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Ford Capri Mk2

Ford Capri Mk2

I am now assisting Eloise in my spare time (Sunday afternoons!) to update you the Oxford community about anything I think maybe of interest. This will include:

  • Development Updates
  • Significant Impending Releases
  • CAD
  • First off shots
  • Recollections
  • Reviews of Releases
  • Anything Else

So we start with Ford and a catalogue from the 1970’s, I will explain the reasons why a little later, but first the background.

Ford Catalogue 1977.

 

My brother started delivering newspapers when I was 9 years old, so he could earn some extra cash, I would tag along with him to help. On a Sunday, the newspapers were triple the size with the inclusion of business sections, weekly TV listings, magazines etc. You couldn’t carry all the newspapers in one bag it was impossible and the route you took meant you were walking for over a mile. Rather than returning to the newsagents halfway through the round to collect the second bag, I would walk with him lugging it over my shoulder, it was so heavy I would often be left with scars; my brother would give me 6d for my help!

At 11 I was old enough to be given my own round, meaning I would get properly paid as well! There were fewer cars on the road back then, but there were Fords everywhere, the only Japanese cars I remember were Datsuns. The paper round was quite monotonous and spread over a wide area. Frustratingly I had about 30 papers on Penlan Crescent, the first 28 house were reasonably close together, but the last two were over quarter of a mile apart. It was during this walk, that I started looking at cars and noticing the differences. Looking at their fronts on the first leg – the lights, the grilles, the wing mirrors and anything else that caught my eye. On the return I would concentrate on the rears, noting the variants and the specifications on each of the cars that I had seen, soon I was looking at vehicles as I walked to school. As the years passed by it was no longer acceptable for me to identify a car as a Cortina for example, I needed to look at a car and as quickly possibly identify it – ‘that’s a Ford Cortina Mk3 GXL four-door, it an L reg plate so it’s 1972’. The colour of the car was also important, to say blue was not good enough for me, I needed to know the different names, so Diamond Blue or Anchor Blue etc.

 

Ford Capri MK2 GL Interior

Ford Capri MK2 GL Interior

To better understand the differences, I needed some help and the solution was simple, all I had to do was visit garages around Swansea and pick up some car brochures. In some showrooms it was quite easy and they would often give me out of date issues, others were more challenging and required a little more cunning! Interestingly many of the salesmen were keen to get rid of the out-of-date issues; which suited me more. Everywhere I went I collected car brochures, on my annual summer holidays to Torquay I would visit the showrooms, whilst camping with the scouts I would walk for miles I was obsessed in getting as many as I could.

Then I started to sell some of the many car brochures I had collected, particularly the more prestigious brands. I had built up friendships with many of the salesmen in the showrooms, often being given duplicates, or samples of the old leather colour patches. Sometimes within weeks of receiving them I would sell the copies I had through free sales postings in the motor magazines – many I would send overseas and my biggest sale was £19, a lot of money to me back then. I still have hundreds of them left and I store them in my garage.

 

Ford Capri S MK2 Interior - very subtle !

Ford Capri S MK2 Interior - very subtle !

The other day I was flicking through a few of these old brochures, recollecting that Ford would update their catalogue each month, sometimes it was disappointing as the cover was different, but the contents were basically the same. As I picked up one of these catalogues I had a flashback, the brochure was issued by Ford in September 1977. This was the same month, as a 16 year old, that I had started working on the factory floor at Mettoys in Swansea, the manufacturers of amongst other things Corgi Toys. I remember visiting CEM Days the Ford dealer a few weeks later, telling the salesman that I was employed now. He was joking with me and handed over my monthly catalogue ‘now you are working you’ll be able to buy your own car. Which one do you want, make sure it’s expensive as I’ll earn more commission’ he said. I flicked through the catalogue.

 

Ford Capri Ghia MK2 - centre console with quartz clock!

Ford Capri Ghia MK2 - centre console with quartz clock!

