Saturday, December 24, 2011

1982 Ford EXP ASC / McLaren? - I Never Knew Such A Thing Existed...

I'm not real sure what we have here.

The seller is calling this an ASC / McLaren EXP. Ford, ASC and McLaren were involved in projects in the 1980s, notably the Mecrury Capri ASC McLaren and Ford Mustang ASC / McLaren. But an EXP ASC / McLaren? Until today, I had never heard of such a thing.

The Ford EXP was a "sporty" two-seater based on the Ford Escort. It was the first two-seater built by Ford since the original Thunderbird. The engine was the Escort's 1.6 liter 4, which didn't move the car with any real gusto. In 1984 - the last year of the first generation EXP - a turbo version of the engine became available. That improved things, but it was still no rocket.

So what's with this car? It's tough to tell from the seller's ad. There's no doubt that at least one or two ASC / McLaren EXPs were built. (Find some pictures of one here.) Autoweek magazine wrote about one in December, 1982.

This car definitely has a few things not found on the standard EXP. The seats and steering wheel are different. There is some trim that I've never seen on an EXP, and, of course, there is the ASC / McLaren graphics running down the side.

The seller says ASC designed and installed the sunroof. That makes sense. After that, the ad starts to get weird... The seller writes: "what they actually did is as follows...they took out the a/c compressor in this vehicle and installed a Bendix supercharger, they then installed turbo behind the exhaust manifold , they also took of the carburation system off her and installed a OE fuel injection system." A supercharger and a turbo?

The seller then goes on to mention the suspension and brake changes, which is all pretty standard stuff, but very good stuff.

The seller says this car has been "sitting in a field in New Hampshire for many years". That's a sentence you never, ever, want to see in a used car ad. New Hampshire is a nice enough state, but not one that's known for its warm, dry climate.

This is a really interesting car and a complete mystery to me. If it is what the seller says it is, it's a rare car that needs to be restored. It won't be cheap, easy or quick to do, however. The best I can say is do as much research as you can. (There is a small discussion going on about this car on the ascMcLaren Enthusiasts board. You can find it here.)

Located in Revere, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

A big thanks to Paul for sending me this link and to his son for doing a bit of research!

6 comments:

Bill said...

Supercharger and a turbo? Think Lancia 037 and group 5 Delta. They did it effectivly!

Matt said...

I've seen twin-charged MR2s as well.

This guy is beyond dreaming at nearly $4k for this car... It would take $10k or more to bring this car back.

rrshadow2 said...

This will never be more than a $1,500 car, no matter what, even restored

Anonymous said...

The interior reminds me of the mythbusters episode where they put the dead pig in the Corvette

Paul

Anonymous said...

VW is using Kompressor and Turbo in
their "TSI" engines in Europe.
They get 170 hp out of a 1.4 liter
engine. Seems to work fine.
Constant boosting without the turbo lag.

1lowscort said...

@rrshadow2:
How do you figure? The car just sold for a 3500 in its current condition. It is actually the only one ever built and it has 15000 original miles. It was purchased by a friend of mine who will be doing a full restoration to the best of his abilities. This is the rarest EXP ever built, and the EXP its self is a rare car. As for value, I just sold my 84 EXP turbo for $5000, and the ASC is much, much more valuable. Sure, they are a niche car, but there are buyers out there.

Also, to the writer, the EXP turbo was made for two years, 84 and 85, 85 being the last year of the body style.