I was standing there at the corner of this business’ parking lot, camera up to my eyes to take a picture of these two fine cars next to each other, as they make an interesting juxtaposition.
But it was obviously the Ford EXP that attracted me, as Volts are a dime a dozen here. Just then this man comes around the corner, sees me lining up my shot, and proudly says: “would you like to hear about my Volt?” “Um, sorry; it’s that EXP over there that I’m actually shooting”. He looked a bit miffed, got in and silently glided out. Little did he know that I was the Volt expert at TTAC, covering every detail from the day of its announcement through its colorful gestation. Maybe I should have asked him if he wanted to hear about the Volt, although some of it might best be kept buried.
Oh; regarding the EXP: I’ve already shot that car, and its CC will re-appear here soon. I just couldn’t resist a few more shots of its shockingly ugly mug. Now to find an LN-7.
Nice find! Was the EXP one of the 1st cars to wear the blue oval badge? I remember that the badge returned on ford cars between 1982-84, and the EXP debuted for the 82 MY.
I believe that the blue oval returned for the 1982 model year (1981 is the only year of North American Escort that didn’t wear one, having a “world car” globe instead). Since the EXP appeared as an early ’82 model in the spring of 1981, well before the other 82MY Fords, it may very well have been the first.
I remember (fruitlessly) searching for one of these in the summer of ’84 when I was debuting my drivers’ license. Loved these cars if for no other reason than their european ‘look’…..
I seem to remember reading that the EXP was supposed to get flip-up headlights – but the cost was too prohibitive and Ford had to redesign the front end to what you see here.
If so, Ford wasn’t the first to do such cost-cutting; the Austin-Healey Sprite got its famous bugeyes for that reason.
After having put up with battery acid repeatedly ruining a plastic mechanical fastener on my ’88 Accord’s popup servo arm(which is next to the battery), it’s just as well they delete this needless stuff. That was the ONLY recurring problem I had with that car. I finally gave up & kept the headlights open permanently. My ’10 Civic’s battery also tends to get acid buildup. Is it a hyperactive charging system, or a defective battery? I’m more diligent trying to keep it clean this time.
I remember an auto journalist saying that the EXP’s styling looked like it came from “the same heavy hand that gave us the Mustang II.”
I remember that Car and Driver actually created an EXP project car. It had a reverse-Starsky and Hutch paint scheme, added a huge airdam that was flush with the front bumper, and upgraded tires, seats, and suspension. They other change they made was restoring the back seat. Apparently, the floorpan was the same as the regular Escort, so removing the parcel tray revealed the well for the back seat cushion. Then all they had to do was create a seatback, and they had a 2+2 EXP.
Strange looking thing did anyone actually buy these.
None were ever sold. This is the only prototype. Quite the find.
You should have freaked him out and asked if he wanted to hear about the EXP.
I did, more or less. But the moment he realized I wasn’t shooting his Volt, he lost interest.
I got a set of CC-grade Volt photos when one showed up near the office. They’re yours when you want them – in 2037.
Are you suggesting that there won’t be any left on the street in 2037?
There won’t be any streets left in 2037 because nobody wants to pay to maintain them.
Maybe not, they’re so complicated with what amounts to two power trains, it’ll might be hard to keep one running.
But I really meant the Volt won’t be classic until 25 years after it came out.
When the EXP came out, Car and Driver described the front end styling as “A frog at the moment of castration.”
Well that explains then why I always thought it looked like a frog. Probably read it there.
And it surely does.
The EXP was strange all right, but today it looks sober compared to the screwball styling of so many modern cars. Why must they pull the headlights back as they do (e.g. the Volt)? It reminds me of how when I was a kid, we’d do this [offensive] Chinese/Japanese/Siamese routine with our eyes.
I suspect the slant eye look is a result of aerodynamics or give the illusion of a shorter front overhang at certain angles. Probably both.
The EXP looks a lot better when you consider that it shared its bones with the dowdy USDM Escort. Yeah, the headlight treatment is odd, but I’d prefer to be seen in one of these than in its “World Car” sister.
