The Ford Explorer was once at the center of one of history’s biggest tire recalls over its original-equipment Firestones. Luckily, today’s Nice Price or No Dice ’99 wears brand new Michelins. Let’s see if that, and its price, might make this a historic deal.
There’s an Italian proverb that goes Sfortuna al gioco, fortuna in amore — unlucky at cards, lucky in love. Last Friday’s 2013 Dodge Dart represented a model that seemingly has never been lucky at anything. Relatively ignored when new, and based on Friday’s comments not particularly appealing when presented as a tuner car now, the Dart is a car that has just never garnered any respect. Not even a relatively low $4,500 asking price could sway the majority of you to overlooking that foible about the Dart, and in the end it fell in a 66 percent No Dice loss.
Luck had nothing to do with the success of Ford’s first-generation Explorer. For the market, it was seemingly the right model at the right time. For Ford, it became a mechanism for printing money. Much like the Mustang decades before it, the Explorer was the model that seemed to define its category.
That’s not the case in today’s far more crowded SUV and crossover market. So far this year, Ford has sold about 160,000 Explorers. That’s nothing to scoff at, but pales in comparison to the nearly half a million Ford moved each year in the model’s heyday of the ’90s.
This 1999 Ford Explorer XLT is one of 428,772 that Ford moved that year. And keep in mind that this was when the company was facing an NHTSA investigation into failures of the Explorer’s factory Firestone tires. Complaints were piling up that the OEM Firestones were suffering tread separations which, coupled with the Explorer’s propensity to roll under extreme maneuvers, were causing serious accidents. A sizable number of those resulted in fatalities.
The good news is, this Explorer wears a fresh set of tires, and those are Michelins. The new meats underpin an 4WD truck that looks to have led a pampered life. There’s only 140K on this Explorer’s clock, and the paintwork, trim, and alloy wheels all look to be in extremely nice shape for those miles and the truck’s advanced age.
The clean title truck sports smoked plexiglass on the nose and all opening windows to keep both the bugs and the breeze from becoming a nuisance. Other nifty features include Ford’s keypad entry — literally the best thing ever — and a roof rack.
The interior sports gray cloth upholstery color-matched to its plastic trim. The carpet shows some wear and tear but the interior otherwise looks perfectly serviceable. On the downside, a floor mat on the driver’s side looks dangerously unmoored and should be tossed in the back before any test drive. The seat belt in that same position seems to have lost its retraction capabilities too.
That’s not to say that you’ll be doing any heroic endeavors in the top-heavy and V6-powered SUV. Neither the Explorer’s somewhat ponderous handling nor that 160 horsepower 4-liter V6 is going to provoke such shenanigans.
That’s not to say the truck will be unacceptably poky. It should be able to at least get out of its own way. And, with 225 lb-ft of torque, its four-wheel-drive should aid in getting out of sticky situations as well.
The ad claims that the truck “runs and drives excellent!” and further avows that it is “mechanically 100% requires no attention what so ever, its a very reliable, safe truck for anyone of any age!”
Those are bold advocacies, and with the truck looking as good as it does should likely cause anyone considering an older Explorer as a primary or secondary vehicle to give this one a serious look.
That, of course, also requires a price that’s not out of line with the truck’s condition and the market. The seller is asking $2,000 for the Explorer and while that’s not very much money, the question remains, should that be spent on an old Explorer or on some other more contemporary competitor?
What do you think, is this old Explorer worth the dropping of two grand? Or, does the truck and the price make this a deal with no appeal?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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