around. :)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Fits with the general vehicle, I’d say.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed junior engineer at one of their suppliers, I got pressed into going to one of the Blackwood pre-production builds at Kansas City Assembly. “Sh!tshow” doesn’t adequately describe it.

        even now, the sight of a Blackwood (and I occasionally see one near where I work) triggers me just like an Escape with amber lenses triggers Corey.

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      You know, you might be on to a good idea. There’s something to be said for not having to stop when a passenger has to take a dump. At least that’s what I thought when driving a RV. I might think different if they were taking a dump a foot behind me.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Some here have argued long and consistently that the 4-door full size pickup is the new American Sedan. Here is the best example of that I can think of that principle. It does not do truck things, it does sedan things. The bed is not a bed, it is a supremely commodious and well-trimmed trunk. You do not haul mulch in it. You do not put a washer dryer combo in it. It can tow, but it had better be a nice looking boat.

    This is not a truck. This is a “luxury” sedan with ride height. The Navigator is the station wagon version.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Some here have argued long and consistently that the 4-door full size pickup is the new American Sedan. Here is the best example of that I can think of that principle. It does not do truck things, it does sedan things.”

      But, this didn’t sell and is one of the biggest flops in FMC history. Despite the “trucks are the new large cars” talk (which I don’t 100% disagree with), truck buyers seem to greatly want their vehicle to be capable of doing truck-y things. Even purchasers of the fancy trim ones appear to vastly prefer a work truck with a heavy dose of premium feature/material frosting over an E-class in a truck costume.

      I think it’s less that trucks assimilated full-size sedans and more that trucks conquered them.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “I think it’s less that trucks assimilated full-size sedans and more that trucks conquered them.”

        Darwin!

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Where is BAFO to set us all straight ;)

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Well, for starters, American trucks sell really poorly and the protectionist government pads the numbers so it looks like we’re buying more U.S. pickups in two months than all sold cars combined for a year in Australia, the world’s leader in everything.

            Then it’s forcing midsize trucks out of the market (somehow?), and literally holding guns to people’s heads to buy a Sierra Denali over their chosen merksaydeez benzito ess klassee which would work far better on their 1,500 acre cattle ranch. And they can only tow a pop up trailer with the terrible amuri-kant truck unlike a Mazda BT-50 which can tow a city block in 2wd and with water in its fuel uphill both ways because Thailand.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Assimilate seems appropriate.

          [Deep male chorus of voices]
          “We are the American full size trucks.
          You will be assimilated.
          Resistance is futile.
          Your large American sedan’s distinctiveness was added to our own.

          Comply.”

          They assimilated big American cars, now Ford has assimilated sports/luxury cars with an aluminum body and advanced turbocharged OHC all-aluminum engine(s). Not that a sports car does this on an F-150 make, but a better truck? Yes it does. Exactly as adopting roomier and more comfortable cabs did. You can use the same capable work truck as a family hauler, and I’ve seen guys use them to pick up clients and business associates. I promise they’re all more comfortable in a Lariat crew cab than they would be in a C-class. It helps that these were big wigs in the timber or farming industry, lol, this wasn’t their first ride in a pickup.

          They are evidently assimilating Hybrids as well, as Ford has announced a Hybrid F-150. Not to mention GM’s attempts in the past. (Not mentioning it seems rather appropriate given how successful they were.)

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      Yes. This is the ultimate Lincoln Town Car.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “Some here have argued long and consistently that the 4-door full size pickup is the new American Sedan. Here is the best example of that I can think of that principle. It does not do truck things, it does sedan things”

      Except that the best selling trucks “do truck things” extremely well, better and more economically than ever before. Yes, they’re a lot nicer to ride in lately, but so is a new Honda Civic compared to a 1976. Trucks have matured in the same way…

      Lets talk about growing and how HUGE they are compared to before. /s I bet they haven’t grown as much as that Civic, contrary to popular opinion in these comment pages. They aren’t that much bigger than they were a decade ago, we have proved that with measurement comparisons.

      They “appear” bigger but even an old 1981 F-150 4×4 or a K10 was not exactly a small truck, especially when you take into account that there were no crew cab light duty trucks in North America at that time. No, the typical F-150 isn’t a regular cab anymore, but that’s because people decided their trucks can be used for a lot more than just work.

      Comparing apples to apples, its like a few inches growth in some places (less than 10, mostly in cab space) and virtually none in others (width).

      I don’t know (haven’t researched it), but I believe they haven’t ballooned nearly as much as new v. old Civic, Corolla, Camry, Accord, Altima…need I go on? A modern Civic could hide an early one from a freaking drone attack. “Just get in my hatch. Be quiet! now, quit shaking! Are you smoking?!…oh wait, that’s all just your normal engine operation, sorry bro.”

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The “bulk” of modern trucks comes from two things: everything has 4×4 stance now, and the hood and bed sides are taller to disguise the shrinking greenhouse.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    I called one of these out by name like 5 years ago and my friend said, “Did you just say lickin’ black wood?” So, clearly not a truck that stood the test of time.

