FORD CAPRI

practicalclassics

Guide to the

FORD

CAPRI

100

pages of

pure Capri

celebration

All you need to know about

RESTORING, BUYING

& ENJOYING Britain’s

favourite coupé

Inside…

Capri history explained

MkI, II and III head to head

Buying guides: MkI and MkIII

Service guide: Fettling a Pinto engine

Living with: Enjoying a MkII every day

£6.99

BUYING GUIDES

ROAD TESTS

RESTO TIPS


Group Test

Capri MkIII 280

EnginE 2792cc/V6/oHC

PowEr 160bhp@5700rpm

TorquE 162lb ft@4200rpm

gEarbox 5-speed manual

ToP sPEEd 127mph

0-60mPh 7.9sec

mPg 21

LEngTh 171.3in (4351mm)

widTh 67.0in (1702mm)

wEighT 2620lb (1189.5kg)

LaunCh PriCE £11,999

now £2000-£12000

Come

on then!

If you think you’re hard enough

The Ford Capri is a Great British icon – to decide

which version is best, PC puts MkI, MkII, and MkIII

through challenges that match the spirit of the car

14

66 FORD JAxxxxY CAPRI GUIDE 2014 2015 // PRACTICAL // PRACTICAL CLASSICS CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


Capri 3000GT

XLR

EnginE 2994cc/V6/oHC

PowEr 136bhp@4750rpm

TorquE 181lb ft@3000rpm

gEarbox 4-speed manual

ToP sPEEd 115mph

0-60mPh 10sec

mPg 22

LEngTh 167in (4232mm)

widTh 64in (1626mm)

wEighT 2370lb (1075kg)

LaunCh PriCE £1372

now £2500-£12,500

Capri MkII Ghia

Automatic

EnginE 2994cc/V6/oHV

PowEr 138bhp@5100rpm

TorquE 174lb ft@3000rpm

gEarbox 3-speed Ford C3

auto/4-speed manual

ToP sPEEd 117mph

0-60mPh 10.5sec (auto)

9sec (manual)

mPg 18 (auto) 22 (manual)

LEngTh 168.8in (4288mm)

widTh 66.9in (1698mm)

wEighT 2580lb (1170kg)

LaunCh PriCE £2609

now £2000-£12,000

Photos Mark Fagelson

Essex. Metaphorically and literally it’s

Ford Capri country: tough, good for

pulling birds and handsome from certain

angles. And, of course, UK-market

Capris were built there. For most Ford fans, all the

range-topping MkI, II and III Capris are special cars

and reside in the best segment of all – the

big-engined coupé. But each of the Mks also has

its diehard fans – a MkI owner will insist in the

strongest possible terms that his car is the purest

of the breed, as will the owner of a MkII or MkIII

Capri. That’s why we felt we had to put each car

through the sort of tests that really matter

to any aspiring Capri owner.

First, we took each variant to Brands Hatch to

see which could nail the fastest lap. We checked

how much fuel each car burned under stress then

took a casual blast past the pillars of Essex –

Barking, Basildon and Billericay. We parked up in

Pitsea and counted every head turn each got with

stafers Gervais Seymour, Neil Campbell and

Matt Jones in arm-out-of-the-window pose mode.

Finally, we headed to Tesco to see how much

Stella we could fit in the boot. The tests

cemented utterly non-negotiable opinions on

what we thought was the best Capri. Here lies

each stafer’s attempt to shamelessly flog you

the car you always promised yourself.


To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015

15


CI5 Shootout

The

Profession

Anarchy, terrorism, huge

collars and smirks. To help

combat it all we’ve assembled

six special cars for a final

showdown. Okay, sunshine?

WORDS ANDREW ROBERTS INTERVIEWS

DANNY HOPKINS PHOTOS MATT HOWELL

F

ifty minutes of airtime on the

evening of December 30,

1977, was all it took. The first

episode of The Professionals

redefined notions of what a British cop

show could be. It was produced by Brian

Clemens, the man behind The Avengers.

Every script contained the words ‘malt

Scotch’ and ‘sunshine’, and every edition

saw William Bodie (Lewis Collins) and

Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw), agents with

C15 – Central Intelligence 5 – performing

the finest handbrake turns and rearview

mirror smirking in the history of ITV.

