Capri MKI – Model Introduction


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    Kim Warner

      Ford needed cars for the “Baby Boomers”, something sexy and stylish, yet affordable and fun. The Mustang was the answer stateside, a small, nimble vehicle, with a great power to weight ratio, yet inexpensive to manufacture, convenient to own and easy to drive.

      Ford Europe embarked on a similar quest, employing Phillip T Clark, one of the primary members of the Mustang design team, and using the MkII Cortina as a donor vehicle the Capri was born as Europe’s answer to the Mustang, the car was originally to be named the “Ford Colt”, but Mitsubishi had already registered the “Colt” name.

      The Capri Arrived in South Africa Early in 1970 with 1600 (Kent in-line 4), 2000 (Essex V4) and 3000 (Essex V6) engines in L, XL and GT trim.

      Car Magazine had this to say about the Capri in April 1969, “Capri adds something new to motoring. It is the type of personal car many people would like to own, but hitherto have been unable to obtain at a price they can afford. The Capri changes this. And yet, notwithstanding its rakish lines, it has comfortable room for a medium-sized family”.

      In July 1970 Car Magazine tested the 3000XL version, and compared the figures of the three available engine choices as follows:

      1600 – Kent in-line 4
      0-96km/h 13.3 seconds
      Top Speed 154.4km/h
      2000 – Essex V4
      0-96km/h 10.9 seconds
      Top Speed 166.4km/h
      3000 – Essex V6
      0-96km/h 10 seconds
      Top Speed 172.8km/h

      The Capri was also the basis for what became Basil Greens most famous Perana, the Capri Perana used the 302 Windsor V8 fitted to a 3000 XL Capri, interestingly the 3000V6’s removed were transplanted into MK2 Cortina XL/GT models creating the Cortina Perana!

      The Capri was created as a fashion accessory, but Ford made sure it was a QUALITY fashion accessory, and while the Capri did go OUT of fashion (in the early ’90s I could pick and choose for around R10k), their time has come again, neat and original Capris are attracting very high prices, and as usual the rare Basil Green Perana originals have soared in value.

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Kim Warner.
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