The Blackwood and Mark LT: A Forgotten History of Lincoln Luxury Trucks
It may sound funny today, but there was an automotive fad of luxury brands selling pickup trucks. This trend lasted less than a decade, but it gave us some interesting and genuinely fancy trucks that blended luxury with capability. One of the first trucks in this niche was the Lincoln Blackwood, followed by the Mark LT!
What is the Lincoln Blackwood?
The Lincoln Blackwood was a full-size luxury pickup truck only sold in the U.S. for the 2002 model year. The idea of the Blackwood was simple. The Lincoln Navigator SUV was a massive success and proved there was tons of demand for truck-based, full-size luxury SUVs. Naturally, this gave the folks at Lincoln the idea that there must be a similar, untapped demand for luxury pickup trucks.
The Lincoln Blackwood was born as a concept car that made the auto show circuit in 1999. The idea was simple: a Lincoln version of the perennially best-selling Ford F-150. The production model came out for the 2002 model year with the intention of providing the utility of a pickup truck with the comfort of a luxury sedan.
The Blackwood was a truck full of interesting quirks. The front was visually similar to the Lincoln Navigator. However, the bed had an attractive wood aesthetic that mimicked a station wagon. Every Blackwood came with a hard tonneau cover and a “barn door” style tailgate revealing a carpeted bed. This made the cargo area of the Blackwood more like a big, fancy trunk rather than a traditional truck bed.
From the driver’s seat, the interior of the Blackwood was almost identical to the Navigator. However, it only had two rear seats with a large center console between them.
A coveted Neiman Marcus Edition had a limited production run of only 50 models. It sold out within 24 hours of release, according to MotorTrend. This rare special edition has Neiman Marcus headrest upholstery, a rear entertainment system with a 7-inch screen and a DVD player, and a cooled/warmed compartment in the center console.
Power for the Blackwood came from the same 5.4-liter V8 that powered the Navigator. An oddity of the Blackwood that likely kneecapped its sales numbers was that it was only available with rear-wheel drive. The similarly classed Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup was much more successful in the same year as the Blackwood. It was essentially a luxury Chevy Avalanche, and you could get it with four-wheel drive.
What is the Lincoln Mark LT?
Although the Lincoln Blackwood was a flop, Ford’s luxury brand gave the premium full-size truck another shot. The successor to the Blackwood was the Lincoln Mark LT, which survived from the 2005-2008 model years in the U.S. The Mark LT was a more conventional full-size pickup with an unmistakable aesthetic resemblance to the Ford F-150 it was based on.
The Lincoln Mark LT was initially successful. It even outsold the Cadillac Escalade EXT in its first year on the market. Unfortunately for Lincoln, the hype didn’t last, and it was discontinued in the U.S. after one generation.
Interestingly, the Lincoln Mark LT was successful enough in Mexico to justify a second generation. Sold exclusively in Mexico, the second-gen Mark LT ran from 2010-2014 based on the 12th-generation Ford F-150, and you could get one with a short or long bed.
Will Ford’s luxury brand make another pickup?
The rise and fall of the luxury pickup truck made it clear that truck shoppers don’t give much weight to luxury brands. As market trends have shown since then, truck buyers are more than willing to pay big bucks for trucks with Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Ram branding. Case in point: the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum can flirt with the $100k mark when fully loaded, and Ford Super Duty models can go well into six-digit pricing territory.
This reality, combined with the direction the Lincoln brand is moving in, indicates that it’s unlikely that Lincoln will ever return to the full-size truck market. Lincoln currently only sells SUVs in the U.S., and we don’t see that changing soon.
However, the Lincoln Model L100 concept hints that the brand could return to the sedan space. Also, we think it’s likely the Lincoln Star electric SUV concept will have a production version based on the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Still, don’t get your hopes up for an all-new Lincoln Blackwood Lightning.