I’ve never really thought about the Ford Probe in Europe, but it makes some sense that they would export it there from the US, given that the lone run of the Capri/Capri II had ended in 1986, and Ford Europe had no sporty coupe. In retrospect, that seems a bit surprising; after all, the Capri had practically owned that market for almost twenty years.
Here’s a Probe that Corey Behrens found in the Netherlands. But I can’t find any good info as to just what years it was sold over there. One source says that didn’t start until 1994. Really? Why such a long wait. 1994 was already well into the gen2’s run. Hmm. And this Probe is very much a gen1 version.
Anyone got the straight scoop?
As to the Probe’s intended role in replacing the Mustang in the US, that’s an oft told story we won’t bother with again now, but William Stopford did a fine job of it here.
In any case, the Probe apparently was not a rousing success in Europe, selling some 15k units over three years. I suspect European Ford buyers were not quite as willing to buy a Mazda disguised by Ford as were Americans, who couldn’t buy then fast enough, at least in its first year (1988).