The Ford Flex is Dead Just in Time for Halloween
Halloween is the one night every year where the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. This Halloween, the Ford Flex will exist on the spirit realm side of things —assuming, I guess, that crossovers have souls. Ford announced on Monday that the Flex is dead, with production coming to an end at the Oakville Assembly Complex. So who knows: On All Hallows Eve, you may wind up communing with the vengeful spirit of the Ford Flex through your Ouija board.
Ford lovingly recalls the decade-plus life of the Flex as that of a bold, fun, and fashionable vehicle. Throughout its life, there wasn’t much else out there that looked like the Flex. That’s due to the fact that Ford turned to fashion designers to craft a statement-making look, for better or wose. The design of the Ford Flex is basically what you’d get if a wagon, a minivan, a crossover, and a big box all got crammed into a Brundle telepod and came out the other side — it’s definitely distinctive and definitely polarizing.
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Among the folks who loved the Ford Flex — or at least enough to lend their cachet to it — are hip-hop luminary Funkmaster Flex (obviously) and hip-hop not-so-luminary and noted Band-Aid-wearer Nelly, both of whom created custom versions of the Flex for SEMA 2008. Sadly, the Flex will fall just short of one last SEMA, but it’d be just so ideal if they sent it off with a custom Flex designed by, I dunno, Danny Brown or Kool Keith or Death Grips.
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Ford Flex marketing manager Chris Kessler says that the Flex broke the mold by going against the grain and providing a hipper alternative to the minivan that was big on features for families. To support this, Ford helpfully notes that “Baseball player Royce Clayton and his sprinter wife Samantha Davies were featured in regional Ford ads along with their children in a Ford Flex.” Okay, cool, but are you sure that shouldn’t be “Sprinter Samantha Davies and her baseball husband Royce Clayton”? Don’t you want to break the mold like the Ford Flex?
Over its 11 years, the Ford Flex brought joy (probably) into the lives of over a quarter-million folks with sales totaling just over 296,000. Ford is aiming to replace 75 percent of its lineup by next year, and it’s unlikely that the Flex will be on the shortlist for vehicles to receive a resurrection down the line ala the Bronco and Ranger. The Ford Flex is more of a Madman Marz or Cropsy from The Burning or Leslie Vernon than a Jason Voorhees or a Michael Myers — cult following, sure, but no real promise for a blockbuster return from the grave.
But the brilliant thing about dead cars is that they’re like the embodiment of that old chestnut: That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die. Though the Ford Flex is dead in the sense that no more will be made, there are thousands left parked in garages and driveways all throughout the land of the living. Now and for years to come, they will roam the land like a horde of undead ghouls cursed to exist beyond death, picking up groceries and taking kids to school.
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When you consider that the Flex joins the ranks of the living dead alongside the Focus, Taurus, and C-MAX and will soon be joined by the Fiesta and Fusion, you might even say that the world is just a giant abattoir for Ford vehicles and the roads are like purgatory for Ford’s doomed and damned. How’s that for spooooky?