On the cover you can see line drawings of the cars that are the classic Fords to me, I don’t necessarily mean the MK, as each has their own history. Indeed, had there been a MK 1 Lotus Cortina or a MK 1 Capri in that catalogue one of those would definitely have been my choice.

The Capris started on page 39, ‘In a class of its own’ it said’, I would read many magazines and recalled an article that read ‘the Mustang had inspired the Ford Capri’. There certainly was something exciting about the Capri – it had style and the cars were selling everywhere, being manufactured at Halewood and Cologne.

I flicked through the catalogue looking at the model choices:

Capri 1300 and Capri L

Ford Capri MK2 1300

Ford Capri 1300

Reading the words economy definitely didn’t appeal to me, I often wondered in later life why these options were available, on the British Mustang! The intro to the Ford Capri range says:

‘It combines sports car style. Flair and excitement with estate car practicality. The Capri 1300 and Capri 1300 now come equipped with a 1300 Economy engine as standard.’

Imagine a Ford Mustang being described as having estate car practicality with a 1300 economy engine and fabric trim (yeuch).

Ford Capri MK2 L

Ford Capri L

The Capri L at least had the sports road wheel and carpeted load compartment. If you wanted either of these beauties and buying new, you had to remember that the radio was an optional extra. Imagine forgetting to tick that box, I know why the Halfords shops were so popular with their offerings back then.

Capri GL

Ford Capri MK2 GL

Ford Capri GL

Now we are getting a little bit extra in the Capri as we at least have the option of a 2000 OHC engine (twin carburettor and automatic choke) and a push button radio comes as standard. One of the features shown was a bodyside moulding – GL badging. Probably to make sure everyone knew that you hadn’t purchased the 1300/L versions – making sure the neighbours were absolutely clear about that….

Capri S

Ford Capri MK2 S

Ford Capri S

We have the 3000 V6 engine with an automatic choke, updated brakes, shock absorbers, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, head restraints, alloy road wheels, power steering and yes special bodystyle coachlines. Surely all the things a 16 year would need (the fact that I was not old enough to drive was not going to deter me!).

Capri Ghia

Ford Capri MK2 Ghia

Ford Capri Ghia

Can it get any better! This came with a sliding roof which had a tilt feature as standard. Also available was that V6 engine and the top speed is shown as 121 mph in 6.8 seconds – that would be really useful on my drive to the Mettoy factory each morning. I was used to waking up at 5:30am and catching the bus, with this V6 engine I could get up 6:30am and brush my teeth, get dressed in the car at the traffic lights and be in the diecasting area before 7:00 am.

It was going to be a choice between these last two. I turned to the salesman and said:

Capri S page 44, V6 engine Arizona Gold please, make it a 1978 plate’
‘not the Ghia’ he said with a smile, ‘I thought you would have chosen that’.
‘I don’t like vinyl roofs, it’s as simple as that’ I chipped in.

He then went on to tell me that the MK3 was launching the following year and I ‘d be better off waiting until then.

I never got my Ford Capri they were far too expensive as my wages were just £100 per month. Instead my first car was a Mini 1275 GT, JCY 646N a 1974 plate, colour Renard and yes I had the Dunlop Denovo tyres!

Now we get to the interesting bit as I don’t have a car at this time, but I do want to buy one (second-hand) and I am not sure what to get. I am looking for your thoughts and guidance, any brand as I open minded – something to suit someone who was born in the sixties.

So it’s over to you – send me your ideas on comment section below.

I guess I shouldn’t finish without picturing the Oxford Ford Capri MK2’s, with links for more info, along with some Design Cells and CAD.

 

76CPR001 Oxford Diecast

76CPR001 Ford Capri MK2 - Lime Green

 

76CPR002 Oxford Diecast

76CPR002 Ford Capri MK2 - Sahara Beige

76CPR003 Oxford Diecast

76CPR003 Ford Capri MK2 - White

.

 

76CPR001 Design Cell Oxford Diecast
76CPR002 Design Cell Oxford Diecast
76CPR003 Design Cell Oxford Diecast
Oxford Diecast Ford Capri MK2 CAD
CAD Ford Capri MK2 Oxford Diecast
CAD Ford Capri MK2 Oxford Diecast
CAD Ford Capri MK2 Oxford Diecast

 

 So that's it until another time.

