Enter the Capri


A homage to the Ford that changed everything...

The first Ford Capri wasn’t a Capri. Not as you know it.

The first Ford Capri was actually a a sleek, two door streamliner version of the odd looking Consul. it was, as Billy Bragg suggested to us a couple of years, ago – like a spaceship.

Shot through with all the Jetson-like chrome and wings of a mid century shot of Americana, the Consul Capri was instantly desirable, instantly recognisable – and instantly dragged Ford – at least in Britain – into a new era of aspiration.

Few people these days, aside from the aficionados and wool-died rockabilly rebels, think of the Consul speedster as the first Capri – favouring the sleek two door, long-bonneted MK 1 coupé as the birth of the mark.

And in a sense, the Mark 1 was indeed the first real pony car. It was launched right from the start in 1969 as a European version of the Mustang – which had taken the US market by storm a few years earlier, setting hearts aflutter with its uniquely compact, resolute sporty profile.

The first Mustang was no genuine muscle car – and neither was the Mk 1 European Capri. Look at them now and they instantly strike you as dinky, super compact, more like a contemporary sportster like Toyota’s GT86 than a muscular straight-liner.

Built in Dagenham and Halewood UK after its launch at the Brussels car show in the spring of 1969, there were many mechanical elements shared with the Cortina – and right from the start there was a full range of Capris that would reach out to the everyman hero as well as the boy racer – but it was the latter who would take these cars to their hearts.

The acreage of the front end allowed, of course, for a lot of engine. The lowlier models came with the the 1.3 and 1.4 litre v4 engines – and through each iteration, all the way to 1986 – the upper echelons were loaded with 3.0L V6 that enabled the car to walk as well as talk.

The cars were instant successes both on the A-roads of England and the endurance tracks of Europe – and they were known of course for their pulchritude and reliability as much as their handling and accessibility.

This month we pay homage to our favourite Ford.


One Response to “Enter the Capri”

  1. great car ..I had a 3ltre GT facelift back in the day ..the only thing it lacked was a 5th gear