In 2002 I was looking for my next project. The 1989 Probe GT was getting tired. The Michigan rust had gotten to it quite a bit. The framerails were showing corrosion, a condition that cannot be stopped. It was time for a better car. I had learned so much about Probe’s by that time, it was one of the only cars I considered as a replacement for my daily driver. I found an autotrader listing for a 1991 Ford Probe GT in Canada. It looked amazing in the pictures but had a blown piston, a condition I could fix. They wanted $300 for the car, it looked nearly flawless in the pictures. I had found my car.
Although I had a 1-ton van, I wasn’t sure it would make the 3 hour trip into Canada from the metro Detroit area. I borrowed my fathers truck and rented a car dolly. Crossed the border without issue. I saw the car and immediately wanted it. It was dirty but after all those years of detailing, I can spy a car with potential in a split second. I loaded the car onto the car dolly and made my way back to the boarder. When I rolled up to the window at the boarder patrol, the crash course in vehicle importation began. Turns out, you can’t just buy a car in Canada and bring it back over the boarder with the signed title. What I ran into could be considered an emissions issue. The EPA needed to sign off on the car to ensure it was safe to bring into the country. No amount of “this is the exact same model they sell in America” would resolve the issue. I had no choice but to drop the car in some Canadian parking lot and drive home defeated. I paid $75.00 for rushed EPA paperwork and returned to Canada 3 days later to finish what I set out to do. I rented another $65.00 car dolly, and headed back to get my car. Border patrol was much nicer this time around. I got the car home and started cleaning it up for some pictures. It sat for a month or so while I finished that year of school. In the summer, I bought an engine rebuild kit to overhaul the 2.2L Turbo I4 engine.
The rebuild went well as well as the porting/polishing. However, I wasn’t aware that I should have decked the cylinder head to ensure it was level, live and learn. The car leaked a little oil but it was drivable.
I wasn’t content with the car for long, I had been stockpiling parts for it for a few years, I was ready for a project.