By relocating a single letter, you form what sounds like the word that for many people best described the Capri, a sporty coupé that endured from 1969 to 1986. That was then but, today, a good Capri is a desirable old thing.
It’s the third and final generation – launched in 1978 and known, not surprisingly, as the Mk3 – that we’re interested in here. Production ended in 1986 but it took until 1989 for the last example, a 280 Brooklands, to be registered, which tells you all you need to know about this fast Ford’s fading appeal.
If only we’d known then what we know now. In 1989, a Brooklands cost around £12,000, but today the best go for as much as £40,000. In the real world, prices for a good Mk3 start at around £8000 but you can get into a tidy 1.3 or 1.6 for £3500. That’s ‘tidy’ as in ‘not as rusty as you might imagine’ because there will be rust. Where there isn’t any, assume it’s because you’re looking at filler.
The Mk3 was little more than a refreshed Mk2, which actually was very successful. It used the same Cortina-derived running gear and engines. These ranged from a 1.3 to a 3.0 V6, the latter also available in torquey S form and breathing through three Weber carbs. Styling-wise, the most successful tweak was the way the bonnet extended slightly over the new quad headlights to give a more aggressive appearance. The car was more aerodynamic, too, and the most powerful versions had a discreet rear spoiler.
In 1982, the 3.0 engine was replaced by a cleaner 2.8 with fuel injection. Early versions of this unit had a four-speed gearbox. The 2.8i Special appeared with a five-speed ’box and a limited-slip diff in 1984. The 1.3 and 1.6 versions gave people a step up into Capri-land but it was the 2.0 that was the big seller. By 1984, the UK was the only country taking the Capri. In 1986, Ford had a final throw of the dice with the Capri 280 Brooklands, based on the 2.8i Special and finished in racing green. It was the last version off the production line.