QOTD: What's the Lamest Special Edition Vehicle?
My previous Question of the Day focused on your favorite special-edition vehicles, where I so kindly jarred your memory of the excellent Mercury Villager Nautica and GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition. Both of those vehicles showcased enough delightfully distinguishing features that I had to recommend them as prime examples of doing special editions right in the ’90s and early ’00s.
But not all special editions are worthwhile. There are plenty of ill-conceived, silly special editions out there, crapping up the aesthetic of everything in their vicinity. Some look too of the moment when most of those moments certainly don’t deserve memorialization.
Which brings me to my question for you today: What’s the lamest special edition?
I bet most of you forgot my pick long ago, around the time you were throwing away your kids’ broken Nintendo 64. And much like the Nintendo 64, this vehicle was covered in cheap grey plastic, and had goofy early-2000s design touches. Behold!
For sale at a dealer in Minnesota (which is near Canada), this lame special edition is the Chevrolet Avalanche. Now calm down for a second, because I’m not besmirching the GMT805 Avalanche generally.
This is an Avalanche The North Face Edition. In 2002, with the launch of the new Avalanche model, The North Face Edition started stinking up showrooms beginning with this big badge on the C-pillar.
Another notable change was an interior you’d think came straight out of the Jurassic Park gift shop — until you remember Jurassic Park was a Ford-sponsored movie, and took place eight years earlier. This example shows how green leather ages differently according to exposure, as the arm rests are truer to the original sickening green color. There’s also a red The North Face badge sewn into the front seats to remind you of your vehicular purchasing mistake.
I’m not sure why anyone would want an alligator green seat with red teeth mark inserts or seats that were 18 percent made of cloth rather than leather.
Another feature of this edition was a The North Face badge in the lower left of the instrument panel, and some white-backed gauges to make it harder to see when driving on a sunny day.
According to an article from Pickuptrucks.com, The North Face featured branded backpacks strapped to the back of the front seats, which would rub against rear passengers’ legs and also rattle and make other friction-type noises as you drove along. I bet very few examples still retain these backpacks (but maybe the clips are still there, looking ridiculous). There were also two duffel bags for the cargo area, making for a full four-piece set of luggage!
As you entered your special Avalanche, you were also greeted by green door inserts and metallic-silver speaker grilles. Thrilling.
And the price for all this lameness back in 2002 was $37,465 before sunroof and convenience packages. That’s about $51,800 today.
What’s your pick for the lamest special edition?
[Images via dealer and Pickuptrucks.com.]
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