As an enthusiast, it’s tough seeing old cars become scrap metal. It’s especially upsetting when a particular model is almost completely wiped from the face of the earth, even if it’s not a car you’re very fond of. The Ford Explorer was one of the best-selling vehicles in the 1990s and they are a key part of North American automotive history, a symbol of the rise of the sport-utility vehicle. They’re as 1990s as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jennifer Aniston’s hair-do, Vanilla Ice, the OJ Simpson trial, Monica Lewinsky and Tamagotchis. But they’re becoming extinct, their ranks having been considerably thinned by the Cash for Clunkers scheme and the ravages of age.
Will there be any Explorers at classic car shows years from now? Or will future generations forget the 1990s was the decade of SUVs and instead think everyone drove muscle cars or sport sedans or whatever ends up appearing at said shows?
The Explorer ended up as one of the most popular trade-ins in Cash for Clunkers, being both ubiquitous and a gas-guzzler. Without discussing the merits of said scheme, I have a question for you to answer: will you miss all these Explorers when they’re finally all gone?
Explorer photographed in West Hollywood, CA in October 2016.