Fired up by the success of the Mustang in America and spotting that a potentially huge market for affordable sporting cars was being under-exploited in Europe, Ford set about designing a compact sports coupe and the Capri was born. Unveiled at the 1969 Brussels Motor Show it was an instant sensation.
A true working class hero, the Capri was fun to drive and great to look at with rakish fastback styling, quickly becoming one of the best-selling Fords in Europe. From 1970 the Capri was also made available to the American market where it was sold in limited numbers through the Blue Oval’s Lincoln-Mercury division, still built in Germany but carrying no Ford badges and differentiated from the European version by bigger bumpers, round quad headlamps, revised electrical system and a plusher interior with sports bucket seats, a woodgrain effect dashboard and a padded steering wheel.
Four engines were offered, a 1.6 Kent crossflow, a 2.0 inline-four and from 1972 a 2.6 Cologne V6, enlarged to 2.8 in 1974, with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. In 1976 a Mk2 version came out which mirrored the styling of the European Mk2 of 1974, and in 1979 a completely different version came out which was based on the contemporary Ford Mustang.
This Mercury Capri MkI dates from 1974 and has the 2.8 V6 with four-speed automatic transmission. Imported to the UK from California way back in October 1978 and registered here as CDD 572T, it has had six owners since, the current acquiring it in 2005. Fifteen old MOTs show that it was in regular use from 1978 to 1995, the mileage rising from 44,800 to 74,000 during this time.
Now showing just under 76,000 on the clock, it has been in storage for many years and is being offered here from a deceased estate as a straightforward restoration project.
Estimate; £2,000 - £3,000, but offered at No Reserve