Born in ’69, the popular Capri was Ford’s European Mustang. Originally it was going to be called the Colt, however Mitsubishi had already beaten them to it!
Its predecessor, the Consul Capri wasn’t the most commercially successful vehicle the company had ever produced, with less than 20,000 produced in its 3 year lifespan.
Originally based on the Cortina, UK models were produced in Dagenham and Halewood. European models were also built in Belgium and Germany. Around 2 million were produced worldwide in its lifetime
The MK1’s were initially offered with a few engine options, a Kent 1.3, 1.6, a 2.0 V4, a 2.3 and a 138bhp ‘Essex’ 3.0 V6. The 3000GT (pictured) are the most sought after. This impressive car could achieve 0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 120mph, which was enough to out-perform most non-super cars at the time. The engine was improved for more performance in subsequent years.
Even more impressive are the now very rare RS models. The 150bhp RS2600 introduced in 1970 could reach 0-60 in 8.6 seconds and was developed for racing purposes. The 1973 RS3100 had a 7.6 time as a result of its bored out 3.0 litre engine. Just 250 of these were built.
1974 saw the introduction of the MK2, with a shorter bonnet and larger cabin and became a slightly more practical hatchback. A 2.0 pinto engine was also introduced to the line-up.
The Capri’s final incarnation was the MK3 in 1978 which was a revised MK2 with the more familiar twin headlights. More name changes to the models available included the Laser and 3.0 S. A 160bhp, 2.8 ‘Cologne’ V6 injection engine replaced the 3.0 in 1981 and a 5 speed gearbox would follow.
There have been various special editions throughout the Capri’s lifetime, and the MK3 was no exception. Notably there were a few turbo versions from Tickford and Turbo Technics providing even more power.
Unfortunately the popularity of the hot hatch in the 80’s saw the demise of the Capri and the last run of ‘Brooklands’ 280 special editions ended production in 1986.
The Ford Capri however remains a popular classic car choice today and values are steadily rising!
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