Your pick-up should be able to do the bare minimum. Be a capable off-roader and have a usable bed isn't asking for much. But it was for the Blackwood -- a luxury Lincoln-branded truck hatched by former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser and his luxury brand chief Wolfgang Reitzle in 2002.
It didn't have four-wheel drive, meaning heavy off-road duty was out of the question, and you wouldn't want to load the bed with anything because it was so decadent, rendering it pretty much useless; the walls were lined in brushed aluminium with two blue LED light strips running the length of either side and plush carpeting. The tonneau top also didn't come off, which limited the truck's utility. And aside from those two massive shortcomings, it looked about as fetching as a mullet.
The fascia was smart but that was ruined by the choppy back. It was very much a 'business at the front, party at the back' type of looker -- but even rednecks rocking that 'do stayed well clear of the Blackwood.
It did pack a potent 5.4-litre V8 mated to a four-speed automatic that produced 300bhp. Nasser and Reitzle were convinced the truck -- available only in black paint with a black cabin (Henry would have been pleased) -- was a great idea but it really was a vanity project hatched at the top that nobody wanted. A 10,000 limit production run per year was planned but buyers had their own limit; just 3,356 Blackwoods sold. Lincoln clearly failed to learn a lesson that the Ford side of the clan was all too well aware of; you can build a high-class truck, but just remember that it's a truck -- and it should be used like one. The Blackwood lasted just a solitary year before being ditched.
A pick-up from a luxury carmaker might be a bit of a contradiction, but trends have been changing drastically over the past decade or so. Today, your F-150 or Silverado boasts exceptional levels of luxury and comfort and can even rival some high-end saloons.
Maybe we can thank the Blackwood -- one of the most spectacular failures in automobile history -- for that. Er, maybe not.