January 10, 2001

Detroit auto show:
Go fishing in a Ford Explorer Sportsman

click for larger imageFord Explorer Sportsman
Ford Explorer Sportsman
Ford Explorer Sportsman

Based on the yet-to-be-introduced 2002 Ford Explorer, the Sportsman concept vehicle is designed to take the angler into the wilderness for a “back to nature” fly-fishing adventure and outdoor experience.

Outfitted with Scott Flyfishing Rods, the Explorer Sportsman is finished in a low-gloss, satin metallic green, coupled with satin- finished front and rear chrome skid-plates that provide ultimate durability for two-track expeditions to rivers, lakes, streams and the woodlands in between.

The running boards, which deploy when the doors are opened for easy entry and exit, also serve as additional storage for fishing rods and other fishing equipment.

The Explorer Sportsman concept makes extensive use of Bloodwood, a type of wood that is common near coastal open moist forests in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, Australia.

One of the most prominent features on the Sportsman is the fully detachable roof rack. The rack extends forward and folds down so that fishing rods, nets, and other items can be loaded from the side of the vehicle. Modular attachments are positioned on the rooftop to carry additional sporting equipment, such as bikes, tents, or whatever the outdoor excursion calls for. In a fixed position, the roof rack arms swing outward to form a basket for carrying flyfishing equipment. The bottom of the basket is trimmed with Bloodwood slats.

The spacious interior is well suited for the seasoned or the amateur angler. The seat-inserts and lower door trim panels are wrapped in medium pebble woven leather. The upper doortrim panels, instrument panel and front and rear floor mats are finished in rich authentic Bloodwood. Leather-covered door handles and a Bloodwood steering wheel with alloy accents add to the outdoor sporting appeal of this concept.

The instrument panel features a GPS screen that is operable by an on-board “mouse.” The seat backs also have detachable carry packs that deploy out to function as “workbenches” for fly tying. These ‘benches’ are removable to allow the angler to tie flys on site.

A 30-gallon live fish tank, complete with a clean-air filter, locks into position in the middle of the back compartment. The tank has rollers for easy loading and unloading.

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