Monday, December 28, 2009

1955 Lincoln Futura Concept


1955 Lincoln Futura Concept

The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. It was built by Ghia entirely by hand in Italy at a cost of $250,000 and displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955.

Futura's styling was extravagantly impractical even by the standards of the '50s, with a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggerated hooded headlight pods, and very large, outward-canted tailfins at both ends of the vehicle. Nevertheless, the Futura had a complete powertrain and was fully operable in contrast to many show cars then and now. Its original color was white, and was one of the first Pearlescent color treatments, using ground pearl to achieve the paint effect. The Futura was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and powertrain; the chassis was that of a Lincoln Mark II.

The Futura was a success as a show car, garnering a great deal of favorable publicity for Ford. It was released as a model kit and a toy, and in a much more subdued form its headlight and tailfin motifs would appear on production Lincolns for 1956 and 1957. It even played a prominent part in a movie, 1959's It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford. For the movie, it was painted red, as the pearlescent finish did not photograph well.

After that, though, the car would logically have been forgotten and perhaps destroyed, as most show cars of that time were. However, it was somehow sold into the hands of George Barris, one of the great auto customizers. As the car was never titled and was therefore uninsurable, it was parked behind Barris' shop where it sat idle for several years and was allowed to deteriorate.

In 1966 Barris was requested to design a theme car for the Batman television series, Barris then contracted stylist Dean Jeffries to build a car for the show. Jeffries worked on the design and initial fabrication for the Batmobile, using a 1959 Cadillac, but when the studio wanted the car faster than he could deliver, he turned it back to George Barris. With the short notice, Barris thought the Futura might work well, and using Jeffries initial car, decided that its unusual winged shape would be an ideal starting point for the Batmobile. Barris hired Bill Cushenberry to do the metal modifications to the car.

Barris went on to build five duplicates for the show circuit, three of which are covered with a felt-like finish. For the filming of the Batman Series, Barris replaced the Lincoln frame and engine with 1966 Ford Galaxie parts.

External links:

LincolnFutura.com

A very comprehensive Futura page

It Started with a Kiss at Yahoo movies

Futura/Batmobile toys

George Barris interview

Original Batmobile at Barris' own website

Volo Auto Museum Hollywood collection page

First Look: Lincoln C Concept



Forget the Continentals of your past, or the big, long rear-drive concepts of the early '00s. While BMW has proven that rear-wheel-drive c-segment size luxury works, with its 1 Series, Lincoln is turning next to the 2011 Ford Focus' platform for post-global warming luxury. To prepare us for a CAFE-friendly world, Lincoln rolled out the C concept (for c-segment, and so far, without an "MK" prefix) at Detroit.

Looking much like a Renault with Lincoln's "flying wing" '41 Continental retro cue grille, the C is about the length of the '11 Focus, but about 2.75-inches wider for three-abreast seating via two flat benches. Ford designers cite the '39 Lincoln, '56 Continental II and '61 Continental as inspiration. But the a-pillar is curved much like a Renault Espace's, and the c-pillar ends in a Clio-esque bustle trunk. While there's no tumblehome, a deep shoulderline accents the profile.

The stainless steel-like top is actually aluminum with a metalized paint, and the gray interior wood trim is recycled driftwood veneer.

The Lincoln C has more interior space than a '61 Continental, J Mays and Freeman Thomas proudly note. The engine, theoretically - Lincoln didn't open the hood -- is a planned 1.6-liter EcoBoost four with central direct injection, variable valve timing on both cams and an interesting stop/start system to shut down the engine for red lights and stop signs. Restarts use a fraction of the starter energy required for a cold start by injecting and igniting fuel in the cylinder closest to top-dead-center on the compression stroke. The six-speed, twin-clutch "Powershift" transmission uses more efficient dry clutches (Audi DSG's wet clutches require an oil pump). It gains 9-percent better fuel economy than a conventional automatic transmission, Ford says. Including some key weight savings, Ford expects the EcoBoost-powered C would get about 25-percent better fuel economy than a similar car with a 2.0-liter.

Inside, the C is a showcase for Ford's Microsoft Sync of the future, a two-way voice command system featuring avatar Eva, a kind of female HAL with a British accent and access to the Internet via the driver's mobile phone. Ford expects features like a navigation system that supplies the most fuel-efficient route (for when gas next breaches $4/gallon), restaurant reviews and the like will be the foundation for its future Sync systems. Anyway, the owner will be able to configure it to his or her preferences, much like on an Apple iPhone, and update it regularly with a thumb drive.

Other interior features include no b-pillar (which Mays insists is approaching production viability, even if the "suicide door" feature that accompanies it is only for show), a hubless steering wheel rendered in Apple-computer white plastic, thin-seat technology for better interior room (another near-production feature), hand-drawn floral patterns laser-etched into the otherwise stark white leather seats, weight- and height-sensing power head restraints, and stereo speakers in the headliner, which surrounds a Lincoln-symbol glass sunroof.

Thomas says the instrument panel, which includes a "privacy" screen to allow passengers to look at the Internet without distracting the driver, is "not a lot of separate parts, almost like an iPhone." (Domestic and foreign auto designers have evolved from evoking the translucent iMac in their designs at the beginning of the decade to talking about the iPod, and now the iPhone.)

North America design chief Peter Horbury says his favorite feature, though, is a device in the car's grille that recognizes other Lincoln Cs and automatically "winks" the left headlight, Mini Cooper-owner style. Question is, can Lincoln build a c-segment car with so much appeal that owners "wink" or wave at others voluntarily? We may have to ask that question again when Lincoln markets a c-segment car, in as little as two or three years.

