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The Lincoln Blackwood, catching some rays near the Pacific Ocean, really caught the attention of beachgoers.

The Blackwood perpetuates Lincoln's heritage of providing the automotive world with luxurious design.

True to its name and Ford parentage you can buy a Blackwood in any color as long as it's black. The front of the truck wears the handsomely regal Lincoln grille that is also shared with the Navigator. Behind the cab, the bed of the truck can almost be considered a work of art.

While it was originally envisioned on the concept truck that exotic African Wenge wood would decorate the bed's exterior, extreme difficulty working with that wood resulted in Lincoln instead using a plastic laminate that amply captures the textures and appearance of the real stuff. Each strip of the simulated wood is separated by brushed aluminum striping. Overall the effect of the wood and striping very nicely emphasizes the bed of the Blackwood and states that it's a pickup truck and proud of it. The back of the bed is enclosed by two side-hinged Dutch doors with the Blackwood name prominently labeled and the Lincoln star insignia resting perfectly on top at the edge of a power-operated tonneau cover.

Driving around the Monterey Peninsula during the week of the Concours and Historics is a surreal experience. Classic cars of all makes and models are on the highways and surface streets as auto enthusiasts seek to show off their best metal to the world. Touring around the Monterey Peninsula, the Lincoln Blackwood, with its unique looks and appearance, turned many heads. At stops people would come up to the truck to check it out up close and a phrase commonly heard was, "I didn't know Lincoln made a pickup truck."

Next to the Cadillac EXT, the Blackwood is probably the only pickup truck in the world that causes Ferrari and Porsche owners to jockey with other traffic to get a better view of the truck.

Specifications:
2002 Lincoln Blackwood
4 door, 4 passenger

Engine:
5.4-Liter DOHC InTech™ V-8
Horsepower:
300 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque:
355 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm
Performance:
Top speed 105 mph
Fuel economy:
Highway - 17 mpg
City - 12 mpg
Fuel tank size 25.0 Gallons
Range 400 miles
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
Tires & Wheels:
P275/55R-18 BSW A/S Bright machined aluminum,18 in. x 8 in. (457 mm x 203 mm)
Suspension:
Front suspension
Independent short- and long-arm, coil springs
Rear suspension
Leaf/air spring with automatic ride-height adjustment
Brakes:
Four-wheel power disc brakes with three-channel ABS
Safety and Security:
Dual driver and passenger front and side air bags
Safety belts
Childproof rear door locks and rear child seat tethers
Two auto-reversing obstacle detection systems and emergency release handle inside trunk
SecuriLock™ passive anti-theft system, remote keyless entry with approach lamps, built-in perimeter alarm
Towing:
Maximum towing capacity 8,700 pounds
Payload capacity:
1,200 pounds / 544.3 kilos

EXT owners can choose two other colors besides black including this stunning pearlescent white.

The Cadillac EXT's exterior is all-together different from the Blackwood yet immediately recognizable as American design. Where the Blackwood has organic lines, the EXT carries Cadillac's new edgy design aesthetic to near extreme.

Like the Lincoln, the EXT shares its front fascia with its full size SUV sibling, in this case the Cadillac Escalade, but from the A-pillar back design cues are more in common with the Chevrolet Avalanche.

The EXT might not have the elegant panache of the Blackwood's exterior but its fit and finish are second to none. The EXT does away with the Avalanche's prominent plastic cladding in favor of stamped sheetmetal. It keeps the unibody construction between bed and cab, a superior option reducing noise, vibration and harshness when driving.

Initially three colors will be available for the EXT, black, pewter and a stunning pearlescent white shared with the Cadillac Deville. To further differentiate the EXT from its Chevrolet sibling, the Cadillac's rocker panels and fender flares are body color along with the truck's 'flying buttress' sail located just aft of the cabin - nice touches.

We suspect that the owners of these vehicles will choose their truck based upon the exterior that best represents their personality and place in the society. Go-getter 'Type A' personalities, out to prove to the world, and themselves, that they are king of the hill, will probably opt for the more aggressive Escalade EXT. Successful 'Type B' personalities who have climbed the corporate ladder to the top and are secure with their place in history will probably choose the Lincoln Blackwood because of its more laid-back style. It's somewhat funny that Lincoln picked retired tennis pro John McEnroe to pitch the Blackwood in television commercials because he seems more the EXT type.

Specifications:
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT
4 door, 5 passenger

Engine:
6.0-Liter Vortec 6000 OHV V8
Horsepower:
345 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque:
380 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm
Performance:
Top speed 108 mph
Fuel economy:
Highway - 16 mpg
City - 12 mpg
Fuel tank - 30.9 Gallons
Range - n/a
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
Tires & Wheels:
P265/70/R17 BSW A/S Bright machined aluminum seven spoke,17 in. x 7.5 in.
Suspension:
Front suspension -
Independent with torsion bars
Rear suspension -
5-link with coil springs
Real time damping road sensing suspension with rear load leveling shock absorbers
Brakes:
Four-wheel hydro-boost power disc brakes with ABS
Safety and Security:
Dual driver and passenger front and side air bags
Safety belts
Childproof rear door locks and rear child seat tethers
Reverse obstacle detection systems, remote keyless entry, built-in perimeter alarm
Towing:
Maximum towing capacity 8,000 pounds
Payload capacity:
n/a

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