The Ford Capri was launched in 1969 with one of the most famous advertising straplines in automotive history. Yep, the Ford Capri was ‘the car you always promised yourself‘.
It is fair to say that the Capri has divided opinion over the past four decades. In the years following launch it held a vast degree of coolness, earning the tag of the ‘European Mustang’. By the mid 80s, it was growing old disgracefully, failing to keep up with the new hatchbacks on the block. The late 80s and 90s saw it pass into a period of parody, not helped by Del Boy’s ‘Capri Ghia‘ tag. But the new Millennium’s obsession with retro-cool helped the Capri to become acceptable and somewhat collectable.
Today, the Rs3100, Rs2600, 3.0S, 2.8i and 280 are just some of the most coveted Capris of all. But there’s one Capri that is sadly overlooked and could quite possibly pass into motoring folklore without so much of a mention in the classic car mags. I talk of the Ford Capri Testarossa.
Why go to all the hassle of spending millions on aerodynamics and engineering, when for £14.90, you can turn your MKIII Capri 1.6LS into a Ferrari through little more than a packet of stickers? Yes it is true. Available at most good motoring shops and some pretty awful ones too, these self-adhesive vinyls will transform your life. Be amazed as your neighbours bow down and worship at the Italian stallion that has arrived on the driveway next door. Women will swoon, your work pals with turn green with envy and your fellow road users will give you hand gestures of appreciation as they pass you on the inner ring road. Well, at least that’s what you’ll believe. As the advertising blurb says, get the ‘Ferrari look – at a price you can afford‘.
Fitted in seconds, you can be living the dream in less time than it takes to munch a couple of chocolate Hob-Nobs. The yacht club will welcome you with open arms, you’ll queue jump the waiting list at the golf club and you’ll be the biggest catch at the next swingers party. Everyone loves a Ferrari key ring.
Not convinced about the transformation? Check out this archive image of an early 80s Ford Capri with the Testarossa stripes added. OK, so the owner has gone to the expense of adding Ferrari paint, but even Gok Wan would struggle to achieve something as wonderful as this. Messrs Crocket and Tubbs will be kicking themselves for choosing the wrong car.
Quite amazing isn’t it? You’ll never look at a Testarossa in the same way again.
Testarossa image courtesy of Frank and Myra (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56352050@N00). Original ad courtesy of Car, September 1986.