In January 1969, a few months before man walked on the moon, Ford introduced the new Capri into Europe, in a bid to capitalise upon the large success that the Capri’s American cousin the Mustang had enjoyed in the pony car and sports coupe market in the course of the decade.
When the Mark 1 Capri was launched at the Brussels Motor Show with the slogan ‘The Car You always Promised Yourself’ it grew to become an on the spot success with the baby boomer generation.
Within a 12 months of production, nearly one in 4 of all motors that Ford bought in Europe, was once a Capri.
In 1970 nearly 250,000 Capris have been sold. The vehicle was assembled at Liverpool and Dagenham in the UK and at Ford’s flora in Ghenk in Belgium and Cologne in Germany. By 1973 the millionth Capri an RS 2600 rolled off the manufacturing line at Ford’s Halewood plant in Liverpool.
The early success in Europe led to Ford introducing the vehicle into the US and Australian markets in 1970 and guaranteed the production of two similarly models, the Mark 2 and Mark 3 Capris.
The Capri Mark 1 was once a sporty searching fastback with a lengthy bonnet, large opening two doors, low roofline often in black vinyl, rounded aspect windows, pretend air intakes and alloy wheels and the different hockey stick shaped indent that ran the length of the aspect of the car. Inside the automobile was designed with plastic and fake wooden which was once to grow to be synonymous with vehicles of the 1970s. Inside the automobile was roomy with a rear bench seat and in accordance to an advert by means of Ford at the time ‘We had been going to name the new Capri a 2+2 however there’s too plenty room in the back’.
The Capri came in a multitude of engine configurations with many of the elements and components borrowed directly from the Ford Escort which had launched two years earlier. This intended the auto had the traditional the front mounted engine and rear wheel drive.
The most popular Capri offered in the UK was the 1600cc version with both a L, GL or XL trim identifying its look and indoors design. With a manual gearbox the auto would battle to attain a hundred mph but the buying public have been no longer that worried with overall performance in 1969, they have been more involved in value for cash fashion and price. The base 1300cc model for the petrol frugant or timid driver started out at simply 890 on the road. The zippy two litre version used to be offered for a meer 1088. The range of Capris on offer was once so large that no supplier may want to stock each and every variety. Incredibly the auto featured front disk brakes and rack and pinion steerage as standard, however in early models you had to request seatbelts as extras!
In its base form the 1300 Capri was once a sluggish pressure with its pushrod engine, however the 1600 crossflow Kent engine with its Pinto derived overhead camshaft cylinder head gave the car a energetic performance. The 2000 used to be a different desktop once more with a V4 Essex Ford engine.
The Ford Capri’s handling could nice be described as awkward and like the Mustang involved large amounts of oversteer. In the dry the auto was once maneuverable and exciting to drive, but when it rained it could punish the unaccustomed driver with very poor rear wheel traction and a slippery drive.
This grew to be even greater obvious with the larger engined later variations such as the 3000 GT and the mark 3 2.8i, which shortly grew to be rated in the excessive insurance groups. The Capri, like most motors produced at the time used to be additionally notorious for rust.
The iconic layout used to be favoured by excellent and bad. The car used to be generally featured on TV monitors and motion pictures and in cops and robbers fashion car chases. This can also have led to the rise of the British ‘Boy Racer’ who cherished the souped up and modified later versions. The Capri was once additionally favoured by the ‘joy-rider’ car thief and its negative protection led to the Mark 3 turning into the most stolen automobile in the UK all through the 1980’s.
As the Capri aged the model modifications tended to be more cosmetic than mechanical, for example the different rectangular headlights of the Mark 2 Capri, which as a end result left the winning sales method intact. Production of the Mark 1 ended in 1974 and was replaced with the aid of the Mark 2 Capri which was constructed from 1974 till 1978. The Mark three Capri used to be constructed from 1978 till the final car rolled off the manufacturing traces in 1986. All in all nearly two million Ford Capris graced our streets in the Nineteen Seventies and 80s.