Ford Capri convertible - today's tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

Is it time for this Aussie car to come out of the shadows?

Ford Capri convertible - today's tempter
Ford Capri convertible was a local build.

Ford's locally-built Capri convertible was a very different car to its most famous earlier namesake, in that it was a front-wheel-drive convertible, rather than a traditional rear-drive hardtop.

Built 1989-94, it ran Mazda 323/Ford Laser mechanicals in a number of configurations. The four-cylinder was available in three power levels over its life, all of them running 1600cc. The first was 61kW normally-aspirated; The second a 100kW turbo unit; and the final an upgraded normally-aspirated engine claiming 75kW. This car claims the 61kW unit.

Five-speed manual and three-speed auto transmissions were offered, with manual-only on the turbo car. With a body designed by Ghia and an interior by Italdesign, it was aimed primarily at the USA market. There it was sold as the Mercury Capri, aka the 'steel bikini'. We're unsure whether the latter was a real nickname, or a questionable PR pitch by the maker.

The car's reputation suffered from poor intial quality control, particularly when it came to the folding roof - which leaked. The issues were fixed over time and a late version is the one to have.

The car you see here has a lot of aftermarket gear on board, though the owner says the originals have been kept. At $12k, it's at the upper end of what's being asked for these cars, but it's a manual. claiming low mileage and very good condition. As the seller points out, it's usually cheaper to buy a good car to start with, than do a resto.

Ford Capri soft-tops are often overloked when it comes to talking about Australian-built cars, though they are definitely part of that local history.

This one is located in NSW.



Subscribe to Unique Cars Magazine and save up to 42%
Australia’s classic and muscle car bible. With stunning features, advice, market intelligence and hundreds of cars for sale.