Ford may at some times looked like a lumbering dinosaur, but when it came to milking a success for all it was worth, they had few equals. The 1974 Ford Capri was inspired by the tremendous success of the Mustang, and gave European buyers a little bit of the same excitement and glamour. In fact, the Capri was no Mustang; it was the first in a long line of coupes and ‘sports cars’ based on lesser cars, but with prettied up bodies. What can we say except: ‘it works’! The Capri was a very popular car, and Ford sold them by the millions, literally, and its design was modern enough, even at the time, for it to survive all the way to 1987, which is not that common, if you think about it. Early 70s models didn’t usually make it further than the early 80s, at best.
The Capri’s choice of motorization was also quite interesting, going from the absolutely anemic to the mildly powerful, although nothing that would make you swallow your denture. The base engine was a pathetic – sorry, but its true – 1.3-liter engine that produced 61 horsepower, and at the other end of the spectrum, some years later, was a 160 horsepower overhead-valve, 2.8-liter V6. Performance was adequate, with a 127 miles per hour top speed, and a 8.2 second 0-60 time.
The Capri was also the first to introduced the RS brand to customers, with the RS2300 and RS3100. Overall, it must be said that the 1974 Ford Capri, and its successors, were surprisingly worthwhile and stylish cars, something that the customers saw right away.