Recently, I bought a car that I was long in love with, one that I first saw as a kid in grade school and thought it was the neatest thing I'd ever laid eyes on. It was the German-built Capri, billled as "The Sexy European You Can Afford". I happened across a nearly rust-free example near Cleveland, OH last year. It was a '74 that was originally a California car and had a V-6, 4-speed and a factory sunroof. It was what I thought I'd always wanted. Then after I got it, I started questioning my decision. It needed a lot more mechanical work than I first thought, plus interior work and cosmetic refurbishing. I actually put it up for sale shortly after I got it, but then decided that I was going to see the project through and get it back into decent shape. For months I worked hard at it, getting the mechanicals straightened out, going through the fuel system, cleaning up and touching up the paint and refinishing interior components. I even made a new set of seat covers for it and got them back as close to the original pattern as I possibly could. Parts are still available for these cars, but some of the stuff isn't cheap. Everything was a challenge as well, even little things like finding door panel clips that would work and the correct bulbs for the dash. Sometimes I wondered if I'd ever get it finished but I finally made it.
Once I had done everything I had intended to do to it, I was able to start enjoying it. The car got more attention than my '66 ever got. People either had no idea what it was or they did know and were completely shocked to see it. I can't count how many times I heard the comment, "I haven't seen one of those in 20 years." It was nice getting all that attention and having a car no one else had, but several things kept nagging at me. For one thing, I had to rent a storage unit and had that monthly expense to contend with. Also, the money I was sinking into it could have been put toward the Mustangs. The biggest concern though, was that I just had a feeling that the Capri was going to be one of those cars that was going to be constantly needing work. Ultimately, I decided to sell it and get back to my Mustangs. I put the car on Craigslist and had it sold in two weeks. The new owner came down from northern Vermont to get it and drove it the 800 miles back home. He had a '74 years ago that was very similar to mine and he had been looking for a nice stock example for years. He's going to use it, which I think is great. It's better than letting it languish in a garage like it had been doing for the past 9 years before I got it.
One of the things I did while I had the car was join a group of enthusiasts on Yahoo that were instrumental in helping me get the car done. I was constantly on the form posting and conversing with other owners. After I sold the car, I dropped out of the group and I have to say that I really miss the interaction with those folks. So now, I hope to get more involved with the VMF and get back some of that social interaction that I've been lacking. I'm looking forward to the show season starting again and hope to attend at least one show out of state. I haven't attended any big shows since the 40th Anniversary show in Nashville. Perhaps if I do hit one of the bigger shows next year, I'll meet up with some of you.
Scott, that's an interesting story and older Capri's like the one you talked about are starting to get rare in England, our winters are not very kind to them.
I've just got into Mustang's and we get the same kind of interest over here in England with Mustang's as you would have had in the States with a Capri.
Kinda opposites don't you think?!
1965 Fastback 289 K Code - Hi-Po - Caspian Blue (in restoration)
1970 Mach 1 Sportsroof 351C Auto - White - Project car and in Resto (started Sept 2012)
1966 Fastback GT350 clone, Hi-Po 289, 4 Spd Man, White/Blue - Will be a rolling resto
Here is a link to my Photobucket account that shows the car when I was pretty well finished with it. It wasn't perfect, but I think it's safe to say that it's one of the nicer ones left out there: scott0074's Library | Photobucket
I had a 76 Capri with the V6. It never had good oil pressure and I managed to kick a rod out the side of the block on the way to work one morning at 4 am. It tore the starter off the bellhousing and dragged it along under the car on the battery cable bouncing against the floorboard for the 4 miles I kept driving it to work on 5 cylinders. I junked the car. But I've always thought they were good looking cars.
1970 Fastback (to be finished outside as a Boss 302 clone)
393 Windsor AFR 205 heads with 11.5:1 compression
Tremec TKO 5 Speed
Link to my Hub Garage and blog about my car http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/maxum96
I had a similar affair. My first car was a 72 Mercury Capri. Four banger 2000cc with a C4 trans. I got it at the beginning of my senior year in high school (1974). It was fun for a while, but I got tired of the small motor and after about three years I decided to rip out the drivetrain and swap in a V8. My brother, a brother-in-law and I went to work and swapped in a warmed up 302, C6 and a 9" rear with 3.70s and a Detroit Locker. It was a lot more fun then.
The V-8 conversion is popular among Capri owners. Many of these cars have been converted to drag cars, cafe racers, etc. Give the size and weight of the car, I'd have to think a V-8 in one would be a lot of fun. I think my former car is probably in the minority in that it's one of few stock ones left. The 2.8 actually had a decent amount of power in spite of the CA emissions that were still present plus the heavier impact bumpers the government started mandating. The bumpers added a good amount of weight to the car. Most guys lop those off and go with the earlier style chrome bumpers or no bumpers at all.
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