Tipper Tian647 sent in a ’94 Explorer 2-door with the comment; Haven’t seen one of this generation in a long time…which got me thinking. The first generation Ford Explorer (1991-1994) were very popular when new and used to litter grocery store parking lots across the country — what happened to them? These 1st generation models were part of the infamous Firestone/Ford fiasco of the late 1990s and it is true that Ford recommended a 26 psi tire pressure in the stock Firestone tires equipped because at 35 psi the Explorer could roll over during a moose test style maneuver. So maybe they rolled over, or people abandoned them on the side of the highway and walked home because they were afraid of the eminent rollover event — anyway, you hardly ever see them on the road anymore. Where’d they go? Find this 1994 Ford Explorer Sport 4X4 offered for $2,300 in Tracy, CA via craigslist.
I spent some time bashing front-wheel-drive automotive based crossover SUVs in the Suzuki Vitara post the other day…but if given the choice, would you take the Vitara over a Rav4? And what if that Rav4 was covered in the ultimate tribute to the 90s paintjob? Oh man. And it’s 4X4 instead of just rear-wheel-drive. This is a difficult decision. You tell me in the comments which compact sportish ugly vehicle you’d pick. Find this 1996 Toyota Rav4 4X4 offered for $4,500 in San Mateo, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Halloween was very odd this year. Few trick-or-treaters came by and those that did were not impressed with my 2020 Batman outfit (batmask up-side-down to cover mouth instead of face, casual work-from-home zoom shirt, sanitizer/handy wipes on utility belt, and a bat sandwich in my gloved hand). They also refuse to stand still when I shot gobstoppers with a slingshot at their open candy buckets from a safe 6 feet away. And those candy buckets and bags these kids use nowadays are weak and tear into candy piñatas at the slightest provocation. Anyway, this next car comes from DT regular Hugh says that it is inexplicitly done to a high standard considering the genre. Find this 1972 Honda Z600 4X4 Monster Truck offered for $15,500 buy-it-now or make-offer in Richmond, VA via eBay.
I am constantly amazed at how much Fiat-Chrysler-Daimler-Stellantis can charger for a new Jeep Wrangler. The things start at $28k MSRP but can exceed $50k with options. Really, people are willing to shell out $50k for a car built on a chassis designed during WWII? For my money, I’d get 10 used Wranglers for the same amount of cash…or just one Wrangler and save the cash for a getaway home in the high desert somewhere. Find this 1988 Jeep Wrangler offered for $4400 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
The second generation (N120/N130) Toyota 4Runner is known around the globe for its legendary reliability, ruggedness, and durability. Equipped with Toyota’s 22R inline-4 or 3VZ V6, it was also known for going to distance with basic maintenance and isn’t a bad looking SUV from an aesthetic perspective, unless you hack the rear tailgate off and turn it into a Ridgeline looking El Camino thing…and then…uggg. Don’t get me wrong, usabiliy will be great for tailgating, throwing your boogie boards in the back, or setting up a tarp-tub…but…it isn’t going to win any design awards. Find this 1991 Toyota 4Runner Pickup offered for $5,000 in Canoga Park, CA via craigslist.
What do you do after you are done going offroading in your convertible Firebird? Why jet skiing, of course…or at least the seller of this next vehicle is willing to trade it for a jet ski, and I’m pretty sure this would drive like a jet ski, off or on road. Find this 1999 Pontiac Firebird offered for $3,500 in South Florida via craigslist. Tip from James.
The AMC Eagle was the original crossover. It combined a car-like chassis/ride with a truck-like raised suspension and off-roading capability. Today’s example is modified version, but it looks cool and has as much clearance as a Jeep. Find this 1983 AMC Eagle 4X4 offered for $9999 in San Luis Obispo, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
This next car comes from a time when steel was cheap, gasoline was plentiful, and trucks were beasts. I’ve really been impressed with the way modern trucks drive on the road because there was a time when trucks (like this International) were uncomfortable, clunky, bumpy, and terrifying to drive. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting an old truck…because with all of that beefy mass comes ruggedness, easy repairs, off-road prowess, and go-anywhere fun that won’t be matched with a new car that you are afraid to scratch with a tree branch or bash with a boulder. Good luck changing the starter in a 2019 F-150 without some specialized tools and a free weekend, but you could swap the starter on a Scout with a cresent wrench in a muddy field on the way to work. Find this 1975 International Harvester Pickup offered for $6000 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
This next car comes from tipper SecondMouse who writes: I confess I am not a Jeep person myself, but I know people who won’t drive anything else, and I can understand their appeal if you spend any time off road. Here is a pristine example complete with recent new engine and hardtop. I find it ironic that some many Jeeps are driven by poseurs (broseurs?) because the Jeep is such a non-poseur from an engineering/design/tech perspective — it is a big middle finger to progress. It’s body on frame with suspension derived from an ox-cart, has a pushrod engine that could be at home on a boat, the aerodynamics of a Windsor Castle, and seats taken from a stagecoach…and that goes for any Jeep made by Willys in 1940 to a Jeep made by Stellantis today. Haha Stellantis. I can’t stop laughing. Find this 1987 Jeep Wrangler Laredo 4.0 offered for $5500 in Richmond TX, a suburb of Houston via craigslist.
Most people know the big three Japanese auto manufactures Honda, Nissan and Toyota for their mainstream approach to car design and sales…but Japan has many auto manufacturers for an island that has less than 2% of the world’s population. If Mazda is the other Japanese car manufacturer like pork is the other white meat, and […]