The Ford Capri was the European sibling to the mighty Mustang - a massive seller in the US. In essence, the Capri was a standard 4-seater GT. There would be many a variation on the theme, though ... enough to give a spare-parts dealer nightmares. The Capri was manufactured in GB and West Germany. The first model came with the same 1.3-litre in-line four engine as the Ford Escort. In the UK, there were 1.6- and 2.0-litre V4 options. Add to that a 3.0-litre V6. Germany weighed in with 1.7- and 2.3-litre versions. Capri stock-taking was already starting to get complicated. And that was before the cornucopia of trim options kicked in!
The entry-level Capri was the L. The XL was mid-range. At the top of the heap were the GT, and luxury GXL models. The body shell - and struts, with beam rear axle - were interchangeable. There were more parts choices when it came to the 4-speed gearbox. Bigger engines had auto transmission as an option. All Capris had disc brakes up front - and drums at the rear. Rack-and-pinion steering, too, was standard ... oh, except for some of the 3.0-litre models, which were power-assisted. Whew!
Capris were campaigned as 'tin-top' racers - with much success. In their wake trailed a series of souped-up roadsters. The RS2600 Mk1 was a German 'homologation special'. It came with a fuel-injected 150bhp V6 ... courtesy of Harry Weslake. In 1973, the British-built 3100 appeared - another homologation special. With its Weber carburettor - and over-bored V6 - it made 148bhp. These 'performance car' Capris featured fat alloys, and quarter bumpers. The 3100 sported a duck-tail spoiler. Most sought-after of all was the Capri 280 Brooklands LE. Ironically, it was one of the German-built cars! But, with its swish leather seats - and British racing green paint - it was a fine finale to the Ford Capri story.