1968 was the year that Ford took a leap forward with the launch of Britain’s own pony car, the Ford Capri. With its Mustang-inspired appearance and modern interior, it was an instant success with sales in excess of 200,000 in its first year.
Ford’s fastest ever production line continued to impress through the seventies. Prices were low enough to make the model affordable; 1300 models received fake rear air intakes so every car looked the part. In 1973 the 3000 GXL was a facelift on the Mark 1 model, with improved power at 136 bhp and more chrome than you could shake a stick at.
If you’re looking to buy a Mk I Capri then bring a magnet with you as rust is a serious problem for all old Fords and badly repaired restorations can hide the inevitable. Corrosion can be severe around headlamps as well as around the trailing edge of both front wings. Sills need scrutinising – press gently, any give will mean the area is rotten internally.
Other key areas to look out for are the front valance, A posts, windscreen pillars, door bottoms, rear arches and front wings. Make sure all these body panels are sound as replacements are hard to find.
The Essex V6 is the engine of choice under the bonnet, but look out for blown head gaskets and cracked cylinder heads as both are common faults. Make sure the engine has had regular oil changes and a good service history by checking the documentation, and, as the V6 has a tendency to overheat, make sure the radiator isn’t blocked with silt.
The Capri boasts a strong gearbox and is good for 100,000 miles. Check this by accelerating hard in each gear, if it jumps out the gearbox its had it. Suspension is pretty straight forward with Macpherson struts that are reliable, but check for leaks. The rear is leaf sprung and can sag; shocks may also leak so check for this too.
Interiors are like gold dust so any problems inside may need a decent trimmer. Make sure switch gear is all present and correct as replacements are also hard to find.
1968 - 1973
0-60 mph 9.2 sec / Top Speed 114 mph
Power & Torque
128 bhp / 173 lb ft
2994 cc V6 /12 valves
front engine / RWD
Four speed manual
The last Mk1 Capri was actually produced eight months after the launch of the Capri II on October 31, 1974.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“The Ford Capri was perfect for the seventies with its American influence, any red blooded male from Britain would have loved to own one. After all, what other car goes so well with a pair of flared trousers.”
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MORE VITAL STATS
February 2nd, 2017
Volkswagen T2 ‘Bay Window’ (1968 – 1979)
Volkswagen Introduced their next generation transporter in 1967 with every part of it completely new and it showed. Gone was the split screen front window as well as the V front end.
Despite the original popularity producing so many Renault Dauphines these days they are a very rare car, especially the Gordini. Finding a good one will probably be a mission and you’ll be paying top dollar due to its rarity. Here’s what to look out for.
Ford’s fastback coupe, the Capri proved highly successful and was manufactured for almost twenty years selling nearly 1.9 million in its life time. Today it has a real iconic status with enthusiasts across the globe realising that the Ford Capri really is the original car you always promised yourself.
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