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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

This beast of a 1974 Ford Capri packs a stroker V-8

I’ve been in love with the Mk I Ford Capri since it appeared in the U.S. 50 years ago. My first car was my father’s 1973 Capri. He’d previously owned a ’66 Dodge Charger, but when the oil crisis took hold, he sold it and went the sensible route, opting for the 2.0-liter four and a four-speed. My brother, Skip, didn’t escape the Capri malady, either, and he spent many weekends autocrossing them back in the late 1970s and early ’80s ...

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/this-beast-of-a-1974-ford-capri-packs-a-stroker-v-8/

24 REPLIES 24
Tom7933
Pit Crew

What a stunning example. I'm not sure if I have ever seen a capri myself. But this one is quite awesome. Worthy of SEMA, that must've felt pretty special. Nice work!

kinnon
Pit Crew

Simply beautiful. I remember the Capris well.

Ric-Hernandez
Navigator

Ah, what memories.  My first car was a 1973 Mercury Capri GT 2600 (2.6L) V6, 4 spd man.  I purchased it for $250 in 1986.  It was a heap but the engine ran like a "bat out of hell." I spent the whole summer bringing it back to life.  It consumed me like the movie Christine, based on Stephen Kings novel by same name.  It was a labor of love. It went from rusty canary yellow to pearl white and I blacked out the chrome.  It had aluminum Mag wheels, a raised rear end,  shortened tail pipes, electric engine fans and electric fuel pump.  The person who sold it to me could not believe the transformation when I gave him a ride.   When I was finished I protected her; I almost ran my friends over one night when they all tried to pile in on it and I punched it in reverse.  The combination of a small car and a V6 was plenty fast.  I regretted having to sell it when I joined the Army.    When I got out of the Army 4 years later I found another 1973 Mercury Capri V6 fixer upper in a bit nicer condition for $600 in 1990.  I restored her also but kept her stock.   I eventually sold that one too as college took a higher priority.   My '73 Capris, both of them, were upgraded to '74 rear pop-out windows, since the '73's were only glued on and the '74 were attached by hardware.   I note that the Orange one in the article has '73, or earlier, bumpers.  Nicely done!

gpsuya
Intermediate Driver

Kudos on a fantastic conversion! Hard to believe all the room around that beautiful Ford  V8 in the engine bay. 

MoparMarq
Detailer

Borrowed my co-worker's Capri for a few months when I was a starving flight instructor.  Don't remember the MY of the car, but the ignition switch was dash-mounted and the key required quite a bit of finagling to get it to start.  Ran like a champ though and, as a manual, was pretty fun to drive.

Bartman1958
Passenger

Beautiful car.  It brings back memories, my first car was a 1973 2600 V6 Capri, it was a lot of fun. 

I occasionally have dreams where I find the car again or get it out of storage and get it running again. 

Great job!

kookookeedoo
Passenger

I absolutely love this car. Great build!

Ruevenator
Passenger

This was my first car out of college.  Three speed, manual.  Loved that car.  Fun to drive, plenty of power, and great handling.  You did it justice. Well done! Bravo!

Jmoore58
New Driver

What a nice car , a lot of good memories of teenage years cause I had three of them , your whole setup is nice ,thinking of doing my 96 s10 same way , thanks for inspiration 

F360Spider
Detailer

I had a 71 Capri that I bought for $1000 in 1975. It was a fine example but had been discounted because the clutch was just about shot. Up to this point, I had never attempted a major car repair but I figured "How hard can it be?"

 

I needed the car for work and school so drove it for a month with a shot clutch. I finally replaced the clutch over a holiday weekend. Turned out to be an extremely simple job that I was a able to do with my limited tool set lying on my back in the apartment complex parking lot.

 

Once the clutch was fixed, that tiny 4 cylinder engine proved to be quite a good match for the lightweight Capri.

 

The car met its end when an elderly women in a Cadillac Eldorado punched it from a stop sign, rammed me into another car, a telephone pole and a third car coming the other way.

 

After the carnage came to a stop, I jumped out of my smashed car, ran over to the Cadillac, flung open the door and exclaimed "Lady, Do You Have Insurance?" That was a bad moment. I had no concern for her wellbeing. She was fine though.

 

She told the police officer who finally showed up after an hour that I "Appeared out of nowhere and hit her car." She got the ticket. I got my money back for the car and I bought it back from the insurance company for $100. There wasn't much left worth salvaging except that nice engine, transmission and new clutch which I sold for $400. 

 

My next car was an Opel Manta with a spun rod bearing. I bought it thinking "How hard can it be?" to fix. That repair was a bit more difficult but did it lying on my back in the apartment complex parking lot. 

