Saturday, March 28, 2015

1k: Rolling Project: 1973 Mercury Capri

 The first generation Mercury Capri (1970-1978) was a European (Ford of Germany) built 2+2 that was sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers in North America.  It was a strange way to buy a European built pony car, but buyers purchased a half a million during the production until it was replaced with a re-badged Mustang for 1979.  Today, a used Capri offers a surprisingly cheap alternative to some with a German badge and great bang for your buck.  Find this 1973 Mercury Capri offered for $1,500 near Portland, OR.  Tip from Oldsmobuick.

This is one of those craigslist ads that looks like a good deal -- the seller isn't even willing to vacuum the interior, or take a picture of the front.  Or it is an ad that looks like a seller who is unwilling to do more than the minimum to put it up for sale -- either way it should make for an exciting purchase experience. 

For 15 benjamins you get a car that runs and drives, has new brakes, good exhaust, but is also described as a "rolling project with current license."  The seller doesn't specify if the car has the 2.0 liter inline-4 (85 horsepower) or the 2.9 liter V6 (107 horsepower), but a set of headers and other miscellaneous parts could be a nice bonus.

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  1. "Old mechanical car burns rubber slides tires"

    I believe that's the best seven words I've ever seen in a car ad. It's almost enough to have me hitting the ATM right there.

    I need to be very careful, though, 'cause the last time I went to Portland expecting to buy a car for cash I figured I'd just go to my my bank when I got there....and my bank has no branches within a billion miles.

    If the 'some rust' is really 'some' and not 'the whole front structure' then this thing is worth the bucks right now.

  2. It says V6 in the ad so I'd assume it's the 2.6. I had a 1974 with the 2.8L V6, headers and Weber carburetor, wicked great fun. 110 MPH on 13 inch tires is an experience everyone should try at least once, it's akin to riding a rickety carnival roller coaster while enjoying a Wild Irish Rose hang over.
    These cars are as raw as a carpet burn but posses a simple charm all their own. Someday In will have another one, but it is not this day. If you're interested check out Team Blitz web site, they are the Capri gurus.

  3. Maybe the seller updated the ad - says V6 now in the title. Looks pretty ratty to me, not nearly as nice as this one -


  4. I had a 1978 hatchback with the 2.8 V-6 and manual transmission. One day during "spirited driving" I broke the gear shift off right at the floor. Went to the wrecker to look for a used one.... I saw five, they had all been broken and welded together again Lol (Turns out there was a recall on the shifter so I eventually got a free new one.. I put hd sway bars on it and some good tires, headers, offenhauser intake and carter 400cfm 4 barrel carb.
    It was a fun car to drive. The guy I sold it to totalled it one week later..... : 0 ( I have had more powerful cars but none that I had more fun in. I wonder what a modern version of that car would be? VW Golf with a VR6 ?

  5. I traded in my 429 Torino for one of these. The cause of this insanity was the Arab oil embargo.

  6. @K2.....sunroof and go fast parts ..great start. The rest of it looks like someone started a project and let it go. The mid nineties plates indicate its been sitting in California for some time. Nonetheless with the sunroof its a much more interesting start. Would have to take it completely apart and build from scratch.
    Had a '74 or '75 Capri for a summer in the south of Sweden in 1976. They're a lot of fun and feel a lot swifter than the comparable Mustang. I'm guessing they are lighter

    1. Ooo...good question. According to TCBOCC, the weight of the Capri/Capri II ranged from 2150 pounds in 1970 up to 2571 pounds for a 1977 Ghia. Length in inches varied from 167.8 (1970) to 174.8 (1977), always with a 100.8 inch wheelbase. A 1973 Mustang was 193.8 inches long, with a 109 inch wheelbase and weighed from 3050 up to 3220 pounds. MSRP for the Capri was $2,445 (1970) up to $4,585 (1977 Ghia) while the Mustang ran $3,015 up to $3,368. Two very different coupes, to say the least.

    2. Forgot to add the current values (well, as of 2000, which ain't too accurate now I know). The Capri's "good" value is listed at $3-5K, while the 'Stang is $7-12K (Mach 1). The Capri was forecast to see a 2% return, while the Mustang had 5%.

    3. I'd be surprised if a person could get anywhere near $1,500 for a rolling project Mustang. A quick search verifies what we all know - the Mustang is just in another price bracket entirely. Still, either of these might make a good start. I didn't really read the ad that thoroughly, to tell you the truth. But they're clearly both Projects with a capital "P".

    4. Anyway, my point is that the Capri is a GREAT car if you love it. As an investment...not so much.


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