autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup

About two weeks ago, we looked at a modern take on the Dodge Deora, and it was one of our most popular articles of that time. But Ford also made something similar, the mid-engined 1973 Explorer SUV concept... which was technically a pickup.
2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup 5 photos
2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup2020 Ford Explorer Turned into 1973 Explorer SUV Concept Pickup
The Deora was based loosely on the A100 unibody compact pickup, the model they made between 1964 and 1970. The concept made its debut in 1967 and impressed everybody with its numerous quirks, especially the swing-open front end.

Ford also liked the idea and produced its own cab-over pickups, such as the 2-door Econoline. Back then, the Explorer wasn't an SUV you could buy, as this arrived only in 1991.

We think the Explorer concept was designed to do two jobs. The first was proving Ford could also design vehicles that looked like lunar rovers for TV shows. We think it succeeded in this regard.

The second job was for it to drum-up some enthusiasm and support from buyers. Like Dodge and Chevy, Ford struggled to sell these smaller, blunt-nosed pickups to Americans. The Econoline was derived from the E-Series van and also underpinned by the Falcon. It was cheap, but true pickup users didn't like the tow rating or lack of cargo space. It was only really suitable for Mark the milkman and Pat the postman.

Perhaps the craziest feature of the 1973 Explorer was the mid-mounted 429 V8 engine, shared with the Thunderbird and Mustang. This dwarfed the underpowered six-cylinder from the Econoline and was mounted in the middle. How exotic!

Based on one of the few photos we have of the original concept, wb.artist20 made this insane rendering happen. "I wonder what the Explorer would look like as a mid-engined cab-over pickup," said nobody ever. Only the front end survives from the actual 2020 Explorer, the rest looking like nothing else currently on sale today.



 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories