Cherokee Truckster Edition: 1994 Ford Explorer XLT

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Who can forget the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from the iconic 1983 movie, National Lampoon’s Vacation? It’s hard not to laugh at the scene where the slippery used car salesman played by Eugene Levy sells the Truckster to an unsuspecting Clark Griswold. “You think you hate it now, wait ’til you drive it.” In the movie, the Truckster was a modified 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire, whereas in this case, it’s a 1994 Ford Explorer equipped with the Cherokee Truckster aftermarket tribute kit. And the car is said to be only one of three Ford Explorers to have been painted in the same Metallic Pea color as the movie car. Located at a dealer in Canton, Georgia, this interesting SUV is available here on eBay for $10,890.

There wasn’t much left of the Griswold’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster by the time they got to Walley World. It saw a lot of use and abuse during the family’s “quest to see a moose” that began in Chicago and ended in a West Coast theme park that was actually Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. The same isn’t true of this 1994 clone, which looks to be in really good condition after 27 years and 180,000 miles. This isn’t a true clone of the movie car as station wagons gave way to SUVs in the two decades after the making of the film. But with all the unnecessary woodgrain paneling and Aunt Edna gear and luggage on the roof, it could be what the Truckster would have been if the movie had been made 20 years later.

This Metallic Pea 1994 Explorer XLT, a premium edition, is equipped with a dealer-installed Cherokee Truckster Edition Woodgrain Package. Besides the movie add-ons, this SUV came with all sorts of goodies, including a removable glass sunroof. The body and interior look good, although some of the fake paneling is starting to fade and the interior might need a complete detailing if you’re a stickler to perfection.

There is one negative that the seller is upfront about, which may or may not be important to the buyer. The Explorer comes with a rebuilt Georgia title. We’re told that the car was involved in a minor accident that affected the passenger side right front fender. Perhaps due to the vehicle’s age, the insurance company totaled it even though everything was still in working order. So, the dealer/seller bought it with a salvage title, had all the damage repaired, then got it inspected by the State of Georgia (it passed) and had a rebuilt Georgia title issued. After that, the wagon was completely serviced, had a new battery installed, and was then driven 100 miles to check everything out.

The Marti Report is said to have documented this vehicle as 1 of 3 made, i.e., the special paint job with a grey interior. This Explorer came with a 4.0-liter V6 engine with an automatic transmission. These early SUVs were not the best on gas, so the next owner will get mileage in the mid-teens in the city and close to 20 on the highway when showing off his or her Clark Griswold driving skills. These Explorers in non-Vacation trim are just considered used cars by NADA, so resale values aren’t that high. But if you had $10,000 or so to spend on a Cars & Coffee kind of car, you’d be guaranteed to be the only one there with one like it!

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  1. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    With 180k miles, that’s a lot of scratch for an itch that probably doesn’t exist, for an Exploder that gobbles gas. I think I’d rather wait for the prequel, longroof version. Not much upside in sharing the agony with two other Grisfans.

    Like 11
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Whoever put 180k on this had a sense of humor, even thick skin. Or maybe, is there more of a back story here? The Marti Report confirms three pea green/gray 1994 Explorer 4×2’s, but of course has no info on the decal kit. Now, the kit has the label “Cherokee Truckster” and the dealer is “Cherokee Auto Group.” The kit looks pretty new-ish to me. Could it be that it was something made back in the day and more recently applied to this Explorer as it was being refurbished for resale?

    None of this really matters; it’s going to take just the right person to buy this Explorer at this price. On the other hand, if it was low mileage, original, and in good shape, it might bring the price— I think these first gen Explorers could be future collectibles.

    Like 2
  3. Mitchell GildeaMember

    In the words of Clark Griswold, “DON”T TOUCH!!!”

    Like 1
  4. Bob B

    $11,000 plus 6.6% TAVT, tag and title for what a 27 yr old, 180,000 mile, salvage title clown car. Yeah I’ll pass. Only at Cherokee Auto Group…

    Like 8
  5. Bmac777

    I’m not sure what the current policy for a total is, It used to be that if the damage was 50% or more of value, it was totaled.
    If the damage was so minor, then what was the book, 3K?
    So either its a high mile POS that’s worth a third of what they want, or It’s worth more and had worse damage than they claim.
    If those are your 2 options, I’d go with the 3rd option, Walk away

    Like 5

    Nice try; FAIL

    Like 2
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    I regret that I’m not familiar with the National Lampoon series of movies, although I’ve heard of them. The “Cherokee Truckster”? That’s different. At least this version is a proper truck, and not just an 80s station wagon. :)

    Like 0
    • GregNJ2SC

      Youre truly missing out Tacoma, especially Christmas vacation. Its a true classic

      Like 2
      • Steve Clinton

        “Grace? Grace died 30 years ago.”
        “The blessing. They want you to say the blessing!”

        Like 2
      • TCOPPS TCOPPSMember

        I pledge allegiance to the flag

        Like 0
  8. luke arnott

    The 4.0 V6 is NOT a good engine.The timing chains rattle,then fail and wreck everything.I’ve had 2 of these and you hardly see any on UK roads now as they’ve all been scrapped.

    Like 0
  9. Steve Clinton

    Jeep should sue.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Warner Brothers, should as well.

      Like 1
  10. Nah

    A clean square body explorer would probably have more nostalgia and value without the tarted up fake wood. But definitely not $10k in either form.

    Like 2
  11. JCAMember

    I don’t think Russ realizes that this car dealer (Cherokee) just bought this pea green explorer from an insurance salvage yard a few month back, fixed the front end damage, and then applied all of the stickers and woodgrain. The woodgrain is brand new. The only thing rare about this truck is the pea green paint that the original owner special ordered. Only 3 people i the world thought it was a nice color. So hats off to this enterprising and creative car dealer but don’t think this is some collectable package sold in 1994.

    Like 3
  12. Patrickj


    Like 1
  13. Frank Sumatra

    We got a lot of 2021 left, but it will be hard to top this one. I hope this will be the year BF gives us a year-end wrap up of the strangest Barn Finds of the Year!

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      I second the motion!

      Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        BF can select 25 candidates and we get to pick the Top 10.

        Like 1
  14. BBond

    That thing is so ugly it makes me want to dig my eyes out with an ice pick!

    Like 0
  15. JAFO

    You think you hate it now, but wait until you drive it!

    Like 2
  16. rfd960

    lmao 10k for this, what delusional yuppies

    Like 0

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