The styling bit I disliked the most about my Escort was that aluminum B-pillar trim. I didn’t remove it only because I was afraid of what it would cost to clean up what was underneath. I can imagine some clueless Ford suit wanting to imitate the ’80 Celica, but it broke up the lines completely. Later Ford saw the light, removed the trim, & thinned the pillar, like their Euro people did from the start.
I wonder what the folks in Essex, Köln, or Geelong thought about their colleagues in Dearborn.
Nobody gives a $%^& about your Volt, buddy. Keep calm and carry on.
Paul’s exchange demonstrates the sanctimonious attitude I tend to assume most Volt drivers possess, because ego is really the only justification for buying one. Nice to see someone put this owner in his place.
“Wanna hear about my Volt?”
“Me first. Wanna hear my thoughts on better uses for the tax money you used to buy it?”
The same can be said about the Prius and Leaf. Mostly just do gooders wanting to make a statement.
Volt drivers are hardly the only people who possess sanctimonious attitudes outwardly displayed by virtue of vehicle purchase. Who knows why the guy bought it?
At least the Prius and Leaf owners make their statement quietly. It’s the loud exhaust, tire squealing redneck assholes who drive me nuts.
He got put in his place? No offense, but from where that first shot is taken, anyone could assume the Volt was the subject of the photo. The man thought his car was being photographed by someone interested in it, they weren’t, he shrugs and walks away. How is he sanctimonious? You are conveying a whole personality and altercation to this man, just because what he is driving.
And while I really have no interest in most hybrid cars, I find the Volt’s system fascinating, and frankly, would love to own one. I am sick and tired of bashing GM or the Volt over petty ideological or political differences. Every automaker in this country has taken government money (even the darling of most of GM’s critics, Ford). So politics aside, all Chevrolet has done has create a car that is AMERICAN, and at the cutting edge of technology , and will probably shape what we all drive in the future. Or we can deride them because they took “too much” government money instead of the other manufacturers’ “just right” amount of taxpayer subsidies.
“and will probably shape what we all drive in the future”
THAT is sanctimonious.
A normal person would ask “hey, what you taking a picture of?” before jumping to “let me tell you about my Volt”. It takes a pretty self assured state of mind to think “hey there’s no way any other car in this lot can be photographed but mine, this is the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge with some stranger”. It doesn’t matter what car he owns, it could be a Yugo or a Ferrari, it’s jumping the directly to the conclusion that it’s HIS stuff that’s generating interest that’s obnoxious.
Yep, you nailed it. And while I’m no fan of the Volt, the same situation could apply to a Corvette, Ferrari, Hummer, et al owner who posed the question in that manner.
He’s standing 10 feet away aiming a camera DIRECTLY at the Volt! What is dead center of the first shot? The Volt. Assuming that someone apparently photographing your car is interested in it makes no statement about your character AT ALL. It is simply the most logical conclusion to seeing someone photograph your car.
Sanctimonious – (Merriam’s) Making a show of being morally superior to other people.
How is guessing that in the future electric or hybrid cars become more common sanctimonious? I didn’t say they should be, are morally superior, none of that. All I did was guess that in the near future it’s technology will be incorporated into more cars.
I understand not liking a car, but your level of offense to the Volt is irrational.
I make a good living at writing. I know what the word means.
See? THAT was sanctimony. Now, in what mental “voice” did you read those two sentences, Ltd? I’ll bet it was similar to how I, and apparently several others here,”heard” the statement, “would you like to hear about MY Volt?” when we read it.
I could be completely off-base in my interpretation… but I wouldn’t count on it. Paul’s description of the Volt owner’s response when he discovered that he WASN’T the center of attention bolsters my opinion.
Having said all that (and really not trying to be argumentative) I find the fact that the owner of one of the most technologically interesting automobiles today was shunned by a guy who only wanted to take pictures of a 31 year-old Ford subcompact to be hilarious, no matter what!
