Radically Nautical 1999 Ford Expedition SeaScape Might Be the Best Way to Spend $6,500

This yacht-inspired build comes complete with rad graphics straight off your uncle's pontoon.

Recent Cannonball Run record-setter Doug Tabbutt found pure Radwood gold sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot in Mississippi—and now the wildest award-winning boat/Ford mashup you’ve ever seen can be yours for just $6,500. 

In 1999, Advanced Automotive Technologies took a 1998 Ford Expedition XLT and made it into this incredible yacht-like creation, complete with a retractable canvas roof, teak-accented running boards and rear bumpers, and a power rear sundeck that can stow the rear window. Its small bed in the back even looks like a late-nineties boat, complete with boat-style side graphics over delightfully ’90s pearlescent white paint. The Detroit-based shop then took its newly christened Ford Expedition XLT SeaScape to SEMA, where it won Best Ford Concept Truck. 

Tabbutt told his insane SEMA truck purchase tale on VINwiki’s Car Stories YouTube channel, where he is a frequent guest. VINwiki founder Ed Bolian spotted the truck in a McDonald’s parking lot where its owner was working inside, so naturally, a deal had to be made. The previous owner was proud of the antiques he hauled with the truck but wasn’t originally down for selling it. 

Then the owner’s wife called with the truck’s full backstory. The conversion of a normal 1998 Expedition into the SeaScape cost Advanced Automotive Technologies over $100,000 when it was done. After SEMA, it went to the owner of a boat company, who apparently had a matching boat done up to look like the SeaScape.

Douglas Tabbutt on Facebook Marketplace

Today, the truck isn’t in the best cosmetic shape, although Tabbutt notes that the mechanicals are solid. The previous owner even drove it out to meet Tabbutt and hand over the truck, and Tabbutt himself took it to Radwood Detroit. Tabbutt explains in his ad on Facebook

Mechanically the car is in excellent condition, and has been in regular use over the past years. I just installed new tires and changed the fluids, and it has completed two long road trips this year with no hiccups. Has lived its life in California and Mississippi so it’s clean underneath. The A/C and heat are in need of service.

Cosmetically it needs some love – it’s a 20-year old custom build, and it would be great to see it restored to its former glory. However, it gets massive attention wherever it goes even the way it sits now. It’s truly a sight to behold, and a one-of-a-kind piece of RAD automotive history.

The next owner may want to freshen up that aging bodywork, however. Personally, I’d love to see this one come back to its former glory, not unlike the “Pimp My Ride” van that YouTube’s Tavarish recently restored. Period-correct custom cars are instant Radwood show bait, not to mention one of the automotive world’s loveliest, weirdest joys.

If nautical nonsense be something you wish, you can check out Tabbutt’s ad for the Ford Expedition XLT SeaScape on Facebook Marketplace here. Tabbutt, a well-known car flipper who was once even blacklisted by Porsche, is no doubt open to trades in lieu of that $6,500 asking price; however, he absolutely does not want to exchange this boat-themed truck for an actual boat. Tabbutt says in his ad: 

I will consider interesting trades. Hit me with what you have. No lawnmowers, kids, or rusty cars. Watches, Boats, cars, trucks, real estate….?? I take that back, no boats. Seriously. NO BOATS.

Again, I will reemphasize this line for the often optimistic lowballers who troll online car ads: NO BOATS! 

Got a tip? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com