Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Expedition shows what happened when Ford took its winning Explorer formula and doubled the ingredients. We’ll have to decide if this old-school SUV’s price still makes it large and in charge.

Being the youngest in the family usually means getting hand-me-downs from older siblings. The result is having to play with broken toys, already filled-in Mad-Libs, and dealing with clothes that are frustratingly worn to someone else’s body shape. Last Friday’s 2002 Chevy Corvette track-day car wasn’t broken in any obvious way, but it had been built and played with by someone else. Those factors called into question its future playability and $32,000 asking price. In the end, that took home a massive 86 percent No Dice loss.

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Chevy has long battled Ford for sales and market supremacy as “America’s Brand.” Each company has its hits — Chevy with the Corvette and Ford with the Mustang as just two examples — as well as a number of also-rans. When it comes to SUVs, Ford has long been the top dog in the mid-size market, with the company’s Explorer having defined the segment for decades. When it comes to the “Johnny Bigg” segment, however, the standard has long been set—for nearly a century, if you can imagine such a run—by Chevy’s Suburban.

Of course, Ford wanted to give the iconic Suburban—and it’s slightly smaller sibling the Tahoe—a run for its money (and buyers) and hence, in 1997, debuted the “Explorer on Steroids” Expedition. The eight and nine-passenger wagon didn’t unseat Chevy’s rival from the throne, but it did carve out a solid niche in the market and established a base for the upscale Lincoln Navigator, which would serve as the singular reason to keep that brand alive over the past 20 or more years. The later Excursion, introduced to top even the Expedition, did battle with the long wheelbase Suburbans.

Image for article titled At $4,800, Is This 1997 Ford Expedition Worth The Trek?

This 1997 Ford Expedition hails from that very first year of production. However, having been based on Ford’s perennially best-selling F-Series pickup, no significant first-year issues need to be considered.

The truck looks to be in good shape for its age and 181,000 miles. That’s a lot of road under the tires, but when it comes to Expeditions, time and miles don’t seem to matter as the trucks are solidly built and simple enough to keep rolling. The only obvious issue on this edition is the fading paint which the seller rates as “6/10.” That mostly affects the clear coat, and a good paint detailer could probably minimize the worst of it through color sanding and feathering.

Other than that funky top coat, the bodywork seems solid and free of major marring. There are aftermarket headlamps and a bug deflector to tidy things up on the nose. Still original are the factory alloys. Those seem in solid shape and wear what look to be brand new Michelin Defender tires. According to the seller, everything underneath is just as solid.

Image for article titled At $4,800, Is This 1997 Ford Expedition Worth The Trek?

What’s really amazing is the interior of this truck. It benefits from having mouse fur upholstery rather than the upscale but typically far-less durable leather and vinyl. That upholstery covers an eight-passenger layout with a pair of captain’s chairs in the front and then two three-seat benches in the back.

If cargo is more your thing, the second row can be folded flat, and the third row can be removed altogether. Just don’t forget where you left it! Befitting the space in this big SUV, there are plenty of comfort and convenience features to be had, including power seats, windows, and locks, as well as A/C and a factory AM/FM/cassette stereo with a remote CD changer.

Image for article titled At $4,800, Is This 1997 Ford Expedition Worth The Trek?

As far as mechanicals go, the truck has the goods as well. The engine is the optional 5.4-liter Triton V8. That SOHC eight-valve mill makes 260 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent through a standard four-speed automatic and Ford’s solid ControlTrac AWD system. Adding to the truck’s bone fides is the optional towing package, which offers an 8,100 capacity on the ball. Two other things in this truck’s favor are a clean title and a recent clean bill of health from the smog tester. The asking price for the big brute is $4,800.

Nice Price or No Dice 1997 Ford Expedition

When considered on a size-per-dollar basis, that’s like Cheesecake Factory numbers. The question for us is whether it’s a good deal in today’s car market.

What do you say? Is this Expedition worth that $4,800 asking as it’s presented in its ad? Or, like everything about this truck, is that just too much?

You decide!

Sacramento, California, Craigslist, or go here f the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

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