  • avatar
    Rday

    always wanted to buy one of the used at steep discounts. Somehow i missed getting one but probably the price would have been too high even used.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The biggest problem with the Blackwood (and the Aztek) is that it was made about 15 years too early.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I don’t think it would do well now, either. A special version of the Navigator which was RWD and had reduced seating capacity, at much higher price?

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      It’s basically the King Ranch Edition F-150, before there was a King Ranch Edition. I do think they’d need to make it 4WD if they introduced it today. Even Mercedes/Audi/BMW say their sedans need to be AWD to sell anywhere north of I-40 and east of Barstow.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “It’s basically the King Ranch Edition F-150, before there was a King Ranch Edition.”

        Au contraire! The King Ranch trim level was available in 2001, before the Blackwood.

        Also, because I can’t find anywhere else to shoehorn it in, 2002 and 2003 King Ranches were available in SuperCab as well as SuperCrew. 2002 SuperCabs all had Styleside beds:

        http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/33651861.jpg

        And 2003 SuperCabs all had Flaresides:

        http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/55231473.jpg

        SuperCabs had the rear bench standard for 5-passenger capacity; SuperCrews had “quad captain’s chairs” standard with a bench optional.

        https://cdn04.carsforsale.com/3/1008677/8868707/857978318.jpg

        The Blackwood’s successor, the Mark LT, was built with the Blackwood’s failures in mind, and had 5-passenger seating, a conventional bed, and available 4WD. Following a tepid response from buyers, it was replaced by the F-150 Platinum for the ’09 body style, which has been noticeably more successful.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    YOU SHUT YOUR DIRTY WHOR1SH MOUTH COREY. THIS IS THE PINNACLE OF LUXURY TRUCK MOTORING

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Are those the original wheels from the N-M edition? I wonder how many of the Gen 5 N-M edition Camaro convertibles are still out there?

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Was this named after Playboy model/MTV host/XM radio person Nina Blackwood?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Rear bucket seats (or rather, “quad captain’s chairs”) were also the only option on 2001-03 King Ranch and Harley-Davidson SuperCrews (the console appears to be identical, only without cupholders):

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4117/4895861521_fea5c5a7f8_b.jpg

    http://mediacdn.jlaudio.com/media/mfg/9013/product_image/x1_49fe84b72
    aeac4af9a9539024e0eb40f.jpg

    Rear buckets were standard with bench optional on 2003-07 and 08-10 Super Duty King Ranches, 2004-07 and 09-10 Harley-Davidsons, and the rare 2003-only “Lariat LE” package, which I didn’t know was a thing until today:

    http://i1343.photobucket.com/albums/o797/MarjahMarine/photo3.jpg

    There weren’t any F-150 rear buckets after 2003, or Super Duty rear buckets after 2010. Having bucket seats is apparently not a draw if there’s no space to recline them.

    [edited for readability]

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    A rare case where GM got it right with the Cadillac Escalade EXT. At least it was a functional truck from a towing, hauling, and AWD standpoint.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, the Escalade EXT launching about the same time basically kneecapped the Blackwood.

      I think a lot of people forget that when they showed the Blackwood “Concept” at NAIAS 1999, it got a similar reception to the concept Viper from 1989.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Apparently the PT Cruiser was available with the Woody package through 2004 (two years past the Blackwood’s demise) – that might be our last vehiche with factory exterior wood, at least in North America (it’s a shame the woody Flex was only ever a dealer option).

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Ford back in 2002 was way ahead of the luxury pickup trend of today! It really appeals to me the power tonneau cover! I have say they got many of the items right – leather seats, dvd entertainment unit and carpeted bed floor! This is for the guy Costco shopper vehicle! I going try to buy one if it is dirty cheap!

    $81K is not that shocking for a decked out pickup today either!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The Mark LT fixed all Blackwood “mistakes”, and was basically a “Platinum” F-150. The “Lincoln” badge was likely its biggest obstacle, besides price.

    $80K today would be way too high for a top trim, hard loaded 1/2 ton, all options. That’s Platinum dually F-450 4X4, diesel “territory”, but without serious rebates and such.

    Technically the (first year) ’06 Mark LT outsold the ’06 Cadillac EXT, except it went on sale January of ’05, basically a year and a half for the ’06 MY. Sales nosedived by ’08 when it was cancelled.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    “You also got a certificate of authenticity, verifying that you were, in fact, insane for purchasing such a stupid vehicle.”

    That’s a great line, made me chuckle.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    The Blackwood’s wood was indeed far too black to even notice or recognize as wood (at least in photos), but as useless-ish as that carpeted trunk is, it looks like something straight out of Star Trek.

  • avatar

    Hey Corey, thanks for this and all the other articles on these “rare rides”. I’ve enjoyed them all! Keep ’em coming, eh!


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