This could also have been Something Rotten In Denmark. However, it isn’t listed on-line so it’ll have to be a Photo For Sunday.
I had not taken two photos before the owner leaped out of his workshop nearby to tell me that this beauty had only covered 89,000 km. The green tinted body-work and phenomenal condensation inside the car strongly spoke against the vehicle in practice. In principle, it’s a Mk 1 Ford Probe which detail further argues against it. One other nice aspect of buying this car is that if you absolutely had to buy it, you’d still need to fork out the import tax the Danish government cheekily calls “registration” tax.
About the Ford Probe in general: another in a line of Ford’s poorly received smaller coupes. Yes, yes, yes, the Mustang and the dear old Capri. However, the Probe succeeded the EXP (a warmed-over Escorty thing) and lasted three years before the Probe Mk2, another loser. (The Cougar didn’t go over and the delightful Puma burned brightly but briefly).
The Probe Mk1 shared much under the skin with the Mazda MX-6, Ford Telstar and the Mazda 6 family. Despite its sporty appearance it began its sales career with a 2.2 L4 (which today’s specimen has under its verdant hood) and not the V6 it needed and later got). Somewhat amazingly, Ford imagined this front-wheel drive car should be a Mustang, an attitude that changed when customers revolted.
The bit I find interesting is that, up close, that swoopy side-mirror fairing doesn’t really blend with the door underneath. The standard triangular cheater panel is still there and you can see it peeping out on the top photo. The mirror itself doesn’t blend completely with the faring. I had a look at library photos of the car and some of them have a slightly different design which is more cohesive. The one here looks OEM though.
Slighty weirdly, the faring is continuous with a shape on the wing which has some kind of an undercut. The design seems to be unfinished and the front bumper has too many elements that don’t work together.
Let’s go around the back:
We find the voguish glazed c-pillar of the period. Dearborn drew inspiration from the Euro-market Ford Granada (and others, as we have discussed here). We also find a blacked out lamp panel. A wish to have it narrow and wide led to the need for a strip of body-colour between the lamp and the bumper which leads to the little vertical panel gap that doesn’t really meet the lamp silhouette so well.
Subliminally, the Probe has pretensions to swoopiness that are defeated by the slabby profiles of the flanks.
There’s the essence of a quite good sports car here, an essence confounded by poor detailing. The 1990 MX-6 made a better effort of the genre and today still looks like a pretty fine two-door:
That Mazda all makes sense, I think, unlike the 2.2 litre four-cylinder nail with which this article deals.
When I first saw one of these cars which was parked in Dublin c. 1990-something I considered it to be a bit of a duffer. And twenty-five years later my opinion hasn’t changed at all.