Rob- I see what you’re saying about how Paul describes reaction as “miffed”.
Putting myself in the Volt owners shoes though, I think any of us could react awkwardly. If I saw someone photographing my car, a car I love for whatever reason. I like my car because it’s a fast wagon, and understated (I hope that’s not too sanctimonious of a car…) Anyway, I see someone I think also liking my car, I mean, it appears to me he is photographing it, I get a momentary sense of pride, think I’m going to have a conversation with a like minded gear head, and he responds, eh no. I wouldn’t be mad, probably more embarrassed, but who knows how a stranger could perceive my reaction. I just think a lot of unfair judgement is being made on this guy just because of what he is driving.
And I also definitely appreciate the humor Paul intended here, as you said, no one would ever guess a 30 year old Escort is interesting to anyone. Kind of like how I assume most people think I’m crazy because I really couldn’t care less to photograph a new Ferrari, but that immaculate 85 Renault Encore will get a photo or two….
If it had been a year ago, his assumption about my interest in his Volt might have been more understandable. But seriously, who would stand taking a picture of a Volt now? He never even looked at the other car, and clearly was a bit deflated by my response.
One of the funniest experiences I ever had in 21 years of automobile ownership was when I came across someone photographing MY car, because while I liked my ’94 Saturn SL2 well enough, I couldn’t imagine it being worthy of film to anyone else. It’s how I learned it was a “Homecoming” model.
Now, about that fast wagon! 🙂
Reading this I actually felt a little bad for the Volt guy. What’s wrong with being excited about your car and thinking someone might want to hear about it?
Not only is it a boring ol’ wagon, it’s a Volvo… 2005 V70R. It basically guarantees that if anyone asks about it they generally really like cars, or Volvo’s in particular. In my especially biased opinion, it’s the perfect car… Fast, roomy, comfortable, cheap to insure, safe, inconspicuous. If parts weren’t horrifically expensive I’d recommend one to everyone.
Excellent choice! A good friend recently had to part with his beloved ’97 850 sedan after it got rear-ended for the third time in eight years. He had all service done at the dealer, and never batted an eye at $2000 repair bills despite living very frugally otherwise.
To replace it, he bought… a Buick Lucerne. Hmm.
Well a Buick Lucerne and a Volvo 850 are not exactly a cross shopped car. The Lucerne was probably the best Buick available when it was produced at the time. A V8 Lucerne Super in dark red oatmeal leather interior and real wood interior and steering wheel was our #2 car behind the CTS-V that we ultimately bought.
The owner probably aspires for the day he’ll be picked for a Volt commercial. This must have really been devastating!
OK you guys, as usual I kept my mouth shut when I saw this, no politics at the Curbside. But now that enough of you are into it….
When the most radically different Chevy in history shows up on a local street, some people are naturally interested. You don’t think people are interested in high-tech cars? I got lots of questions when the Prius was new.
Lots of people are interested in a family-sized Chevy that gets the equivalent of 98 mpg. Don’t you think they might be asking Volt owners how it’s going for them when they meet one?
I really don’t understand why some car guys get so riled about all this. Nobody’s going to take away your cars. The interesting ones like we celebrate here will stick around. There aren’t enough of them to matter pollution-wise anyway. I love CC cars! Always have, always will! The boring ones will just rust in peace.
You’re asking about tax money? Wanna hear my thoughts on better uses for the $7 billion of tax money we Americans give the oil companies every year in subsidies? Not to mention the trillion dollars and thousands of lives we spent on those wars. Let’s not get started.
I have seen that chart before. It illustrates a couple of things to me:
1) Today’s gas prices relative to inflation is among the highest in history but is not the only time it has happened. Early in automotive history, gas was a huge part of the cost of ownership of a car, not really dropping to the “good old days” until the 1960s.
2) The spikes in gas prices are generally non partisan so for those that like to assign ‘blame’ to gas prices to certain administrations move on. The influences of gas prices go way beyond whom you voted for in the last election.