Read more: Click Here

Source: Motortrend

Friday, December 4, 2009

FORD'S NEW ACTIVE PARK ASSIST AIMS TO CURB STRESS



DEARBORN, Mich., June 3, 2009 – It's an everyday maneuver that can add stress and elevate blood pressure in novice and veteran drivers alike. It's parallel parking.

Active Park Assist, an all-new driver aide technology available in the distinctive new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover vehicle, will address the "top 10" anxieties in the parallel parking process. They are:

Will I find a parking spot?
Will my vehicle fit?
Am I lined up correctly?
Did I "cut it" properly?
Am I in?
Am I too far from the curb?
Am I sticking out?
Am I too close in front or back?
Do I have to try again?
Will I be embarrassed?

How it Works

At the push of a single button on the Lincoln MKT center console, Active Park Assist initiates the parallel parking process.

Once the system is activated it begins scanning for an appropriate parking spot, eliminating anxiety number one. When a suitable space is detected an audible signal will sound and the cluster-mounted message center will display a space found notification.

Active Park Assist will coach the driver with a prompt when to stop, shift to reverse and let the system take over. Anxiety number two is eliminated as the system will not select an inappropriately sized space.

Anxieties numbers three and four are eliminated as Active Park Assist will calculate the appropriate trajectory, regardless of the distance between the Lincoln MKT and the vehicle parked in the space just ahead. Furthermore, the trajectory determined by the system will properly place the vehicle in the selected space.

Anxieties five through eight are addressed by Active Park Assist with the calculated trajectory, or the "cut it" element of the parallel parking maneuver. All steering is performed by the system, so the driver only needs to brake. Active Park Assist also properly positions the Lincoln MKT relative to the curb.

Anxiety number nine is addressed with coaching messages. If the vehicle is not positioned properly in the space, the system will continue to coach the driver for proper placement. The driver will shift and brake normally, but the system steers the vehicle throughout the maneuver.

Anxiety number ten is addressed by the system as Active Park Assist will park the vehicle swiftly and surely, every time. System accuracy will position the MKT properly, and embarrassment is thankfully avoided.

Active Park Assist is enabled by Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) which is standard on 2010 Ford vehicles equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ V-6.

Active Park Assist is optional on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 equipped Lincoln MKT, on sale at Lincoln dealerships, late this summer.

For more information:
Active Park Assist Fact Sheet

Source: www.ford.com.

LINCOLN MKT EARNS 'TOP SAFETY PICK,' PUSHES NEW FRONTIER OF CRASH-AVOIDANCE TECHNOLOGIES


SUMMARY:

The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
MKT offers a high level of crash protection – including state-of-the-art side air bags that are designed to deploy up to 30 percent earlier than traditional air bag systems – while offering a segment-first, forward collision warning system as part of Lincoln's push into new crash-avoidance technologies
MKT offers an array of standard driver-awareness features – including a first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
Ford Motor Company has more IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings than any other automaker and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any brand

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:

The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row crossover – arriving in dealerships now – is raising the bar not only on luxury, but also on safety after earning a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To earn this designation, a vehicle must receive a rating of "good" in offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact evaluations and offer electronic stability control. The new MKT offers an array of standard crash-protection, crash-avoidance and driver-awareness features, and further solidifies Ford Motor Company's industry-leading number of Top Safety Picks.

DETAILS:

Lincoln is offering luxury crossover customers a fresh new choice with the 2010 Lincoln MKT, a three-row crossover that delivers the optimal blend of distinctive design, interior spaciousness and craftsmanship, fuel economy, and advanced driver aid and safety technologies.

The Lincoln MKT joins the two-row Lincoln MKX midsize premium crossover, the sporty Lincoln MKS luxury sedan launched in 2008 and the midsize Lincoln MKZ in earning coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings, building on Ford Motor Company's safety leadership.

Technology under the skin

The Lincoln MKT features an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

Lincoln MKT also includes Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE®) to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.

Lincoln MKT also features Ford's enhanced Personal Safety System™, combining multiple technologies to tailor the air bag package and safety belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and safety belt usage to adjust air bag deployment force.

Additional Lincoln MKT safety technologies include:

Safety Canopy® is Ford's exclusive side-impact protection system employing side curtain air bags to help protect front and outboard rear passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes.

Belt-Minder®, a reminder technology for driver and front seat passenger, takes over after the initial federally required safety belt reminder stops chiming to encourage usage of safety belts, the No. 1 life-saving device in automobiles.

SOS Post-Crash Alert System™ unlocks the vehicle doors and activates the horn and emergency flashers in the event air bags are deployed.

MyKey™ allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain Lincoln MKT features when in the hands of a MyKey driver. MyKey encourages safety belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, engages applicable driver aid systems, and sounds speed chimes at preset levels while limiting audio system volume and top vehicle speed.

Lincoln MKT also delivers abundant driver-awareness and security technologies including:

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead and modify cruising speed if necessary.

Collision Warning with Brake Support, enabled by ACC, provides the driver with a "heads-up" display that flashes on the windshield when the system senses slower moving traffic ahead. If the driver doesn't respond, the system will pre-charge the brakes to prepare the vehicle for a more aggressive stop to help avoid some of the most common rear-end accidents.

SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry Keypad uses a touch-sensitive surface allowing the driver to enter a five-digit code to unlock the doors.

Adaptive Headlamps with standard High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps enhance nighttime visibility. Sensors monitor Lincoln MKT speed and steering wheel input to engage headlamp movement to increase the driver's field of vision.

Auto High Beams coupled with Adaptive Headlamps enhance nighttime visibility by switching to high intensity when no other vehicles are in range.

Rain-Sensing Wipers use an optical sensing system to gauge precipitation and automatically activate and adjust the wipers.

