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.

  • Ajla It's weird how surveys comes to conclusions like this when about 100% of the responses then mock the results.
  • Jkross22 It very much depends on the dealer. Just bought a replacement for the CX9. A local dealer gave a $500 discount on a CPO car while another one gave a few thousand dollar discount but was out of the area and we had to drive 5 hours to get. The local dealer still seems to think it's 2022 and cars appreciate when sitting on the lot. I wish them luck.
  • Ajla "and the $34K price doesn't seem too steep." Respectfully disagree. This would be okay at $29K. $34k clangs into way too much.
  • FreedMike i puUut pUniZhR sTikKr oNn mY KoMMpAs aNd nOW i hEeR Eegle SkReem. (And no one knows it's made in Mexico.)
  • SCE to AUX What a farce.Besides, "patriotism" has been redefined a hundred different ways in the last 20+ years. Disagree with one of them, and you're a traitor.And for starters, Jeep is a Stellantis brand with its HQ in the Netherlands. If this persistent myth about patriotism is ever cracked, the brand is doomed.