3) As you can see from the chart, gas prices, in relation to inflation and Cost Of Living, peaked to current levels in 1981. The difference between then and now is that today, we have the benefit of technology and efficient vehicles to combat the cost in addition to 40 years of reflection of gas prices as a major concern. It simply cannot be underestimated the real fear about the future of gas prices and supply in the late 1970s. Bear this in mind when you criticize cars that came out in that era. Yes many of them were choked, poorly performing, and some were just bad designs (like the Cadillac V864 which technology of the day couldn’t support but yet is being used today…) but were done so in that context.
4) Of course, it is likely that gas prices will remain at current levels for the foreseeable future. It is a fact of life. The US enjoys rather low prices on average excluding the prices paid in some oil exporting countries. Be thankful you do not live in Europe or Asia, or even Canada where prices are high. Eliminating the 18.4 cents per gallon Federal excise tax on gasoline isn’t going to change anything other than put more pressure on the budget deficit.
5) Like with most things in life, car ownership is all about priorities. Some people want to continue driving volumous amounts of miles in a given year either are going to have to pony up or buy a fuel efficient car. Others, like myself, prefer to purchase somewhat less fuel efficient cars that are more in tune with our lifestyles but make sacrifices as a tradeoff by driving less and using alternative forms of transportation. I am not a Constitutional lawyer, but last I checked no where in the document guarantees us a right to unimpeded gluttony with our natural resources.
Agreed, thanks Craig.
Agreed, thanks for injecting some sense.
I’d love to own a Volt or Tesla, because I’m a technophile. But I’m an old-school car guy first, and my lifestyle wouldn’t allow any hybrid or electric to be sensible, either.
I drive two vehicles on a near-daily basis – a 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T and a 1992 Mazda B2600i. The Mazda does *slightly* better in the city – maybe 16-17 mpg – and the Challenger does better on the highway – 25 mpg or so. I’ve actually managed just under 21 mpg on city streets in the Challenger, but it requires very diligent driving.
I like in Southern California – moved here early this year – Orange County, to be exact. I’ve gotten some ribbing on the fuel economy of my cars, but no real sanctimoniousness. “How do you afford to drive that muscle car to work? I want one but I can’t afford putting gas in a V8.” Well, here’s the trick – I live 6 miles from work. Six. I also live in a 900 square foot cottage, not counting the attached garage. The cost of fuel for my vehicles is trivial. I’ve gone over a month between fill-ups in the Challenger. They can’t afford to put gas in a V8 because A) they don’t realize it’s not bad on gas on the highway and B) because they have a 3 hour round trip commute.
It’s all about priorities. I wanted fun cars and to live 5 minutes from some of the greatest beaches on Earth. They wanted a 3,000 square foot McMansion. Different strokes for different folks, and that’s ok. I may feel differently if I ever get around to having a family and children, but at 32 years old and just now learning to love life and live where I want, I don’t see it happening any time soon.
Some manner of aftermarket headlight covers and some wheels and the EXP would not look so bad (LN7 bubbleback, even better).
I presume the Volt CC will come… in 2043.
A bit like a bug eye Austin Healey Sprite for the 80s – not quite as charismatic though.
I know a guy who has several of these including some LN7s. Next time I’m up in his neck of the woods I’ll have to check them out. He was ever trying to start an owner’s registry but not sure about the success of that given most owners probably aren’t enthusiasts. I don’t really get the appeal but I lust after some equally wretched vehicles so each to their own.
I had a similar thing happen. I was shooting a beautiful red convertible (that will go un-named at the moment) in the street when some guy in a brand new red Camaro convertible stops right by me and asks if I want to photograph another really cool convertible. Uh – no thanks. It was probably best that I stopped right there.
I am one of the 1% that likes the looks of the EXP. A bit homely, but it’s at least very friendly looking.
I forgot how pug ugly thos EXP’s were. I actually think the last “one” I saw was and LN7 now that you mension it.
