QOTD: What's Your Favorite Special Edition Vehicle?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Yesterday’s post about the excellent Bill Blass Lincoln Continental Mark V got me thinking: Maybe I could wear a white, double-breasted suit with gold buttons to work inquire about the multitude of other special editions for the Question of the Day today.

Like Mr. Casey mentions, Lincoln used special editions from the ’70s through the ’90s, which is about the same time (give or take) other manufacturers were doing the same thing.

So tell me, what’s your favorite special edition?

I must admit, I enjoy talking about special editions. I do so in the comments, and use Rare Rides to discuss them when I can. Something about the obscurity and details of the extra trim/stripes/stickers really piques my interest. That said, I have two favorites in mind to share with you and get the ball rolling.

Resplendent in blue and white like the Bill Blass Continental, the Mercury Villager Nautica was the peak of first generation Villager. This was the only exterior color scheme available, and the gold Nautica badging and white wheels scream, “I live in a suburb and it’s 1997.”

The Nautica-branded theme carried over to the interior quite spectacularly, where you could have grey leather (boring!) or blue and white to match the exterior. Notice the tasteful embroidery on each seat. Unfortunately, the Nautica trim died in 1998, replaced by the top-of-the-line, uninteresting Estate trim on the second-generation Villager in 1999.

But we won’t dwell on that, as it’s time to move along to something even more awesome.

You knew it was coming. The GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition is my other favorite. Available for the year 2000 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Jimmy nameplate, the Diamond Edition is excellent. Built by ASC (which I didn’t know before writing this), the Diamond Edition gave you a unique grille guard with integrated fog lamps, tube-shaped running board, special metallic tone cladding, and Diamond Edition badges on the exterior. The color selection included blue, pewter, and perhaps a red, but black was by far the most common.

The interior of the Diamond Edition was frankly ahead of its time, and featured perforated and quilted leather, along with the expected embroidery. Such quilting can be found in ultra-lux vehicles like Rolls-Royce and Bentley today — but none of them had it in 2000! The Jimmy Diamond Edition was truly something special.

So tell us about your favorite special edition. I’ll be waiting.

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on May 04, 2017

    The 1984-85 Ford Thunderbird Fila edition. Yes, the sneaker company. It was the 80's when sneakers and athletic wear became fashionable. Plus they threw in other athletic accouterments. Though no Jane Fonda work out tape was included. http://hooniverse.com/2011/12/04/hooniverse-designer-edition-weekend-the-1984-85-ford-thunderbird-fila-edition/ "The Fila Edition Thunderbird was targeted to the “Active Lifestyle” set, and was offered in Red, Black, Charcoal, or a new “Pastel” Charcoal color, combined with a dark gray two-tone, with color coordinated 14″ Alloy Wheels. Inside you get the Ford articulating Bucket Seat interior in either cloth or leather with the “Fila” logo on the seating surfaces, and it was equipped with most of the options available on a standard T-Bird. Included was a “Fila” canvas bag that contained a leather portfolio, a beach towel, a sun visor, a headband, and a pair of wrist bands."

  • 1994 Saturn "Homecoming Edition," just because I bought one used in 1997 without realizing what I had. Basically, Saturn built a special run of almost-fully-loaded SL2 sedans (ABS and 4-wheel discs standard, sunroof and automatic transmission optional) to commemorate the first Homecoming in Spring Hill. Roughly 6000 cars were slathered in pearl white paint, dark grey Saturn badges, and a special leather-and-cloth interior treatment and rear headrests. http://www.saturnforum.com/forum/attachments/private-sale-trade-classifieds-30/980d1446737137-1994-saturn-sl2-homecoming-edition-saturn-002.jpg Like I said, I didn't know it was anything "special" until I went to a breakfast of the local Saturn club and mentioned I'd just bought a pearl white SL2... and several got up from the table to walk out and look at my car! Weird people...

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.