Multi-national Ford Motor Company has — regardless of market — charted a fairly conservative path through the years. Unlike dedicated eccentrics SAAB, Citroën and even American Motors, it has produced few cars that could be fairly characterized as weird, but here are five from Ford (and its Lincoln and Mercury divisions) that still have us scratching our heads:
- 1982-85 Ford Escort EXP: The EXP (along with its twin the Mercury Lynx LN-7) was simply bizarre. It was supposed to be a sporty two-seater version of the Escort compact, but the styling was incomprehensible. It was touted by Ford as a modern, affordable and efficient version of the concept that brought the car world the classic two-seater 1955-57 Thunderbird. But where the T-Bird was graceful and elegant, the EXP was just odd, and the squinty, hungover look to the headlight treatment was particularly strange.
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- 1963 Mercury Monterey Breezeway: The Monterey and its predecessor, the Turnpike Cruiser, were fairly standard 1950s and 1960s full-size Ford Motor Company products, but it was the backward-slanted rear roofline and a rear window that lowered for ventilation that added a truly strange look to the car, as well as providing ready ingress for exhaust fumes.
- 2002 Lincoln Blackwood: The Blackwood was a one-year-only Lincoln luxury pickup designed to compete with the Cadillac Escalade XLT. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the answer to a question that nobody was asking—a shortbed luxury pickup that was too nice to actually haul anything in. Less than 3,500 were made in that single year.
- 1959-67 Ford Anglia 105E: Famous as the flying car from the “Harry Potter” series, this English Ford sported a distinctly American feature — the bizarre, backward-slanted rear window that Lincolns and Mercurys had sported in the U.S.
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- 1996-08 Ford Ka: Another odd duck Ford not seen in the U.S, the Ka was both an oddly named and strangely styled city car that measured just over 142” overall. Performance was largely theoretical as the Ka was powered by a derivative of the ancient four-cylinder that powered the Anglia. Handling was at least said to be entertaining.