Today we’ve drifted to a halt in the

grounds of Harefield Grove Farm, CI5’s

HQ in series one, and reassembled the

six principal cars in The Professionals’

motor pool. The show used a variety of

vehicles, including Vauxhall Carltons,

Datsun 180B Bluebirds and a Suzuki

SJ40. But with the iconic CI5 fleet, a

single, simple question remains: which

is the ultimate Professionals car?


24

FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


ls

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk PRACTICAL CLASSICS // FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 25


Buying

Guide

SUNROOF

If the car you’re

viewing has a sunroof,

inspect the seals

thoroughly. Water ingress

will quickly make a mess

of the interior, if

left unchecked.

1978-1986

Ford

SILLS

Many Capris

were ‘treated’ to

bodged sill repairs

back in the day, so

examine them

carefully.

Capri MkIII

One of the all-time cult cars, Ford’s MkIII

Capri ofers Seventies glamour and

performance galore for all budgets

I

f you were asked which car was

advertised as ‘the diference between

driving and just motoring’ when it

debuted in March 1978 you’d probably

be stuck. But if you were asked which car

was badged as ‘the car you always promised

yourself’, you’d probably not have to think

too hard. Yet both slogans belonged to the

same car, albeit the famous one to the MkI

Capri of 1969 and the not so famous one to

the MkIII, launched in 1978.

In between the two came the MkII, which

was actually little diferent from the MkIII

we’re looking at here, as the development of

the car took less than a year to complete.

Its roots lay in a concept shown at the

1976 Geneva motor show called the

Modular Aerodynamic, which looked like a

cross between a MkII Capri and a Vauxhall

Droop Snoot. The following April a

development programme began using the

name Carla and in March 1978 the outcome

was unveiled at the Geneva show –

behold, the MkIII Capri.

From the outset there was no shortage of

engine choices, with units ranging from a

weedy (57bhp) 1298cc four-pot to a much

more tasty 2994cc V6 pushing out more

than double that. In between there were 1.6

and 2-litre engines. The bodyshell was much

like the MkII’s, the main diferences being

four headlamps instead of two, along with

revised bumpers, spoilers and front grille.

Top of the range was the 3.0 X-pack.

Within just two years of the car’s launch,

special edition fever took a hold with the

1600L-based GT4 being introduced and in

July 1981 the Calypso and Cameo derivatives

arrived in the showrooms. But the car that

overshadowed these models was the 2.8i,

which ousted the 3.0 models. Developed by

Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations, it can be

picked up for as little as £2000 and is now a

fantastic value performance car.

Summer 1982 saw another limited edition

in the shape of the Cabaret, but when the

Tickford Capri was shown at the October

1982 NEC Motor Show all the other Capris

paled into insignificance. Here was a Capri

with a turbocharged 2.8-litre engine that

‘From the outset

there was no

shortage of

engine choices’

64

FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


WINGS

Check the front

wings for filler

around the headlamps

and also closely inspect

the edge that meets

up with the

front doors.

Mint £6000-£12,000 Average £2500-£5000 Rough £500-£1500

VALANCE

Road rash from

stone chips can make

a mess of the front

valance and spoli the

clean lines. Get on your

hands and knees to

check for this!

rot, it just makes it easier to fix. Or at

least it would if panels were easy

to come by, but in many cases

they’re not.

But rust isn’t the only enemy

of the Capri. Accident damage

is a strong possibility, with the

newest Capri now 28 years old

and probably a string of owners

listed on the V5. The 3-litre cars were

particularly tail-happy but front end damage

is the most common result of an accident

you’ll have to contend with. Open the bonnet

to inspect the chassis rails to make sure

they’re undamaged.

The most likely area to find rust lurking is

the front wings, so check for filler around the

headlamps and along the edge that meets

the front doors. Wings are welded on and

original ones are very hard to track down –

if you can find one you’ll pay up to £300.

Repro wings are available for £100 each,

better-fitting ones costing around £175.

