Four Forgotten Ford and Lincoln Designer Editions
If you’re one of the seven people who hasn’t figured out how TiVo works (read: me) and still watch television with the commercials and all, you may have seen Chrysler’s latest ad touting the John Varvatos edition of the Chrysler 300. Lots of companies have slipped between the 1,500-thread-count sheets with fashion designers, but no company has done the deed more repeatedly than Ford and its brands. Here’s a look at four of the lesser-known Ford and Lincoln designer co-branded cars: 1983 Lincoln Continental Mark VI Pucci Designer Series Two-Door Coupe:
Everybody remembers and pokes fun at the Mark IV Bill Blass edition, but that car was significantly successful for Lincoln in the 1970s. Not so successful was the Pucci Designer Series Two Door Coupe built on the downsized Town Car platform. Emilio Pucci’s name was attached to the same line of Mark IVs that Bill Blass’s was, but Pucci’s were all silver and red with deep red Majestic cloth interior.
Emilio Pucci, Marquess of Barsento was a fashion designer most famous for sketching the uniform for the stewardesses on Braniff Airlines, a mini-skirted, go-go booted, bold pink and orange number that made every dropped napkin awesome, and invented feminism.
The Mark VI Pucci Designer Series that launched in 1983 was a two-tone Medium Fawn/Light Fawn, with Fawn leather seating and a Fawn leather steering wheel. Interesting note: That’s three more Fawns than Oliver North had shredding Contra documents in the Reagan years.
1977 Lincoln Mark V Givenchy Edition
Another of the more rare Lincoln Designer Editions was the ’77 Lincoln Mark V Givenchy Edition. The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy, who was a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. I have no idea what all that means because I buy all my clothes at Sears and Roebuck.
Anyway, Givenchy was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn, so it’s natural that the design house would lend its name to a massive coal-burning ark for which the waifish Hepburn would sit on a New York telephone book to see over the steering wheel.
Givenchy Edition Mark Vs for 1977 were sprayed Dark Jade with a Chamois half-vinyl roof on the front half of the cabin. Dark Jade Leather or Majestic cloth interior made up the interior, and, like all the Designer Editions, the Givenchy Edition got Lincoln’s cool turbine alloy wheels.
2008 Eddie Bauer Taurus X
Apparently, Eddie Bauer was real. I always assumed he was like the Brawny paper towel guy or Mr. Coffee. Bauer had a sporting goods shop in downtown Seattle, where he developed a patent for the standardized shuttlecock, which, according to Wikipedia “popularized badminton in the United States.” Naturally, his engagement in a sport popular with spindly white-foke in the suburbs made his name synonymous with the great outdoors.
Ford went hog-wild with Eddie Bauer in the 1980s and 1990s, first with the Bronco and then with the Explorer. At that point, you probably more closely associated the brand with “Ford” than you did with “Clothing.” They were super popular among the kind of people that bought four-wheel drive SUVs and never knew what the 4x4 button did.
In 2008, Ford lavished the Eddie Bauer treatment on the Taurus X, which in all honesty, until I wrote this article, I completely forgot ever existed. That's surprising, because nothing says “standardized badminton shuttlecock” like your name all over a Taurus station wagon. It was such an earth-shattering success that in 2009, Eddie Bauer was acquired in a bankruptcy auction for six dollars and half a bag of Funyuns.
1985 Ford FILA Thunderbird
FILA has been around since 1911 when the Fila brothers started making sportswear for people who lived in the surrounding Italian Alps. Well, “sportswear” is a little general. Long before the company engaged in a partnership with Bjorn Borg, what they made was underpants. Today the company is a subsidiary of a Korean concern, run by a guy named Yoon-Soo Yoon, who apparently goes by the name of “Gene.” I am not making that up.
In 1984 and 1985, Ford had a special underpants “sportswear”-inspired FILA Thunderbird.
Like the underpants “sportswear” and Bjorn Borg, the FILA Thunderbird was tight and white with white paint on the outside, white alloy wheels, and white leather inside. You couldn’t get any whiter if you went to Wilthrop Barrington Pemberwell’s croquet tournament in the Hamptons.
If you hadn’t announced your whiteness enough by parking at the club with the FILA Thunderbird, Ford also provided a beach towel, a sun visor, a headband and wristbands, all contained in a “unique canvas Sport Bag” perfect for carrying your underpants “sportswear.”
Images: RevelInNewYork.com, Ford, TheJumpingFrog.com, Flickr (BigBlackLincoln)