Had and uncle with Lynx and his wife drove an LN7 (turbo I think). Fortunately they were both gone around the time I could ride a bike, so I never got to (had to) drive them.
After reading here at CC recently about recent FWD Impalas, Malibu Maxx, Tempos, Fox LTDs and now the EXP, I realize that these are all cars that I have experience with only as a rental. I rented an EXP in early ’82, and drove it from Philly to New Haven in horrible rain. I remember the headlights did not make up for their ugliness with brightness. By the way, I certainly don’t think that Volts are “a dime a dozen” in California. Despite being in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Berkeley this week, I only noticed one Volt. Also, one ZENN electric. Similarly, I saw one Tatra T600, though I did notice an astounding TWO new Dodge Darts. They’re gaining some market share ….
The EXP got an ‘eye-pedectomy’, and renamed Escort EXP. Got the Escort GT front clip. Didn’t help sales much, people really want back seats in “commuter” cars.
I’ve heard from 2 Volt owners going on about how much gas they didnt buy. But, I didnt ask how much the car really cost versus a few bucks for gas.
I don’t know if you realize it or not…but you just nailed it. Before buying my new Yaris (that replaces my four-year-old beat-on Yaris) I considered a Prius C. Not really my cup of joe…but gas prices are going to stay high in the near future; as well as selective taxation – on vehicles less in favor of the powers that be.
The C cost $5000 more than the Yaris. I could swing it…and the mileage was better; but I worked it through. IIRC, it would take about 85,000 miles for the Prius C to EQUAL the total cost of the Yaris plus fuel use.
And, meantime, there’s all that complexity to go wrong – especially after accident repair; or lesser abuse (My old Yaris, I high-sided on a traffic island at 20 mph in the dark. The noises coming off were sickening; but it did get off, under its own power…and aside from slight damage to the front plastic facia, no other cosmetic or structural injury. Not even alignment…).
I stand by what I said a year ago: Those are basically political statements and fashion accessories. To not be interested in photographing his oh-so-important-to-his-self-image VOLT…is like insulting a woman’s new cocktail dress.
I generally agree with this statement (although the Yaris has no appeal to me). For some, buying a new car with a warranty minimizes their exposure to costs. Because they can budget the car payment, insurance, and average fuel costs and basically keep it at that. With that said, those that are either mechanically inclined, have an established relationship with a good and not terribly expensive mechanic, or tend to keep their travels in a fairly tight radius may do better by keeping an older car well-kept for an extended period of time. In addition to reduced buy in on a used car, they are paid off quicker reducing the gross expense, you can usually find a vehicle that has reasonable enough fuel economy to keep fuel costs in check, with most of today’s vehicles generally behind fairly reliable (for the most part), and by keeping a tight check on maintenance, driving appropriately and keeping casual driving to a minimum, you can come out ahead.
I own 9 cars, yes 9 cars, 3 are insured as regular drivers, the rest are insured either through classic insurance like Hagerty or limited duty with StateFarm. I may drive a grand total of 9,000 miles per year combined with all vehicles. Between being careful about the how much I drive, doing my own work and keeping the vehicles in great condition, and having only the 2010 Camaro as a new vehicle purchase, my total cost of ownership of all 9 cars is probably lower than many people two 2 average newer vehicles with payment, 12-15,000 miles per year driving, insurance, and typical retail maintenance and service work. It is all about priorities and making a practical rationale business sense for what you are doing. The problem is, too many people do not. They want their cake and eat it too.
While I find the technology of the Prius interesting from an engineering standpoint, my view on the mindset of many owners basically follows this cartoon below.
Of course it is too soon to say for certain but the second gen Prius has been just as reliable as the Yaris. The other thing to consider is the resale value a used Yaris has very little compared to the same age and mileage Prius so your payback period would have likely been much less than that 85K miles.
I don’t know what the Prius’ resale value is; but I’m soon selling my 2010 Yaris, just barely broken in at 75,000 miles, for $9900…give or take a few bucks; have to get the latest NADA valuation.
