1970–77 Ford Capri: The sexy European


How does a car launch and lead a new segment, sell a half-million copies, and then fade into obscurity? That’s the American story of the Capri, a small, svelte, European-built Ford sport coupe introduced in the U.S. in 1970.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/01/10/ford-capri


Thanks, Hagerty OnLine and Jim Koscs for a very informative article!

If further information about Capri technical subjects is needed, please feel free to contact Team Blitz, either by email or Facebook, blitz@teamblitz.com. Happy to assist, no fees, just friendly help.

And for fans of the Capri, the Capri Club North America’s annual meet The Capri Swarm is June 8-10 outside Columbus, Ohio, featuring a car show, drag racing, autocross, and lots of socializing to “talk Capris”. Including the always popular annual banquet on Saturday night. Information on the CCNA and The Capri Swarm is on the club Facebook page and website. www.capriclub.com


Thanks Hagerty for publishing an article on our beloved Capris. Norm Murdock is THE Capri source for everything Capri. Glad to see his contributions in this two-parter. Ford Capri Fans on the interwebs also congregate in the following groups:


The worlds first and only Capri mailing list devoted to the Ford Capri in North America. Started in 1997 and still active today! Find it on yahoogroups at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/capri-list/info or Capri-list.com


Capri World (North America) The first and largest discussion group catering to the Ford Capri in North America. Started in 2017 and 600+ members strong. The majority of memeber are in the US and Canada. All North American Capri events are listed. Swarm in Ohio , Ford Nationals in Carlise PA, and most recently Knottberry Farms in California.


Capri World Our mother group. A mahoosive 20,000+ members from all over the world. A metaphorical drool-fest for Capri enthusiasts. The cars posted up speak for themselves.



The US “Capri S” had previously been launched as the “JPS Capri” in Europe, in tribute to the John Player Special Formula 1 Lotus. Ford couldn’t use the “JPS” cigarette identity in the US, but fortunately, we got the rest of the package. Mine was white, with the 2.8 V6. In the years since, I don’t think I’ve seen but a handful of white ones, and only one black S in the last decade or so. (at Winston-Salem Cars & Coffee).


I had a Mercury Capri in the 70s, bur can’t recall just what year. It was sort of a lemon and the Mercury dealer was less than enjoyable to deal with. However, I did enjoy driving the car while I had it. One of my neighbors also had one.


In '77 I became a supervisor at a subsidiary of FoMoCo and, as such, was eligible for an executive lease car. My first lease car was a '77 Capri Snow Cat with the V6 engine backed up by a 4 speed transmission. When I got this car I owned a '72 Datsun 240Z that I really had grown to love, but the Capri was just as much fun to drive as was the Z car. I sold the Z, which I still regret, and went on to lease several Ford products on an annual basis, but I thought the Capri was a super little sports coupe. The Snow Cat trim, BTW, was the same as the Black Cat package except the base car was white instead of black. Same gold stripes, gold rally type wheels and gold and black interior.


I enjoyed the article and it brought back some good memories as my first new car was a 1973 Capri, 2600, manual, red/black and a sunroof. It was certainly a fun car to drive.


My first car was a '73 V6. I used to love drag racing small block muscle cars - first gear was really low and a big jump to second. I’d keep up or even slightly edge the American until midway into second where I’d back off like I meant to do that :wink:


We had one of the first 1971 Capris in Northern Illinois. Nice little car, well built, solid, great gas mileage, nice handling, and GAWD…was it SLOW!

I mean embarrassingly SLOW.

The little 1-bbl 1600 Kent engine would not rev past 5000 RPM, and even though I had a header and Borla (or was it Monza?) exhaust on it, I’d get smoked by 2 liter Pintos and Vega GTs.

Oh, well, it was nice little car, and the chicks thought it was cool!

  • Jim


I wanted to introduce myself I’m Paul Wilshaw founder of Capri World Facebook page.
I was extremely pleased to read about our page and our sister page Capri World North America on this forum.
Capri World currently boasts Over 22,000 members with membership of CWNA building steadily, which is testament to the popularity of the model. We’ve also launched a Capri World Business Services Facebook page. This is for companies to advertise their automotive offering to members.
All Capri owners and enthusiasts are welcome to join all of our pages. My aim at the outset was to help build a supportive worldwide community for Capri owners, fans and enthusiasts. I believe we are doing just that.
Paul Wilshaw
Capri World (Founder)