Preserved 5-Speed: 1991 Ford Explorer Sport – Sold?
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April 24, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar
One of the hottest markets in the collector car arena right now is squarebody trucks. From pickups to SUVs, this genre went from beach beater status to sure-fire collector’s items overnight. Blazers, 4Runners, Scouts – pick your poison, but be forewarned it won’t be cheap. So, should you find greener pastures? I’d recommend looking at the likes of this 1991 Ford Explorer Sport (or its Mazda Navajo sibling) originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Clearwater, Florida with just over 100,000 miles and the preferred five-speed manual gearbox for $8,499. Comparing that price against the NADA Price Guide shows us that the seller is outpacing the market by a bit, with the “High” retail price clocking in at $2,875.
Isn’t it amazing how many once decidedly average or otherwise undesirable vehicles have suddenly become an excuse to blow $10,000? The first-generation Explorer was certainly a significant vehicle, opening the door to the SUV class that now dominates seemingly every level of the automotive industry. These were SUVs in the most classic tradition, too, featuring a body-on-frame design with respectable off-road capabilities for a vehicle clearly marketed towards anyone living in suburbia. You weren’t going to enter the Paris-Dakar championship with it, but you’d do a hell of a better with a base model Explorer than any of the crossovers being sold today with big wheels and too much body cladding. The sportier option was the two-door Explorer, which was sold under the Mazda flag as well as the Navajo.
The MotorWeek Retro Review Channel features this vintage 1991 road test of the 1991 Ford Explorer line:
Two-door SUVs have seemingly never been big sellers, but Ford stuck with the sport-minded Explorer for many years. The Mazda twin was far more short-lived and a hard truck to find these days; if a five-speed Navajo falls in my lap, I’m buying it. The cross-pollination meant Ford shoppers got some nice upgrades, such as the Mazda-built manual gearbox. The seller’s truck is in very nice shape with a nicely-preserved interior and original details throughout. Given these were cheap trucks for so long, the biggest challenge, really, is finding one that hasn’t been completely abused. While they haven’t become big sellers at auction, the market has definitely shifted to favor the two-door Explorer or Navajo far more than it used to be, and I’ll bet the seller’s ask here will look cheap within the next few years.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“For sale 1991 Ford Explorer Sport. 107,000 miles, very good condition for its age with power windows, mirrors, and locks. Factory air conditioning, sunroof, cruise control, and interior are in very good condition. Comes with new tires and an aftermarket tow package. Factory 5-speed overdrive Mazda manual transmission shifts fine. RARE and RUST FREE Original unmolested survivor. No EMAIL.“
When it comes to two-door sport trucks, are you on Team Explorer or Team Navajo?