Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1k: Seller Submission: 1988.5 Ford EXP Lux

The Ford EXP was a 2-seater version of the Ford Escort built in two generations from 1982-85 and 1985.5-1988.5.  It was Ford's attempt to built a sporty 2-seat version of their bread-n-butter Escort economy sedan, à la Honda's CRX from the Civic.  The EXP was lower, longer and sportier than the Escort, but somehow gained an additional 200 lbs in the first generation making for abysmal acceleration.  Ford continued development and by the end of the 2nd generation, power was up, sportiness was well contained and the EXP was discontinued because Ford launched the Probe (and the Fox-body mustang did not turn into a front-drive platform).  Find this 1988.5 Ford EXP Lux for sale in Ford Walton Beach, FL currently bidding for $1,025 reserve-not-met with 5 days to go.  Seller submission from Mike G who says "I’ve salivated over too many cars on your site so I’m working on turning over the fleet for some new projects."

This EXP is a Luxury model, so it is equipped with a 1.9 liter CVH (Compound Valve angle Hemispherical combustion chamber) single-overhead-cam inline-4 fed via throttle body injection and rated at 90 horsepower.  It is not a rocketship, but mated to a 5-speed manual transmission makes for a decent city car with upwards of 40mph 40mpg achievable on the highway.

The condition of this EXP is better than the limited number you will find rotting on the local craigslist and it should command premium money...for an EXP.  See a better way to get your 80s 2-seat front-drive groove on?  tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Wow, I have never seen a 2nd generation EXP. I am not sure we ever got these up here in the Great White North.

    As a former owner of an 81 Escort, an 86 Lynx, and a 95 Escort I can vouch for these being not at all unpleasant vehicles that can age reasonably well with a little care. This particular car would be a bargain as a slightly-notable daily driver, if the auction price stays reasonable.

    This statement: "a decent city car with upwards of 40mph achievable on the highway" made me chuckle. Mine certainly could exceed 40 mph on a good day :-)

    Oh, and by the way, Ford introduced the Fox-body Mustang in 1979, so I doubt that it had any influence on killing off the EXP.

    1. Bobinott - right you are, 40mph was a bit of a Freudian slipped clutch when I wrote it. Re: Fox --Many internet sources say that EXP may have been a feeler from Ford to see how a front-drive Mustang would be received, so the success of the Fox body and its continuation as a rear-drive platform is what I was trying to communicate...perhaps poorly. Updated above.
      EIC Vince

    2. Yep, I agree about the Probe trial balloon (and thank goodness they heard the response pretty clearly!). I had not made a connection between the EXP and the Probe, but now I can see the path. Thanks!

  2. There was a turbo version of the exp made, and I would love to find one. There were also a handful of McClaren ones made that were supposedly both turbo and supercharged. Good luck finding one, though.

  3. Supposedly some were sold, but I never saw one retail, and I sold Fords from 85 to 91.
    Butttt, I did actually get a ride in one that was a development mule.
    I was a student at GMI in the early 80's and was a member of the STudent SAE club.
    Glenn Lyall was a bigwig at SVT at the time and he had done a presentation for us. I had lunch with him and he ended up taking me for a ride in his LN7 Turbo.
    It was fun but I was never really a fan of those buckets.


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