Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1k: Almost A Pony Car: 1989 Ford Probe GT Turbo

Sometimes a car pops up on the DT radar that generates some discussion and dialog between the DT board of trustees, executive directorship, marketing team, various editors emeriti (emeriti ...that is a word I never thought I'd ever have to type..) and the chief of operations. are saying these people are all in my that can't be true...I've met some of them...anyway, the discussion today was focused about this 1989 Ford Probe GT Turbo 5-spd that is offered for $2,000 in Corona, CA via craigslist.

The DT email chain rapidly degenerated into a discussion of the fact that the Ford Probe couldn't be all that bad because it was, after all, mostly a Mazda.  There was some discussion if the Probe was based on the Mazda 626 coupe or the Mazda MX-6, which after some internet research reveals that the GD generation 626 coupe was renamed the MX-6.

The email chain read like some kind of conversation that if it had taken place in the 1950s would have been held during a heated game of backgammon in a room thick with tobacco smoke.  The question of MX-6 vs 626 would have been given to the oldest guy in the room and he would have spat through a thick mustache something like "If I recall correctly, when I was selling Mazdas back in the day, the MX-6 replaced the 626 coupe."

Today, the youngest guy in the room busts out his smart phone and suddenly Wikipedia becomes the expert.  We are no longer curators of valuable information like thousands of generations of  our ancestors, we are simply conduits for a collective knowledge-base available at the tips of our fingers.  We are instant experts on everything, but understand none of it.  There was a time when you needed logic to come to a rational conclusion; now you just use a search engine to find the answer.

I should have used to logic to ask myself why am I writing about a piece of crap car with 170k miles on the odometer?  Probably because it is 100% stock, equipped with a 150 horsepower (if my memory serves me correctly, no Wikipedia on this one) turbo 4-cylinder and mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox powering the front wheels of a 2800 lb coupe.

The Probe would never replace the Mustang; those hooves were too big to fill, but it did offer an alternative to Japanese imports like the Honda Prelude and today is a great first car for a kid or just a simple driver for a small chunk of change.  See something better?


  1. Russel's friends said no one would take his Rocky II remake seriously, especially with his chicken legs and back fat. But he'd show them. He'd show them all. Sadly, the home gym system and punching bag weren't enough to get Sylvester's six-pack abs, and even with the painted wheel covers, his Probe GT just didn't pass for a 1979 Trans Am. Depressed and despondent, Russel had no choice but to sell the Probe, making him feel like a real Kentucky Fried Idiot.

  2. I had a 88 626 gt as my first on the road car. It was a fun, fast bomb of a car that with a few mods was seriously quick. Manual boost control and autometer boost gauge an intake and exhaust and some potenza re92s and mine was a great back road machine.

  3. This probe is almost perfect. It just needs a few serious dents and a pizza delivery sign on the roof!

  4. Most unfortunate name for a car, what the hell was Ford thinking?? Probe?

  5. I love those cars. I sold lots of V8 Mustangs back then but strangely I really enjoyed the Probe Turbos. They would hammer Mustang GT in any roll-on race. I'd swear they made WAY more than the stated horsepower.


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