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BangShift Question Of The Day: You Get Your Hands On A 1974 Capri…What Do You Do With It?

BangShift Question Of The Day: You Get Your Hands On A 1974 Capri…What Do You Do With It?

On one hand, I’ve been fascinated with what the world over knows as the Ford Capri, the car that was a captive import for Lincoln-Mercury dealerships for the 1970s. They’re smaller, a nice size overall. They’ve got a punchy 2.8L V6 that isn’t going to run away with performance accolades but didn’t embarrass itself, handling that was very good for the day, and even with the U.S. regulation mandated bumpers, was a pretty decent looker. But the other hand, for me at least, is that up until I started going to shows and races as part of BangShift, all of the Capris I’d seen up to that point were straight-up dead, yard art that left more questions than answers.

In fact, one car in particular comes to mind. It was in the yard of some of my brother’s friends, and the dad was certainly a gearhead. At one point later, after they moved away from the first house, he wound up driving an early 1940s Dodge or Plymouth around and it was the first time I had been in a car that old. But the blue Capri had my attention, because I knew nothing about it, and nobody could really give me any more information on it. Had I known that he was just going to send it to the crusher, I would’ve made a play for the car just because it was cool-looking. But, when you’re thirteen, options are kind of limited.

Ignoring the history of what the Capri was all about, not knowing what the Capri Perana was at all, what would you have done if you stumbled across this car? Where would you start, and where would your build take you? All I can see so far is just getting it running and driving. And in case of why this is the Question of the Day, it’s because those interested young guns who might come across a cool car like this always need some kind of inspiration that doesn’t involve an immediate LS swap or “sell it and buy a normal car” kind of mentality.

Besides…if I found something like this beauty today, I’d be all over myself to spend money!

Craigslist link: 1974 Mercury (Ford of Europe) Capri 

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11 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: You Get Your Hands On A 1974 Capri…What Do You Do With It?

  1. stitchdup

    I’d look for a late 90 euro ford granada cosworth v6 and rob it of all the running gear to put in the capri. It shouldn’t really need much more than that some decent suspension and brakes before you have a fun 200hp car that’ll embarass a mustang v8 in the corners and pull away on the straights. the capri is pretty light but if you need more power topp boss tuning do a turbo conversion for an easy 300hp base line that’ll take a lot of tuning before you need to dig inside the motor

  2. MGBChuck

    There used to be a Capri locally that was back/halfed (looked great with 12″ slicks) and a 440″ MoPar in it that ran low 10s, always liked the Euro/American V8 thing (have a sbc MGB)

  3. Gary

    I’d find the earlier non-crash bumpers, which would immediately improve the appearance, and then maybe drop an eco boost V6 in it…

  4. Robert Smokowski

    Sell it before you you cut up an one owner all original car. Yup that’s way I’m selling it!

  5. C.M. Bendig

    About 10 pr 12 years ago I knew a guy that had one. He found a dead car is a tomb of a garage. So it was rather clean and straight. He did a 347 (302 stroker) swap, narrowed 9 inch. Set up as a Street/Strip car Blue with a Black interior. Not sure what color it was borne, yet he repainted it blue. Lost track of the car after he passed.

  6. Chris

    I have one!!! Mine was built like a rally style car. Kept the 2.8 bored and stroked. 10.5:1 compression cam, offenhouser intake BG 390 4bbl carb. It’s such a cool car!!!

  7. Matt Cramer

    Will a 4.0 SOHC from an Explorer bolt in? If so, anybody grinding really aggressive cams for that motor?

  8. Wes

    I had one. It was a ’70 model built for Super Gas and brackets. Full chassis, 4-Link, strut car with a big block Ford and a Powerglide. Super light, super tiny, and super fun. It is currently in heads-up trim in East Texas with it’s current owner running in the 4.80-range 1/8 mile.

  9. Roger

    Out of curiosity I did a search for Capri on the local Craigslist to see if there were any and the ad popped up. I always liked these cars, a good friend had one years ago. Nice car, interior is in good condition and this is a rust free SW area. The earlier chrome bumpers make them look way better. The EcoBoost swap is an interesting idea.

  10. Derek

    Well I guess I’m the guy that really should answer this question because I just bought this car from Rob. I would like to keep it as original as possible so as much as I’d like the racing stripes and a blower that’s not gonna happen. Pretty sure I’m going to do what I’m calling a defederalization project. To counteract the constricted intake it’ll get a four barrel Offenhauser and do intake manifold. I’ve got a guy with eight dead capris locally in Connecticut and I think I’ll swap out the green bumpers for some chrome ones to lessen the load. Other than that I’m hoping to have flashbacks of my teenage years when this was My first car.

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