The is a fastback coupe manufactured and marketed by Ford Europe from 1968 to 1986. The Capri went on to be highly successful for Ford, selling nearly 1.9 million units in its lifetime. A wide variety of engines were used in the car throughout its production lifespan, which included the Essex and Cologne V6 at the top of the range, while the Kent straight-four and Taunus V4 engines were used in lower-specification models. Although the Capri was not officially replaced, the second-generation Probe was effectively its replacement after the later car's introduction to the European market in 1994.
History of the Ford Capri
Ford Capri Mk I (1969–1974)
Ford tried to replicate the Mustang's success in Europe and introduced the sporty coupe Capri in 1969, although this car's performance didn't match those of its American sibling. There were many differences between American and European customers' requirements. While the U.S. buyers asked for powerful engines, those from the Old Continent needed nimble vehicles for twisty roads. In addition, due to the fuel price, they asked for fuel-efficient engines. That's how the Capri was born: a sport-looking car with a heart of an econobox. At first sight, the Capri looked like it could hide an inline-six under its long hood. Its cab-rearward design made it look like a sports car. In addition, the sloped-down rear windscreen and the short deck amplified the fast-vehicle look. The car was sold in significant numbers. It managed to sell over 400,000 units in its first two years.
Ford Capri Mk II (1974–1978)
In response to the 1973 oil crisis, Ford decided to modify the Capri's design for the 1974 model year, making it into a car more suitable for everyday use. Revisions included a shortened nose, a more spacious cabin, a more practical clamshell rear hatch, and a foldable rear bench seat, all of which made the Capri easier to maneuver and easier to live with. Ford also made the Capri easier to drive by softening its suspension, adding larger disc brakes for the front, and providing buyers with the option of an automatic gearbox and power-assisted steering for the higher-specced models. As part of the revisions, the second-generation Capri received a simplified engine range. The 3.1L V6 from the RS3100 was discontinued and the 2.0L Essex V4 was replaced by the more conventional 2.0L straight-four Pinto engine, with an improved output of 98bhp. The base model 1.3L and 1.6L Kent four-cylinders remained, and the 3.0L Essex V6 reclaimed its position as the range-topper.
Ford Capri Mk III (1978–1986)
Also known as the Capri MKIII, Ford's 1978 coupe for the European market was a heavily revised 1976 Capri MKII. Ford made the Capri to be everyone's grand tourer. It offered a similar style at the price of a regular, family sedan. No wonder that, in 1977, the Capri was the seventh most sold car in the U.K. Ford pushed harder its engineers to make the vehicle even more fuel-efficient and improved the aerodynamics and the powertrains. Fortunately, it didn't change its overall shape. Under the hood, Ford kept the base engines for their high-volume sales but added impressive engines such as the 2.8L fuel-injected version paired with a 5-speed manual. In South Africa, a particular shop used to install the big, 5.0L Ford V-8 engine in the Capri. But it was too nose-heavy, and the agile car became unstable.
In 1969, Ford Europe retailed the first batch of Ford Capri with a starting MSRP of £890, which is around £17,313 ($20,818) in today's conversion rate.
The price range for a used Ford Capri varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $2,200 and going to $6,100 for the latest year the model was manufactured.
Features of the Ford Capri
At the front, the 1978 Capri featured an improved design with quad headlights. Its plastic grille resembled the same idea as the Fiesta and Granada. At the bottom, an apron reduced the air quantity that entered under the car. These modifications improved the car's aerodynamics by almost six percent and reduced the lift by 18 percent. At the back, a spoiler was mounted on specific versions. All these modifications decreased fuel consumption by ten percent. Another particular detail for the 1978 Capri was the matte black door handles and windows surroundings. Later models featured color-coded door mirrors and grille.
Inside, the base version was simple and, somehow, dull. On the other hand, the Sport version was available with Recaro sport bucket seats and a complete dash with an original Ford radio cassette player.
Ford Europe first released the Ford Capri in 1969 and it was in production until 1986. It was discontinued in 1986 to make way for the new Ford Probe.