The Ford Explorer “Cherokee Truckster” Is Neither Jeep Nor Proper Family Truckster


The Ford Explorer was still a twinkle in the recently introduced Ford Bronco II’s proverbial eyes when National Lampoon’s Vacation hit theaters in the summer of 1983. At the time, station wagons were the family vehicles of choice for Americans on the move, not SUVs. So it’s no surprise that the movie’s main character, Clark Griswold, takes his family on a road trip to Walley World in a ghastly green station wagon, replete with horrid wood paneling, known as the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. In truth, the fictional people mover was little more than a modified 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire.






But what if the Griswold’s road trip took place a decade later? Would the family still hit the road in a station wagon? Maybe. Then again, Clark might have decided to join the hoards of families embracing truck-based SUVs such as the still rather new Ford Explorer. For better or worse, such a vision of this alternate timeline exists and is pictured here. The rather unfortunate vehicle bears the name Cherokee Truckster. 

Presumably a tie-in between the fictional Wagon Queen brand and Ford, the 1994 Ford Explorer Cherokee Truckster proudly wears its Blue Oval and Explorer badges. However, the Cherokee Truckster kit adds an unmistakably Family Truckster–inspired style to Ford’s family SUV. Green paint? Check. (This is reportedly one of just three Explorers to leave the factory in this hue.) Tacky faux wood paneling? Yep. Loads of luggage tied to the roof racks? You know it.

This special Explorer also features a host of era-specific additions, too, such as oversized running boards, large mud flaps, and tacky chrome bits surrounding the wheel wells and lower door panels. Look past the exterior bits, though, and this looks like any run-of-the-mill XLT-grade 1994 Explorer, from its gray cloth interior to its 4.0-liter V-6 engine. 

Then again, would you expect Clark Griswold, of all people, to pay extra for a vehicle with meaningful comfort and convenience or performance upgrades? Of course not. Clark’s the sort of sucker to get upsold on an extra such as the Cherokee Truckster package—one that adds little substance, but reeks of terrible taste.

Not that we’d ever say such things about the individual or family that ultimately signs the title of this Cherokee Truckster (at least not to their faces), which is set to hit the block at Mecum’s upcoming Kissimmee, Florida auction. Credit our colleagues at Motor1.com for making us aware of this piece of vehicular fan fiction.

The post The Ford Explorer “Cherokee Truckster” Is Neither Jeep Nor Proper Family Truckster appeared first on MotorTrend.



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