By on May 1, 2019

The 2000s is not a decade remembered for its achievements in gorgeous vehicle design (Saturn Ion, anyone?), but it was a time that, until the final two years, saw Americans taking advantage of a good economy and low gas prices.

A good many of these citizens used their healthy salaries to purchase a symbol of excess, and the Ford Excursion represented the pinnacle of that early SUV wave. Built atop a Super Duty chassis, and boasting a 6.8-liter V10 in its engine roster, the Excursion offered cavernous cargo room and seating for up to nine. The passenger count figure was similar to its city fuel economy. Indeed, compared to the nearly four-ton Excursion, the Hummer H2 and Jeep Commander looked almost… efficient.

The passage of 14 years since the model’s U.S. demise hasn’t tamed owner enthusiasm and loyalty one bit. Owners still want to replace their old Excursion with a new one, and a shop in Oklahoma allows it to happen.

Check out this Detroit News piece on Custom Autos By Tim, a shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma that cranks out 40 “new” Excursions a year. There, shop owner Tim Huskey marries the front end and chassis of newer F-250s with the passenger cabin of salvaged and reconditioned Excursions, linking the two near the A-pillar.

Builds take two months, but customers are willing to pay $100,000 for the privilege of taking home a new Excursion. Others are willing to fork over a hefty sum just to keep their beloved Excursion in the family.

“What I hear all the time is people wish Ford would build the Excursion again,” Huskey said. “I’m 99 percent sure I’ll be selling them for the next five years. Excursion drivers love them. They will keep buying them.”

A Massachusetts Excursion owner reportedly paid Huskey a price in the high $40k range to restore life to his ’05 model. The engine, transmission, and dash from the existing model went into the build. One Florida Excursion aficionado bought four.

One problem encountered by Huskey is the fact that fourth-generation, aluminum-bodied Super Dutys, introduced for the 2017 model year, aren’t suitable mates for Excursion marriage. Sourcing third-gen Super Dutys with rear-end damage is growing more difficult.

“People beg me every month to figure out a way to use the ’19,” Huskey said.

While Ford still offers buyers three rows of comfort — as well as greater efficiency — in a full-size, body-on-frame SUV (Expedition and Expedition Max), there’s something about the Excursion that breeds devotion. Owners don’t want to make the switch.

Despite disappearing from the Ford lineup after 2005, the Excursion remains king of the road in the hearts and minds of many Americans.

[Image: Ford]

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56 Comments on “Early-2000s Excess Lives on in Oklahoma, Where You Can Still Get Your Hands on a ‘New’ Ford Excursion...”


  • avatar
    jh26036

    These Custom Autos by Tim conversions look awesome.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Im no fan of the excursion, but it’s good to see that some people are willing and able to make the vehicle they REALLY want happen for them.

    I wish I had the means/connections to do something similar with the Ramcharger. What I wouldn’t give for a 2-door open topped RC based on the 2nd gen Ram styling, chassis/suspension with any 3gen Hemi and a manual transmission..

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      There was the 2 door Ramcharger that was sold in Mexico in the late 90’s early 00’s. I think it’s possible to import one.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        Kinda-sorta. Those are all 2wd and have a pseudo 2-door Durango look going on. Granted, it’s better than nothing. Now saw that roof off to the windshield, add a drop down tailgate and 4×4 and that’s what I’m after.

      • 0 avatar
        psychoboy

        Nothing complete comes into this country legally until it’s 25 years old. Parts cars, tho….

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Mopar,

      Right there with you, but I’d be content to marry my 88 Ramcharger with a 1st-gen D350 Crew Cab and do a 6.4 Hemi swap with modern trans/axles/brakes.

      I did see a build thread where some guy in Idaho I think had a 4-door HD Ramcharger built this way, but I think he stopped short of the modern running gear.

  • avatar
    gtem

    “The 2000s is not a decade remembered for its achievements in gorgeous vehicle design”

    Compared to what we have now, it absolutely was!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    This guy in Georgia does them for less than half the price, except keeps and restores the original body and interior, but instead grafts in the front part of the 4X4 F-350 “frame” and suspension/steering, plus F-350 rear axle and suspension, all restored, new soft parts, etc.

    It ends up looking totally “factory”, nothing crazy, and definitely the way Ford should have built the Excursion.

    He’s a diesel guy, one the internet’s top Powerstroke gurus, so it comes with a fully rebuilt, upgraded and bulletproofed 6.0.

    youtube.com/watch?v=s7RUnVXNjy0

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    So-I was involved in another discussion elsewhere involving this particular vehicle. The biggest sales year they sold 50,000 units. Then dramatic declines after that.

