From a certain point of view, the Lincoln Blackwood was very much ahead of its time. These days, luxury pickup trucks are everywhere. From Denalis to Platinums and everything in between, every full-size truck in America is offered with an interior slathered in leather along with an exterior veiled in chrome and the biggest badges this side of the Mississippi. Or maybe Texas. Either way, the Blackwood predated them all.
Thing is, no matter what your point of view, the Blackwood was an unmitigated disaster. Lincoln killed its luxury pickup after just one model year, and a grand total of 3,356 Blackwoods were built. Since history would go on to prove that Americans do indeed have appetites for luxurious trucks with correspondingly dear sticker prices, it seems a series of questionable decisions ultimately doomed the Blackwood to failure.
We’ll go over some of those decisions here, but (spoiler alert) some interesting takeaways are that the 2002 Lincoln Blackwood is rare but still accessible, compromised but still interesting.
Why the Lincoln Blackwood?
It’s rare and it’s unique. The first of those questionable decisions we’ll discuss is its truck bed. Following a successful concept vehicle appearance on the auto show circuit, Lincoln decided to produce a pickup truck with a comparatively small bed that measured 56.3 inches in depth and amounted to around 27 cubic feet of space. That’s bigger than a sedan’s trunk, but much smaller and less useful to carry trucky things than anything else shaped like a pickup truck.
But that truck bed is actually pretty interesting. It was carpeted, lined with stainless steel, illuminated by LED lights and covered with a power-operated tonneau that kept the weather out. There are also storage cubbies in the sides of the bed and the back double doors — that’s right, there’s no traditional tailgate. Access from the rear is provided by a pair of split, side-hinged doors.
The final offbeat bit about the bed is that its exterior is made to look like African wenge wood. It isn’t — although the concept’s was real wood trim, the production version looked like wood but was actually a plastic that had a pretty realistic wood-look finish separated by less realistic-looking … um, glue lines. Maybe? Something like that. So, maybe the wood part of the Blackwood moniker was a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s unique.
Moving past the trunk-bed, the Blackwood was pretty luxurious for its day. The second questionable decision we’ll point out is that it was fitted with four black leather bucket seats, two in each row, separated by big consoles that look large enough to serve as ice buckets or baby bassinets. The front seats are heated and cooled through perforated Connolly leather upholstery. That means those thrones are awfully comfy, and there’s no shortage of space inside for that quartet of occupants.
We’re not specifically calling out the way Lincoln chose to advertise the Blackwood as one of our so-called questionable decisions, but … well, maybe we should? Anyway, perhaps commercials like this helped contribute to the truck’s rarity.
Which Lincoln Blackwood to choose?
This one is easy. Any of them, because they are all pretty much the same. Questionable decision number three: The only engine offered was Ford’s 5.4-liter V8 with 300 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque. Lincoln’s version of the modular V8 boasted four valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts instead of the Ford F-Series’ simpler single overhead cam design, which allowed for a boost over the Ford’s ratings of 260 horses and 350 lb-ft. But Ford had a supercharged version that pumped out 380 ponies and 450 lb-ft. There were also much higher-output versions of the four-valver used in various Shelby-branded Mustangs that made more than 500 horsepower. Put simply, it would have been nice to see some additional power in the Blackwood.
Questionable decision four: All Blackwoods are rear-wheel drive. Apparently, offering the pickup with four-wheel drive would have raised the suspension higher than Lincoln would allow. We imagine it also may have adversely affected ride quality. Still, it would have been better to offer customers the choice.
Questionable decision five: They are all black, inside and out. Lincoln chose to go all-in on the Blackwood theme, we guess.
In any case, all of that means a potential buyer just has to find a Blackwood in good condition near them. There aren’t really any options to think about, so look for one that’s been taken care of properly and/or boasts lower mileage.
Our used vehicle listings can be helpful to find a good deal near you. Narrow the offerings down by a radius around your ZIP code, and pay attention to the deal rating on each listing to see how a vehicle compares with others in a similar area.
What else to consider?
As we said at the outset of our Blackwood spotlight, today’s automotive landscape is positively brimming with luxury truck options. Back in 2002, though, the Blackwood was something of a trendsetter.
General Motors got into the luxe truck game with its Cadillac division around the same time, but with a completely different take on the fledgling concept. The Escalade EXT was based on the innovative Chevrolet Avalanche and offered a similar expandable bed concept as that truck. It was also offered with four-wheel drive.
Staying in the Ford family, the Blue Oval partnered up with Harley-Davidson on a gussied-up and supercharged version of its F-150 through the 2004 model year, but it’s hard to argue that the resulting pickup plays in the same luxury ballpark as the Lincoln or Cadillac.
Lincoln took another stab at truck buyers (and profits) with the Mark LT in 2005, and while it was more successful in sales, lasted three full model years and worked like a proper pickup, it wasn’t nearly as unique or intriguing as the Blackwood.