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Monday, May 16, 2016

Kinsmart and Matchbox 2003 Lincoln Navigator




Lincoln was best known for large luxury sedans like the Continental and the Town Car, but nowadays that's reserved to the Navigator SUV.  When it was first introduced in 1997 it beat the Cadillac SUV to market by two years and despite the popularity only Motormax has done the replica of the first-generation SUV (i'll profile that one later on), but as for the second-generation Matchbox and Kinsmart have done a great job with the new Navigator on the block.





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To differentiate the Lincoln from the Ford Expedition platform mate, both SUV's got distinctive interior and exterior styling updates for the 2003 model year.  The Navigator continues with the evolution of the first-generation Navigator with the waterfall grille and integrated running boards that now extend out when the door is opened.  The headlights now larger, the rear tailgate now can open up automatically, the third row seat now sits lower and can fold down automatically, and the twin-pod dashboard is unique to the Lincoln.  The rear axle is now all-independent and features air springs, while the engine is the one-year only 5.4L DOHC V8 from the 2003 Mustang Cobra that produces 300 hp. and 355 Ib-ft. of torque through a 4-speed automatic.  It was successful, but aging and the design has gone the wrong way as it still continues as a 2016 model (now with the longer extended L model as well).





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The Kinsmart Lincoln Navigator is nicely done in metallic maroon color that looks great on this truck.  The front-end has large headlights with detailed round lens, the large chrome grille, foglights, and lower gray spoiler.  The windshield cowl is large and has detailed wiper blades, while the roof has a beefy roof rack.  The sides have the lower integrated running boards, nicely-detailed 8-spoke alloys with center caps featuring the Lincoln logo, and detailed chrome window trim that I added to the vehicle.  The rear has wraparound taillights, center brake light on top, chrome license plate trim with plate, Lincoln badge on the latch to open the glass window, and lower bumper with trailer hitch cover and exhaust tip.  The chassis does not show much aside from the added detail to the exhaust system.






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The interior is nicely done in tan, but without the silver trim accents it looks rater unfinished.  I added silver to the dual-pod dashboard with black in the pods and at the top of the steering wheel to simulate the really dark wood trim.  The 4-spoke steering wheel sits ahead of LED gauges, the radio hides behind a cover in the center with silver trim that flows to the console with the console-mounted shifter.  The seats are captain's chairs for the first and second row, which both get detailed consoles, while the rear seat is in the up position and ready for use.  The downside here, and an oddity for a Kinsmart vehicle, is the lack of inner door panels, but otherwise this is one nicely done Navigator.




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For the smaller scale Matchbox introduced the 2003 Navigator in the 2004 Superfast line, which was hard-to-find considering the distribution of the Superfast line at the time compared to the regular line.  Eventually the Navigator made its appearance in the regular line starting in 2005 and continued until 2009.  The first version started in maroon color with only front grille and headlights detailed and the truck-like tires did not fit the casting well, nor did the heavy-tinted windows give a good view of the interior.  That changed in 2006 and 2007 with the updated mainline versions that were so superior you can sense why the Superfast line was killed off in 2008.  The 2006 version in black had the appropriate front and rear lighting details to add to the detailed waterfall grille, lower bumper trim, running boards, roof rack with sunroof, and detailed chrome plate with a touch of silver on the trailer hitch cover.  The base shows off plenty of detail from the suspension, to the engine, to the drivetrain components, the spare tire, right down to the independent rear suspension.  But one must question the transmission, which is designed to be a manual instead of an automatic.





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The interior has excellent details from the twin-pod dashboard, the 4-spoke steering wheel, the three-row layout with front and middle row captain's chairs, and door panels.  In 2007 the design was simplified more with the first use of the larger multi-spoke wheels designed for truck use; they work extremely well here!  Also the windows went back to a tint look, but not too much tint, and the trim and lighting details were sharpened: just look at the Lincoln badge now imprinted on the rear hitch cover!



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While the Navigator has gone different ways, the 2003 Navigator still impresses me as the best Navigator yet, and as for these two replica's they offer the best view of the Navigator yet.

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