 

 

 

Previous article September 2021 - January 2022 Announcement
Next article Eloise Davies and Scammell Dumper Truck

Comments

Bernard Thomson - September 14, 2021

I know you are all talking about cars but how the Bedford Luton van or transit Luton van or even a concrete mixer truck there are so many different era’s of cars and lots of them from an early age in my life going to work with my father in these sourghts of vehicles

Dave Lewis - September 14, 2021

Good afternoon Taff,
OK, here we go:
My first car in 1963, when I learned to drive, was a “sit-up-and-beg” 1953 Ford Prefect, 1172cc side-valve engine, rod brakes and clutch, and vacuum windscreen wipers – the sort that stop when going uphill in the rain. This car had four doors, running boards and was pale green. Semaphore indicators completed the package. My second car (1966) was a green and white Austin Seven Super-de-Luxe (aka Mini); in 1969 came a Triumph Herald 1250 – “cactus and conifer” two tone green; in 1974 was a white Triumph GT6 Mk. 3. Then were a couple of Ford Escort XR’s – 1982, a black one with a horrible twin choke carburettor, which didn’t like starting when warm, and in 1984 a “diamond white” XR3i. In 1994 came a Volvo 440 Turbo (white), followed in 1998 by a Volvo S40 T4 (white) – quite a fast and quick car, which I kept for 14 years! Finally to date, I have another four-door car with running boards, (white LR Freelander 2), rather more comfortable than the original of 1963.
My favourites are the Herald, S40 and Landy, but I would have loved to have had a Triumph Vitesse Mk 2, same performance pretty much as the GT6, but with more seats. An idea for your project?

Peter Bate - September 14, 2021

With regard to 1.3 engined Capris ,Practical Motoring magazine called them a sheep in wolf’s clothing ! and their mpg was worse than than the 1.6 as well as general performance stats.
One owner commented that the size of the bonnet made it look as if you could land a Harrier jump jet on it.
The Capri had its own moment in film history when a red N reg model was jumped over the opening spans of tower bridge in the 1974 film Brannigan, something previous done by a RT bus in the 50s. My favourite would be a MK 2 Granada the was always something about them(VHK419S perhaps in model form?)The most popular late 70s was the MK4 but it is reported that less than 250 survive today

Stuart Hodges - September 14, 2021

There were several cars that got my heart thumping. Ford Corina MK3 GT, Ford Granada from the Sweeney and the Triumph 2000pi. But my choice would be the Ford Cortina MK3 2000E a real Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Robert Wedlock - September 14, 2021

Ah paper rounds
I must be the similar age to Brian Gregory as I was getting paid about the same
Yes Sunday was the heaviest day and I can’t quite remember the year but I can distinctly remember delivering on a Sunday after what had been the heaviest snowfall for Essex in many years and my last drop the kind gentleman giving me a ginger wine to drink never told my folks though
Moving onto a car for Taff a Hillman Imp Californian in the gold colour of your Oxford miniature Hillman Imp which I have on my newly in progress n gauge model railway not sure starting an n gauge layout at 71 was the greatest idea however if Oxford could add an n gauge Imp Californian to the range that would be great as that was my first and only car in England as £10 seemed cheap for a holiday to Aus

David Watson - September 14, 2021

Well Taff, and Eloise….. My advice, or rather suggestion would be to go for what you can afford. This would be a Ford Anglia 105E or a Ford Cortina MK 1 in my case, but if you can afford it…… the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I from 1955 to 1959, with the straight six engine, which has to be the best motor car ever produced in the world.
As someone else suggested, the Ford Cortina 1600E MK 2 or indeed the Lotus Cortina MK 1 would also be an excellent choice. I do remember the different versions of the Ford Capri, as I worked for a Ford dealer in the parts department when I left school. The most outrageous Capri would be the Mick Hill Ford V8 ’ Boss ’ Capri that I saw raced at Mallory Park during the early 1970’s.
Good luck with your 1:1 vehicle search !