MajorTomB
Intermediate Driver

What a beautiful Capri.  Nice work!

ckaletta
Pit Crew

Capri was always a good looking car, the first few years anyway.  Happy to see this one get the power it deserves.

Backseatdriver
New Driver

I would have loved to have shown my ‘74. All I did was Autocross it. Bought it brand new. Ordered it with the 2800 V6, 4speed, with Signal Green paint. Began the process of turning into an IMSA race car almost immediately. My friends and family all thought I was nuts; pulling off body panels and replacing them with fibreglass pieces. Lowered it five inches, widened the four wheels to 10 inches to fit enormous 11 inch wide BF Goodrich Radial T/A’s. hand fabricated my own 1 inch sway bars front and rear. 

Lastly, engine mods. Grafted a 289 four barrel mount to the Capri intake to run a 650 Holley double pumper. Being the Cologne Germany made engine, I was able swap out all the ignition for Porsche equipment. 11:1 pistons and the German Ford rally cam really brought that little V6 to life. Never had it dynoed, but it have to be putting out 300 horsepower. And could it ever rev. I could buzz that thing to 7500 RPM. It helped that each crank throw had its own main bearing. 

I miss that little car and trying to find one now has been a non starter. 

 

PaulPP7
Passenger

For the ultimate V8 Capri just search for "Mick Hill Boss Capri" so called because it was a Capri built for racing in the UK using a Boss Mustang engine. I had 3 Capri's all 3.0 V6, an engine that I don't think was available in the USA, fab cars like "Mini Mustangs"

PeranaV8
Passenger

Nice work! Beautiful car! I have a 1972 Capri 3000 (my first car) with a V6 and a 1973 Ford Capri Perana V8, the real thing from South Africa. Owned it since 1979 and am just about done restoring it. Had it at the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance this year. I'm sure yours is a blast to drive. Enjoy!

Olexsy
Pit Crew

Fantastic conversion, well done and I bet it is blast to drive. I had a 1974 V-6 version that I tweaked with different carburation and reworked ignition and suspension. My daily commute back then was from the eastside of the Santa Monica Mtns. to the Pacific Coast Hwy south. Drove Malibu Canyon Road or Kanan Road twice a day. It was fun with that car and probably would a whole lot funner with this one. 

NJ666
Passenger

The bumpers and taillights tell me this is a 1972 model, not '74.  I owned a '73 2600 model and they have larger lights, and the '74s had ugly bumpers.

Ric-Hernandez
Navigator

You're right, all of the looking for 1973 parts (4 spd manual V6 2600 GT) in the junkyards taught me a lesson in the differences between different years of the Capri.  It does look like '72 or older Tail lights.  The bumpers are not original plastic bumper of the '74 either.    The overall best Capri in my opinion was the '73 V6 with 4 speed manual.  The only thing it needed was to upgrade to '74 rear passenger popout windows.  The '73' were glued onto the hardware and would fly off if glue was too old.  The 74's had a hole in the glass for securely mounting hardware.
oilbrnr
Pit Crew

My second car, behind a '68 Mustang Coupe, was a 1973 2600 Capri in a medium green color.  It was a blast to drive around in high school.  In fact, rummaging through some old photos the other day I came across a picture of it.  Brought back a flood of memories.  This car is well done!!!

SAG
Detailer

Had a friend with a 'stock' Capri.

Great body stile. (US)

Not too much performance though - use to race him with my 'Pinto' Ha_ very evenly matched.

But they were still a lot of fun, figuring maby a 8ft burn-out. [lock stock 4cyl]

merlebalke
Detailer

Bought one of these when they first came out and I was living in the Davenport, IA area. My main memory is of the electric wiper motor breaking almost immediately and the long wait for the replacement part to show up.

carguyjim
Detailer

We bought these cars cheap back in the day, beat 'em, jumped 'em and then blew up the engines...

Ahh... the good 'ol daze!!

KenJen
Pit Crew

GREAT CAR!!  I owned a 1974 Ford Capri with 4 cylinder and 4 speed.  It was yellow with black factory interior.  No A/C, PS, or PB, but was sooo much fun to drive.  However, my then brother-in-law (who needed a car, SO I "loaned" it to him) wrecked it and my insurance company called it a total loss.  They let me keep the car and paid me a fraction of the cost I paid for it, $550.00!  Missed it ever since this happened.

Alfonzoj3
New Driver

Awesome, I am in the process of starting my 73 MK1 conversion to a V-8 351w street demon with a widebody kit. Any suggestions on a rear differential and would you put an automatic tranny behind the engine, or keep with the stick? Any crazy hurdles to get over or things that you could or would of done different.
Sincerely
AJ