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert uses two multiple-beam radars in the rear quarter panels (one per side) for two different – but important – purposes. BLIS checks the defined blind spot zone, which is about 10 feet from the back of the bumper to the outside mirrors. When a vehicle is detected, an amber light, in the outside mirror of whichever side that vehicle is on, lights up. CTA notifies the driver of impending traffic when backing out of a parking spot and warns the driver when a vehicle is detected within three car widths of either side of the vehicle. As with BLIS, the driver is warned with a beep and light in the outside mirror on the side of the traffic.

Rear View Camera System uses the center stack-mounted touch/navigation screen for projection and activates upon reverse gear engagement.

Lincoln SYNC® is an award-winning voice-activated communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft that fully integrates Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle. SYNC incorporates 911 Assist™, which can notify a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag deployment when a cell phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, and when the vehicle has battery power.

QUOTES:

"Earning a Top Safety Pick rating is great news because the Insurance Institute's tests are some of the most demanding conducted outside of our own laboratories, and customers increasingly rely on them when choosing a new vehicle."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan


1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

The first all-new postwar Lincolns were introduced in 1949 and were set apart from the 1948 models with a more streamlined appearance and recessed headlights. The top-of-the-line model was the Cosmopolitan and could be distinguished with its one-piece windshield and chrome spears along the front fenders.

Produced until the early 1950s, the Cosmopolitan was offered in four body styles: club coupe, town sedan, sport sedan, and convertible. Weighing over 4,400 pounds, the convertible was the heaviest model and was also the most expensive with a base price tag of $3,948. Only 1,230 convertibles were produced.

Standard features of the Cosmopolitan included power windows, power seats, and a three-speed manual transmission. It was powered by a 336.7 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 152 horsepower.

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Drive: 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost has soul of a sports sedan, controversial


2010 Lincoln MKT

In 1998, Lincoln's overall sales made it the number one luxury brand in America. The Navigator, Continental and Town Car weren't exactly world beaters – let alone an enthusiast's cup of Darjeeling, but the typical Lincoln buyer was getting precisely what he or she expected: soft, cozy, squishy cruisers for soft, squishy old people. In the decade that followed, Ford's U.S. luxury arm has seen about as much success as a modern day typewriter salesman. Mistakes have been made. The Blackwood. The Aviator. The LS. All big-time blunders – tragically so with the Romulan cloak-inspired design of the LS, as it was a pretty good car under that anonymous sheetmetal – and all consigned to history.

It's easier than ever to tell a Lincoln from 100 yards out.

Fast forward to 2009, and yesterday's gaffes have been replaced with a group of indecipherably-named vehicles that don't seem to be catching the eye of the car-buying public. The MKS, MKZ and MKX are nice enough, with tons of tech and luxury amenities, but America's buying public doesn't seem impressed.

Admittedly, the biggest reason Lincoln was kicking ass on the luxury sales charts last decade was the Navigator. It was big, it could haul heavy loads and it had an over-the-top style that affluent Americans were looking for at the time. Today's Lincoln lineup continues to feature the Navi, but the hefty SUV is no long the toast of the town and its massive girth and lousy fuel economy are borderline synonymous with PR losers like global warming and dependence on foreign oil. The 2010 Lincoln MKT is sized to replace the Navigator, but with the improved packaging, comfort and efficiency of a car-based crossover. We exercised a pair of EcoBoost-powered luxury barges through the twists and turns of Ann Arbor, Michigan to answer one simple question: does the 2010 Lincoln MKT have what it takes to become the spiritual successor to the Navigator and help shake the Lincoln brand of its decade-long sales slump? Hit the jump to find out.

Source: Autoblog Click Here For Article

Lincoln MKT earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS


2010 Lincoln MKT

Ford has dumped all of its latest safety gadgets into the already structurally sound 2010 Lincoln MKT, and the Blue Oval's engineering labor appears to have paid off as the luxury crossover has just scored a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The Top Pick status of the 5,000 lb MKT doesn't come as a surprise, as it is mechanically identical to the well-regarded Ford Flex.

The MKT scored a "Good" rating in each category, including structure, injury measures and restraints. The IIHS added that "dummy movement was well controlled. After the dummy moved forward into the airbag, it rebounded into the seat without its head coming close to any stiff structure that could cause injury."

The Lincoln MKT comes with standard equipment like an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment. Along with the usual safety suspects like side curtain airbags, Ford offers optional safety equipment like Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning Brake Control and a Blind Spot Information system. Hit the jump to read the Ford press release.

Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

* The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

* MKT offers a high level of crash protection – including state-of-the-art side air bags that are designed to deploy up to 30 percent earlier than traditional air bag systems – while offering a segment-first, forward collision warning system as part of Lincoln's push into new crash-avoidance technologies

* MKT offers an array of standard driver-awareness features – including a first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)

* Ford Motor Company has more IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings than any other automaker and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any brand

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:

The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row crossover – arriving in dealerships now – is raising the bar not only on luxury, but also on safety after earning a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To earn this designation, a vehicle must receive a rating of "good" in offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact evaluations and offer electronic stability control. The new MKT offers an array of standard crash-protection, crash-avoidance and driver-awareness features, and further solidifies Ford Motor Company's industry-leading number of Top Safety Picks.

DETAILS:

Lincoln is offering luxury crossover customers a fresh new choice with the 2010 Lincoln MKT, a three-row crossover that delivers the optimal blend of distinctive design, interior spaciousness and craftsmanship, fuel economy, and advanced driver aid and safety technologies.

The Lincoln MKT joins the two-row Lincoln MKX midsize premium crossover, the sporty Lincoln MKS luxury sedan launched in 2008 and the midsize Lincoln MKZ in earning coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings, building on Ford Motor Company's safety leadership.

