• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Evolution of an Explorer XL - How ExplorerForum.com got started

Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,674
Reaction score
1,422
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
It's hard for me to believe that my Explorer is now 20 model years old. I bought my Explorer new in 1993 with the intention of modifying it for offroad use right "out of the box". I never even took the opportunity to photograph my Explorer when it was bone stock. This is the oldest photo I have of what was to become "The Great Pumpkin".

oldestshot.jpg

Brand new Explorer, after about 500 miles it already had been lifted and had 33s tucked under it:D

To put 20 years into perspective, when I began to drive at 15 it was 1977 and a '57 Chevy was a 20 year old car. At that age I looked at the '57 Chevy as a REALLY old car. Not only that, but there were barely ANY '57 Chevy's on the road in 1977. They were NOT being driven as everyday cars. The only '57 ANYTHING you saw on the road back then were well kept collector cars and hot rods.

Today we see loads of 20 year old, and older cars on the road. Bone stock, daily drivers and we don't give it a second thought. It's really a testament to how the longevity of automobiles evolved over the years. People love to claim that they were better in the "Good ole days", but the fact is most cars were built better 20 years ago, than 50 years ago and in my opinion they are even better today.

Without my '93 Explorer, there would not be a "Serious Explorations" website. You see, it all started with what I call a "brag" page that was dedicated to my own Explorer, the modifications I had done to it and my own off-road adventures. It didn't take long before I began to receive requests to add other modified Explorers to my web page.

This is the oldest archive of my first webpage, archived in January of 1996.
http://web.archive.org/web/19970804174403/http://www.off-road.com/4x4web/ford/explorer/ By then we had 10 Explorers on the website.

And this is the archive of my Guestbook which was the precursor to our forum. It's kind of cool to read through some of the old posts.
http://web.archive.org/web/19970703203355/http://www.rhphoto.com/guestbook.html

We've really come a long way from a single page guest book, to dedicated forum with over 100 sub-forums.

Here are a few photos of the evolution of my '93 Explorer from it's original Dark Forest Green, to the vinyl "flames", to the hand painted "tribal" design by Steve Kafka, and finally to the bright orange "Pumpkin" that it is today.

rickcrossuplrg.jpg


expfullfrtsml.jpg


dana_flexrt.jpg


thaven_640.jpg


pumpkincover.jpg

Feb. 2001 Made the cover of Offroad Magazine the day after it left the paint shop as the "Great Pumpkin"

What a great trip it's been!! I have met so many great people through the forum that I can't even begin to count how many. I have been fourwheeling in 7 states because of this group. I have seen some of our members grow from being "kids" to having kids of their own! For me it has become as much about the great people as the great trucks that brought us all together.

With any luck, the Pumpkin and I will both be around another 20 years from now. It's hard to imagine... I will be 70 and the Pumpkin will be 40.

Thanks to everyone for making all this possible.

Here's to another fantastic 20 years:chug:

ricknjacklrg.jpg

With Jack Lobdell. Jack was the driving force behind our first group events. RIP Jack.

sal_grproad2sal.jpg


thaven_grouprick.jpg


moab_group.jpg


ccrgroup1.jpg


P2121626.jpg


DSCF3673.jpg

Gerald (Gjarrett) and Ashli's wedding in Moab 2004

CRW_0746.jpg


johnstone.jpg

Our good friend John Johnstone (John Rock) RIP John

jp.jpg


fire.jpg




co_group.jpg


Thanks for the memories!!! Let's make a bunch more!!!

:chug::biggthump:bounce::exporange:rangertan::exp::rangergreen::rangerred::yelexp::roll::JP::navajo::aerostar:
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.








DB_1

Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
Joined
October 23, 2001
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
42
City, State
La Quinta, Ca.
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 SC Ranger xlt
It's amazing to see what has become of the forum from what you had started,it's an invaluable resource for solving problems with our vehicles. Besides that, i've meet a lot of great people as a result of the forum some of which have become long lasting friends going on 10+ years...including yourself Rick (and Char:D)

So cheers to ya:chug:
 




gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
August 1, 2008
Messages
11,436
Reaction score
1,578
City, State
MO MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
Wow! I can feel the passion in your words Rick. Very nicely written, and makes me proud to be a member here.