Since I paid $14,000 for it, that works out to about $4000 for 40 months of use. Mostly in winter; I had my Dodge van for summer excursions, before it became a terminal nickel-and-dime case.
Four salt winters. No repairs other than tires. Four thousand bucks.
Great catch of a cult favorite but I’m confused. That is a bubbleback on the rear and I believe that only the Mercury LN7 had the bubbleback rear hatch on the 1st Gen EXP’s/LN7. Only in the second gen did the EXP get the Bubble back rear along with the Escort style front end, with Marchal driving lights. Probably an owner mod done by a real EXP fanatic.
The second gen really toned down the frog eye look, which was a look that had to really turn off a lot of buyers. This was sort of a first shot in the American Commuter Car War with the main broadside lobbed in with the 1984 Pontiac Fiero 2M4. 2 seats, small engine, pretty good mileage, sporty pretensions. In my book of oddball favorites, this is a real lost American classic! And this example seems to be in great shape, a real nice find.
This segment gave birth to some weird looking cars. While the EXP is the undisputed champ there were several contenders including the Nissan NX1600 with the oval sunk in headlamps. I was about to say those small coupes must have needed pop-up headlamps to look right then I remembered the Pulsar NX. The Paseo was only slightly better. The taillamps looked strangely low on that one.
I love the NX2000! I know the Sentra SE-R is the better driver, but I love the looks of the NX2000 plus the available t-tops!
The LN7 — my personal holy grail. I really hope you find one!
A guy I met at the last “24 Hours of LeMons” race is currently prepping an EXP for the track — can’t wait to see it race…..
The LN7 is the only answer to “whats even rarer that an EXP?”
Of Ford products in the 1980s? A Turbo Diesel Lincoln of any kind. I have only had direct experience with 1 and it was owned by a customer in Finland.
I have an ’85 Lincoln brochure that touts the turbo diesel. Ever since I got that brochure, I’ve been hoping to find one in person, though I highly doubt it. I think they sold less that 2-3k for both ’84-85 combined, and then it was dropped off the option list. So you’re right, it’s probably the rarest 80s Ford product.
I’ve seen a diesel Lincoln pop-up on ebay once or twice.
Yes, there was one on Seattle CL within the past year or so as well. I’ve never actually laid eyes on one myself.
A real-life Ned Flanders?
If that dude walking towards the Volt in the first picture is indeed the owner, it is likely that he is younger than the EXP. So naturally he may find that you would be interested in his car as the EXP isn’t so old to stand out completely in a parking lot yet sufficiently different to be odd but odd in a different way than hybrids and the like
As far as battery-pack cars, unlike most technology that overtime gets cheaper and more compact and efficient, there are chemical and physical limitations with batteries that I am not quite sure will ever be sufficiently addressed as time goes on. Like has been pointed out by a commentator in another article, bombs and batteries are the two major way to store kinetic energy and as the power requirements intensify, the difficulty in maintaining spatial compactness and safety levels becomes an issue. I tend to forsee natural gas and other expendable fuel systems become more prominent in the next 20 years especially for larger vehicles instead of batteries.
As I pointed out to that commentator, he forgot the most major way of all: gasoline tanks. Car fires happen every day, rarely even make the news, and nobody says they prove gasoline is unsafe.
Everyone thought battery technology was finished before the zillion-dollar cellphone and laptop markets demanded better, and lithium came along. My job is engineering chips for cellphones and laptops, and believe me the #1 concern in all chip designs today is power consumption, mainly because of limited battery capacity.
With or without EVs, batteries will certainly get better and cheaper. Improved chemistries are in the labs. So are nanoscale material technologies with much more strength and surface per square inch.
Having said that, I agree in the 10-20 year timeframe most cars will still burn some form of petroleum, and natural gas has advantages over gasoline, especially for heavy trucks and ships.