Technology under the skin

The Lincoln MKT features an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

Lincoln MKT also includes Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE®) to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.

Lincoln MKT also features Ford's enhanced Personal Safety System™, combining multiple technologies to tailor the air bag package and safety belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and safety belt usage to adjust air bag deployment force.

Additional Lincoln MKT safety technologies include:

* Safety Canopy® is Ford's exclusive side-impact protection system employing side curtain air bags to help protect front and outboard rear passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes.

* Belt-Minder®, a reminder technology for driver and front seat passenger, takes over after the initial federally required safety belt reminder stops chiming to encourage usage of safety belts, the No. 1 life-saving device in automobiles.

* SOS Post-Crash Alert System™unlocks the vehicle doors and activates the horn and emergency flashers in the event air bags are deployed.

* MyKey™ allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain Lincoln MKT features when in the hands of a MyKey driver. MyKey encourages safety belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, engages applicable driver aid systems, and sounds speed chimes at preset levels while limiting audio system volume and top vehicle speed.

Lincoln MKT also delivers abundant driver-awareness and security technologies including:

* Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead and modify cruising speed if necessary.

* Collision Warning with Brake Support, enabled by ACC, provides the driver with a "heads-up" display that flashes on the windshield when the system senses slower moving traffic ahead. If the driver doesn't respond, the system will pre-charge the brakes to prepare the vehicle for a more aggressive stop to help avoid some of the most common rear-end accidents.

* SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry Keypad uses a touch-sensitive surface allowing the driver to enter a five-digit code to unlock the doors.

* Adaptive Headlamps with standard High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps enhance nighttime visibility. Sensors monitor Lincoln MKT speed and steering wheel input to engage headlamp movement to increase the driver's field of vision.

* Auto High Beams coupled with Adaptive Headlamps enhance nighttime visibility by switching to high intensity when no other vehicles are in range.

* Rain-Sensing Wipers use an optical sensing system to gauge precipitation and automatically activate and adjust the wipers.

* Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert uses two multiple-beam radars in the rear quarter panels (one per side) for two different – but important – purposes. BLIS checks the defined blind spot zone, which is about 10 feet from the back of the bumper to the outside mirrors. When a vehicle is detected, an amber light, in the outside mirror of whichever side that vehicle is on, lights up. CTA notifies the driver of impending traffic when backing out of a parking spot and warns the driver when a vehicle is detected within three car widths of either side of the vehicle. As with BLIS, the driver is warned with a beep and light in the outside mirror on the side of the traffic.

* Rear View Camera System uses the center stack-mounted touch/navigation screen for projection and activates upon reverse gear engagement.

* Lincoln SYNC®is an award-winning voice-activated communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft that fully integrates Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle. SYNC incorporates 911 Assist™, which can notify a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag deployment when a cell phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, and when the vehicle has battery power.

QUOTES:

"Earning a Top Safety Pick rating is great news because the Insurance Institute's tests are some of the most demanding conducted outside of our own laboratories, and customers increasingly rely on them when choosing a new vehicle."
– Sue Cischke
Group vice president of Ford Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering

"The MKT's array of advanced safety technologies raises the bar for luxury vehicles and pushes the new frontier of 'active' crash-avoidance features that help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of accidents. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the MKT offers a high level of crash protection, including leading crash-safety ratings such as the IIHS Top Safety Pick."
– Steve Kozak
Chief engineer, Ford Safety Systems

"Not only is the all-new Lincoln MKT Top Safety-rated, it is packed with standard luxury features and an array of state-of-the-art technologies, and is unsurpassed in its segment for highway fuel economy."
– Kate Pearce
Lincoln MKT marketing manager

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

What Happens To Your Car Payments If You Die?

Few people like to think about that great parking lot in the sky, but the fact is, every one of us is going to run out of gas sooner or later. Our descendants/heirs/kids/next of kin will hopefully see to a proper sendoff for us, but what about the ride sitting in the driveway that we still owe a bundle on? Are descendants obligated to make car payments on leases and loans for cars they don’t own and haven’t signed any contracts for? We asked key auto industry people to state official policies.


“In the event an automotive loan customer/co-buyer/co-lessee passes away,” says Tony Sapienza, a Global Communications Manager for GMAC, Chrysler’s auto lender, “The first step is that GMAC will ask that the family or Power of Attorney provide us with a copy of the Power of Attorney and death certificate. We also advise family or POA for the customer to continue making payments on the vehicle as they communicate with us how they’d like to proceed.”

Sapienza says heirs aren’t officially on the hook to foot the balance of the loan.

“There are several options," said Sapienza. "[This includes the] payoff of the vehicle, the family assuming payments if they so desire or the family voluntarily surrendering the vehicle if they determine they do not need or can’t afford it.”

Of course, finance companies being finance companies, none of the proffered options include a hug and a softly spoken, “Money isn’t everything. Take a month to think about it and call us when you’re ready---we know this is a difficult time for you.”

Justin Leach, a spokesperson for Toyota Financial Services, explains how an estate can ultimately be responsible.

“If the family wants to keep the vehicle, they can continue, of course, to make the car payments," Leach said. "If they don’t want it, they can return it, we’ll sell the vehicle at auction and apply the proceeds against what’s owed. If they owed $12,000 and we sell it for $10,000, for example, one of our probate attorneys will bill the estate for the balance.”

Leach recommends planning ahead.

“At the time of purchase, some customers will get Credit Life Disability Insurance, which takes care of outstanding balances," he said. "They pay it off in the event of a death and you get to keep the car. It obviously depends on what the family wants to do, but it isn’t too complicated, really---keep it or return it. Hopefully they’ve bought good insurance and it takes care of it for them.”

