2002 Lincoln LS V8

2002 Lincoln LS V8
2002 Lincoln LS V8

This is how one might find Jim and Elizabeth--either sailing down the road in their cruisemobile (a 2002 Lincoln LS V8) or parked in front of an antique store like the one above searching for items for their Virtual Fiber Arts Museum (definitely a nonprofit operation).

The primary driver (Jim) has a big smile on his face while at the controls. Navigator (Elizabeth) is busy reading the latest haul of brochures from the state welcome center and keying in coordinates on the Magellan GPS navigation system.

The relatively small vehicle is a self-imposed restriction on what can be purchased at antique stores, flea markets, thrift stores, sheep and wool festivals, tractor shows, craft fairs, etc. and hauled home. It can, however, hold an amazing number of purchases (if properly packed) as we found after a 7-week, 7,000 road trip.

The LS (Luxury Sport) uses a platform shared by the Ford Thunderbird and Jaguar S-Type. Ford manufactured the vehicle from 2000 through 2006. It has rear wheel drive and the battery is installed in the trunk giving the vehicle near 50/50 weight distribution (actually 52/48) on front and rear wheels for optimum handling. It also features traction and anti-skid control.

The V8 engine is an all-aluminum variation of the Jaguar V8 engine. The LS was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year in its debut. Because of its sporting nature and driver's appeal, the LS garnered a great deal of interest among enthusiasts, resulting in the formation of an online club dedicated to the car. http://www.llsoc.com/

Instead of a mechanical cable-linked system, the throttle uses an electronic fly-by-wire approach which has a joy-stick feel. The speedometer goes to 160 mph. The answer is, "No."

The Lincoln LS has received very high marks in occupant protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated the LS as a "Best Pick" with a perfect score in their frontal offset crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the LS almost perfect scores in its side impact and rollover tests. In fact, CNBC rated the LS as “one of the five safest cars of all time.” Copyleft from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_LS

A feature we found odd was that when one rear wheel begins to spin, fuel is shutoff--so there you sit. We learned this when stuck in a rain-soaked hay field at a steam-and-gas tractor show in Minnesota. And there are no handy points anywhere on the aerodynamic design to attach a tow rope.

Elizabeth, on a straight stretch of Wyoming Interstate, can nurse 30 m.p.g. out of the car. Jim, even using cruise control, gets about 20 percent less. Our LS was purchased in Ohio and has an after-market canvas top.

Our cost per mile of operation is getting lower each year as the car continues to depreciate. The V8 engine demands 92 octane or better which affects overall operational cost very little. Our LS has been a reliable vehicle with our most expensive repair being the heating and air-conditioning control system. If your LS blows hot air out of the passenger side when the AC is on, don't replace the control panel first. Instead check the valve that controls coolant flow into the cabin.

The Lincoln LS is a terrible snow car due to its low clearance (it will bottom out on speed bumps) and wide tires that provide very little traction on snow or ice.