The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice custom open-top Ford Expedition says it was built to resemble the Himalaya Expedition, a display built for the 1999 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. That kind of makes it the fanfiction of Ford trucks. Let’s see how real the seller has been about setting its price.
It has been said that you separate the men from the boys by the price of their toys. I don’t know how that also relates to women, but I suppose there’s a similar adage for the ladies too.
We looked at a pretty expensive toy yesterday — a 1988 Mooney M20L airplane — and while it was Porsche-powered, its whole concept was a little out of the wheelhouse for many of us. At $140,000 Canadian, it was also deemed too pricey for most, earning a 74 percent No Dice loss. A big factor in that outcome was the venue for the plane. Facebook Marketplace is one of the worst choices for a proper presentation, owing to its minimal copy space and small image options. I guess the ubiquity of the platform makes up for that in the minds of some sellers.
I can’t say with certainty that yesterday’s Mooney will be the last airplane we will ever look at. I have heard that Qantas is retiring its fleet of 747s, after all. I mean, who wouldn’t want one of those?
Today, however, we’re going back to our safe zone of both Craigslist ads and the automotive world. That’s not to say we’re going to be looking at something that’s not a little bit crazy. That’s just how we roll.
This 1997 Ford Expedition is a little bit crazy. If you’ll notice, it’s not exactly altogether there. The rear windows, hatch and the center section of the roof have all gone bye-bye, replaced by a gaping hole that can be covered by a custom-crafted fabric roof.
Underneath that is a tubular-section rollbar that provides mounts for the rear-most seat belts. Additional cross-over bars between the door frames keep the body from folding in at the first moose fart. Each of those three crossbars is covered in black pool-noodle/pipe insulators to keep you from braining yourself.
The seller says the inspiration for the truck came from the Himalaya Expedition, a customized SUV built to wow the crowds at the ’99 SEMA show. Except for the lack of flares, cladding and exterior tire mount, you can totally see the resemblance. Also, I don’t think the Himalaya had any sort of top at all.
The top on this truck is claimed to have been professionally made, and it does look to fit admirably well, though with more confounding snaps and hooks to undo than would be required to remove your prom date’s undergarments.
It all appears nice and tidy when it’s in place, and the truck looks like it’s a lot of fun when the top is stowed. In fact, the only really half-assed aspect of this custom conversion is the remaining section of the rear hatch. That has some pretty weak blending (i.e., non-existent) at the former joints over the tail lamps, and there’s a gaping hole where the wiper arm used to call home. At least the builder added back a center brake light. Remember, safety first.
The rest of the truck seems reasonably stock and in decent shape. According to the ad, there’s no rust anywhere, and the paintwork, aside from those rear corners, seems to be in good shape. Underneath it all are factory alloys wrapped in what look to be perfectly serviceable Continental tires. We don’t get to see much of the interior as it’s mostly blocked by a dog, but what we can see appears to be beige.
Power here is provided by Ford’s 5.4-liter Triton V8. That’s good for 230 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of twist. Behind that is a four-speed 4R70W automatic that feeds all four wheels through a standard BorgWarner 4406 transfer case. The ad claims it to be a “great running truck,” and notes that it comes with a clean title.
Now, a couple of iffy things about the ad. First off, it says this Expedition is a 1996 model. That’s funny, since these were not introduced until the ’97 model year. Production did start in the spring of ’96, with sales kicking off in October of that year, but they were all sold as ’97s. Despite the ad’s claims to the contrary, I’m using 1997 in the post to prevent confusion.
The other issue is the lack of a mileage reading in the ad. That’s always a deciding factor in a purchase decision, and without that info it’s a little harder for us to do our job. On the plus side, this truck has the Eddie Bauer trim package, and that’s fancy.
At $4,000, the price isn’t so fancy. That being said, this truck is also not going to be for everyone. What we’re going to need to decide is whether that price makes it for anyone.
What do you say, is $4,000 a fair price for the custom convertible big wagon? Or does that make this an Expedition you would advise against taking?
H/T to DropHitchR for the hookup!
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