by Gauk
Mon, Apr 17, 2017 11:43 PM

Ford Capris are still very cheap for what they are, but their prices have roughly doubled in 18 months. They are set to keep on improving in value, so now is the time to cash in. Of course, taking the time to pick the right example is a must, which is why we have done it for you.

In the mid-1960s Ford Europe were eying, with some envy, the stampeding success of the Mustang in the USA and instigated a development program for a European equivalent. Initially the intention was for this car to be called the ‘Colt’ to reinforce the link to its American cuz’ and hopefully have some of its magic sales dust rub off on it. Unfortunately Mitsubishi took umbrage and the Capri name was coined. Designed by American Philip T. Clark who was also responsible for the Mustang, a staggering 1.9 million units were sold between 1969 and its sad demise at the end of 1986. A good indication of just how ‘right’ Ford got it with the Capri is that its replacement, the Probe, only sold in numbers more reminiscent of a strictly limited production run.

The Capri’s fastback styling was, for Ford at least, ground-braking for its day but the ‘mostly bonnet’ profile had definite Mustang DNA in it and Ford’s engineers did an admirable job of keeping the cars looks sporty while still providing sufficient cabin space for the family man to at least kid himself that there was room in the back for a child or two. To enable Ford to build the car to a sellable price, engines, gearboxes, rear axles and many suspension components were borrowed from more prosaic models in the Ford range, most notably the Cortina. The resultant combination of value for money and desirability was an instant success and the Capri quickly established itself as the market leader in the ‘sporty, two door, coupe, with room for the family (nearly) or a long weekend away’ sector.

The MkII Capri of 1974 upped the practicality further with the roomier inside made more accessible with the adoption of a full hatchback body. Externally some of the slightly fussy detailing was styled out and the car looked ready to take its place on the forecourts of the mid-70s.

Time and tide wait for no man though and a further update was deemed necessary to keep the Capri at the top its sector’s sales charts so by 1978 the MkIII was on the market sporting its trademark quadruple headlights which referenced its top of the range 3000 GXL ancestor. A chin spoiler, rubbing strips and blacked out bright-work kept the Capri both contemporary and desirable enough for a Home Office report of the time to class it as at ‘High Risk’ of theft... The hooded headlights and other tweaks gave the MkIII the aerodynamic and performance edge over its predecessors and it saw the Coupe Ford right through until 1986. Despite all this, the Marketing Men knew they had their work cut out to keep sales buoyant and employed Professional help – in the shape of Bodie and Doyle with their pair of 3.0 Ss.

Ford Capris are still very cheap for what they are, but their prices have roughly doubled in 18 months. They are set to keep on improving in value, so now is the time to cash in. Of course, taking the time to pick the right example is a must, which is why we have done it for you.

The car offered

This highly original Capri MkIII 1.6 LS is a simply wonderful example of Fords ultra-popular Coupe. Finished in its original (naturally) shade of Caspian Blue Metallic paint - surely one of the best for a Capri of this era- it oozes the mid-1980s from every pore. The again so of its time check cloth interior takes you straight back to hearing Frankie say ‘Relax’, possibly via the Factory tilt and slide sunroof. This car’s outstanding originality is in fact only part of its appeal and its ownership history is equally impressive. Purchased new in 1984 by its sadly recently deceased only owner and driver, the Capri was kept and cherished for the next thirty-two years. On the owners death in June of this year the car was placed into his partners name to enable a cherished number plate transfer to take place and there is a letter on file confirming that this was a paper transaction only and that the car was never driven by the deceased gentleman’s partner.

During its effectively one owner life the Ford has covered a total of only 82,500 miles and this is confirmed by a comprehensive service history which encompasses a scarcely believable twenty-nine stamps in the Service Book, the last of which relates to work carried out just 2,000 miles ago. Unsurprisingly, all the original handbooks and aforementioned Service Book are present in the car’s file along with various invoices, the current V5C and two sets of keys. There is also a current MOT certificate showing no ‘advisories’ which is valid until October 2017.

A recently fitted new battery and clutch ensure that the Capri is up to scratch mechanically and it drives very nicely as you would expect with all the major mechanical items performing very well indeed.

Despite the Ford’s age, its body and paintwork are in remarkably good order being straight with good panel gaps and having a good shine respectively. New front wings have been fitted at some stage though we feel this is a far better course of action than trying to repair the original items. The interior is arguably better still with virtually no evidence of wear to the seats or carpets and the cars garaged existence is reflected in the lack of any cracking or distortion to the dashboard. No attempt has been made to ‘smarten’ the engine bay and it appears as one would expect for an unrestored, very original car; a little road grime but not suspiciously shiny and with its factory labels in place.

Surely one for the very serious Ford collector.

published by Gauk