    GM did a survey of Suburban owners-and there were no comments that Suburban owners wanted a even larger vehicle-that will not fit in a standard garage.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      That may have been true in the early 2000s, but every one of the millions of full size crew cab pickups sold today is longer than an Excursion (or Suburban). They were basically built off the frame of a regular cab long bed F250.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        jack4x

        A short bed crew cab is 19.5 feet long. An Excursion is still much longer.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Sorry dude, an Excursion is 226.7″ long (18′ 10 3/4″). This took 2 seconds to Google.

          A CCSB F150 is 232″ (19′ 4″).

          Park an Excursion next to a regular cab long bed 1999-2016 Super Duty and you will see they are the same size/proportions.

          • 0 avatar
            CKNSLS Sierra SLT

            jack4x-
            Thanks for the correction. I thought the Excursion was longer than a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The take rate on the 2500 series 3/4 ton Suburban was fairly low, mostly government agencies and fleet sales. You could see why there was no demand for a larger model.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This article sounds like it was written by a green peace member given a strict guideline not to mention efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yup. One person’s “symbol of excess” may be another’s daily driver.

      Not everyone cares about fuel efficiency, pollution, climate change and whatever half-baked agenda the loony-lefty libbies conjure up during their self-induced violent wet dreams.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I really need you to stop injecting “loony-lefty libbies” and other such derisive insults into your comments every time you get the chance. It doesn’t lead to positive discussion, and I know you’re above such behavior.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Can you ask golden2husky below for the same favor about “Trumpanzee”? That one hurt my feelings too.

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          You ‘need’? No. The leftist wack jobs (and they really are completely unhinged) NEED to stop trying to dictate how everyone else around them lives through their taxes, fines, regulations and attempts to shame/bully/browbeat the rest of us into conformity with their off the rails way of thinking. I don’t see any attempts to pry the greenies out of their dumb little clown cars, do you? MPGs, carbon footprints and sustainability might be important to some people, and pursuing it on your own time is your right. Trying to force ANYONE into it against our will is not, and a helluva lot more than mean words should be the appropriate push back.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Please review the commenting rules here: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/faqs/

            This isn’t about perceived or actual political agendas; this is about people commenting according to the guidelines of the site, and that includes refraining from name-calling and starting political fights.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “…and I know you’re above such behavior.”

            You’re right. I must apologize for letting the unbridled haters and shamers on this board get to me and make me lose my self control.

            #DoubleStandard

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Thanks Kyree.

  • avatar
    shane_the_ee

    The demand for the Excursion is driven by tongue weight, RAWR, and payload. The Expedition Max has a maximum tongue weight of 930lbs with WDH. The F250 has a maximum tongue weight of 1500-1800lbs depending on configuration. I have an Expedition Max, 4 kids, and an 18′(box) travel trailer. We’re just below both max tongue weight and RAWR. Our friends also have 4 kids, but wanted a bigger trailer. They had to go buy a used Excursion.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      This, the towing/camping with more than 3 kids crowd NEEDS Excursion/HD Suburban type vehicle. With 6-7 people and dog in the truck you barely have enough payload left to tow a 5,000-lb trailer on a 1/2-ton Suburban/Expedition. Hint: There ain’t a travel trailer that pulls loaded-out less than 5k that sleeps 7, remember you’re maxed on payload with people and tongue weight so ALL gear has to go in the camper.

      Friends of ours with 5 kids and a camper had to get an Express 3500, but they’re not as handy with keeping old/high-mileage cars going. They’re also average height/weight. My wife and I are both taller than average and more, uh, American-sized. We find Express vans are excruciatingly uncomfortable for more than 45 minutes at a time. Transits have crap towing ability. Nissan NVs are expensive, loud, of questionable quality (most I’ve looked at had an obvious manufacturing defect of some kind) and have a reputation for A/C nighmares.

  • avatar
    Igloo

    We had these as fleet vehicles. The V-10’s used a quart of oil every two weeks.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Yup. I live in Oklahoma. My former supervisor has a six-door Excursion that was done by this outfit. I believe the front half, he said, was donated by a gasoline-powered 2012 F-250. It appears the long-bed crew-cab F-Series SuperDuty’s frame is exactly long enough for this sort of conversion.

    Mind you, this is someone with seven kids, so it kind of makes sense.

    And, I’m sure Tim’s shop is within a thirty minute drive of where I live. Maybe I’ll go visit sometime.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I was happy when these rolling waste-mobiles were discontinued. Yet I can see why a rebuilding company would do this. I would never drive this thing – I’d be ashamed to be viewed as having so little regard for our future; then again these probably sport “Trumpanzee 2020” stickers on the rear window.

    There is another company that rebuilds Jeep Grand Wagoneers…Now that’s something I’d love to own.

