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2005 NAIAS: 2006 Lincoln Mark LT
By: Mike Magda, EditorPosted: 01-10-05 10:10 PT
© 2005 PickupTruck.com

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Luxury automaker Lincoln drew attention to its new 2006 LT pickup by appealing to the same audience that may consider a Ford Harley-Davidson model.

The Teutuls from Orange County Choppers unveiled a one-of-a-kind custom Harley that was inspired by the Mark LT pickup during ceremonies at the North American International Auto Show. Paul Sr. rode the 9-foot-long chopper on to the stage with the 131-horsepower engine’s open pipes providing the background music.

“I was amazed to see their interpretation of Lincoln luxury and the Mark LT,” said John Fitzpatrick, general manager of Lincoln-Mercury. “The bike turned out really great.”

Whether or not the tie-in with OCC will benefit the new Mark LT has yet to be seen. The truck is supposed to be a key part of Lincoln’s plan to broaden the showroom and build growth. Analysts believe Lincoln is backing away from a position of being a luxury automaker and striving to be a “near luxury” brand. That means the company no longer wishes to compete with Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac but would rather challenge GMC, at least with its new pickup.

The Mark LT should help Lincoln recover from the Blackwood disaster. Pickup truck faithful will remember the Blackwood as being a daring expression of luxury with its carpeted, stainless-steel-trimmed bed that was small and hardly useful for carrying anything other than golf clubs. But the Blackwood did try to offer a plush ride with an air suspension while claiming to tow over 8000 pounds. While there were plenty of conspicuous consumers who lusted for $10,000 watches, no one wanted a $50,000 pickup and Blackwood quickly was dropped from Lincoln’s future plans.

Much more sensible, the Mark LT is based on the F-150 Super Crew. Generous chrome accents and a signature waterfall Lincoln grille enhance the exterior. Wide taillamps and thick-spoke, 18-inch wheels also distinguish the truck from the Ford line. While the Blackwood came in only black, Lincoln will offer contemporary colors. The interior will feature Ebony wood, Nudo leather and plenty of high-end electronic features. Power comes from a 300-horsepower 5.4-liter engine backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission. The Mark LT will be available in both 4x4 and 4x2 models. Max towing capacity is 8900 pounds and max payload is 1620 pounds.

The Mark LT will go on sale in the spring with a starting price of $39,995.

The Mark LT chopper will not be for sale but rather will be displayed at numerous auto shows throughout the country. The bike features a 21x3.5 front tire and huge 18x10.5 rubber in the rear that was supposed to provide a truck-like stance. The gas tank, air cleaner, handlebars and oil tank were inspired by the Lincoln grille. The dark toreador red metallic paint, light parchment leather seat, chrome accents and Lincoln badges came directly from the LT parts bin.
“When designing the bike I wanted to give it a substantial stance to match the truck. So I went with a wide tank and lowered it by inverting the front end,” said Paul Teutul, Jr. “I really liked the grille and chrome accents so you can see how we carried that theme throughout the bike. The paint color with the chrome really worked great together.”

The bike also has chrome rims that feature a patented “friction drive” system that tumbles three embedded Lincoln star logs in each wheel as they turn. The engine is 2150cc that pumps out 141 lb-ft of torque and is backed by a 6-speed manual transmission.

“We were excited when we partnered with Lincoln on this project bike,” said Teutul. “I can honestly say that this is probably the classiest looking bike we’ve built at OCC.”

The Mark LT chopper will be featured on an upcoming episode of “American Chopper” on the Discovery Channel.

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