In the second episode of 2014, host Elysia Kelly speaks…
There was nothing particularly special about the first generation Ford Explorer, ’til it rolled with mother flippin’ dinosaurs in one of the cinematic masterpieces of my generation. Christopher Orgeron agrees; he’s two years into building the ultimate Jurassic Park Explorer replica complete with big-brick TVs inside.
He’s posted his gallery of the build so far to Reddit, where you can see what the rest of the internet thinks about his handiwork. Or, scroll down and see how Orgeron’s Explorer goes from 90’s dadmobile to a prehistoric beast viewing-vehicle. Don’t worry, the bubble roof is in the pipeline. Here’s what the builder has to say about his SUV opus:
It’s been a long journey I can tell you that. That brush guard took me 3 years to find and I still have yet to locate the screen-accurate running boards and tail light guards. These are parts that haven’t been made in 15 years or more so they’re getting harder and harder to come by.
I bought the Explorer on craigslist for $500 after negotiations based on hearing a knock in the motor. I rolled the dice and thought it might be a simple solution, but it turned out I needed to swap the entire engine – which I had never done before. It was a learning experience but I’m happy to try new things.
As you can see it’s very DIY but I’m becoming more and more adamant about having the screen-accurate parts on it. Everything inside the car is screen-accurate so far: the maps, flare case, CRT screens, console. I even built a custom dashboard to match the film but now I’m having to convert the gauges to from analog to digital so they can display on the center screen. Right now the screens play a looping “tour” video that really takes you into the Jurassic Park world for an authentic experience. It’s good fun. (Short video preview of it here if you wish to see: http://youtu.be/uaaGVWtvPe0?t=…)
The bubble roof is next on the list. There’s a local acrylics company that is capable of making it but they’re not terribly interested in doing a one-off. It’s gonna make the car really scary to drive but I gotta have it… maybe I’ll even get a bloody goat leg for it.
Here’s his progress so far