Ford Capri – the history of European “Mustang”

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In 1965, after the overwhelming success of the model a Ford Mustang in the United States, the company Ford decides to create a European equivalent. The British team of designers, headed by John Hitchman started working on the project “Colt”.In 1966, the first prototypes are being tested in the UK and Belgium, and in November 1967 a new car model gets the name “Capri”, and exactly one year later in the town of Halewood, near Liverpool, expands production cars.

Ford Capri Mk I – “the Car of your wildest fantasies”

The first public demonstration of the new car took place on January 24, 1969 on the Show Brussels Motor under the advertising slogan: “Ford Capri Car your wildest fantasies”. February 5, 1969 the car was presented on the market, with versions for the UK and German markets differed significantly. Differences between British and German versions of the Ford Capri was not only in the line of engines, but also in the number of essential parts, such as suspension, brakes, interior and exterior trim, and even the shape of the hood.

The sale of the car from the start went very well – even two times better than anticipated by the company.

Ford-Capri1

The success of the marketing policy of the company was the fact that the car is in the style of “Grand Touring” can be purchased at the price of conventional middle-class car from a showroom. The UK price for the basic version of started from 890 pounds, and in Germany from 6993DM . The idea of success was simple: to give the client the opportunity to choose the equipment and the equipment of the engine, based on their own preferences and requirements. At the time of the premiere models, the number of options was struck by its diversity and exceeded supply options of any British car ever produced. Later it turned out that the car in the base case is not in great demand, and within fifteen years the range of equipment options Capri was reduced and standard greatly expanded. Ford Capri quickly gained 3% of the automobile market in the UK and 3.5% in Germany. During the year we sold 250 thousand copies hire. However, the pace of sales in Germany began to decline soon after the arrival of the terrible competitor – Opel Manta. In the UK the car for a long time enjoyed great success.

In 1970 in the UK was presented model 3000 GT with a V6 engine with a capacity of 128 HP, the Car was characterized by a protrusion on the hood that hides a great engine. Price – 1291 pounds. It was the fastest Ford car production in the UK at that time. Its performance was impressive maximum speed of 182 km / h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h 9.2 sec. version with automatic transmission (Borg Warner 35) scores were slightly worse.

In 1970 Ford Capri begins production in South Africa. Local designers have equipped Capri V8 engine capacity of 5 liters from Mustang capacity of 281 HP, allowing you to accelerate the car up to a hundred for 6 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h In the same year begins with the release of the Ford Capri for the American market, also has a number of differences from European models – all paired lights, side turn signals in the wings, finishes, etc. “American” Ford Capri gaining the same success as in the European market. All production for the overseas market is transferred from Britain in Cologne, Germany.

1974premiere Capri Mk II

ford-capri-mkii-1974–77

As car sales fell at the end of 1973 Ford decided to make some changes. Created a new model of car – Capri II. The public premiere was held on 28 February 1974.

Updated Capri remained the same sports car, but now more practical, taking a step to the side of the car for the “family”. The body changes to the hatchback, the trunk increases. The rear seat can recline, thereby creating more space for Luggage. The car is wider, longer and gained weight. Also increased visibility through advanced glazing rear of the car. Heavy-duty brakes, new steering, softer suspension made the car more comfortable, safer, not losing its sports properties – Capri remained the same quick and manageable.

In 1975, Ford introduced the same for all models version Ghia. In this version appeared vinyl roof, tinted glass, 5-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, halogen headlights, headlight rear Windows , front seats with headrests and special interior “Rialto”.

Most Ford Capri Ghia were made in Germany, in Cologne and only a few hundred in the UK, in Halewood.

In 1976 issue of Capri in Halewood is minimized, and the factory started production model Escort.

1978 – premiere Capri Mk III

capri mk3

In April had Ford again updates the model Capri. The new car has much better aerodynamics, modern and stylish design, bright and sporty appearance. Changed not only the appearance – updated range of engines – the car becomes more economical, eco-friendly, but at the same time dynamic and aggressive.

In March 1981 appear model Ford Capri 2.8 i with mechanical fuel injection, and then the model of 2.8 Turbo, equipped with a Garret turbocharger. These models had impressive performance – acceleration up to a hundred in 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 210 km/h increased Significantly and the market price – 25,950 brands in Germany and 8000 pounds in the UK. However, in 1984 the production of left-hand drive models ends. In 1986, Ford is releasing a commemorative version of the Capri 280, dedicated to the end of the production model. The car was painted in the color “Brooklands Green” and the whole series is called “Brooklands”. All instances were equipped with the full complement of equipment – leather interior, alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, body-colored mirrors and a special grille and headlights. After the farewell ceremony on December 18, the last Ford Capri Mk III has left the factory. This “European Mustang has completed its long and rich history , having won the hearts of thousands of fans.

CLICK TO SEE A GALLERY OF PHOTOS FORD CAPRI

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