Tuesday, March 1, 2016

European Ford: 1973 Mercury Capri

From 1971 through 1974 Ford imported the European built Capri and sold it at Lincoln-Mercury dealers across the USA.  It might not have the rally pedigree of something like the European Escort, but it combined a long-hood short-rear look of a Mustang with inline-4 and V6 power into something special.  Find this 1973 Mercury Capri here on eBay bidding for $3,550 reserve-not-met with buy-it-now of $5,000 located in Polson, MT.

When introduced the Capri sold quite well in the US Market, it was perfectly timed to offer good fuel economy at the height of the gas crisis, but performance wasn't bad because it was not a heavyweight.  Think of it like a good looking alternative to the Mustang II and it isn't surprising that Mercury sold 120,000 examples in the 1973 model year alone...but good luck finding one for sale today.

Powering the Capri is the 2.6 liter Cologne V6 that was rated at 106 horsepower and 130 ft-lbs of torque.  It wasn't a stop light dragster, but the rack-and-pinion steering up front and simple live axle rear setup makes a decent car for the corners.

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  1. Would a 3.5 L ecoboost be to much for this?? 365 hp, 465 trq...

    1. Too much? I'd suspect the chassis could take the torque with some seam welding and reinforcement bracing. If the question is whether that much power in this lightweight shell would be overwhelming to the driver, I'd defer to Mario Andretti for the answer:

      "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough."

  2. Should be a couple K less for those crappy spoke wheel cover's ! Rust look out tin worm loves this on the menu.

  3. I think I'd pop those wheel covers off before I even pulled out of the driveway.

  4. Affordability -- at least a few grand less than a MGB in similar condition -- and extensive aftermarket support (especially in the UK) really helps to boost the desirability of these MK1 Capris. Unlike the MGB, though, these can be made into monsters that will run with R Gruppe 911 yuppies (for a price cough Weslake cough).

    If I ever come to my senses and blow all my savings on car, it might be to build up a tarmac rally/road race/lunatic road car MK1 Capri with a Cosworth GAA, Group 2 flares, etc. Again, Weslake will set you up in exchange for a few shipping containers of gold.


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