Leach also notes current policies have changed with the times.

“Some time ago you could just bring a car back,” he said. “And some companies would just eat the difference and not go after the difference in court. It’s not like that anymore.”

Insurance payments have to be thought of as well.

“If an insured dies, coverage will be provided until the end of the policy period for anyone covered under the policy at the time of the insureds," said Krissy Posey, an Allstate spokesperson. "A spouse has a duty to notify us whenever someone on the policy needs to be removed, and if a friend is acting as the insured’s legal representative, he/she may be covered under the policy until the end of the premium period.”

Final (ahem) word? Plan ahead for your own eventual destination.

Source: Autos Aol

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MORE LUXURY: GENUINE WALNUT APPOINTMENTS HIGHLIGHT NEW LINCOLN MKZ EXECUTIVE PACKAGE


2010 Lincoln MKZ: The distinctive Lincoln style is readily apparent in the 2010 Lincoln MKZ

Executive Appearance Package for the 2010 Lincoln MKZ, available later this summer, features more genuine walnut wood appointments

Navigation System with Sirius Travel Link™ is included in the 2010 Lincoln MKZ Executive Appearance Package

The new 2010 Lincoln MKZ received a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

DEARBORN, Mich., June 25, 2009 – A new trim level featuring additional wood appointments and unique trim has been added to the 2010 Lincoln MKZ, providing customers the opportunity to choose an even more luxurious model. Available in late summer, the new Executive Appearance Package offers more traditional luxury appointments and expands the range of Lincoln MKZ option packages.

Early sales of the 2010 Lincoln MKZ indicate there is indeed consumer appetite for well-equipped versions of the newest sedan from Lincoln.

"We are encouraged by the number of customers who are purchasing our luxury packages. The Executive Appearance Package gives customers yet another terrific option when considering the new Lincoln MKZ," said Greg Scott, Lincoln MKZ marketing manager. "With more wood finish and upgraded trim on the interior and five color choices on the exterior, this new package nicely complements the popular Sport Appearance Package."

Interior highlights of the Executive Appearance Package include:

Available in Dark Charcoal or Cashmere color
Luxury leather-trimmed seats
Unique door trim with stitching
Unique console armrest insert
Genuine Swirl Walnut wood instrument panel accents
Genuine Swirl Walnut wood console
Premium front and rear floor mats with the Lincoln star
Exterior color choices with the Executive Appearance Package include:

Tuxedo Black
White Platinum
Brilliant Silver
Sterling Gray
Sangria Red

Lincoln signature design

The new 2010 Lincoln MKZ was launched this past spring and features Lincoln signature design elements, including the split-wing grille and thinner wraparound headlamps for a wider, sportier look. The Lincoln MKZ's presence is enhanced by available 17-inch machined aluminum or chrome wheels or 18-inch polished aluminum wheels which are included in the Sport Appearance Package with sport-tuned suspension.

Inside, MKZ's cabin reflects an even more upscale look featuring genuine aluminum and wood depending on the trim package, an all-new instrument panel and detailed touches including new welcome lighting, chimes and tuxedo stitching on luxury Bridge of Weir leather-trimmed seats.

This world-renowned luxury leather from Scotland, pioneered on the classic Lincoln Continental Mark II and used on the Lincoln MKS, trims the MKZ seats. The MKZ leather is unembossed, allowing the natural beauty and character of the grain to shine through. The leather is milled for up to 12 hours to ensure a buttery soft feel.

Faster engine performance, strong fuel economy

The award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engine powers the 2010 Lincoln MKZ, delivering 263 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 249 ft.-lb. of torque at 4,500 rpm on regular gasoline while still remaining among the leaders in fuel economy in its segment with EPA-estimated 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for the front-wheel drive MKZ.

The 3.5-liter uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power and smooth operation at high rpms. This engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle and an impressively broad torque curve with good power. Powertrain performance is improved dramatically, with 0-60 mph times dropping from 7.7 to 7.1 seconds.

A high 10.3:1 compression ratio and aluminum cylinder heads designed for high air flow and optimized combustion help complete the package, supporting the engine's ability to deliver great performance and fuel economy along with low emissions. The six-speed transmission is outfitted with lower early gears for better acceleration and taller high gears for better highway mileage.

The six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission comes available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Customers can select a manual mode for enhanced sportiness, with downshifts locked out to help protect the engine from over-revving. The "enhanced overdrive cancel" mode locks out the fifth and sixth gears, allows shifts at higher speed for more engine braking and downshifts for "grade assist" functionality.

Better ride comfort

The 2010 Lincoln MKZ was significantly revised and uniquely tuned for ride comfort. The rear suspension lower control arm attachment point was changed to move the roll center closer to the center of gravity, which improves ride-handling characteristics. The turning radius has been reduced as well. Also added is a new hydraulic variable-flow steering pump that changes the flow rate to give better response at higher speeds and ease parking efforts at low speeds.

The Lincoln MKZ's available All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system has been retuned for better traction and lower noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The system uses an electro-mechanical clutch and employs two basic modes of torque transfer – pre-emptive torque (before wheel slip) and slip-control torque (after wheel slip). This dual system helps give the driver confidence in a variety of situations, while the suspension has been specially tuned to be more neutral when cornering.

The AWD system works in harmony with brake traction control to deliver more confidence to Lincoln MKZ customers. Ford's AdvanceTrac® Electronic Stability Control – standard on every new Lincoln MKZ – helps keep drivers in command as well.

The MKZ sport version includes special sport suspension tuning with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, 18-inch Euroflange polished wheels, unique darkened grille, darkened headlamps and an interior with contrasting piping and special appliqu├ęs.

