For $5,900, Would You Slip On This 1996 Ford Explorer High Top?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Ford sold a lot of their original Explorers back in the day, making them a once common sight on the road. That’s not so much the case now, and today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Centaurus conversion is one you’ve likely never seen before. Will that, and its price put it over the top?

Everything in Canada seems better, and I’m sure that’s just what they’d like you to believe. In reality the face they present to the rest of the world—that of painfully polite, poutine-eating havers of universal health care—is a ruse.


It’s a national persona painted to lull tourists and potential emigres into a sense of trust and well-being when there. The lurid fact is, Canada kidnaps and converts foreigners into that desideratum of their national identity—hockey pucks. That’s right, hockey pucks are people!

That’s still not reason enough to pass up on last Friday’s 1999 Mercedes C43 AMG Estate, at least not to the 64% of you that voted it a Nice Price win. Props to that Canadian hauler of ass, but I think we’ll stick to the good old U.S. of A. for today’s candidate, just to be safe.

When was the last time you saw a Ford Explorer? For me it was yesterday afternoon when three of them passed me on the freeway, dodging in and out of traffic with roof lights flashing. Those were a trio of California Highway Patrol Explorer Interceptors, which seemingly have taken up the mantle from the Crown Vic here as the vehicle you need to keep an eye out for in your rearview.


This latest generation of Explorer is the first to enter law enforcement, but it’s not the first to have a bunch of stuff added to its roof. Witness this 1996 Explorer Centaurus conversion, which offers a crazy high-top roof decked out with electronics from a by-gone era.


You’ve no doubt seen van conversions before, like on that awful TV show about the woman who has eight children and a douchebag ex-husband, but have you ever seen an Explorer conversion? I didn’t think so.

These were apparently converted by a company called LCM Inc., out of Elkhart Indiana. The ad notes that only 208 were roofied in this manner making it pretty damn rare. It’s also decked out with about all the factory options you could want, including a 5.0 V8, leather interior, and a 6,700-lb tow package.


What the factory didn’t include, an oversight rectified by LCM, was a VHS video system, secondary cassette player, and video game hookup. You provide the XBONE of course.


All that’s housed in a fiberglass high-top roof extension that also offers some additional headroom in back in case you wanted to play Twister or carry Great Danes back there.


Actually, the added space would be nice, and a lot less claustrophobic if you were to use this truck as a race chaser, a job for which is seems eminently suited. You could tow your racer with it, and then sleep in it between track days. The High School AV Club in the roof may be of limited use, but it’s there none the less.

LCM made a number of other additions to create the Centaurus, including badging, bumper caps, and fiberglass rocker steps giving the truck an over-all unique and “converted” appearance. This one has all those bits and looks to be in excellent shape too.


There’s only 68,000 miles on the clock according to the ad, which also notes that these trucks can rack up a couple hundred grand before falling apart. I can attest to that as my brother once had a first-gen Explorer which ended up with more than 300K and life still left in it.


The ad notes $1,500 worth of recent work on the truck, including a tranny flush, water pump, and SVT differential cooler. That all just adds to the plusses this truck offers.What are the minuses? Well, that top is kind of weird looking, as are all the similar van conversions. Also the seller notes 23 mpg on the highway. That means a likely 12 around town so maybe you’d want to look into just how long gas is expected to be cheap in the U.S..


Aside from that, it’s a pretty compelling picture, especially if you do a lot of towing, say of a race car or U-Hauls because you move around a lot owing to your poor luck with the witness protection program.

All this could be yours for $5,900, which is expensive for an old Explorer. They don’t have the cache of some other SUVs, but then this one looks to be extra special owing to the conversion, low miles, and ability to play VHS tapes.


What do you think, does this Centaurus seem worth that kind of cash? Or, is $5,900 too much for you to explore?

You decide!


Grand Rapids MI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to fauxshizzle for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.