Ford Capri Mk1 (1969 – 1973) Review

Ford Capri Mk1 (1969 – 1973) At A Glance

+The car you always promised yourself; the iconic four-seater coupe.

-Perhaps not in 1300cc form.

Ford's mid-sized four-seater coupe created a European market for 'pony' cars and lets its rivals stumbling to come up with suitable rivals. But it was a simple recipe for success - combine great styling with straightforward mechanicals and brilliant marketing, and watch the customers flood into the showrooms.

That legend started with Ford's own advertising strapline, which described the Capri as ‘The car you always
promised yourself’. And, in just five years, almost 1.5 million customers added a Capri Mk1 to their lives. The Capri was unashamedly inspired by the Ford Mustang and buyers really didn't mind that it was a close relative of the Cortina and Escort, dressed in a fetching party dress. Like the Zephyr and Zodiac Mk4, it had a long bonnet - although it wasn't as exaggerated as its executive car cousin, it had an engine bay large enough to swallow the 'Kent' 1.3- and 1.6-litre engines with room to spare. It also had little trouble accommodating the Zephyr and Corsair's V4 2-litre unit.

The most memorable (and valuable today) Capri Mk1s were the 3000 models, available as the performance-orientated 3000GT, the more luxurious 3000E and (from 1972) 3000GXL. It was an enticing proposition, as with 0-60mph times of under 9.0 seconds and a top speed approaching 120mph, the Capri three-litre was only outrun by much more expensive cars. The top models were distinguished by their bonnet bulges until 1972, when the smaller-engined models gained them.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a classic car for a 17-year-old driver?

"I am just about to come into my final year before my GCSEs, after which I will be entering VI Form and hopefully be learning how to drive as I am September-born. I live about 25 miles away from the school itself in Southampton, and I would like to own a good first classic car, as no modern cars with the addition of expensive pieces of plastic and excessive safety features take my eye. The main reason for a classic is the availability of spare parts, owners clubs and also the endless books of advice and easy maintenance and tuneability. I’ve had a look at some classic cars already (Triumph Dolomite Sprint, Ford Capri, Ford Cortina, Mini) but I have reached a unified stuck end, to which my father pointed me to you, who I have read most weekends on in the DT! I would like to know if you recommend any classic cars that are reliable, good-looking and easy to tune. I’m willing to spend up to about £1750-£1900 on the car itself, so hopefully your assistance would be dearly needed!"
First of all you can forget tuning anything otherwise you will be facing insurance premiums of £10,000 or more a year. The best way in is probably a Morris Minor. There's a huge club giving excellent advice, organising big club events, and all the bits you could ever need. Alternatively a Triumph Herald, if you can find one that isn't rotted out. Austin A35s have gone dear because of their potential for historic racing. First check with classic car insurers such as to find out if they will take a 17-year-old on an agreed value limited mileage classic car policy.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford Capri Mk1 (1969 – 1973) cost?