When it was launched in 1969, the Ford Capri was aimed at the family man who needed space, but didn’t want to give up coupé looks.
Its appeal broadened even further in ’74 with the introduction of a hatchback and then again in ’81, when Ford fitted the fuel-injected Cologne 2.8-litre V6. The latter brought with it uprated brakes and improved handling.
The popularity of the Capri makes it an appealing purchase now because spare parts are plentiful and cheap. New panels and trim parts may not be so easy to come by, however.
When inspecting a car, check for leaking differentials, which could be caused by a bent halfshaft, while blowing brake master cylinders on MkIIs are easily fixed by retro fitting a MkIII unit with a line blanked off.
Investigate the engine for signs that it has been well maintained, with no failed head-gasket tell-tales, minimal oil leaks and a clean timing cover. On Pinto units, ensure that the timing belt has been changed regularly.
Finally, make sure that the doors sit correctly and seal properly. Signs of either could indicate that their considerable weight has worn the hinge pins.
Rust spots include the front wing, inner wing tops, wheelarches, scuttle in front of the windscreen and all around its edges.
As always, inspect the sills, door bottoms and tops (adjacent to the window), front and rear floors (including chassis legs and around the seems), both ends of the rear spring hangers, boot floor, spare-wheel well and fuel-tank straps.
Another area prone to corrosion is the tailgate top hinge boxes and under the lip at the end.
There are plenty of examples to choose from on our classifieds, with this 1982 car being one of the cheapest. It could be yours for £3000 – maybe even less with some skilled haggling – and it is rust free.
The car has covered 127,000 miles and was previously owned by a professional welder, who we are told addressed any issues with the body. It also comes with 12 months’ MoT, an interior that looks to be in good nick and the desirable 2.8-litre engine.
But for many the earlier cars, such as this 1976 car up for sale at Silverstone Auctions, are more desirable.
It has covered just 7800 miles and has spent many years in storage after the untimely death of its original owner. Fitted with the 3-lite engine, PAR 958R is said to be completely original aside from refurbished alloy wheels and a stainless-steel exhaust. It is estimated to make £10-14,000.
But, if your ethos is ‘the older the better’ this Mk1 from 1972 is up for just £8500. It has been fully rebuilt by a previous owner, is rot free and looks splendid.
Buy the right Capri with the help of this guide and you will end up with an iconic car that is a joy to drive, yet suffers few compromises and looks great, too. Its tag as the UK’s Mustang is more than well deserved…