Ford Explorer Desk Drive Promised a Fax Machine and Coffee Pot

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The entertaining Ford Heritage Vault is a treasure trove of photos and information from the Blue Oval’s yesteryear, including the scattered forgotten concept vehicle. Whilst looking for details to inform another story, we stumbled upon this fantastic concept from when the Ford Explorer was brand new and taking the world by storm.

Called the Explorer Desk Drive, playing on the ‘disk drive’ phrase of that era and the fact there was an actual desk in this thing, it made the auto show rounds in 1990 as an executive office on wheels featuring the likes of an era-appropriate computer, cell phone gear, and fax machine. There was also a fridge, microwave, and all-important coffee pot for the harried executive bent on making their mark in the fresh 1990s. We would also like to learn more about the voice actuated memo pad and “dash-panel navigation system with a lighted display of the metro streets and roads network”. 

An interior shot shows all seats save for the driver’s perch were binned in favor of a swivel chair and curved desk, the latter of which contained all the office gear which was cutting edge for its day – though Ralph Nader would surely have had something to say about that extendable metal arm on the reading lamp and its ability to poke someone’s eye out in an emergency stop. 

As for the Explorer itself, the roof was raised about four inches to facilitate the office space which made room for an integrated and covered light bar featuring six lamps, to say nothing of that mini satellite dish perched on the aft quarters. The extra height gives Jurassic Park vibes despite this concept appearing about three years before the blockbuster Hollywood hit.

That’s also a unique front fascia on display with its own fog lamps, brushguard-style addenda, and Desk Drive badging. We think the first two items would have been popular had they been translated to production. The slightly steroidal hood is also not a production piece, though there are no suggestions of upgrades made to the 4.0-liter V6 engine.

[Images: Ford]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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6 of 12 comments
  • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Apr 20, 2024

    looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon

    • See 3 previous
    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Apr 22, 2024

      lol did it have that floating point error tho ? Maybe that’s what caused the park network to crash lol

  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Apr 22, 2024

    I suppose it's sort of okay. Shrink the desk a bit and push the chair back to accommodate a couch so the modern 90' mobile executive could properly 'interview' interns and this could have been a hit.

  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Like fusion power, the I.D. Buzz is only 30 years away.
  • Lou_BC "respondents between 18 and 80 years old" Basically anyone deemed an adult who might be allowed to drive.