AUTO CULT: MERCURY CAPRI (1979-1986)
Starting in 1979, the European Capri was replaced in the North American
market by the "Fox" chassis Capri. Production of the European Capri
continued for the European market until 1986.
During this period, a version of the Ford Mustang was sold through
Lincoln/Mercury dealers as the Mercury Capri, giving Mercury a pony car for
the first time since the Mercury Cougar was upsized in 1974 to complement
the Ford Thunderbird. The Capri was built on the Ford Fox platform, which
was used for the Mustang
from 1979 to 1993 with a design change in 1994. It was the only Mercury
Capri generation with a V8 engine.
The Fox-based Mercury Capri was fairly unchanged throughout its entire run.
It maintained its squared-off front fascia and grille, and distinctive
flared fenders. The only major iteration happened in 1983 with the addition
of a racing-inspired hatchback with a compound rear window (also known as
the "bubble back"), a new rear bumper and taillights. In 1984, the high
performance Capri RS received a front air dam which continued until 1986.
The drivetrain and interior options closely matched that of the Mustang year for year. There are
differences but they are generally minor.
1981--83 Black Magic - Black cars with gold striping, gold metric TRX
wheels and a gold cat's head on each side of the front valance. The
interior received special black seats with gold inserts. The 1983 model is
extremely rare and the only Black Magic to receive the compound rear
1981--82 White Lightning aka White Magic - This was actually the "Black
Magic" version but it was allowed to be ordered in white. Dealers coined
the "White Lightning" phrase from a magazine ad that Mercury ran. Mercury
never used the term directly. In 1981 there were 575 "White Magic" models
produced, but the rarer year was 1982 of which only 348 "White Magic"
models were manufactured.
1983 Crimson Cat - Red with gold striping and Cougar XR-7 TRX wheels set
this car apart. Much like the Black Magic, the Crimson Cat received custom
black seats with red inserts. Only 805 Crimson Cats were made.
1984 Charcoal turbo RS - A Capri RS turbo that was only available in Charcoal
upper / Silver lower exterior paint with Light Grey striped rub mouldings,
Garret 60 trim turbocharger, enhanced
multiport EFI 4-cylinder engine, Michelin TRX package, 5.0 HO Sway bars,
3.45:1 limited slip rear axle, hood scoop, and orange and red lettering and
striping. Sun and T Top roof were optional.
1984--86 ASC McLaren Coupes and Convertibles - ASC (American Sunroof
Corporation, now known as American Specialty Cars) converted Capris into
convertibles and enhanced standard hatchbacks which they renamed "Coupes".
The Coupes were tuned and enhanced with a number of suspension and visual
upgrades including striping, a built-in radar detector, ground effects,
Hella fog lights, headlight and taillight covers and honey comb wheels
imported from Campagnolo in Italy. 1984 Coupes (25 produced) were all
painted midnight blue. 1985-1986 Coupes (150 produced in 1985) were either
painted blue or white. In 1986 (115 made), the last year for the Coupes,
customers had an even larger choice of colors, including Smoke Charcoal
Grey & Raven Black, joining the Oxford White and Midnight Blue, as well as
Silver Metallic. http://www.ascmclaren.com/capripics.htm
Coupes were equipped with the Ford Motorsport B303 camshaft,[citation
needed] creating significantly more power than the rated 200 bhp (149
kW)/210 bhp (157 kW) of the standard 5.0 motors. Additionally, all coupes
were shod with BF Goodrich Comp T/A radials. The 225/50/15 low profile size
of these tires (as opposed to the standard 5.0L Capri's 225/60/15) raised
the ASC/McLaren Coupe's effective gear ratio from 3.08:1 to approximately
3.35:1. These were the quickest cars produced by Ford in 1985 & 1986 with
zero to sixty times well under six seconds and quarter mile times in the
mid-13 second range.
The convertibles were a far more involved project. This required the
redesigning of the car's unit construction and the fabrication of a
replacement rear deck lid, floor reinforcements, quarter panel caps,
tonneau cover and a windshield that was raked back an extra 10 degrees.
They received a manual convertible top that took up residence in the area
once designated for the rear seats. The ASC McLaren convertibles use a
smaller top than the Mustang convertible that is unique to
that car, as are the seals, weatherstripping, windshield moldings, etc.
1985 Mercury Motorsport Capri - Grand Prix IV Pace Car - 30 were built in
1985 as pace cars replicas to commemorate the fourth year of the Detroit
Grand Prix. These were also modified by ASC McLaren for Mercury and are
highly sought after for their racing heritage. Over two-thirds are
This Young Guy And His Dad Saved A Classic Capri From A Rusty Grave
Meet Jack, an 18-year-old car enthusiast who's spent his early years
restoring this classic Ford Capri with his Dad.
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Produced by Miguel Azevedo, Blare (email@example.com,