Preserved Turbo: 1989 Ford Probe GT

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Ford’s Probe coupe has all but disappeared from U.S. roads, with few examples still being used as daily drivers. Even fewer that are left feature the desirable turbocharged powerplant, and this first-generation model is an impressive survivor with the most desirable motor and transmission combination. Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $2,999 and no action yet. 

This Probe GT is also in stock condition, with no aftermarket boost controllers or intercoolers fitted. The Probe in turbocharged (and later V6) form was a serious performer, almost to the point that it spooked Ford as to how much it might threaten Mustang sales (and the Mustang faithful that didn’t want their prized sports car to be replaced with a 4- or 6-cylinder front driver.)

The shame of it is that this car would make for a fine compliment to Ford’s lineup today, especially with an EcoBoost motor and six-speed manual. Then again, with the popularity of CUVs and declining sales of almost every other body type, perhaps the Probe would have been axed anyway – making snatching up examples like this one a priority for anyone that years for the era of turbocharged hot hatches.

With under 50,000 original miles and no modifications, this 1989 Ford Probe GT looks better and better. The seller notes that it comes well equipped, but doesn’t provide any details on maintenance history or mechanical needs. The Probe is listed in California, which hopefully means rust is a non-issue and that the impressive sheen to the black paint is factory original.

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  1. Jferrelllancaster

    Having worked for Mazda starting in 1990 these sister cars to the 626 and mx-6 were very impressive. That 2.2l was almost bullet proof. Easy to work on and tinker with. Not sure If it carried over but the mazdas could be optioned with 4 wheel steer which made corners very interesting. Good looking Probe there!

    Like 11
    • Ralph

      The 4 wheel steer was only on special 626’s, I think they all were 5 door too, they’re pretty rare.

      Like 0
  2. Todd Zuercher

    A virtual unicorn in today’s world. Like so many other cars, these were everywhere in the ’90s and today I rarely see one, even here in the desert southwest. I see more of the second generation cars but they too have largely disappeared.

    Like 0
  3. Kenneth Carney

    I remember when these cars were new and it seemed like everyone wanted one.
    My younger SIL just got hired at Publix
    and was making enough money to buy
    one outright. But our Ford dealer didn’t
    carry them as he felt they were too
    advanced for his mechanics to service.
    My SIL had to go to Orlando just to test
    drive one! The fact that she couldn’t
    buy one here in Polk County was a deal
    breaker and she bought a new Firebird
    instead. As time went on, we finally
    started seeing them in Winter Haven
    sometime in the mid ’90’s, but the new
    had already worn off by then and most
    of the ones I saw then were little more
    than ragged out wrecks. Like eveywhere
    else, they are seldom seen today and good luck finding parts if you have one.
    That’s sad as I always thought they were
    good looking cars. Makes me wonder
    how they’d perform today if Ford ever
    decided to offer them again.

    Like 4
  4. jw454

    Every time I see a Ford Probe it reminds me of a fellow I worked with in the ’90s. He had one of these Probes and some other “sports type” car. He wrecked both of them the same day within a couple of hours. Both of the accidents were his fault. Don’t drink and drive…. You could end up having a very bad day. Also, you could end up spending some time with the boys in blue at their house like Jay did.

    Like 1
  5. Tirefriar

    I can’t think of a better all around ticket to enter the classic car world. This will be quite a catch another 5-10 years from now.

    Like 6
  6. h5mind

    My Dad drove one of these for several years and absolutely loved it. It was his favorite car of all time- up until he hit a tree in a nasty NE snowstorm.

    The remarks about Ford re-issuing the Probe reminds me of the Merkur Xr4-ti’s they used to sell new in Venezuela in the late 90’s. Apparently, Ford Venezuela had obtained the rights and tooling to assemble them there. The locals called them ‘cocodrilos’ (crocodiles) because they were often broken down along the road with their hood up.

    Like 3
  7. luke arnott

    They were offered in the UK with RHD,choice of 2.0 4 or 2.5 V6 engines.Never see ANY now.

    Like 0
  8. Steve D

    It started out in NY state and was in Miami a year or so ago. And the Ebay ad say it’s in California. Where in California? Seems fishy

    Like 2
    • Tirefriar

      I sent that same question to the seller yesterday…no response. Seems VERY fishy

      Like 0
  9. Doug

    I had one of these first gen Probes, but mine had the 3.0L V6 from the Taurus, and the all-digital dash. Bought it used, and for what it was it wasn’t a bad car. The digital dash was kinda cool. That car had every available option for the time.

    Like 1
  10. Royal

    My friend wanted to buy one of these so bad in 1988 as his first new car, but wound up in a CRV with an automatic for about 4,000 less. We were 20. A couple of months prior(May?), he and I were out on Route 9 in Wappinger and saw an accident. Stupid me was too busy looking at the banged up cars and whammo, I hit the very first one of these (Red) to be brought into Dutchess County to Poughkeepsie Ford. The guy driving was a salesman for that dealership and had taken delivery of the car at a rollout thing being done down at the WTC in Manhattan. He was pissed that we were less than six or seven miles from the dealer when this happened. Damage to his car was minimal though and not so bad to my 81 Plymouth Champ.

    The Lesson, keep your eyes on the road!!

    Like 0
  11. Dan

    A rich kid friend of mine in high school had one of these new; I remember white knuckling in the passenger seat. These things were pretty fast for the time. All I remember is the digital dash going to triple digits.

    Like 1
  12. Wrong Way

    My son has one of these stashed away! It’s in what I would say very good condition! His is painted a somewhat rare color, creamsickle orange, I am pretty sure that’s what it’s called! This is his first car to stash away! Now he’s in the same predicament as me! Too many cars, not enough garage! Like father, like son, isn’t that what they say!

    Like 0
  13. EJB

    I looked at one of these as a daily driver alternative to my Mustang in the mid 90s. Private sale, price was very good, so I took it for a test drive.Everything seemed to work and the car performed fairly well. Got back to the guy’s house and he keeps trying to lead me away from the car while we talk. I smelled something so I asked the seller:
    “Do you smell something burning?”
    “No not at all.” he replies. “Why don’t we go in the house and so we can talk.”
    He looked kind of anxious. I looked under the hood find coolant bubbling out of the engine.

    I passed. Wound up getting a Honda Civic instead.

    Like 0
  14. Byron Gunter

    As the winning bidder of this Probe on eBay I can 100% confirm this was a scam with a rolled back odometer. The eBay seller didn’t actually even have the title in his name, it was in some dude in FL’s name. He tried to tell me that everything was fine, pay him, blah blah blah but when I told him I refused to pay him the remainder until he had a California title in his name, he said he would but then refunded my deposit out of nowhere because “he decided he didn’t want to sell the car.” The pictures of the Florida title he sent me via text very clearly had a leading one changed to a zero. Scam scam scam scam. Which is too bad, because this would have complimented my mint 96 PGT in my garage.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Byron, how many miles were printed on the Florida title and what date was that title issued?

      That is the information you should look at, and not what somebody, who knows who, wrote in with a pen on the bottom.

      Like 0
  15. Tirefriar

    Byron, good job at keeping the seller honest… well, as honest as the situation allowed. I asked seller a simple question where in California is the car and he failed to respond – automatic red flag.

    Like 0
  16. Tirefriar

    I’d think carfax would be instrumental in verifying the correctness of the mileage

    Like 0
  17. Sandy Malone

    I bought this a 1989 Black Ford Probe GT Turbo as my first car after graduating college. It had a sound system that could blow the windows out and could definitely knock a hole in the wind. I loved that car! The only annoyance was that the window wipers would become stuck in the upright position and had to get two new motors put in the 4yrs I had it. Other than that it was an awesome car. I wish I could find one again.

    Like 0
    • Brent

      Was just reading some old posts about 1989 Ford probe GT turbos. I have one of these, black with 40,000 original kilometres (25,000 miles). I am the original owner from 1989. It is located in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Has been kept in the garage all the time. Never winter driven. Five speed, standard, air conditioning and cruise control. No accidents, all original!

      Like 1
  18. Bill

    Is this car still available for sale?

    Like 0
  19. Cristina

    We have a 1989 Probe, 135k, not in perfect condition but running and driving just fine. Looking to sell it here in Kansas, but we’re having a hard time figuring out how to price it. Anyone have some advice?

    Like 1

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