Excerpt from Lincoln Design Heritage, Zephyr to LS, 1936 – 2000 by Jim & Cheryl Farrell
Used by permission.
The L2K started out as a Mercury sportscar proposal intended for production. In late 1992, Jack Telnack passed on a request to Richard Hutting at Concept Center California to the effect that Ford wanted Concept Center to prepare proposals for a 2-passenger Mercury sports car — and they were given two weeks to submit those proposals to Dearborn. Four designers at Concept Center spent two weeks preparing proposals which were sent to Dearborn. Nothing more was heard and everyone at Concept Center thought the project had been canceled. In February 1993, word came down that the project was alive and a proposal submitted by designer Bruce Berkey had been selected. The sketch Berkey had submitted to Dearborn was never returned, but a photo of it appeared in the Design Center’s newsletter called Highlights.
Part way through the clay modeling process, Concept Center designers were told the sports car was no longer going to be Mercury but had to become a Lincoln. When the clay model was finished, Concept Center designers and clay modelers went to used car lots in the San Fernando Valley where they bought a ‘93 Mazda Miata and drove it back to Concept Center. There the Miata body and running gear were removed, the wheelbase was lengthened by reversing the rear suspension and the L2K body was installed. A prototype SHO engine was installed in a northsouth direction and bolted to a C-6 transmission. An engineer was sent from Dearborn to help wire the engine. The interior, although designed by Berkey, was built by Littlejohn, a local job shop.
During the build process, the grille was changed to conform with Ehab Faoud’s design which was meant for use on all Lincolns. The wheelcovers as designed by Berkey represented a stylized “M,” for Mercury, but they were later changed.
After the L2K was finished, the Concept Center crew took the L2K to the Saugus race track where Hutting, Berkey and others drove it for about 100 laps around the track, sometimes at speed.
The L2K was then shown at the LA Auto Show where it got better reviews than the Mercedes SLK it was designed and built to compete against. It was then trucked back to Dearborn where it made an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show. Upper management at Ford decided there would be no Lincoln sports car. After that, the L2K was shown at Pebble Beach and was then sent back to Concept Center where the body was removed and destroyed; the rest was recycled.