"The driving experience has been improved, delivering a better ride and vehicle control," said J.D. Shanahan, chief engineer. "Ride enhancements, a new sport package, new technologies, the signature Lincoln design and a strong quality story help the new Lincoln MKZ set a new standard in midsize luxury sedans."

Class-leading interior quietness

Refinements to the powertrain are complemented by improvements to cabin noise levels. Ford research shows the 2009 MKZ beats the 2009 model year Lexus ES350 and Acura TL in key interior quietness attributes such as road noise at 30 mph. For the 2010 model year, the Lincoln MKZ is even quieter.

NVH improvements include:

A new acoustic laminated windshield featuring a layer of sound-absorbent vinyl sandwiched between two sheets of glass to soften noise levels

Thicker rear backlight for improved wind noise

Improved body/door sealing to reduce wind noise

New expandable stuffers in the fenders and pillars

Constrained layer damping material on the entire floor to reduce road noise

An all-new acoustic headliner to further deaden interior noise

Technology and information at your fingertips

The new Lincoln MKZ is more than just a pretty face and striking new interior. New technology and convenience features help Lincoln's new midsize sedan stand out, too. Available later this summer is the next generation of SYNC® with Traffic, Directions and Information.

This newest application provides personalized, real-time information to help drivers get to where they're going with information they need – new services come with no monthly subscription fees for the first three years to the original vehicle owner.

Other standard or available technologies on the 2010 Lincoln MKZ include:

Segment-exclusive, first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), which can help make navigating traffic and parking lots easier
Voice-Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Link™

Easy Fuel™ Capless Fuel-Filler

Keyless Entry Keypad

Reverse Camera System

Ambient Lighting System

THX® II Premium Certified Audio System with 5.1 Surround Sound

Rain-sensing wipers

Adaptive HID headlamps

SOS Post Crash Alert System™

Top safety rating from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The new Lincoln MKZ recently received a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To earn a Top Safety Pick rating, a vehicle must receive a rating of "good" in offset frontal impact, side impact and rear impact evaluations and offer electronic stability control. The structure of the Lincoln MKZ helps it withstand intrusion in many accidents, including the most common frontal and side impacts.

The tailor-welded B-pillars between the front and rear doorframes are designed to help channel energy below the level of the occupants. At the torso level and above, the structure helps prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment.

Front and side-protection elements on the Lincoln MKZ include:

First use on a Ford vehicle of dual-phase, high-strength steel rails on the front end;

Two energy absorbing foam blocks between the inner door panels and interior trim, aligned with the occupants' chest and hip;

Side-intrusion beams inside the door, anchored at the hinge and latch areas;

Tailor-welded steel in the B-pillar structure with extra thickness – nearly a quarter inch of solid steel – above the beltline; and
Front-seat side air bags for front occupants and side-curtain air bags for head protection in both rows.

The 2010 Lincoln MKZ carries a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price of $34,965, including destination and delivery, excluding tax, title and license fees.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lincoln Custom

The Lincoln Custom was a custom limousine and long-wheelbase touring sedan from Ford's Lincoln luxury division, manufactured only in 1941 and 1942. It was a replacement for the large Model K Lincolns (produced from 1934-1939) and earlier luxury cars that had been well-known and respected through the 1920's and 1930's.

The Lincoln Custom was based on the Lincoln Zephyr, a smaller, unit-bodied, mid-range priced vehicle introduced in 1937 with a smaller 292 cu. inch V-12 (based on the Ford V-8). This car competed with the smaller Packard 110, Packard 120 and Cadillac Series 60 and La Salle; smaller cars introduced in the mid-30's to a shrinking luxury car market. For example, the mighty Lincoln Model K sold only 3024 in the first year of its introduction in 1934 and only 133 units in 1939, the last year of production. 1940 saw only the Zephyr and the ultra-high priced Continental carrying the Lincoln name.



The wheelbase of the Lincoln Custom was 138 inches compared to the Zephyr's 125. Both vehicles used the same V-12 engine that was enlarged for 1942 to 305 cubic inches (130 horsepower). The engine was the weakest point of the 1942 models, being very prone to overheating and premature wear. The 305 cubic inch version was reduced to the 292 inch (120 horsepower) version after World War II in an attempt to promote longevity. The V-12 was the only engine used in Lincolns until the totally new 1949 models came out with a flathead V-8 based on a Ford truck engine.



The 168H (1941) and 268H (1942) Lincoln Custom featured two models: the Model 31 eight- passenger sedan and the model 32 eight-passenger limousine. Differences included a division window and different front seat upholstery for the limousine. Both utilized a 3-speed transmission with Borg-Warner overdrive. A small number were modified by the few custom coach builders left in the United States before the was. An interesting fact is that the 1942 models introduced power windows to the luxury car field; electric and hydro-electric powered limousine dividers having previously been offered.



Specifications were as follows:

1941 - Model 31 Sedan, 4250 lbs., $2750, 355 built

Model 32 Limousine, 4270 lbs., $2836, 295 built
1942 - Model 31 Sedan, 4380 lbs., $2950, 47 built

Model 32 Limousine, 4400 lbs., $3075, 66 built

For 1942, the Zephyr-based waterfall grill was changed to a broad full-width grill that extended above and below the hood and was also used in the 1946-1948 models (Lincoln sedan and Lincoln Continental). These changes were undoubtedly due to the major Cadillac and Packard grill design changes during these immediate pre-war years, whose production and sales far outpaced Lincoln.

After World War II, production of these vehicles was not resumed. The former Zephyr became the only Lincoln sedan and was available in both standard and DeLuxe versions. The famous Lincoln Continental remained as a limited production, very expensive (and not very reliable) semi-custom offering from the luxury division of Ford Motor Company. For 1949, a major revamp of the entire Lincoln line was made, eliminating the slant-back Zephyr and custom Contintental and introducing relatively modern V-8 power.