Brian Gregory - September 14, 2021

Hello Taff
I am older than you and go further back in terms of Paper Rounds and Cars. Our experiences of Sunday Morning Paper Rounds is very similar except i had nobody to lug my second bag around; so it was back to WH Smith&Co underneath the Railway Bridge at Folkestone Central to get that second bag after i had already Cycled several miles with the first bag, and all that for 12/6 a week ! However; if i had my young life again i would do it without a second thought. My first Car was a Standard Flying 8, rear opening Front Doors, Running Boards, ‘Indicators’ in the Central Door Pillars that had to be thumped to make them work and those lovely great Chrome Headlamps. That lasted me for five years until one day she just ‘expired’ on one of the long hills around my Home Town; not bad though as i had paid just 20 Quid for her. My next Car was a second hand A35 which was a wonderful little car, would go anywhere and served me well for three years. Next came the first Ford in my life; a Cortina Mk1 GT and that was a great car but when i got her she was in a bad body condition. However; being in the Motor Trade i stripped her down to an empty shell and resprayed her in the latest ‘Daytona Yellow’, Coach Lined her and fitted a Vynil Roof. She looked terrific and i was always getting Ford owners knocking my front door asking me where they could get this done and how much would it cost ? After six years i decided that i wanted the Mk2 1600E, another great car and i ended up having every Cortina Mark apart from the last Mk 5, as by that time i was driving Company Cars and the policy was Japanese, of which i had several makes and models, most notably the Toyota Crown, Luxury itself with a built in Fridge in the Boot Et al ! Later in life i bought myself a BMW 3 Series but them moved on to the best of the lot, an Audi A6, a very fine car indeed and were i to want one of my old cars again i would most certainly go for the Audi, the very best of them all in my opinion. As for the Fords i was in love with the Mk1 Cortina GT; so if it were to be a Ford it would be that model. These days i glide around in a little Mitsubishi and collect Model Railways and Model Cars/Trucks etc and these items i will never give up until i move on to the Great Garage or Station in the sky. Whatever you choose Taff…enjoy it.

David Scholes - September 14, 2021

Really great to hear about your early encounters with cars, the days when cars had their own identity and character. Sadly today , while cars are much better engineered and assembled, they are bland and unmemorable!
I did my driving test soon after my seventeenth birthday, in 1964, in Enniskillen, in my mother’s Mk1 Ford Cortina, Spruce green. It was two door, with what seemed then like enormous doors. It was the 1300cc model and broke new ground as it was one of the first cars with a fully synchromesh gearbox.
As a suggestion for a car to obtain next, I would consider either an early Range Rover or from France a first generation Espace. Both these cars set trends and became example which other manufacturers tried to emulate.

Ian Thurley - September 14, 2021

Hi Taff,
As a 1960’s child myself, I am today driving the car I always promised myself – a Ford Capri. Like you, during the 70’s I collected the Ford catalogues on a regular basis whenever Dad had the family Cortina serviced and every time Ford had a new model to launch – beginning with the Cortina Mk4 in September 1976.
Also like you, when I started working the Capri was out of reach – so I went for a used Fiesta Mk2 950 Pop Plus.
I would suggest that you go for the Capri – but don’t follow the herd and go for a 2.8 or a 280 – the basic models are the rarities these days because so few survived as they were too ordinary to save. I’ve just driven my Capri (a 1.6 Laser) around the Yorkshire Dales and over the moors to Whitby and it has been the best hol I’ve had in years!
I’d love to see more of the basic models captured in 1/43 scale – like my Dad’s poverty spec Cortina Mk3 1.3 purchased in December 1975 and part of Ford’s ‘VFM’ campaign. Finished in Phoenix Orange with the black, single round headlight grille and black door tops it was quite ‘distinctive’ !

Regards

Ian

Ashley Lovering - September 14, 2021

I recommend a Toyota Yaris … I bought a new one 5 years ago … cheapest car I have ever bought. Marvellous

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