PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- As a featured marque honored for its custom coachwork, Lincoln threw a grand party here at the swank Pebble Beach Beach and Tennis Club Thursday. Ford's luxury brand, which has fallen on hard times in recent years, wants to resume its onetime place in the upper tiers of the auto world, and there's no better place to start than Pebble Beach, the annual Woodstock of the high end auto world.
Among the attendees was Edsel Ford II, the grandson of Edsel Ford, who is considered the spiritual forefather of the modern Lincoln. Ford strolled the grounds with legendary race car driver Jackie Stewart.
There's as much of a story in what Lincoln didn't show here as what it did. Many had hoped Lincoln might bring a new vehicle here -- say, the production version of the MKC compact luxury crossover, which debuted as a concept in Detroit this year. Or perhaps a concept vision of a large flagship sedan. But Lincoln is determined not to be rushed in its ongoing brand reinvention.
Instead of a new vehicle, Lincoln presented a new series of high end trim levels called Black Label that won't be available until near the end of 2014. Four cars decked out in the various themes were on display here including three MKZs and the MKC Concept, shown in Detroit and repainted in Chroma Flame (translation: red).