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You are here: Home Technical Articles General  The 'Explorer Special' Explained
Back to Technical Index

The 'Explorer Special' Explained


Fig. 1 - The glovebox emblem for the 'Explorer Special' trim package

When you think of luxurious pickups in the '67-'72 era, the first thing that normally comes to mind is the Ranger and Ranger XLT. These option packages outfitted a truck with enough gear and creature-comforts to rival almost any full-size car. However, many people are not aware of another trim option package that could be had on the '68-'69 Custom Cab and the '70-'72 Custom and Sport Custom models which would give you almost all the same options as the Ranger and Ranger XLT models, but at a lower price to the buyer. Ford called this 'economy' setup the 'Explorer Special'.

NOTE: Since this was a mid-year option, most factory literature makes no mention of the Explorer Special.

However, I do have some fairly detailed information on the Explorer Special features available with the '70-'72 models (see below) from factory brochures. From what I've been able to gather, the '70 features are a little different from the '71-'72 features, which are identical, as far as I can determine.

1968 Explorer Special postcard
(also check out the '68 Explorer brochure)


Fig. 3


Fig. 4

1969 Explorer Special postcard
The "Ford Pickup Red Book" says this of the '69 version: "A white sale special was the Explorer II, available on F100 and F250 Stylesides, and included bodyside moldings and 1967 Thunderbird-type wheelcovers on the F-100. The F-250s got bright hubcaps." Also, "Ford F100/F150 Pickup" has a similar reference, adding that the mid-year Explorer II special was only available on F-100 Stylesides with the 8-ft. box.


Fig. 5


Fig. 6

1969 Explorer Special postcard


Fig. 7


Fig. 8

1970 Explorer Special features

There were four Explorer packages available in '70. These packages were trim levels which were only available on the Custom or Sport Custom models on both F-100 and F-250 trucks. These were items that were normally-available options, but just assembled into a package for a slightly lower price for the buyer.

Package A was called the basic Appearance Package and consisted of:

  • One of two exclusive exterior choices: Grabber Blue or Explorer Green
  • Exclusive matching interior trim: Blue Shetland Plaid or Green Shetland Plaid
  • bright bodyside moulding
  • bright swing-lock western mirrors (6" x 10")
  • chrome front bumper guards
  • glove box ornament
  • bright windshield moulding
  • bright drip rails
  • bright box rails (F-100)
  • tool stowage box (F-250)
  • door edge guards
  • mag-type wheel covers (F-100), hub caps (F-250)

"The special Appearance Package is priced to save you $56-$60, based on suggested retail prices."

Package B included the basic Appearance Package A, plus:

  • power steering
  • power brakes
  • SelectShift automatic transmission

"Priced to save you $153 to $187, based on suggested retail prices."

Package C included all of basic Appearance Package A, plus air conditioning

"Priced to save you $129 to $133, based on suggested retail prices."

Package D included all of Package B, plus air conditioning

"Priced to save you $226 to $260, based on suggested retail prices."



The '70 pamphlet goes on to say that the Grabber Blue or Explorer Green are the official "Explorer Special" colors, but if you wanted, you could instead get one of the following colors:

  • Raven Black
  • Wimbledon White
  • Harbor Blue
  • New Lime
  • Sky View Blue
  • Boxwood Green
  • Yucatan Gold

...and to make it more interesting, you could also get an F-250 Explorer Special with the Camper Special package.

"Explorer Special Packages 'B' and 'D' which include power steering, power brakes, SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic and air conditioning (Package 'D') make the F-250 especially at home in rugged camping situations."


1970 Explorer Special postcard

Be sure to check out the

1970 Ford Explorer
white sale brochure

in the Factory Literature Library


'70 Explorer Special
magazine ad

1971-1972 Explorer Special features

There were four Explorer packages available in '71 and '72. These packages were trim levels which were only available on the Custom or Sport Custom models on both F-100 and F-250 trucks. These were items that were normally-available options, but just assembled into a package for a slightly lower price for the buyer.


The 1972 Explorers were the only model year with exterior emblems, though some other years could get the glovebox emblem (Fig 1, above).


A comparison of the '72-only
Explorer emblem with the '73-up style.

 

Explorer Package A consisted of the following items:

  • Medium Blue, Lime Gold or Saddle Tan metallic paint
  • special random-striped cloth seat trim in unique sew-style (Blue, Green or Ginger)
  • full foam seat
  • chrome front bumper guards
  • bright driprail moldings
  • bright hubcaps
  • Explorer glovebox ornamentation

Explorer Package B consisted of the items in Package A, plus the following:

  • bright box rails (F-100 LWB only)
  • bright spear moldings
  • swing-lock mirrors
  • mag-style wheel covers (on F-100 only)

Explorer Package C consisted of the items of Packages A and B, plus the following:

  • Cruiseomatic automatic transmission

Explorer Package D consisted of the items of Packages A, B and C, plus the following:

  • air conditioning
  • tinted glass

Related Memorabilia
The following thumbnails are examples of related items found in the Factory Literature Library:


'68 Explorer brochure (12p)


'71 Explorer magazine advertisement


'71 Explorer postcard 


'71 Explorer magazine advertisement


1972 Ford Explorer brochure


'72 Explorer magazine advertisement

SOURCES:

  • "Ford Pickup Red Book", 1993 by Peter C. Sessler, Motorbooks International

  • "Ford F100/F150 Pickup", 1997 by Robert Ackerson, Veloce Publishing PLC

The information presented on this page is everything I have at this time and therefore isn't complete. If you have any additional information which could be added to this page, please e-mail me!

 

 
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