The question raised by today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Probe is would you consider campaigning a front-wheel drive race car? The answer might just influence whether or not you think this Ford’s price already puts it in the winner’s circle.
Despite the flogging its looks received in the comments, last Friday’s custom 1973 Saab Sonett actually came away looking like a winner. Its 54% Nice Price win proved that you might not be able to put a price tag on beauty, but you can on an old Saab sports car. I’d like to think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here.
If you’ve seen the Adam Carolla co-directed documentary Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (and if you haven’t, you damn-well should) then you’ll know that it takes a lot of practice to become an even half-way decent race car driver. You’ll also know that you actually can teach an old dog (at least one with dreamy blue eyes) a new trick.
This 1996 Ford Probe has been taught a few tricks. In fact, it seems ready to let you make your weekend racer fantasies become a reality. That is of course if you’re not really interested in the circus-like atmosphere of something like LeMons or Crap Can racing, and don’t mind driving something with a slight tendency for understeer.
Actually, who knows how this race-only Probe now handles. About the only thing left from its innocuous street days is its front-wheel drive layout and Mazda-sourced two-litre four/five-speed stick drivetrain. Even that’s been given a spiffing up; the engine enjoying new rings, bearings and seals, according to the ad, as well as a rebuilt top end.
The entire car is said to have been built just this past year, specifically for competing in compact FWD racing series’ which look something like this.
This isn’t LeMons, and you’ll probably note that the car is fitted a little more professionally than your typical crap can participant. This one’s also painted in a way that will impress your neighbors rather than frighten or enrage them.
The mods include a fully stripped interior, full racing cage including driver door protection, coil-overs in front and extra springs for the track. There’s a 12-gallon fuel cell riding low in back, and all the glass has been replaced with Perspex or the like. Hoosier tires that are only a single race old keep everything from scraping the pavement.
Make yourself a bespoke seat and you’re ready for tech inspection.
The question in the car’s case - outside of how engaging FWD racing is (here’s a hint -VERY) - is why is its present owner selling it after only two races? Is he suffering from health issues? Builder’s remorse? Did he finally get sick of everyone making “Probe” jokes at his expense?
Whatever the reason, this Probe is now available for a new driver/owner and it comes with an asking price of $3,700. Now, you would not be able to replicate this car for that kind of cash, even though Probes are being practically given away these days, and that’s if you can find one at all. No, this looks like a cheap way to get your race on - not LeMons cheap mind you - but not too much more than that.
What’s your take on this seemingly set-up racer and its $3,700 price tag? Does that seem like a fair price to hit the track? Or does that much green already black flag this Probe from the start?
H/T to JustJim for the hookup!
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