Ford Consul Capri (335) (1961–64)
The Capri was a two door coupé version of the Ford Classic saloon made by Ford of Britain. The Ford Classic was a result of 4 years of development. Approval for the project was given in autumn 1956. The styling of the car was the last project undertaken by Colin Neale before he left Dagenham for Dearborn. The initial design requirement was for the Ford Classic to be a full range model to take Ford into the new decade. Ford even developed a full-
The Capri Project was code named "Sunbird" and took design elements from the Ford Thunderbird and the Ford Galaxie Sunliner. It was instigated by Sir Horace Denne, Ford's Sales Director. He wanted a "co-
On its September announcement the Consul Capri was for export only but went on sale to the domestic British market in January 1962. The bodies were sub-
The Consul Capri included Ford Classic De-
Initially fitted with a 1340 cc 3 main bearing engine (model 109E), the early cars were considered underpowered and suffered from premature crankshaft failure. Engine capacity was increased in August 1962 to 1498 cc (model 116E) and this engine was a vast improvement. The first 200 Capris were left-
In February 1963 a GT version (also 116E) was announced. The new GT engine, developed by Cosworth, featured a raised compression ratio to 9:1, a modified head with larger exhaust valves, an aluminium inlet manifold, a four branch exhaust manifold and, most noticeably, a twin-
Overall the car was very expensive to produce and in the latter part of its production was running alongside the very popular Ford Cortina. Sales were disappointing and the Consul Capri was removed from sale after just two and a half years with 19,421 sold, of which 2002 were GT models. Just 1007 cars were sold in 1964, the last year of production, 412 of them being GTs. The Consul Capri was discontinued in July 1964. The Consul Capri (335) is one of the rarest cars from Ford of Great Britain.
A Capri was tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1962 and had a top speed of 79.0 mph (127.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-
Ford Capri Mk I (1969–1974)
The first Ford Capri to bear that precise name was introduced in January 1969 at the Brussels Motor Show, with sales starting the following month. The intention was to reproduce in Europe the success Ford had had with the North American Ford Mustang; to produce a European pony car. It was mechanically based on the Cortina and built in Europe at the Dagenham and Halewood plants in the United Kingdom, the Genk plant in Belgium, and the Saarlouis and Cologne plants in Germany. The car was named Colt during development stage, but Ford were unable to use the name, as it was trademarked by Mitsubishi.
Although a fastback coupé, Ford wanted the Capri Mk I to be affordable for a broad spectrum of potential buyers. To help achieve that, it was available with a variety of engines. The British and German factories produced different line-
Under the new body, the running gear would have been familiar to anyone used to working on the underside of a 1966 Cortina. Rear suspension employed a live axle supported on leaf springs with short radius rods. MacPherson struts featured at the front in combination with rack and pinion steering which employed a steering column that would collapse in response to a collision.
The initial reception of the car was broadly favourable. In the June 1970 edition of the Monthly Driver's Gazette, tester Archie Vicar wrote of the gearchange that it was "...in Ford fashion easy to operate but not very jolly". In the same review Vicar summed up the car as follows: "Perhaps with a bit of work it can be given road-
The range continued be broadened, with another 3.0 variant, the Capri 3000E introduced from the British plant in March 1970, offering "more luxurious interior trim".
