American truck manufacturers have never shown any interest offering four-wheel-drive versions of their full-size vans, citing too small of a market. That’s where Quigley Motor Company steps in. This OEM company created a nice niche for themselves converting Ford, GMC, and more recently Nissan vans and “cut-a-way” chassis (the front cab-only vans used in motor home and big box conversions) to four wheel drive. While the bulk of Quigley’s business is for commercial companies, they also do a fair number of consumer conversions each year.
We came across this 1997 Ford E250 panel van originally converted by Quigley here on Craigslist near Tom’s River, New Jersey for the “negotiable” asking price of $12,000. Kelly Blue Book indicates the Private Party value of a non-converted E250 to be about $3,000, so you’ll have to decide whether a $7,000 to $10,000 premium can be applied to the Quigley conversion.
The teal sticker on the front bumper confirms exactly what we want to do with this van: outfit it as a great basecamp for surf fishing striped bass at Island Beach State Park along the Jersey Shore! As the exterior shots below and the owner states, the typical rust along the rocker panels and rear fenders, while repairable, likely resulted from not properly washing over the sand and salt water that accumulates from beach driving. The owner states that his van has a solid frame. We recommend a careful inspection which will be easy to do with the what appears to be a three-inch lift many of Quigley’s conversions come equipped with. We love that this van’s interior is completely stripped and ready for you to add whatever you need to as part of your plans for using this capable off roader.
The private seller states that his van has just over 117K original miles. The driver’s seat needs immediate upholstery attention; our bet is a better condition seat can be easily sourced from a local dismantler. The van comes equipped with a modern stereo and while the seller can keep the change in the cup holder, make sure you negotiate keeping the air valve bleeders shown; those make it easy to “air down” the van’s tires to 12-15psi for sand driving!
The private seller states the 5.4 liter V8 “runs and drives great.” We recommend looking carefully at the engine and pulling a CarFax to ensure this engine has been maintained properly as any signs of deferred maintenance on this three-valve engine can be costly. The seller states that in addition to a brake job, he just replaced the inner and outer front bearings, the inner and outer front axle seals, and the left front axle. The seller confirms that the B.F. Goodrich Mud Terrain tires are 33” diameter. Unlike the sea of SUVs to choose from, this 4×4 van will make the perfect off-roader or overland vehicle with plenty of room to spare. Good luck with the sale!