2001 Lincoln MK9 and 2003 Mercury Messenger Concept Cars

2001 Lincoln MK9 and 2003 Mercury Messenger concept cars at Amelia Island 2016

The importance of the 2001 Lincoln MK9 and 2003 Mercury Messenger concept cars at Amelia Island 2016 isn’t just that two fabulous designed cars are going to be one of the stars of show at Amelia Island but the real importance is that Bill Warner, is once again taking an avant-garde approach by making collectible cars of the 21st Century stars of a major concours for the very first time in the United States.  Basically showing 21st century cars at a major concours has never been done, not to my knowledge.

For a reference point, this is not the first time that a major show has stuck its neck out and stretched the boundaries of collecting.  In 1989, Jules “J” Heumann and Lorin Tryon, the two gentleman that served as co-Chairmen of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the time, saw the handwriting on the wall that by only allowing cars that were registered with the Classic Car Club was very limiting and decided to test the changing focus and include post war cars.  Their experiment was done by displaying the Bortz Auto Collection post war collectibles at Pebble Beach to see how the public reacted.  They felt that if there was a negative reaction to the showing of post war collectibles they could always claim it was just a special showing of dream cars/concept cars and be off the hook.   However, the show was so successful in 1989, they brought back the other half of the Bortz Auto Collection in 1990 to be the stars of the show.  As far as I know, this is the only time that Pebble Beach has ever had the same theme for the stars of the show two years in a row.

I guess the point being that it was not only that Bill is making the 2001 Lincoln MK9 and the 2003 Mercury Messenger the stars of the show but he is putting them in the highest focal point of the show, which will be on the platform in front of the pond.  Bill did this with the two LaSalles in 2013 (Link to Jay Leno’s Garage interview about the LaSalles at Amelia Island 2013) and this display of the two LaSalles on the stage by the pond also was the hit of the show.

frdconcept lincolnmk9 01newyork

Lincoln MK 9 Concept.

About 2001 LINCOLN MK9

2001 LINCOLN MK9 designed by Gerry McGovern and was the hit of the 2001 New York auto show.  It is built on a Lincoln chassis with an Italian composite body and fabulous proportions and matching absolutely futuristic interior.

DOHC V8 engine, automatic transmission, four-wheel independent coil spring suspension, and four-wheel power anti-lock disc brakes. Wheelbase: 121.9″

– Timeless elegance born of inherent simplicity
– Striking ergonomic interior
– Heritage styling cues with future concepts

The last Lincoln Mark VIII went out of production at the end of 1998.  For three years, ambiguity reigned, until the April 2001 New York International Auto Show. There, suddenly, was a concept of what Lincoln envisioned for the future: the MK9.

The interior is striking, a combination of Dark Cherry Red and Marlboro Red leathers with accents of polished metal. Dark Cherry saddle leather is used on the floor and white leather in the headliner. The front seats, which are cantilevered off the center console to improve passenger foot room, are inspired by the Eames Lounge Chair, a mid-20th Century American classic, which was designed for comfort.

There are visual connections between exterior and interior, such as the body-colored seat shells and the horizontal chrome finishers. The symmetrical dashboard is clean and simple. The etched glass instruments are crafted with jewel-like quality and illuminated indirectly.

This vehicle runs and drives.




The 2003 Mercury Messenger is the car that was going to save and probably would have!  It is a two-passenger car that’s design is filled with adrenaline. The proportions are perfect and there is not a bad side angle on the car.  Be sure to take a look at the introduction of the car when it was dropped down from the ceiling at the auditorium on a platform with attached ropes – see video and fast forward to 5:58 of the video to see the Mercury descending from the ceiling.

The car has an energetic stance accented by the spoked wheels that has a turbine theme with veins reflecting the Mercury Flying M logo.  The functional veins helped to cool the brakes.  The body was a lightweight aluminum hydro-formed monocle while forming part of the integral occupant safety cell.

This experimental car was equipped with electric motors to drive it and to operate all its power equipment.  The car was equipped with computer active independent suspension on all four wheels and anti-lock brakes with bimbo disks and high performance calipers.

It is true that this car was originally planned to be operated by a V8 gas powered engine but secretly it was also the idea of either making it a high bred or possibly a full electric car.

Since the Bortz Auto Collection acquired this car in 2014 it has enhanced the electric drive so that the car could be capable of speeds in excess of highway speed limits.  The car is fully equipped with power steering, large disk brakes and full lighting system.

These two cars are both designed by Gerry Mcgovern and allow Bill Warner, founder of the Amelia Island Concours, to be avante garde by presenting cars that are of the turn of the 21st century.

About BortzCars

Car & Motorcycle Collector, Historian
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