A special 1942 limousine was provided to the White House for the President's use. This car weighed more than 7000 lbs. and was refitted with a 1946 grill clip after the war for modernization. Cadillac and Lincoln vied for visibility and prestige by supplying limousines and other special vehicles to the White House (generally by means of a $1.00 per year or other low-cost lease arrangement). Packard and Chrysler were rarely able to penetrate this exclusive market.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

'73 Lincoln Continental 'Thunder Road'








"Thunder Road" took 2000 man-hours and $140K to create. Built by famous hot rod enthusiast, John Withers. One of the most desired customs in history. Custom fabricated body, interior, audio (karaoke, synthesizers, amp, etc.), motor (Ford 460 Big Block) and paint (6 clear coat layers). Guaranteed to get more attention than anything out there.

Source: Hotrod Hotline

'39 Lincoln Zephyr Sedan Delivery with matching Harley ~









The DECO LINER 1939 Lincoln sedan delivery with a matching Harley Davidson transported inside it took three years to build. Lincoln Zephyrs were never made in a sedan delivery body style, so DECO RIDES created one based on the design of the famed “SCRAPE” Lincoln Zephyr coupe that sold at auction to the Petersen Museum in 1999 for $275,000. Starting with a new DECO RIDES fiberglass Zephyr sedan delivery body, the unique front wheel drive chassis was designed and built by Gary Brown in Indianapolis. BROWN’s METAL MODS did the majority of the construction of the car. The concept of the car and bike was conceived by Terry Cook.
See it work on You Tube. Go to BACK DOOR HOG.

To fit the bike inside, it required the use of a front wheel drive platform to eliminate the rear differential so a minimum height rear floor could be attained to house a 39.5-inch tall motorcycle. Because a low cross member was required for a 9-foot long ramp holding a lowered, custom bike to fit inside, for rear suspension Gary chose a Fat Man Fabrications front suspension setup with Air Ride Technologies air bags. Short tie rods attached to the frame prevent the spindles from steering in the rear. A nine foot long polished aluminum U-channel ramp, powered by an electric motor that turns an equally long threaded screw, moves in and out of the back of the car at the touch of a switch. The bike is rolled onto the ramp, strapped in position, and the ramp is electrically moved into the car.

Brown chose the mid 90’s Chevy S-10/Blazer or GMC Jimmy/S-15 four wheel drive as the basis for the chassis. The rear half of the S-10 frame, the driveshaft and the 4WD rear were eliminated, the rear of the transfer case was sealed off and the V-6 was replaced with a new 350 Chevy small block V-8 crate motor that bolted right up to the rebuilt Chevy 700R4 automatic transmission. Brown fabricated a new rear half of the chassis.

Cook feels this car presents two new concepts to the rodding world. He insists it is not about the bike, it is about the concept of the bike in the car. The second is the decorative exterior metal trim. Actually this is not a new concept as mid-30’s Paris custom coach built cars used ornate metal trim. Terry is an admitted junkie of the work of the late Jacques Saouchik and Guiseppi Figoni, and the Brightwork on this car reflects their 1930’s era art deco designs. Pro panel beater Tommy Caruso of CONTOUR METALSHAPING in Plainfield, NJ hammered the majority of the steel that decorates the exterior of the delivery. Cook and Caruso worked together to lay out the designs in masking tape. It was then transferred to chipboard patterns and then to sheets of 19 gauge .040 cold rolled steel. Tommy hand shaped the contour of each piece. Despite the trim bridging the bottom of the front fender wheel well openings, the tires are able to steer lock to lock. Cost of the exterior trim and chrome plating alone exceeded $35,000.

Another metal man involved in the project was Denny Jamison of AUTOMOTIVE HAMMER ART in Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis. After Juan “Motyme” Rice of Chicago started the ’92 Harley Sportster construction, Cook designed and Denny hand shaped both the streamlined aluminum body for DECO SCOOT as well as the metal trim for the bike and the back door of the delivery. Chrome plating for the trim was done by The FINISHING TOUCH of Chicago. Juan Rice also fabricated the three matching tail light lenses for the car and bike by hand from 2 x 2 x 12 blocks of clear Lucite.

Strader’s Auto Interiors of Greenwood, DE used silver and black naugahyde to do the panels below the beltline. The bucket seats are from a Viper and the front fender of the bike serves as an armrest when the bike is tucked inside the car.

Brown used one pair of linear actuators (electric screw jacks) to raise and lower the hood while a second pair operate the rear door. Brown’s Metal Mods not only engineered and built the entire car and hand a hand in the bike, they also did all the bodywork and paint using RM Carizzma True Violet pearl pearlescent purple The headliner is painted suede Matte Uno Fed-X purple by RM. Because the fiberglass DECO RIDES sedan delivery body comes with a smooth inner fiberglass liner, the upper rear quarter panes and headliner were painted rather than upholstered. One nice design feature of the inner body is the streamlined shape of the inner wheel well humps. Another point of interest is the 1960-’62 Chrysler 300 “goldfish bowl” instrument cluster.

Source: Hotrod Hotline

'61 Lincoln Continental Convertible






Awesome new pearl blue paint
Beautiful chrome and trim.
Original excellent condition leather interior.
New dark blue Mercedes Benz canvas convertible top, all mechanisms just rebuilt.
All power options.
AC Custom hidden sound system, Satellite Radio.
Stock 430ci V-8 engine w/automatic transmission.
New dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers.
Professionally lowered.
These Lincoln Continental Convertibles are becoming highly collectible

Source: Hotrod Hotline

1952 Lincoln Cosmopolitan







Source: Hotrod Hotline

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Drive The Lincoln Difference

Why Lincoln. Why Now.



