1980s Detroit: Ford takes a look at the ever-aging Mustang, the Fox-body Mustang, of which had been on the market for nearly a decade. Sales were dropping and a change was needed, including its possible eradication. The change Ford originally intended to make for Mustang is what is known today as the Ford Probe, and would have completely rerouted the future of the beloved American pony car. But an apparently intended April Fool’s Day joke article published by Autoweek, as well as a man who would become a namesake with the sports brand of Ford, would be Mustang’s eventual saviors.
Special guest (former Editor at the time of the “story” and Publisher at Autoweek, with 34 years at the brand) and car enthusiast, Dutch Mandel gives a breadth of insight from his experience as the Japanese automaker beat writer for Autoweek at the time, in addition to a look at the climate of the foreign automakers making their way into American garages, and how Detroit, and the Midwest, were well, “handling it.”
This was an incredibly fun story to work on, and Josh and I are a little disappointed we were unable to get in contact with the original writer of the Autoweek article prior to the publishing of this episode, but Dutch gave wonderful background many don’t look at in the sharing of this story and how other foreign autos were making their way into the American landscape at this crucial time.
If/when we do come across more of the backstory and track down the writer, we will absolutely be updating this article.
For more notes from this telling episode, some links!: The cleanest and most well-overpriced Probe on the market | More Probes for sale!