  • avatar
    olivebranch2006

    “While Ford still offers buyers three rows of comfort — as well as greater efficiency — in a full-size, body-on-frame SUV (Expedition and Expedition Max), there’s something about the Excursion that breeds devotion. Owners don’t want to make the switch.”
    The Expedition is not three rows of benches limiting the seating to 8. The Excursion also offered a diesel option bringing the real life MPG closer to current Expeditions. The Excursion can tow vastly more weight than the Expedition. Expeditions are more durable with heavier components and stronger construction. “Something about the Excursion” isn’t as vague as you write it when comparing all the facts.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I have no particular love for the Excursion, but there is a place in my fantasy garage for the ‘mid-90s equivalent that Centurion made from F-350 crew cabs and Broncos (with a DT360 swap to replace the stock boat anchor engines).

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Steph, you read my mind!

    I was driving home from work yesterday afternoon, driving alongside a later Excursion like the one in the lede photo, slightly lifted (maybe 3″), with the Power Stroke diesel.

    I thought to myself, “Since the Super Duty was redesigned for 2017, I guess the business for that guy up in Oklahoma must be slowing down quite a bit.” But it sounds like he’ll continue to rock along for at least a few more years.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I imagine there’d be a big market for a new Excursion with the materials and interior quality of a current high-end F-Series or Expedition. Across the previous two decades, there was little to differentiate Ford’s (or anyone else’s) big SUVs from their work-grade trucks in terms of interior fit-and-finish. Now, however, a 2019 F-250 Platinum or what have you feels as high-quality as a luxury-branded car in that price territory, and still seems to be as hard-wearing as the earlier models.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    What is the “legality” of these vehicles wrt smog and safety equipment? What year?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      They’re not “new vehicles” per se, because CABT is not an original manufacturer. So it’s like any other aftermarket customization. I imagine that as long as they don’t tamper with emissions equipment, they should be okay. I don’t think there’s any regulation on what you do with airbags or things like that.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Not sure what the law is in other states, but in AZ a vehicle must meet the emissions requirements of the model year of the engine in the vehicle. So a 2001 truck with a 2015 model year engine must meet the emissions requirements of the 2015 model year engine.

      I could be wrong on this part but within an emissions controlled zone, one also cannot take an engine design older than the model of the vehicle and put it in the newer vehicle. For example: I am not allowed to put a Ford SBC in a Raptor. There is a word for this but it alludes me at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      As long as the engine your putting into it is newer than the VIN the engines going onto there’s no issue. However in this case I assume the engine and VIN are staying exactly the same since only part of the body is being changed over. So for Smog it makes zero difference.

      As for safety, vehicles with GVWR over 8500lbs do not have to undergo crash test ratings. Typically one would expect they would match the 1/2 trucks that do have crash tests.

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      Mostly depends on your state and local laws. Oklahoma doesn’t even bother with inspections anymore, so it’s pretty much anything goes as long as it’s not too loud and the lights are within their respective height windows.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I too have room in my fantasy garage for an Excursion. I have never seen one, but I wonder if back in they day you could special order one with the 7.3 PowerStroke and a MT? What a rig that would be!

    I love read about/hear companies that recycle older stuff with some modern twists. 100k really is not all that bad if you consider that a new Escalade ESV Platinum will ring in at that figure before discounts today as well.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    Good for him. If he runs out of rebuilds on this, I’m sure he’ll come up with something else. I really like businesses like these.

  • avatar
    millmech

    Doesn’t the body need to come off of the frame to do much more than oil/filter change?

  • avatar
    cdotson

    You should also check out MegaX2 in Utah. Started with double-Mega cab Rams but has also done 6-door Excursions on newer SuperDuty chassis.

  • avatar
    Reino

    The best part of the Excursion was that the early ones could be had with the 7.3 Powerstroke. Without that, it’s really not that special. The ones with 7.3 will be collectors.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      All of them are collectible to someone. But if you’re familiar with diesels, the (’05+) 6.0 is the best of the Powerstrokes. By ’05 Ford fixed all of their early problems.

      Folks don’t realize ’05+ 6.0s are fairly different animals from the early 6.0 lemons (which can be upgraded). Aftermarket upgrades aren’t necessary, especially if you don’t run them hard with tuning. The ’05 also got the 4X4 with coil front suspension and overbuilt 5-speed auto. You don’t want to miss out on those.

      Yeah you can’t beat on them like you could the 7.3 nor skip maintenance, except that’s true of all modern diesels. The 7.3s are great, but they’re Stone Age.

      This guy explains it better:

      youtube.com/watch?v=8o2LGuzl0go

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        One day I was at the Ford service advisor’s desk when he had to tell a contractor what it was going to cost to repair his 6-liter diesel. I’m trying to think of the right word to describe the reaction: horrified? crestfallen? dumbstruck?

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