I agree with you. One of the reasons why cell phone batteries and the like have become smaller and more efficient is partly because power consumption has been drastically reduced. Today’s electric appliances are remarkably efficient compared to historic versions. Some TVs only draw 25 watt hours after initially powering up. Cars, well some small cars like the Volt and the Prius can get away with current use battery technology because they are basically simple small commuter type vehicles. Beyond that, it is hard for me to see how that is going to be practical for anything approaching commercial duty use. I have been a Powertrain Manager for GM and it is among the single most vexing questions that has faced engineers since CAFE and EPA came into play. However between fuel injection technology, the use of forced induction technology, the computerization that has allowed us to basically factor out a tremendous amount of waste in the combustion process has made many gasoline engines (and diesels for trucks) extremely competitive for the near future. I remember in the early 90s it was speculated that we were going to have to go heavily into LPG systems, I even drove an LPG LeSabre for a while as a test mule in 1991 that was remarkably pleasant. Natural gas is abundant in the US now especially with the new fracking techniques coming out to the point that there is actually a glut in the market for the foreseeable future and maybe the next thing we do. It is already becoming predominate in heavy duty fleet applications like buses and the like. I am simply not sold on batteries for cars at this point.
This comment is not necessarily directed at you Mike, just me opining on the subject in general. As a person who started out his automotive life in the mechanic/repair end, serviceability and simplicity are of paramount concern to me. One of the disadvantages I have disliked about many Japanese and European engine designs is the over engineered aspect making field repairs more costly and physically difficult. I suppose maybe that is the crux of the mindset between the domestic and non-domestic approach – I prefer a fix it quick and keep it rolling to maximizing overall efficiency at the expense of maintenance costs. I like nice trusty things that may need more attention over time but whose problems are easily diagnosed and solved in a quick and usually inexpensive fashion.
Me too, Craig, I think most of us are just opining here at CC. It’s a lively and satisfying conversation.
In addition to the safety of domestic supply, natural gas is a big win on the carbon front. Burning natural gas creates 117 pounds of CO2 per million BTU of energy, vs. 157 pounds per million BTU for gasoline, 161 for diesel. (US DOE) 37% less CO2 is a lot.
Batteries for cars today are about 2x too expensive for mainstream use. As battery capacity and lifetime get better and gasoline prices get worse over the years, EVs will look better. Maybe materials for car-sized natural gas storage will get better too.
EVs have unfamiliar components, but they are way simpler. Engine, transmission, fuel, cooling and exhaust systems are replaced by a motor and 1-speed gear reduction with two moving parts, electronics and batteries with no moving parts. Electronics are usually very reliable, batteries wear out every ten years or so, that’s it. No oil changes, cooling flushes, filters to change, fluids to leak. Regen braking means a lot fewer brake jobs. Not much work for the service dept.
I’m just so glad to be reading these conversations here, and not at TTAC, which seems to be populated by nothing but uber-neo-cons who are predisposed to hate anything from GM or Chrysler (and this is coming from someone registered Libertarian but considers himself a pragmatist more than anything) and people who worship at the altar of Camry.
No the Leaf has a cooling system and it needs it’s coolant changed every 50K.
I think this is a pretty good looking car, not sure why the all hatin’. If it’s ugly, it’s ugly in the right way: interesting-ugly, not ugly-ugly. It’s far better looking than, say, the contemporaneous Dodge 024, which I assume it competed against and which looks like the first molds were made out of aluminum siding. The biggest styling flaw on the EXP is that the front end sits too high for a (ostensibly) sporty coupe, probably due to it being a rewrapped Escort. If I had one (and suddenly I’m tempted), I’d want to see of I could drop the front a bit.
The second gen Escort EXP takes an Escort GT-like front end to a nice look. It reminded me of a poor man’s Mustang SVO, if you will.
You’re right, the Escort clip makes it look like a lot like a Mustang. I never noticed that before, then again I don’t remember the Escort clip being tacked on in the first place. In any event, I still think the original EXP is better… look how great it looks with the front end lowered!
Actually…I kinda like that front end.
