Ford Capri – A Retro Look Back – By Jack Mortimer
Written by kirk on November 28, 2019
by Jack Mortimer for The Road Show
So pretty much everyone the world over knows about the Ford Mustang. It was a brilliant idea – a sports car that was both affordable and practical for everyday use as a family car. Well sadly over here in Europe it wasn’t sold officially (in RHD form for the UK, at least) until 50 years after the original model went on sale State-side.
Anyway, less of the Mustang. Over here in Europe our answer to it was the Capri. The original Capri was a body style given to the Consul – an every day family car given some minor coupe styling tweaks. The Capri became its own model in 1969 using the same principles as the Mustang. And it also used the same cost cutting mentality too. It was essentially based on a very conventional Mk2 Cortina and used parts from the Escort.
However the buying experience was very different. For starters the car was offered with many variants. Engines ranged from an economical (well, at least for the 60s) 1.3 to a 3 litre V6. The Capri also had something they called ‘Custom plans’ which meant that buyers didn’t just select an overall range model (like an L or GLS) and then buy some optional extras but they selected what they wanted and made a car specifically to suit them.
And thats how this car has a matte black bonnet like Mr Bean’s Mini (second post in a row mentioning that car). It wasn’t a mod. In fact my great grandad’s 1971 Capri 2000GT had one too! Anyway, that was the magic of the Capri. It was, as the adverts said “The car you always promised yourself” as it was perfect for the buyer. Affordable too, starting at £890, about the same money as a standard family saloon.
The original Capri was replaced in 1974 by the revised Capri II which gave it a hatchback along with some other additions. But, once again, thats a story for another time.
Written by Jack Mortimer, presenter of “The Road Show” on Duggystone Radio
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