I grew up in the UK, and in December 2005, I bought my first Ford Explorer, a 97 xlt. It was the UK spec, 4 doors and all the toys. I loved it. The day after I bought it, the timing slipped and damaged the engine. Whilst it was away being fixed, i discovered via the internet that Ford had sold a 2 door version, but only in North America.
In 2009 I emigrated to Canada and decided that I would like to buy one. All the ones I wanted were way out of my price range and would continue to be so for many years to come. One day I was poking around a junkyard when I found a green 99 Explorer sport in a snowbank. It was full of engines and other parts, had smashed windows, a caved in roof and no hood. I thought it was cute and took pity on it.
I spoke with the yard owner and a deal was struck. A week later he dropped it off at my house and the fun started. I set about removing all the snow, broken glass and mechanical parts and started the slow process of rebuilding the poor thing. Hoping one day to return it to stock condition. I had it pretty much back to stock.minus engine and transmission etc. when a group of vandals smashed all the windows, lights and interior parts.
i gave some serious thought to scrapping the project, but decided to take it all apart and start again. Removing all the interior and wiring and leaving myself with essentially a rolling shell, I rebuilt it using the 5.0 engine and transmission found in 4 door Explorers. I also put in a Limited spec dashboard, centre console, all the wiring and heated leather seats.
It’s now a one of a kind Explorer and I love it to bits.