'The car you've always promised yourself' is a high-demand classic today

Torbay Weekly

'The car you’ve always promised yourself’ - this was the caption used by Ford when they launched the two-door Capri in 1969 with an entry level price of under £900.

Within 18 months, sales had reached more than one million and the demand echoed that of the Ford Mustang in the USA some five years earlier.

Indeed, that was exactly what Ford had hoped for.

A car to appeal to the entire family but mainly at the family man who still needed four seats yet which pandered to his ego as a sports car.

With Cortina underpinnings and sharing many mechanical components, this was a cost-effective way to produce an all-new concept wrapped up in a stylish two-door coupe and which became the first hatchback made by Ford when the Capri Mk 2 arrived in 1974.

In fact, there was nothing to touch it at the time and certainly not at that price.

A variety of engines and equipment levels allowed it to be tailored to everyone’s taste and budget.

Modest 1.3 litre, four-cylinder power unit up to monster 3.1 litre, six cylinder rocket ship and quite reasonable handling if I’m honest, when compared to what else was out there and with a high level of comfort.

This car remained in production for 17 years and the old saying goes, ‘If it was a hit when introduced, it will probably be a classic today’.

It certainly is a high demand classic today with top-spec cars valued at over £40,000 for the final ‘Brooklands’ edition and, like so many sporting and high performance Fords, have become classic objects of desire particularly for gentlemen of a certain age who can now afford the car they dreamt of when they were small boys in the 1970s.

The first ten years were at a time of rampant 1970s inflation and when production ended in 1987, Capris had reached nearer £10,000 when new.

As part of my work, I have just acquired a low-mileage, 1986 2.8 Special for £23,000 at auction on behalf of an Australian client. It goes Down Under next month.