The Alien. The Myth. The Legend. This is the car that started AP’s presence on Kinjaverse. Gather ‘round kiddies. There’s stories to be told!
Some ten odd years ago (give or take). I was a frequent lurker on Jalopnik. Buzzing around the Murilee Martin Blog Posts like a moth to a flame. I adored this newfangled racing series that he was covering called Lemons Racing. Sure enough, I was determined to compete somehow. I rallied some coworkers and got to work on coordinating a team!
One coworker daily drove a dark red Ford Probe 4cyl just like the Matchbox you see below (less the fancy graphics). He lived less than 5 miles from our store and hardly did anything but work and sit at home on his x-box. Still, the New Hampshire winters do not care... road salt ate away at the underside of rocker panels like crazy. Even with only 35K on the car... it wouldnt pass inspection and he decided to junk it.
Opportunity! I jumped all over snagging the car for my dream lemons team. The theme was going to be ALIENS! and I had all sorts of wild ideas to make the car look fantastic for racing at NHMS that summer. It was GOING TO BE EPIC. I stopped lurking and started posting on Jalopnik under my upcoming team name “Alien Probe”. I filed all the necessary paperwork with Lemons Supreme Court and got approved. Alien themed Ford had all the green lights needed.
Alas, my fatal flaw was that I recruited nothing but unmotivated tech-nerds for my team and none of them really knew how (nor wanted to) wrench on the car. Lack of funds also meant I couldn’t get a decent roll cage put in :(. I drove the Probe back to my house from his (40 miles) in probably the longest drive that car had made ever. The brakes were shot and every light imaginable was illuminated on the dash. It still drove awesome and the engine purrrrrrred.
I got as far as gutting the interior that summer and then the car sat for a year. The sad reality that I didn’t really have any gearhead friends sank in more and more. After another year I had to let go of the dream and I sold the car to scrap. It wasn’t meant to be. Another day, another car... but the Probe would have to rest in scrapyard heaven.
So, it’s fitting that I finally got my hands on 2 of these Matchbox versions. One will stay in my collection as-is. The other is going to get a full custom dedicated to the AP Racer that never was. Now, that’s a racecar I can afford.
*disclaimer: I still dont have any gearhead friends. I shouldn’t have stayed in IT. haha.