McPherson strut Fords are renowned for

rot around the strut top mountings, although

the MkIII Capri isn’t as badly aficted by this

as earlier cars. But it’s worth checking

anyway and while you’re at it take a look at

the inner wings, inside edges of the bonnet

and the area around the grille. The V6 cars

have a triangular strengthening plate on the

underside of the inner wing, but they rot so

generated a storming 205bhp, allowing

it to do a genuine 140mph. Disc brakes all

round were part of the package, along with

a limited-slip dif and revised rear axle

location to help put the power down – but it

didn’t go on sale for another year.

Within a few months (in January 1983) a

five-speed gearbox was made standard on

the 2.8i and soon after on 2-litre cars as

well. By the end of 1984 the only Capris on

ofer were the Laser (in 1600 form), 2.8i

Special (leather trim panels, a limited-slip

dif and RS spoked alloy wheels) and

the Tickford Capri.

The last Capri was built on December 19,

1986. Like all of the final 1038 Capris it was

a Brooklands 280, which meant it had

leather trim, metallic green paintwork and

15-inch spoked alloy wheels.

Why you want one

With the benefit of

hindsight it’s easy to be a bit

superior about the Capri

MkIII. Countless gibes about

flufy dice, Carlos Fandango

body kits and references to

the Capri being something

of a Basildon Bullet have

been levelled at the pretty

coupé over the years but

history has become much

fairer over the intervening

decades. As a serious and

ultimately successful

attempt to combine the

disciplines of sports car

and family transport, the

MkIII deserves credit.

Bodywork

The Capri’s construction is incredibly simple,

almost to the point of being crude in some

areas. But that doesn’t stop it being prone to


To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 65


Reader’s Restoration

As delivered in August 2013.

Beneath the new pattern wings

Chris found rust. Lots of rust.

This wasn’t going to be easy…

AFTER

BEFORE

Against

the odds

WORDS NEIL CAMPBELL PHOTOS MATT HOWELL

Acute arthritis and a

garage barely wider

than his 1974 Ford

Capri GT wouldn’t

stop Chris Wagstaff

from completing his

restoration dream.

Fortuna Audeces Juvat. It’s not

often that we open a feature with

a Latin proverb, but the

translation ‘fortune favours the

brave’ seemed a fitting one, especially

when talking about restorer Chris

Wagstaf. When he was diagnosed with

chronic arthritis of the spine, aged just 29,

he decided to start looking for a project.

‘I figured that if I didn’t start soon I may

become too ill to complete my dream of

restoring a classic, so I asked Jasmin, my

partner, if she thought it was a good idea,’

he says. She didn’t say no thanks to being

asleep at the time, so Chris began his

search for the perfect classic car project

to occupy him.

He found this Capri 2000 GT in August

2013. ‘It was on the internet for 99p ‘Buy It

Now’ but the description said he wouldn’t

let it go for less than ££££s, so I emailed

asking what he wanted.’ Chris didn’t

receive a reply, so he ofered £1000.

He heard nothing back. ‘I thought ‘this is

ridiculous’ so emailed again ofering

£1650.’ This, combined with the assurance

of instant payment and a next day

collection, was enough for the reluctant

vendor to phone him back.

‘He wasn’t interested in the car at all. ➽

70

FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


The restorer

Chris Wagstaf, 32, is a works foreman for a

sealed unit window manufacturing

company. He started working on

cars young, helping his uncle

Jim. Chris owned a string of

cars before he was old

enough to drive. After school

he worked in garages then

became an Vauxhall dealer

apprentice. He’s owned around

45 cars, mainly projects, but this

is his first proper restoration.

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk PRACTICAL CLASSICS // FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 71


Service Guide

How to service your

Ford Capri (Pinto)

Get your 1.6 or 2.0 overhead cam Capri performing as it should

TECH

TIP

The Pinto camshaft oil

spray bar can become

blocked. Remove the valve

cover and rotor arm, crank

the engine and look for a

steady flow of oil along

the camshaft.

WORDS & PHOTOS KIM HENSON

YOU WILL NEED…

EQUIPMENT Trolley jack, axle stands,

oil pan, metric spanners and socket set,

screwdrivers, long steel bar, test lamp or

multimeter, oil can.

TIME

(HRS)

3

MONEY

DIFFICULTY RATING

60

(£)FROM

THANKS TO Mark Aspden for enthusiastic

help and the use of his 2-litre Capri MkIII.