In April 1970, Ford began selling the Capri outside Europe, in the North American, South African and Australian markets. These versions were all powered by the underpowered Kent 1.6 engine although a Pinto straight-
Hans Heyer 1973 with Ford Capri at the Nürburgring
A new 2637 cc version of the Cologne V6 engine assembled by Weslake and featuring their special all alloy cylinder heads appeared in September 1971, powering the Capri RS2600. This model used Kugelfischer fuel injection to raise power to 150 PS (110 kW) and was the basis for the Group 2 RS2600 used in the European Touring Car Championship. The RS2600 also received modified suspension, a close ratio gearbox, lightened bodywork panels, ventilated disc brakes and aluminium wheels. It could hit 100kph from a standstill in 7.7 seconds. The 2.6 L engine was detuned in September for the deluxe version 2600 GT, with 2550 cc and a double-
The very first Ford Special, was the Capri Vista Orange Special. The Capri Special was launched in November 1971 and was based on the 1600 GT, and 2000 GT models. It was only available in Vista orange and was optional fitted with a boot mounted spoiler and rear window slats -
Mk I facelift(1973)
The Capri proved highly successful, with 400,000 cars sold until 1970. Ford revised it in 1972 to become what is known by enthusiasts as the Capri "Bis" (i.e. "second") or, in the UK, the "Mk I facelift" Capri. The car received a new and more comfortable suspension, rectangular headlights, enlarged tail-
In addition, North American versions received larger rubber-
1973, saw the highest sales total the Capri ever attained, at 233,000 vehicles: the 1,000,000th Capri, an RS 2600, was completed on 29 August.
In December, Ford replaced the Cologne V6 based RS2600 with the Essex V6 based RS3100, with the usual 3.0 L Essex V6's displacement increased to 3098 cc. Unlike its predecessor, it used a double-
Ford Capri Mk II – 'Capri II' (1974–1978)
1974 Ford Capri Mk II
Manufacturer Ford of Europe
Also called Mercury Capri
Assembly Dagenham, Halewood, United Kingdom
Saarlouis, Cologne, Germany
Predecessor Ford Capri Mk I
Successor Ford Capri Mk III
Body style Hatchback coupé
Layout FR layout
V6 2.3 L, 3.0 L
Transmission Manual transmission
In February 1974, the Capri II was introduced. After 1.2 million cars sold, and with the 1973 oil crisis, Ford chose to make the new car more suited to everyday driving with a shorter bonnet, larger cabin and the adoption of a hatchback rear door. By the standards of the day, the Capri II was a very well evolved vehicle with very few reliability issues. For Germany the Capri now offered 1.3 litre (55 PS (40 kW)), 1.6 litre (72 PS (53 kW)) or 2.0 litre (88 PS (65 kW)) in-
Although it was mechanically similar to the Mk I, the Capri II had a revised larger body and a more modern dashboard including a smaller steering wheel. The 2.0 L version of the Pinto engine was introduced in the European model and was placed below the 3.0L V6. The Capri still maintained the large square headlights, which became the easiest way to distinguish between a Mk II and a Mk III. Larger front disc brakes and a standard alternator finished the list of modifications.
1975 Ford Capri Mk II 2.0 JPS
Ford introduced the John Player Special limited edition, (known as the JPS) in March 1975. Available only in black or white, the JPS featured yards of gold pinstriping to mimic the Formula 1 livery, gold colored wheels, and a bespoke upgraded interior of beige cloth and carpet trimmed with black. In May 1976, and with sales decreasing, the intermediate 3.0 GT models disappeared to give way for the upscale 3.0 S and Ghia designations. In October 1976, production was limited to the Saarlouis factory only and the following year the Capri left the American market with only 513,500 models sold.
Ford Capri Mk III (1978–1986)
Ford Capri III S
Manufacturer Ford of Europe
Assembly Dagenham, Halewood, United Kingdom
Cologne, Saarlouis, Germany
Predecessor Ford Capri Mk II
Body style Hatchback coupé
Layout FR layout
V6 2.0 L, 2.3 L, 2.8 L, 3.0 L
Transmission Manual transmission,
Wheelbase 101 in (2,565 mm)
Length 167.8 in (4,262 mm)
Width 67 in (1,702 mm)
Height 51 in (1,295 mm)
Curb weight 2,227 lb (1,010 kg) 1.3L
2,293 lb (1,040 kg) 1.6S
2,273 lb (1,031 kg) 2.0S
2,620 lb (1,188 kg) 2.8i
2,688 lb (1,219 kg) 3.0S
The Capri Mk III was referred to internally as "Project Carla", and although little more than a substantial update of the Capri II, it was often referred to as the Mk III. The first cars were available in March 1978, but failed to halt a terminal decline in sales. The concept of a heavily facelifted Capri II was shown at the 1976 Geneva show: a Capri II with a front very similar to the Escort RS2000 (with four headlamps and black slatted grille), and with a rear spoiler, essentially previewed the model some time before launch. The Mk III featured improved aerodynamics, leading to improved performance and economy over the Mk II and the trademark quad headlamps were introduced.
