If well-to-do Neiman Marcus patrons love the Lincoln Blackwood, will the rest of the affluent set follow suit?
Lincoln Mercury Division folks hope so.
In a marketing promotion -- as well as perhaps a marketplace litmus test -- the Ford Motor Co. division offered special edition Blackwoods through Neiman Marcus, the upscale department store based in Dallas.
On the day of the sale, the phones started ringing and ringing. Eight hours later, all 50 of the 2002 Neiman Marcus Edition Lincoln Blackwoods sold out as potential collectors' items.
The response "exceeded our expectations," says Lisa Bacus, Blackwood brand manager.
She says it’s a good indicator of how well the part-Lincoln Navigator SUV, part-pickup truck will do when it hits showrooms this fall. Production starts this summer.
The Blackwood -- introduced as a concept vehicle two years ago -- “combines the elegance and comfort of a luxury car, the versatility and convenience of an SUV, and the handling of a sports sedan," says Ms. Bacus.
The cabin is trimmed in black leather and African wood. The front section of the exterior is a Navigator, the rear section consists of a short pickup truck bed under a power-operated tonneau cover.
Like the Model T, another memorable Ford Motor Co. product, the Blackwood is available in any color – as long as it’s black.
The Neiman Marcus Edition features one-of-a-kind design and entertainment elements.
The four headrests feature a Neiman Marcus stitched logo. The leather-wrapped rear-console lid features a 7-inch Panasonic LCD Wide Screen DVD/Video-CD/CD player with game center hook-up and two wireless headphones. Located inside is a cooler/warmer, large enough to hold goodies for two.
The Neiman Marcus Blackwood is priced at $58,800. Customers take delivery of their vehicles in early fall.
The regular Blackwoods can be had for $52,500. Add on $1,950 if you want an optional navigation system.
Lincoln expects to sell about 10,000 units a year of the "niche" vehicle.