Legend: Ford Capri


Francis Ellingworth Loves his Ford Capris. He tells us why.

I guess my interest in Ford Capri started in 1972 when I was 9 years old.

I was given a copy of The Observer Book of Automobiles as a present by my parents. I found it fascinating. I loved all different sorts of cars, but one group of pages kept grabbing my attention. The Capri just looked different – it looked fast, it looked sporty. It was if it came from another world.

That was it. I made a promise to myself around then that one day I would own one of these cars. Finally, in the early 80s after various distractions, I purchased my first Capri. I was king of the road. Well actually, I was king of the small cull de sac where I lived, on a quiet housing estate in Oakham, Rutland.

A couple of years later my first Capri was stolen and my association with the car took a sabbatical until I met Clare, who would become my wife. The car I was using, a well loved Opel Ascona, was on its last legs. We went on the hunt for something with less mileage.

After searching the dealers and car lots, and with no real spark of enthusiasm, it was my father who suggested that Clare and I go and see Tim Norton, the Ford dealer in Oakham. As soon as I turned up at Tim’s dealership the spark was re ignited with Capri. That was late summer of 1988, and via Tim we purchased a 1980 1.6 GT4 limited edition Capri.

The year after we upgraded to one of the last 1.6 Lasers. We purchased our current Capri in 1990, when it was just three years old – a white 1986 1.6 Laser. It has been a part of the family every since – 27 years ago. Who knows where the time goes? It’s a constantly reliable, daily workhorse that’s been used well past its sell by date and across far more miles than reasonably expected for a Ford coupé from the 1990s. At the moment there’s just short of 300,000 miles on the clock.

Clare really liked this car – and she soon was as obsessive as me about the Ford Capri. A chance conversation led to us buying a mint spare wheel form a Capri owner – and a couple of years later the same guy made contact to ask if anyone was interested in buying his car. We took one look of the pictures, arranged to visit and soon Clare had made the deal. We nursed ‘Carla’ the cobalt blue 2.0S, home after sorting out the legal proceedings to ensure a safe passage.

Clare set to work on her car straight away – and together with help from her father and myself we restored the Capri to show-winning standard as well as a daily driver. We reckon it was the coolest ‘mum’s taxi’ in town. Ten years on the kids have flown the nest and the Capris are still here. In fact the cars now have new challenges – playing University transport wagon and roadie rig for our son to and from Manchester.

This car is so much a part of the family, we can’t imagine being without it. In fact, I’m proud to say that daughter, who came home from hospital in the Laser – will be going to her wedding in very same car.