At launch the existing engine and transmission combinations of the Capri II were carried over, with the 3.0 S model regarded as the most desirable model although in truth the softer, Ghia derivative with automatic rather than manual transmission the bigger seller of the two V6 engined models.
Mk III models available:
Capri L (1.3, 1.6)
Capri LS (1.6)
Capri GL (1.6, 2.0)
Capri S (1.6, 2.0, 2.3, 3.0)
Capri Laser (1.6, 2.0)
Capri Ghia (2.0, 3.0)
Capri 2.8 Injection (2.8)
Capri 2.8 Injection Special (2.8)
Capri 280 (2.8)
Special limited addition trimmed models:
Capri Cabaret I and II (1.6, 2.0)
Capri Calypso I and II (1.6)
Capri Cameo (1.3, 1.6)
Capri GT4 (1.6, 2.0)
Capri Tempo (1.3, 1.6)
Ford began to focus their attention on the UK Capri market as sales declined, realizing the car had something of a cult following there. Unlike sales of the contemporary 4-
Despite being the most popular sporting model in Britain for most of its production life, the third generation Capri was also one of the most stolen cars in Britain during the 1980s and early 1990s, being classified as "high risk" of theft in a Home Office report.
The 3.0 S was used extensively in the TV series The Professionals, with characters Bodie driving a silver 3.0 S and Doyle a gold 3.0 S, which was credited with maintaining interest in the car in the UK.
2.8 Injection models
In 1981, the 3.0 V6 powerplant was dropped from the line-
From July 1981 to Sept 1982, German RS dealers marketed a limited edition, Zakspeed inspired, left-
The Tickford Capri used a turbocharged 2.8 Injection Cologne engine which developed 205 hp (153 kW), allowing it to reach 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds, topping out at 137 miles per hour. This version also featured a luxury interior with optional full leather retrim and Wilton carpeting and headlining, large rear spoiler, colour coded front grille, deeper bumpers and 'one off' bodykit designed by Simon Saunders, later of KAT Designs and now designer of the Ariel Atom.
Rear disc brakes were standard on the Tickford, which featured numerous other suspension modifications. This model was essentially rebuilt by hand by Tickford at approximately 200 hours per car. It sold fewer than 100 units. One problem was the relative price difference to the standard Capri Injection, with the Tickford version costing twice as much.
Turbo Technics conversions
Independent tuner Turbo Technics also released a turbocharged 200 hp (149 kW) and 230 hp (172 kW) evolution which came supplied with a specially built gearbox. The Tickford Capri pricing issues meant that Ford also sanctioned the Turbo Technics conversion as semi-
From November 1984 onwards, the Capri was sold only in Britain, with only right hand drive cars being made from this date. The normally aspirated 1.6 and 2.0 variants were rebranded with a new trim level – "Laser" – which featured a fully populated instrument pod, leather gear lever, leather steering wheel, four-
1987 Ford Capri Mk III 280
The last run limited edition "Brooklands" Green, 280 model, featuring a limited slip differential, full leather Recaro interior and 15 inch versions of the seven spoke 13 inch wheels fitted to the superseded Capri Injection Special. Ford originally intended to make 500 turbo charged vehicles (by Turbo Technics) complete with gold alloy wheels and name it the Capri 500 but a change of production planning meant a name change to Capri 280 as the cars were simply the last models that ran down the production line. A total of 1,038 Capri 280s were built.
When the last Capri was made on 19 December 1986, 1,886,647 cars had rolled off the production lines. Production had ended at Halewood, UK in 1976 and the Capri was made exclusively in Germany from 1976 to 1986. Most of those (more than a million) were the Mk I, because the Mk I sold well in North America and Australia, while the Mk II and Mk III were only exported outside Europe (to Asia and New Zealand) in limited numbers.