Tuesday, June 11, 2013

5k: Don't Call Me Crapi: 1971 Mercury Capri

The Capri was a sporty coupe built by Ford of Europe (in Germany) and imported to the USA under the Mercury brand.  Power came from a variety of V4, I4 and V6 engines mated to the rear wheels via manual transmissions for a proper driving experience.  Find this 1971 Mercury Capri for sale in Los Gatos, CA currently bidding on ebay for $5,100 with 2 days to go.

The Capri was built on the Ford Cortina chassis and was an attempt by Ford in Europe to create a small Mustanglike 2+2 for local consumption.  The public reaction wasn't quite as positive as the Mustang in the US, but it did sell well and a generation (or two!) can look back fondly on the Capri as a great starter car for the young hooligan in training.

This Capri is equipped with the base 1.6 liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 75 horsepower which is a shame because the 2.0 liter equipped Capris are actually entertaining to drive.  Consider this one a good candidate for a 302 V8 engine swap sleeper project.

The interior is in so-so shape, but about what you would expect for five grand.

This forest green classic is wearing a set of period correct wheels and looks to be a decent deal for the shopper looking for a European built classic with American influence. 

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  1. It's 1971, and I just can't decide- do I go for this, with it's sporty lines, usable driving dynamics and OK power, or do I go for a Plymouth Cricket, which is a rebadged Hillman Avenger.....

  2. I had a V6 4-speed in baby poop brown. I bought it when my new '73 Torino 428 became worthless due to the Arab oil embargo at the time. Remember gas lines and even-odd?

    I could never keep the front end of the Capri aligned correctly for some reason.

    1. David, re: 73 Torino By 73 wasn't the 428 history? Seems it should have had a 429 if it was a big block.

    2. the front end was notorious for having bad bushings in the control arms in the front. I had a 74, a 71 I bought for parts but fixed and got on the road, then bought two other parts cars. All 2.0 engines which were the same as what I had in my first car a 71 Pinto. While I was away, my uncle rebuilt the 4 bay garage and got rid of all the cars around 1990. He didn't see the value. I d love to have one and drop a 2.3 L fuel injected motor in one now

  3. One of my friends was able to pick up one of the first Capri models with the 2000cc engine. His parents bought it for him to commute 60 miles to college back in the day. For some reason, the car was tremendously unlucky - it was hit on every corner in parking lots and I suppose after returning home form a few overly enthusiastic college parties...

    He sold just to get some money out of it for tuition. I recall "shoveling out" the trash, dirt and sand. It was less than a year old.

    Great handling, and with that straight rear axle, definitely "tossable." Not as sophisticated as my BMW 2002, but equal in straight-line performance. I saw this feature car on CL thinking it might be worth picking up as a "flipper." Looks as if someone else had the same idea.


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