The name, the image, and the affordable style, plus the 1.9 million sales should have kept a car as great as this still alive to this today.
More than 40 years later we proudly display ‘the car you always promised yourself’ on our floor.
Ford’s two-door coupé set out to be Europe’s Mustang, and did a pretty good job of it. Designed in the first instance by Philip T Clark (a Mustang veteran), it used Cortina Mk2 under bits and engines in a model line-up that started with a 1.3-litre version, also packing 1.6s and 2.0s. In performance spec, it housed the meaty British-made 3.0-litre V6 as its biggest engine before later changing to the sweeter Cologne-made 2.8i V6. The car lived through three iterations. The first, new in 1968, has almost disappeared thanks to the ravages of rust.
The very last Capri III was made at the end of 1986, its reputation as a decent driver’s car still intact. Had Ford persisted with front engine/ rear-drive family cars, it might have lasted longer (pan-European sales averaged a decent 100,000 units a year) but, without the running gear to support it, the Capri business case simply melted away. Ford imported a deeply unsuccessful US coupé called the Probe for a year or two, but pretty soon it was concentrating – rightly – on hot hatches and not looking back.
This car has been highly modified including an engine swap to a Lexus V8.