The Probe 15 was made famous by the Stanley Kubrick film 'a
clockwork orange'. The Probe 15 was only 29 inches tall making
it the lowest car in the world, the car was so low access to
the Probe was through the sliding roof.
Despite its rapid looks the Probe 15 was based on Hillman Imp
running gear and its performance was anything but rapid.
Below is an entertaining story from Mike Harrison of Canada
about the Probe 15.
It was after the car was purchased by... darned if I can remember
his name... a young man from South Africa who was training to
be a pilot with BOAC.
He was called back to South Africa to attend the sale of one
of his father's farms.
He asked me to drive him to Southampton. He was going back by
boat and was hoping to take the car with him.
The morning we were due to leave Hertfordshire, the throttle
cable broke. It was actually a bicycle brake cable and the nipple
came off right under the gas peddle. The owner told me to keep
the car, shook hands, wished me luck and took a cab (all the
way to Southampton!)
He actually left PROBE 15 not in my care but in the care of
a small company named David Johnson Enterprises, out of Harpenden.
There were only four of us in the company and we specialised
in major promotions using film cars and other traffic building
Our first car was a replica Batmobile, followed a year later
by the 22 foot long, 8 foot wide road version of FAB 1, Lady
Penelope's Pink Rolls Royce, so PROBE 15, though it hadn't appeared
in any films at the time, was a good fit.
It took me four hours, upside side, sunnyside up, to attach
a solderless nipple to the end of the brake cable (I'm 6'4"
- take a look at the interior shots to appreciate that particular
I drove it regularly for about three months and one of my earliest
memories is pulling up at a set of traffic lights in St.Alban
and seeing a baby in a pram looking down at me.
It actually drove well. Not too fast, my girlfriend at the time
had a Mini Cooper and the Mini would beat PROBE on the straight,
but nothing touched it in the twisties.
I often drove it home and parked it overnight. I lived at the
end of a narrow cul-de-sac. One morning, a long haul trucker
thought our street offered a short-cut across town.
Realising his mistake, he compounded it by trying to turn his
rig around and became completely stuck. His trailer completely
blocked the entire street. Even cyclists were having a hard
time getting past.
PROBE 15 handled it beautifully. Since she was only 29" high,
I was able to simply drive under the offending trailer and out
the other side.
It always drew a crowd. Especially when you were trying to get
in or out through the roof panel. Long legged girl passengers
in short skirts were particularly welcome, often receiving an
appreciative round of applause from the onlookers.
My final days with PROBE were less than auspicious.
It was late in the evening, raining, in a built up neighborhood
with cars parked on either side of a narrow road. Suddenly,
a car swung wide around the approaching bend, headlight full
on, taking up ever inch on my side of the road.
To avert a head-on, I feathered the brakes. Without warning,
the curb-side rear brake locked up solid. The nose spun sharp
left and smacked a parked car.
We were okay but PROBE's front wing disintegrated.
After that, they took away my toy and I had to content myself
with tooling around in the Pink Rolls Royce.
Wonder what ever happened to dear old PROBE?
review by anonymous:
Being a petrolhead since a kid,i was taken aback one day by
a very low and sleek car, parked outside the parade of shops
that i use to live near to.This turned out to be a Probe, and
at that particular time (around 1976) was lime/pistachio Green.
I'm pretty sure it had a wheel missing, and it seemed to be
parked up/abandoned!.. It stayed there for about six weeks-ish,
before dissapearing. Being twelve years old at the time, I didn't
realize that one of these cars had been used in A Clockwork
Orange (wasn't it banned at the time?)... Be nice to know if
this car was used in the film, has survived etc,etc.. The shopping
parade was woodhall shops in Welwyn Gdn city.
review by Ewan
For the most authoritve account of the Adams Probe Series of
cars, the Adams Probe 15, the Adams Probe 16 and the Adams Probe
2001 visit www.adamsprobe.com The site also cover the Concept
Centaur GT, a derivative of the Probe 15.