I’m on record calling the Cadillac Escalade EXT “the world’s most baroque and preposterous vehicle.” Ah, well — I guess I was overheated. I’d like to retract that statement, and propose another model for the honor, the Lincoln Mark LT pickup truck, seen above.
Sorry for the crummy picture, shot at the mall today; here’s a photo gallery. Drink in the utter absurdity of this miracle that only Detroit could offer the world — a high-end luxury pickup truck. The first time I saw one on the freeways here — and here, Detroit, is the only place I’ve ever seen one — I nearly ran off the road. But lo, I had my digital camera with me! I attempted to take a photo at 60 miles per hour, forgetting to turn off the flash and getting instead a very bad picture of the inside of my windshield. (Not to mention the obvious inattention to driving. Guilty as charged.)
Since then the shock has worn off. I probably see one…not every day, certainly, but often enough. Maybe one or two a month? That’s about right.
After a year and a half, I’ve think I’ve gotten a handle on the auto industry’s cultural influence here. I’m accustomed to the lopsided domestic/import ratio you see on the roads. I know about the employee discounts that cement hometown loyalty, which some companies seem to extend to the furthest reaches of “family” — if your fifth cousin once removed works for a Big Three automaker, you qualify. (I exaggerate, yes.) I think I’ve even grasped the just-love-cars attitude that keeps Detroiters trading up every two years simply because man, it’s nice to have new metal in the driveway, isn’t it? My friend John showed me his OnStar system one day driving back from a shopping mall, and I was impressed. (“OnStar, can I help you?” “Yes, where am I?” “You’re on Big Beaver Road, just getting on I-75, southbound. What can I do to help?”)
But I don’t understand a Lincoln pickup. I just don’t. Even in Texas. Even the boots-and-tuxedos crowd would laugh at this thing, wouldn’t they?
I mean: Wouldn’t they?