This Rare 1972 F-100 Explorer isn’t an SUV

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Say the name “Explorer,” and 100% of the people who hear it immediately think of Ford’s venerable SUV.  It’s been one of the automaker’s best selling vehicles for decades now, winning over soccer moms and weekend mall dwellers everywhere.

But much like the Ranger trim package, the name Explorer existed long before the SUV came along, on the side of the F-100.  In the ’68-’69 and ’70-’72 model years, buyers could opt for the trim level, one that gave them almost all the options of the Ranger and Ranger XLT at a lower price.

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A mid year option, the Explorer package wasn’t heavily advertised, nor were they heavily purchased. That, of course, means that there aren’t that many floating around today.  And not a lot of them are as nice as this 1972 model, which has been restored to its original glory.

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That unique color is Avocado metallic, which certainly isn’t something you see every day either.  It, along with the two barrel 302, Cruise O’Matic 3-speed transmission, air conditioning, and exterior and interior trim, is all original.

NOS parts have been used to keep everything as close to factory fresh as possible.  It’s a fitting tribute to a truck that you don’t see every day, one that many folks don’t even know existed back then.  And just think – every time you take it out, you can tell the story of how Ford’s Explorer wasn’t always an SUV.

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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