From its introduction in 1969, the Ford

Capri appealed to buyers thanks to

its good looks and sporting character.

Ford cleverly built the car using its existing

range of proven engines, drivetrains and

running gear. In addition to providing

economies of scale in production, this made

the newcomer as straightforward to service

and repair as a Cortina or Escort.

This remains the case today, meaning

that the Capri is as enjoyable to look after

as it is to drive. Early four-cylinder Capris for

the UK market were powered by the

Crossflow Kent engine. But as the range

developed, the overhead camshaft Pinto

unit gained favour. This guide concentrates

on the Pinto-powered cars produced during

the Seventies and Eighties.

All the spares required for maintenance

and repair are readily available. The majority

of key components can still be obtained

locally from mainstream motor factors – and

marque specialists can provide everything

else. Track down a handbook or workshop

manual for specific settings and capacities

relating to your model.

This also applies to…

The steps that don’t relate to the engine

generally apply to Kent and V6 Capris.

The Pinto engine powered contemporary

Cortinas, Transits and some Escorts.

There are many running-gear similarities

with the Cortina and Escort, too.

Servicing intervals

Every 3000 miles or

annually. Variations

that relate to specific

components are

identified in the steps.

KIM HENSON TECHNICAL WRITER

96

FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


Capri Pinto

1

Steering and suspension

Scrutinise the Macpherson strut tops and

inner wing structures from above and below.

Check the shock absorbers for leaks and bounciness

and the springs for deterioration or damage.

Check bushes and ball-joints for play/deterioration.

2

Wheel bearings

Spin the front wheels and feel for roughness,

indicating bearing wear. Rock the wheels to check

for play in the bearings – it should be just detectable.

Adjust the bearings if it’s excessive. Prise of the dust

cap and lubricate with wheel bearing grease.

3

Brake hydraulics

Examine the master cylinder, fixed pipework

and flexi-hoses for leaks, damage or deterioration.

Make sure the servo’s working and that its vacuum

hose is sound. Top up the brake fluid if necessary.

Renew the fluid every two years or 24,000 miles.

TECH

TIP

Look closely for

corrosion around

all suspension

mounts.

4

Front brakes

Inspect with the front wheels removed.

Check the discs for warping, excessive grooving and

corrosion, and the pads for wear. Investigate the

cause of uneven wear. Renew ailing components in

axle sets. Ensure the calipers are securely attached.

5

Rear suspension

Examine the leaf springs for cracks, corrosion

and sagging. Use a long bar to check for excessive

play in the spring eye bushes. Inspect the rear shock

absorbers for leaks and bounciness. Check the

anti-roll bar and its bushes for deterioration.

6

Rear brakes

Remove the brake drum (tap it against the

hub with a copper mallet to free it of, if necessary).

Peel back the cylinder dust seals to check for leaks

or seized pistons. Check the shoes for wear and the

drums for scoring. Investigate uneven wear.

TECH

TIP

Early cars have

handbrake adjusters

on both the primary

and transverse

cables.

7 Handbrake

Sparingly apply brake lubricant or copper

grease to the self-adjuster mechanism.

Lubricate handbrake linkages with engine oil.

Apply handbrake to operate the self-adjusters.

Adjust cable so the brake is fully on after four clicks.

8

Gearbox oil

Manual gearbox: top up to the base of the

filler aperture with SAE 80 EP; drain and refill every

24,000 miles if a drain plug is fitted. Capacities vary

between models. Automatic gearbox: check fluid

level (consult handbook); top up with ATF.

Don’t forget

9

Steering rack

and column

Rock the wheel and check for play in the rack and

track-rod ends. Inspect the track-rod and rack

gaiters. Check the steering column supports and

couplings for excessive movement.

10

Driveline mountings

Assess the state of the engine and

gearbox mounts, especially if they are

oil-soaked (in which case, cure the leaks!).

Renew any that are soft or split.

11

Fuel system

Examine the tank, pipework and

connectors for corrosion, insecurity and leaks.

12

Other aspects

Lubricate all bodywork hinges and

catches using engine oil or aerosol grease.

Wipe of excess lubricant. Check the tracking.


To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // FORD CAPRI GUIDE 2015 97

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines