Today In Ford History--dec. 12
On Dec. 12, 1993, Ford began producing a right-hand-drive version of the Probe in a move to double export sales of the sporty, front-wheel-drive coupe. A left-hand-drive Probe had already been exported to Germany, which is a left-hand-drive market, and to Japan, which is not. The export models with right-hand-drive went to England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and to Japan, where U.S. manufacturers had been criticized for not offering a right-hand-drive version.
The Probe was first made in 1988 by Auto Alliance International, a Ford/Mazda Motor Corp. joint venture in Flat Rock, Mich. Remodeled for 1993, the Probe was Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year. The base model that year had a 16-valve 4-cylinder rated at 110 hp, while the Probe GT was powered by a 24-valve V-6 with 164 hp. Probe sales totaled almost 740,000 when Auto Alliance ceased production in 1998.