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The Turbodiesel V8 Hype Is Gone, Americans Want More Sensible Trucks

This year came with many surprises for all of us. But a particular one attracted our attention and made almost all of us wonder what was going on – the 20-year-old Ford Excursion's unexpected hype. People who kept their trucks in running condition during the two decades that have passed in what seems like a blink managed to make an unexpected return on something that was never perceived as a long-term investment. But now, the tide has turned. Here’s what you should know.
2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford Excursion2000 Ford ExcursionThe 2001 Ford Excursion that Did Not SellThe 2001 Ford Excursion that Did Not SellThe 2001 Ford Excursion that Did Not SellThe 2001 Ford Excursion that Did Not Sell
Because of the global health crisis, automakers and other important companies relevant to the vehicle-making business decided to slow down production or even stop it entirely for some time. Various factories across the world were met with harsh decisions that were based on the fact that almost nobody was traveling anymore, and people weren’t ready to buy new cars since prospective customers had other things to worry about.

Auto companies decided it was time to postpone the signing of new deals with vital suppliers like chip manufacturers. This created a ripple effect which eventually translated into major problems for companies that relied on their partners. These entities ended up having more parts on stock – or none at all! Companies like those in Taiwan, for example, had to adapt quickly. With no new contracts signed, they were forced to slow down production.

That’s exactly what happened with oil in the same period. Oil exploration and production companies were paying their business partners to get the product off their hands. In April 2020, a barrel of crude was sold for -$38! Now that’s an anomaly we’d like to see happening again, isn’t it?Customers were fired up and ready to go
But with movement restrictions disappearing and people having saved enough money to get something they desired for a long time, the demand grew exponentially out of nowhere. Unfortunately, auto companies discovered their partners adapted to the new market conditions. Ramping up production to pre-2020 levels was also impossible for these important suppliers. Some companies like Toyota had enough parts lying around and managed to overcome the crisis, but other important manufacturers didn’t. Sometimes it pays off to have some warehouses.

That’s when dealers understood there was going to be a car shortage. The increased prices of available vehicles and markups are even today a part of our reality. On top of that, manufacturers started to confirm long delivery times. Consequently, the used car market had its own spike. Vehicle owners discovered their one-year-old car or truck was now worth more than when they bought them!

Add inflation to this grim scenario, shipping issues, rare earth sourcing for EVs, an unstable geopolitical context, and… You get the picture. Nothing’s right.

But Americans, Europeans, Australians, and some Asians still had lots of cash ready to go for a car or truck that they’ve desired for a long time. After all, the health crisis showed us that life can change in an instant. More people than ever were ready to splurge on something they wanted but previously refrained from buying. The time to enjoy the small pleasures this existence of ours has to offer had suddenly come.

Enter auctions.Oldies turned into literal goldies
The most surprising thing we witnessed this year wasn’t that luxury automakers increased their revenues and made unexpectedly high profits. Nor was it the fact that high-end pre-owned cars raked in record prices on various auctioning platforms. Despite that almost anyone sensed or learned about an incoming financial crisis, people were still ready to go big when it came to placing the winning bid on their car of choice. Who cares about inflation when the thing you want to buy costs more than $1 million, right?

What remains memorable is the fact that vehicles like the Ford Excursion managed to spark bidding contests and attract a lot of attention. Back in March, we were telling you that someone bought a truck like this for $67,500, and most of our readers didn’t want to believe it was real. No, it wasn’t a tuned gas-powered truck with low mileage that belonged to someone famous. We’re talking about a vehicle with over 101,000 miles (162,543 kilometers) on the odometer that hid under its hood a very potent 7.3-liter turbocharged diesel V8. The power was sent to all the truck’s wheels via a four-speed automatic gearbox. That’s a lot fewer gears than the ten Ford’s offering today.

But that was the high point of this year’s auctioning madness. Yes, the engine in this vehicle is known for being reliable. People use this oldie even in Iceland. You’re not going to see it only in the U.S. Unfortunately, the diesel heart can’t be the only reason why someone would pay more than double the worth of a brand-new Ford F-150 XL. So, we can safely assume that was an anomaly that led to a very good auction and a great result for the seller.

Still, this has made other Excursion owners wonder why they're not getting rid of their own 20-year-old diesel trucks. After all, they'll need servicing soon, and parts will become harder to find. Diesel is generally more expensive than gas, and if you think about it, it makes sense to go with a newer car and let an enthusiast or someone that wants to experience nostalgia have a go at it.

And that they did. Unfortunately, the high-praised 7.3-liter unit didn’t help much. Not a single Ford Excursion from around two decades ago managed to go over the $50,000 mark since March of 2022.

Some auctions ended with prices that were around $40,000 or more, but people paid this money only for well-maintained vehicles that had their service history almost intact and looked up to par.

Most recent BaT auctions involving this truck saw last bids of $20,000 to $30,000.Let’s just move on
But I wasn’t fully convinced that the dream is over. I found another interesting auction that involved a good-looking, low mileage and what looked like a properly maintained 2001 Ford Excursion that had the 7.3-liter under its hood. It presented itself with some rust, but I, for one, am used to dealing with this issue.

And I watched the last day thinking, “Here it goes! This is going to signal the revival of the used car market, and it will be a signal that the economy is slowly but surely going on a recovery trend.”

Boy, was I wrong! The last bid came in at $45,500. Unfortunately, the seller had high hopes for the truck and set a hefty reserve. In this case, the free market showed us that having something special on your hands isn’t always a reason to be happy from a financial perspective. Buyers are always able to turn on the cold water in your shower.

Moreover, a member of the BaT community said in the comment section that the $67,500 Ford Excursion sold four months ago might’ve not reached the person that placed the winning bid. They argue the truck was traded in at a Land Rover dealership in the state of Washington, and it will soon be up for grabs again, even though the selling party admitted the vehicle might have some safety issues.

The outcome of the recent Ford Excursion auction and the information that the expensive one allegedly sold in March confirmed something very useful for me as well, since I’m in the market for a used car that doesn’t have six or more cylinders. And I’m going to share it with you!

Knowing all the above, we can draw two useful conclusions. One is the fact that people aren’t rushing to buy things just because they’re emotional. Auctioneers are thinking twice about pressing the bidding button when the money is just too much to spend on one item alone, be it even a cool vehicle. Nostalgia doesn’t play an important anymore. People might still have money, but with inflation, high energy prices, and a general feeling of anxiety, Americans are looking forward to having some cash on the side for better buying opportunities.

The second thing that’s worth remembering here is that most enthusiasts are now exploring better, more efficient powerplants. Even though we grew up hearing and loving all kinds of V8s, V10s, V12s, or even in-line six-cylinder engines, the time has come for all of us to consider a proper replacement for the displacement. And, yes, that’s true even when it comes to used, iconic vehicles.

It may sound awful, and you might not agree. But talk to someone who made the jump from an eight-cylinder into a Rivian R1T, a Ford F-150 Lightning, or even a Hummer EV Pickup. You’ll see that they don’t miss much. Apart from having to deal with charging, zero-emission trucks, SUVs, and cars are better for our daily activities. Just wait until the industry figures out electric semi-trucks. Companies like Tesla or Mercedes-Benz might start a proper decarbonization movement.

Last but not least, we should remember that the free market may provide us with incredible surprises from time to time. But one thing it does best is to tell anyone who’s paying attention when it’s time to hold on to assets (or liabilities that can be considered investments) and when you should switch back to cash only. Good luck!

Editor's note: This article has not been sponsored or supported by a third party.


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