Imagine it's 2035. You're watching video from the latest Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, and up pops a Ford Excursion! While this might sound fantastic, the Excursion is likely to be a collectible vehicle in the future. Here's why.
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An Iconic American Rebel
The Ford Excursion is a distinct vehicle. When it first went into production in 1999 as a 2000 year model, it was the largest SUV offered by any automaker in the US. It could accommodate as many as 9 passengers and, with a Powerstroke Diesel Engine, it was rated to tow over 10,000lbs. Based on the Super Duty truck chassis, the Excursion was Ford's biggest and baddest SUV.
However, the Excursion's mammoth size (it was nearly 19 feet long and almost 7 feet tall) made it the target of environmentalist groups. The Excursion was often cited as an example of everything that was "wrong" with the US auto industry by environmentalists. The Sierra Club nicknamed the vehicle the "Ford Valdez," relating the vehicle to the famous Exxon oil disaster. Some groups ticketed Excursions they found in parking lots. Others (like the Earth Liberation Front) vandalized or destroyed Excursions on dealership lots.
In fact, there's a wikipedia article that summarizes some of these occurrences, but there's not a lot of information online simply because the Internet was still quite new at this time. Suffice to say, Excursions were keyed, windows were smashed, and many were even set on fire.
While the Excursion was an icon, it's sales were never mind-blowing. Over 50k units were sold in the U.S. during its first year but that fell to a cringing 16,284 sales by 2005, when the vehicle was cancelled. All told, fewer than 200,000 Excursions were built.
So What Makes The Excursion Collectible?
The main reasons that the Excursion will probably be a collector's item in the next few decades are:
- The Ford Excursion was the pinnacle of the SUV market that dominated the US auto market between the late 90s and mid 2000s; It's the most extreme SUV of the most extreme period of SUV production
- Its massive size, a characteristic that is in itself unique
- Parts will be easy to come by for decades, as it's based on Ford's Super Duty truck platform, which is well supported with lots of replacement parts to be found
- The vehicles are somewhat rare due to their low production volume, especially if we're talking about examples of the vehicle that haven't been modified by enthusiasts
- The Excursion evokes strong personal feelings about the environment and the role that big SUVs play in it. For many people, collecting an Excursion will be a political statement as much as anything else.
In the years to come, the Excursion will stand as a symbol of a time when people were allowed to enjoy monster-sized SUVs, super sized fries, and dial-up internet. Families of the early 2000s will always remember the good ole' days when mom and dad were sitting up front, while the kids were a couple yards back watching their drop down TV, as the family towed a small town on the way to the mall to buy distressed denim -- one might even find pictures of an Excursion on a “high tech” 4 megapixel point and shoot camera.
Sure, things weren’t perfect back then, but there will always be a nostalgia factor for this turn of the century SUV.
Today, Excursions can be found on eBay for as little as $5,000 and as much as $40,000, with the diesel equipped Excursions commanding far more than those with the 6.8L V10. 4WD and the "Limited" trim level are also desirable. If you compare these values to Ford Expeditions and Chevy Suburbans from the same time period, it's clear that the Excursion is already more valuable than these contemporary SUVs.