1969 - 1986 Ford Capri - The European Pony Car That Came Before the Mustang

The Ford Capri was Europe’s pony car long before the Mustang went global

The "Capri" name is actually American

It was first used on the 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Capri

It was supposed to be called the "Colt", but Mitsubishi owned the name

Ford went to court with Mitsubishi, but ultimately failed to liberate the name

Development actually started in the US

The designer of the Mustang also worked on the Capri

Developed on a tight budget

It used many parts from other Ford models

It had a wide variety of engines

Ranging from 1.3 to 3.1 liters and 62 to 250 horsepower

UK exclusive since 1984

Only right-hand-drive cars were made from 1984 to 1986

Ford Capri 280 - the last Hurrah!

The very last version fo the Capri, produced in 1,038 units

It was ultimately a success

Despite a temporary sease of production in the UK, the Capri sold 1,886,647 times

Initially, it was roduced in Germany and the UK

The Capri's success led to expansion of its production

Evetually, the Capri was also made in Begium, South Africa, and Australia

Australia-built Capri were, in turn, exported to New Zealand and Japan

It was also Imported into the US

It was sold through Mercury dealerships, so as not to hinder Ford Pinto sales

In the US, it was marketed as an exotic European sports car

Whereas in Europe, it was marketed as a "bit of Americana"

There was a very rare Capri Convertible

Crawford cars and Abbot of Farnham had their own versions. Less than 50 are known to exist

It was Ford's first hatchback

In 1974, the Mk II Capri became more practical, by becoming a hatchback

Ford North America used the name again in 1979

The American Mercury Capri Mk II was essentially a rebadged Foxbody Mustang

It had distintive features, like a new grille, flared arches, and a new "bubble-back" rear window

Ford Australia tried milking the Capri one last time

In 1989, they introduced a two-seat convertible, based on the Mazda 323

It was aimed at the North American market and the Mazda MX-5

Poor reliability led to a sales disaster

The Capri almost came back, in 2003

The 2003 Ford Visos concept incorporate signature Capri design eements

Sadly, the 2003 Visos never gave birth to a new Ford Capri

Instead, Ford used it to show off their new design language and European herritage

Ford Capri wouldn't make sense today

Because, since 2014, the Ford Mustang became a global model

Interested in learning more about the "European Mustang"?

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