There weren’t enough EXPs around when I had my base Escort (or ever) to consider a boneyard front-clip swap…but that would have been an interesting exercise.
Somewhat of a “CC Effect”: I regularly pass by a similarly awkward Ford coupe of (roughly) the same era in the same shade of red – but a Fairmont Futura. A very strange sight in rust-prone New England. (We had a CC of one a few months ago, though.) At least the Fairmont accepts upgrades for the Fox Mustang…
I get more unease from the aggressive “leave politics out of CC” comments than any political points that come up, which is rare and almost always in passing. I made a crack once about the guy who mistook a Valiant for a Volare saying he was having a Rick Perry moment. Someone told me to leave politics out of CC. Huh? That wasn’t about being Republican or Democrat it was about being clueless!
For me this is about an irritating guy who caught Paul at the wrong time. And I’m sure Paul really did say “Umm, no thanks”, probably never looking up from his camera lol. I would have too!
I was hoping more comments would have been directed towards the subject vehicle: a Curbside Classic if there ever was one. You just don’t see these cars on the road anymore, making Paul’s find rather special and brightening on a day where winter refuses to leave around these parts. Instead, discussions about the hurt feelings of a Chevy Volt driver, the definitions of sanctimonious and Volts, Volvos, batteries and natural gas. Everything but the Ford EXP. Sheesh!
OK fine, I’ll share my story about an EXP:
Back in high school in the 1980s, I took a body shop class at the local CC three days a week. One of the advanced students in the time slot before us often stayed after into our class period (no big deal, the shop was gigantic) working on rebuilding his totalled EXP (which was only two years old IIRC).
One day, he was using the thermal hacksaw to separate the front support structure from the firewall (car had been front-ended) when his torch started repeatedly popping loudly which caused him to quickly shut the torch off and the whole class went over to see. The teacher came out of his office and asked what was going on. The guy replied that he didn’t know.
Well, it turns out that the TEACHER had pulled a prank on the student!!! He knew exactly where the cut was going to be made, and had taped a string of ladyfingers inside the panel where they weren’t easily seen sometime prior to the event. Boy would a teacher get canned for pulling a stunt like that these days!
Everybody had a good laugh (always helpful while trying to straighten out mangled bits of metal) and lived to hammer & dolly for another day.
As a Prius owner who finds the car very satisfying in many ways (hope that’s not sanctimonious!), as someone who has actually driven an EXP (Hertz, 30+ years ago), and as someone who attended a very interesting talk at Stanford earlier this week by Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, about electric cars and much else, I have really enjoyed this discussion. Finally, as someone who’s familiar with the term “gas axe”, but never heard “thermal hacksaw”, I’d like to thank redmondjp for adding a new colloquialism to my vocabulary. All of this is why I’ve become a CCoCC (Compulsive Consumer of Curbside Classic).
I think the forward angle of the headlight surrounds are what tips this design over the edge for me. If they were even just vertical, it would look much better. Better still would be moving the headlights back a bit, to reduce the protrusion above the main line of the body.
I knew someone that had an LN7 back in high school. Might be the worst car I ever drove. His dad got it for him, guessing he thought that since it had two seats he’d think it’s sporty. Man was it a load. I was looking into buying an EXP for the 24 hours of Lemons. I found one not too far away. No rust, blown engine, blown transmission. He had a spare transmission to give me, but no idea if it was good. 1000 bucks. Wow. That’s twice the limit for the Lemons, for a car that doesn’t start. Back to the search. Perhaps a 173 V-6 Chevette.
If I see somebody aiming a camera at my car, I likely assume it’s a cop. Must be my strong libertarianism, punctuated by paranoia.
My kid brother wanted a Mustang GT SOOOOO bad….but driving record and insurance costs were stupid expensive. So he bought the reintroduced 1986.5 EXP, with a Mustang/Escort GT family nose and the LN7 glass hatch.
Piece of shit indeed.
Mom bought one new in 81. Was in the shop every 90 days like clockwork.