The Ford EXP is a sports compact coupe that was produced and sold by Ford Motor Company in North America from the 1982 to 1988 model years. Sharing the dashboard, wheelbase, suspension, and powertrain with the Ford Escort, the EXP was longer, lower, and more aerodynamic than its five-seat counterpart.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I bought a 1982 EXP new. Biggest POS ever. In 26 months, it went through 7 rack and pinions, 16 AC compressors and 3 engines. I called it my "EXPensive EXPerimental that EXPired at an early age. Fortunately I bought the extended warranty ($450) that saved me $7000 in repair bills on a car that listed for $9313.

  2. I had one… It was my first brand new car. It was great. I loved it. I would like to have it back. NOT everyone that wanted a sporty little car wanted to got 0-60 in .5 seconds !! I just wanted something fun to drive and a little cool to look at !

  3. If Ford stylists and engineers produced the perfect vehicle, it will not be built but a cheap shoddy ugly car will be put into production instead ? Look at the Ford Evos , I rest my case .

  4. My sister and I shared a one year old EXP (first model year) while we were in college. I moved to Europe soon thereafter, so the car became my sister's. She and her friends adored it. She got several speeding tickets in it and apparently drove from Virginia to Florida for spring break every year. My next car was a 2CV.

  5. It's through watching all of the Big Car videos that I realise how many gambles and blunders car manufacturers make in an effort to second guess what the public might want next in each country.

  6. I had an 86. It was a great little car. I used to drive from Ft. Campbell, KY to Tampa, FL, 750 miles at least once a month. My best time in that little car, was 9 hours and 45 minutes.

  7. EXP/Escort platform came into it's own by 84, vin code 4( H.O.) It had the GT suspension then the EFI came in 85, thru end of production.
    There was even rare turbos out there too & the bottom ends were stout. I had a base Escort L, with the H.O.2bbl.,. Later bolted up GT suspension & Fomoco spring kit. Had a nice canyon carver..

  8. Thank you for that great video. I am a Ford man through and through, my father came from Co. Cork. I never knew of the EXP.

  9. I think if they would have added the removed turbo SVO engine to it I might have done better I like the 1st gen EXP my self

  10. I remember seeing the Ford EXP car around, back in the day. Always thought they looked like they were built of Legos. It isn't pretty, but very few cars from that era were.

  11. Why is it most American cars look like someone has mashed two or three different designs together, terrible just absolutely terrible designs lol

  12. "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time" Ford's plan was to offer a sporty car with less performance than the base car at an increased price? What could go wrong? or was it that they hit a bullseye on a niche market that didn't exist? Seriously what were they thinking? It should of been either a cheaper car or a better performing car. As a cheaper car it could of been marketed as a business coupe, as a more expensive car it should of had more power and handling than the base car. Perhaps they should of developed more power and handling and built those features into the Mercury as standard and moved the Lynx up market some and budgeted weight and cost on the EXP but to offer Ford buyers a way to get Mercury performance at the Ford dealer and slotted the EXP between the Escort and the Lynx. How about a sports wagon version, a bustle backed EXP? Heck replace the side windows with sheet metal and make it a sedan delivery! Make it a mini pickup with a cargo bed, VW and Dodge did that. It doesn't seem that Ford learned from the success they had with the Falcon/Mustang platform or even some of the escapades across the town at Chrysler were the "B" bodies took some sound engineering and built several series of cars out of one basic design. It shows a lack of commitment to the development of front drive cars in general. I don't know if an Escort based minivan would of been viable but sure as heck think that one based on the Topaz/Tempo would of been and the development of more powerful front drive chassis components for the EXP and Lynx for improved performance or heavier light commercial applications could of carried over to the larger cars and maybe even helped the Taurus/Sable platform.

  13. I can't imagine in my wildest dreams cross-shopping this against a Mk I MR-2 & not buying the Toyota. Even if I was drunk & impressionable at the time.

  14. 0:00 Ah, the lovely mid 70s Corolla! We had one in the mid 80s, which developed enough smoke that I met several police officers. Interior a bit ratty too. Luckily a neighbour had his pristine Corolla T-boned & written off. So my brother & I bought it. Knowing nothing, not even enough to know of workshop manuals, we swapped engines, labelling everything as we undid them and put in new seats. Amazingly, it started first go! Those were fun days.

  15. Excellent work ! I've always had a soft spot for the LN7. I know they could have done better. We briefly had a new 1986 Escort 2dr hatchback 5sp. 2 years later a third child meant it had to go.
    I was a bit unique billed as an High Output this HO version at 85 hp was actually fun to drive. For the sales test drive the only demo was a pathetic "pony" version with 1300cc auto. It was beyond horrible…..it should never have been used as a sales tool. Virtually dangerously lacking in any power to move with traffic. What were they thinking!
    When we wanted a 2nd car a got an old 83 Escort and rebuilt the engine. To my surprise the internals were excellent ! Crank driven oil pump….nicely forged con rods…a baffled oil pan….crossflow head. This block was capable of so much more than Ford let it have.
    It sadly was wrecked…..next was an 83 Lynx 2dr auto. But strangely it had the same HO engine as the 86 we had. Larger 2barrel weber downdraft carb, and exhaust headers. No badging or info at all.
    Ford did a poor job of letting people know about these things.
    I should ad my sister in law had a later Escort GT cant recall exact year…..maybe 88 or 90. Full flares air damn and stripes better rated struts all around and wide tires. It was much quicker a real fun little car.

  16. I've lived my life in the Detroit area. EXPs were not rare here. I was cool enough to have an 8 year old 83 Escort GT in high school. There were 4 EXPs in the high school parking lot of 125 cars.

  17. if they had make these RWD and gave them decent HP along with a less junky interior they might have sold some but that is not American car manufacturers.

  18. I remember this car, and there were not a lot around. I had an acquaintance and I once saw her keychain with the car;s name on it. “Oh”, I said, “You have an EXP.” “Yes”, she said, “You know what that is?”.

    Now, when is your Saturn story gonna happen. 🙂

  19. I bought a used blue one because it was good on gas and I thought it looked good. One weekend I was changing the oil and some friends came over from out of the country so I got interrupted and distracted for a while. Later on somebody decided to borrow the car to make a beer run before I had filled it up with new oil. It spun a bearing on the crankshaft just as it pulled back into the driveway so we rebuilt the engine. You hear a lot about hemi engines but you probably didn't know that these little low horsepower cars actually had an engine with four hemispherical combustion chambers. A hemi head. Despite that it really didn't make much power at all but was light enough I suppose. Less than a year later it got caught in a flash flood and had muddy water halfway up the seats. I couldn't just throw it away after putting all that work into the engine so I got it running again. I had to pump and drain all of the fluids. Throw the carpet away and hose down the seats plus rebuild the carburetor. It ran fine but had a brown haze behind the instrument panel and would have flakey intermittent problems with electrical switches once and awhile.
    Not a bad one for a beater car in Hawaii.

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