Great to see everybody and their rigs, and really hits home when I think that Jacks rig is now parked at a family members home. So glad My Uncle Mike (Reapereviltwin) kept it alive and going strong.

I am thankful to you & the Great Pumpkin for making it all possible.

:chug: to another 20 years!
 




Scott B.

Explorer Addict
Joined
February 15, 1999
Messages
2,814
Reaction score
20
City, State
GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT
Wow - that old page brings back memories! I even signed the guestbook. That seems like lifetimes ago...

To this day, the Colorado trip (4th trail ride picture down) in 2000 was one of the best trips ever.

Good friends and good times - may they continue for many more years...

:chug:
 




MONMIX

I fix dents
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
April 16, 2002
Messages
9,301
Reaction score
78
City, State
Millersville , Maryland
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer Sport
awesome story
 




Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,264
Reaction score
356
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Rick, thanks for all the great work you have put into this site to make it what it is today. It has been a wealth of info for my own Explorer's journey as well as my own. I have made alot of great friends through this website on the many trail rides organized through the forums. I would have to agree with Scott, the CCR2000 trip still ranks high up as one of the all-time great trips I have been a part of as a result of this forum.

Here is to many more! :chug::dpchug:
 




Hbrichman

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 20, 2009
Messages
279
Reaction score
1
City, State
Huntington Beach CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
03 Limited AWD
Great story Rick! Although I've not met you personally I just want to thank you for all your dedication and hard work towards this site. It's been great browsing these forums and learning how to fix problems on my own as well as help others in need. Hopefully, I'll be able to attend some of these awesome runs in the future.

:chug:
 








Anime

EF YEAH!!
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 6, 2000
Messages
5,445
Reaction score
35
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
It's hard for me to believe that my Explorer is now 20 model years old.

It's not 20 years old yet. It's March 2012, most '93's weren't built until very late in 1992. My own '93 was produced 10/1992, so it'll be 20 years old in October. Ford didn't get a year ahead of itself with the Explorer or market them as next years models, every one that I've seen that was produced in early/mid '92 are definitely still 1992 models.

But the sentiment is still nice. Hopefully we can keep the insanity going for yet another 20 years and beyond.
 




Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,674
Reaction score
1,422
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
It's not 20 years old yet. It's March 2012, most '93's weren't built until very late in 1992.

I qualified my first post by saying it is now 20 model years old. It is...
 








leebo

Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 23, 1999
Messages
3,925
Reaction score
2
City, State
Mingo Junction, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Sport
I don't think I've ever seen a photo with those vinyl "flames" on it. I remember it stock painted, and ones with the tribal art on it....but never the flames. Made my day this did. Thanks for the memories!
 








Anime

EF YEAH!!
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 6, 2000
Messages
5,445
Reaction score
35
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
I qualified my first post by saying it is now 20 model years old. It is...

I took that into account in the reply, I know manufacturers are leaping model years well ahead of time recently, but Ford didn't leap the model year on the 1st gen, so an Explorer made in January-August of 1992 is a 1992 Explorer. The 1993 model year Explorers didn't start production until September-October 1992.

When'd you buy it and what's the production date on the VIN door sticker?
 








DB_1

Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
Joined
October 23, 2001
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
42
City, State
La Quinta, Ca.
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 SC Ranger xlt
I took that into account in the reply, I know manufacturers are leaping model years well ahead of time recently, but Ford didn't leap the model year on the 1st gen, so an Explorer made in January-August of 1992 is a 1992 Explorer. The 1993 model year Explorers didn't start production until September-October 1992.

When'd you buy it and what's the production date on the VIN door sticker?

With all do respect...WHO CARES??

It's 20 years old this year, can we just leave it at that and not ruin a good thread with a minor detail?
 




NHarris

Explorer Addict
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
3,393
Reaction score
7
City, State
Gillette, Wyoming
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 Wrangler, 08 Ranger
Great Post Rick! And happy "birthday" to the Explorer and cheers to the Forum!
 




DaExplorer

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 15, 2010
Messages
284
Reaction score
3
City, State
San Diego Ca / Big Bear Ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT SOHC 4x4
Wow 20 years. You did a great thing Rick when you started it:chug::chug:. I'll bet you never thought that this forum would go world wide. How the internet has changed over that time. Now here it is with great members from all over the world coming together over the Explorer forum. Three cheers to you Rick.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.








Top