Everyone (well, at least everyone into 60s & 70s classics) knows Alfa GTVs, MG BGTs, Triumph GT6s and BMW 2002s as some of the more popular 1970s 2-door cars. But supposing you want something a bit less common at your local weekend rally or show & shine. You’ll have to look a little further at cars like the Fiat 124 coupe, Opel Manta or Ford Capri. Once all popular sports coupes, they’ve virtually disappeared from American roads, even from the niches of collectors’ garages and car events. But from some car nuts’ perspective, that makes them all the more desirable. The great part is that some of these “rare” cars are fairly ubiquitous in their home countries, so most parts should be pretty easy to find – check out this 1973 Mercury Capri for sale for $1500 in Portland, OR.
Looks pretty good, and pretty complete, though there does appear to be a moderate dent under the driver’s window – perhaps it can be moved via paintless dent removal, or you’re lucky it’s just a reflection. Rear wheels are from a second series Ghia car while the fronts are Rostyles, and the car is said to come with two sets of wheels – presumably they’re sets of four, not two. Color would popularly be described as root beer, but that doesn’t seem entirely accurate. Metallic excrement is not quite right either – how about metallic autumn leaf, or, uh, salted caramel? There are certainly better colors, but it’s certainly period correct.
Twin exhausts, blue/yellow Oregon plates, and clean, straight panels all look good on this car. It’s too bad there are no shots of the sills or other sensitive rust areas, and the seller concedes it has some rust and dents. But if the plates are any indication, this has been an Oregon car most or all of its life, so that bides well. Most Capris of this age seem to be subject to poor modifications, severe weathering, or are seriously pricey examples in excellent condition. This one looks like it’s simply a clean driver. It’s also nice to see a 4-speed manual – so many of the V6s are lumbered with an automatic, which sucks some of the joy out of driving a sporty coupe like this.
The interior seems in rather decent shape – a dash free of cracks, though maybe with some damage in the radio/ventilation control area, and the seats look nice too. Carpets are a little questionable – perhaps housing carpet that doesn’t quite fit the floorpans and is also a bit dirty? It shouldn’t be hard to pick up a remake of this carpet from Europe or the UK, though shipping may be rather costly. The seller says it’s an old mechanical car that’s not for new drivers, which should be music to your ears, something that will be helped by the tubular headers that come with the car. It also benefits from significant brake overhaul work. Unfortunately there’s no picture of the engine, but a Cologne V6 with a 4-speed manual in a sexy European body should be good for some fun yet.