If you've been considering trading up to the luxury and technology available in a new Lincoln, now would be a great time to act. If you have already purchased from us, we appreciate your business. Please pass this offer to family and friends.

Why Lincoln.

Lincoln has the luxury you deserve and the technology you expect.

Why Now.

The government's CARS program, better known as "Cash for Clunkers," is offering a $3,500 or $4,500 incentive when you trade in a qualifying vehicle at our dealership. We are your Cash for Clunkers Specialist, and no one makes it easier to recycle your ride.

Please contact us immediately; you may also be eligible for THOUSANDS of dollars in private offers this month that are compatible with all rebates and incentives.



This is a government program, and rules are subject to change. Vouchers are available at participating dealers and are limited. Rebate varies based on vehicle age, ownership length and old/new vehicle fuel economy. Not all vehicles qualify. Offer good while voucher supplies last or until 11/1/09. See cars.gov or ford.com for complete details.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hi-Tech Car Door



Source: YouTube

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lincoln MK9



In 2004, car maker Lincoln introduced two concept car models intended to fill the void left in the Lincoln line-up by the Mark Series which was discontinued in 1998. These models were the Mark X and MK9. Concerning the heritage of the Mark the Ford Motor Company press release states, "Throughout its history, Lincoln has used the Mark name to signal a truly special vehicle... the 1956 Continental Mark II... became a classic for its high quality... The 1969 Mark III was Lincoln's most successful new model at the time, selling more than 30,000 units."



Lincoln MK9



The Lincoln MK9 was a Lincoln concept car first showcased in 2004. The vehicle hinted at a future comeback of a Lincoln Personal luxury car. The MK9 was a follow-on vehicle from the 2003 Lincoln Navicross concept, with similar styling cues.



The MK9 kicked off Lincoln's new naming convention of using letter and number combinations while hinting at a continuation of the Lincoln Mark series. While the naming system is similar to that of Mercedes-Benz or BMW, it does not contain any references regrading the vehicle's engine size or generation.



The Concept car features Lincoln's hallmark waterfall grille with the Lincoln star at its center. Two chrome accents on top of the vehicle's left and right shoulder run the entire length of the car. Chrome accented air vents are located near the doors on the front fenders.




The interior is flushed with lacquered wood and leather. Dark Cherry wood is used for the floor, while white leather is used for the headliner. The seats are models after the "Eames Lounge Chair" from the 1950s and are trimmed in red leather.



Lincoln Mark X

The 2004 concept Lincoln Mark X (pronounced Mark 10) was based on a "Lincolnized" 2004 Ford Thunderbird body design and chassis, with a folding hard top replacing the Thunderbird's convertible top and optional one-piece removable hard roof. It introduced the new fine lace-like "egg crate" chrome grille configuration characteristic of future Lincoln vehicles, though it shared some of its other design elements with the MK9.



The Mark X concept model features a convertible panoramic glass roof. The interior was also based on a "Lincolnized" version of that in the standard Thunderbird (which in turn is derived from the Lincoln LS) - which differentiates it from the MK9 interior. The Mark X's interior is, according to Ford Motor Company's press release, "dressed in Lime Sorbet with white Corian accents, polished aluminum, dark chrome, natural grain leather seating surfaces, plush sheepskin flooring and tailored tone-on-tone stitching throughout. Its four-spoke, power-adjustable steering wheel also is leather wrapped."



The Mark X was 185" long, and featured 21" chrome alloy wheels, and 3.9 L V8 with 280hp.

External links:

Lincoln Mark MK9

IGN website summary of Mark X

Lincoln Concept Vehicles - Previous Auto Show Photographs (2003-2006)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Crisp, Edgy Lincoln Navicross Concept

When two of your three brands are damaged, concern for your company’s long term viability is warranted. Though the Ford brand itself has taken its lumps, Ford’s truck line up and a new fleet of cars has made Ford desirable again. Were that true for the company’s Mercury and Lincoln brands.



Mercury, in particular, has little reason for continuance for one simple reason: not a single model is anything but a rebadged Ford. Unfortunately, the same can be said for Lincoln as the Navigator, MKZ, and MKS are copies of Ford models. But in the case of Lincoln, at least Ford took some care to lux out these “near luxury” models.

The tide for Ford appears to be turning thanks to the sell of of three premium brands: Aston Martin, Jaguar, and LandRover. Jaguar, in particular, represented a financial black hole as FoMoCo poured billions of dollars into the brand while neglecting Mercury and Lincoln.

Though Mercury is still without solid evidence that it should survive for the long term, Lincoln is finally making a case for its survival. Indeed, sales are up and with the all-new MKS making its debut in Summer 2008, Lincoln may finally have a model worthy enough to take on Cadillac.



The concept Navicross made its debut at the 2003 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and helped usher in the 2006 MKS concept which also was first unveiled in Detroit.

You may not like the looks of the Navicross or wonder how the vehicle will fit in with Ford’s plans for Lincoln, but rest assured that this vehicle or something like it will probably come to fruition. Now that Ford management has its sense back and has tossed its three money losing premium brands, attention can be given to back Lincoln.



Note the rear hinge for the rear doors — this vehicle evokes the “suicide door” theme of the mid-1960s era Continental. The truck compartment is interesting, somewhat like a hatch with a rear seat that folds flat.



The interior colors are a bit over the top for my tastes, but the center stack is clean looking — do you see the console area for the front passenger? This trend I believe will explode over the next few years as full-fledged entertainment and internet systems become standard on most vehicles.



Kudos for the Lincoln design team for creating the Navicross, a crossover sedan of sorts. Lincoln needs new and fresh material to attract buyers and the Navicross could be the right step in that direction.