Buzz Aldrin is a true American hero, one of just a dozen people to set foot on the moon after he and Neil Armstrong became the first to do so back in 1969. Today, the last surviving member of the historic Apollo 11 mission is still around and kicking, having just turned 92 last month. Aldrin did what many of us do to celebrate by ordering a brand new vehicle – in this case, a 2022 Lincoln Nautilus – but like most of us, he quickly realized that the chip shortage is making that simple act a bit of a chore. However, we are talking about an American hero, and Aldrin has a friend that worked hard to get him his new ride a bit quicker.
Aldrin’s people contacted former Ford CEO Jim Hackett about his months-long delay waiting to take delivery of the 2022 Lincoln Nautilus, and Hackett, in turn, reached out to Lincoln president Joy Falotico for help. “He said, ‘Hey, can you help get this vehicle produced? It’s for a very special client named Buzz Aldrin, as in Buzz Aldrin the astronaut,’ “Falotico told Automotive News. “Our manufacturing folks got together, located the order, accelerated the order, and made sure it went through. We had shipping issues, weather issues; you name it, we had it. But there was a date that was set in January that was for his birthday they wanted to make sure it arrived by.”
The Ford Oakville Assembly Plant – where the Nautilus is produced, alongside the Ford Edge – has been one of the most impacted FoMoCo facilities since the onset of the chip shortage, and has faced roughly 120 days of lost production over the last year or so. Regardless, Aldrin’s Nautilus made it through just in time for his birthday, and the Oakville team even gave it a special touch – a plaque that reads “Especially made for Buzz Aldrin by Oakville Assembly Plant employees.”
While new Lincoln vehicles aren’t quite facing the sort of demand and requisite markups that many new models are suffering from, the 2022 Nautilus did get a price increase for the new model year for Base and Black Label trims, as Ford Authority reported earlier this month. However, as Ford Authority reported back in January, both the Edge and Nautilus will be discontinued following the 2023 model year as the Oakville Assembly Plant is slated to be retooled to produce five new EVs starting in 2025.