You, Sir, Are No Mercedes C111 – 1991 Ford Probe GT Turbo

I happened upon this Ford Probe GT Turbo today. I took it to myself to grab a few photos of it for comparison’s sake, as it benefits from the similar block-built taillights as my Sapporo, but has Mazda hardware under its suspension bump sporting hood.

But walking over to the front presented me with a surprise, as the owner of the car had for some reason stuck a great big Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star on it, giving the front end a passing resemblance to a 60s-’70s Mercedes concept car called the C111. It’s not orange, though, nor diesel nor did it come with gullwing doors.

The Probe is one of those cars everyone tells me to avoid. I hear they’re a pain in the ass.

Now that the inevitable jab at the name is out of the way, we can move on.

To be honest, I would really like a clean example at one point. The 2.2 Mazda engine should – in theory – be reliable even with a turbo attached, even if a 20-year-old turbo car can blow a headgasket at will at this point.

The design is a sleek evolution of the earlier Probe concepts, the glasshouse forms a floating roof in a tidy way and the aforementioned block taillights give it a handsome late-’80s look. I’ve sat in one, and always liked how the instrument cluster moved together with the adjustable steering wheel.

 

The driver’s side rear corner has been held together with duct tape at some point, it seems.

This 1991 car is an American import, used; the Probe was barely in the Finnish import program when new and some of them, especially the later, swoopier cars have swam here from Germany. Neither of those had automatic seatbelts to my knowledge, but this one does and that tells me someone’s brought it over as luggage from the States. Then again, there’s a German G-Kat sticker on the windshield, and that would mean it’s made a stop there for some time.

From this angle, the Probe is at its most dustbusteresque. If only the hoodline was lower.

 

[Images: 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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