1980 Ford Capri 2.8 i 2.8
A boy racer's dream car
Engine blew up at 45,000 miles.
I did own one of these in 1982. It was one year old on a ‘X’ plate. It cost £6750 in those days with 40K on the clock. The salesman assured me the mileage was nothing for an engine like it had, as it was at the height of modern technology. It had 2.8 fuel injection V6 engine with 2 valves per cylinder and a single overhead camshaft. You may be saying that is Transit Van technology and you would be right, but I believed the salesman.
The reason is I had been reading Car Magazine, since I could read by myself without speaking out loud since 1974, and had about as much idea about the real world of cars as a fly up the wall. This would cause me much anxiety over the forthcoming years, but I submitted to it, so it did not be come primordial and concrete. It was my first ever car, and so I did not realise that where cars are concerned people, lie about everything to do with them.
Anyway, back to the two tone green machine. It was of course a boy racer's dream car, and being a boy racer, I made the most of it. It had lovely pepper pot alloy wheels.
Top speed was 142 mph, 0-60 8 seconds according to magazines at the time, and it even did 18 mpg. It would slide sideways when cornering. Turning right with my foot down would produce a wonderful side ways skid and screech of rubber. Also, pulling away, it was possible by dropping the clutch, to wheel spin to the end of the road.
I drove it all over the place for 3000 miles, flat out when possible. It had lovely bucket seats.
Looking over the lovely long bonnet, it really felt like you had made it. This was in the days before ‘celebrity’ life style. But it felt that was what I was living. In my two up two down slum in Luton, the Athens of North London, no one knew what would happen in the future with ‘celebrity’ culture.
Then reality hit - the engine was making a strange noise. I dropped it off at Trim co Dunstable to find later the engine had run out of oil, and needed a new cam-shaft or big end or what ever it was. Some weeks later, it was still waiting for parts when I happened to notice a Jeep Golden Eagle for sale. I of course enquired about a part exchange a deal, it was done and the Capri was no longer mine in reality.
Although it took years for me to recover from ownership, I told everyone I met I once had a Capri 2.8i! They were all impressed until I told a Hells Angel, whom then did a caricature of me boasting like a buffoon.
I noticed the Capri back on sale some time later for £7250 - it had increased in value!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 20th July, 2006