1987 Ford Capri Laser 1.6 carbed from UK and Ireland


A sluggish pain in the 'you know what!'


Always wanted a Capri, now I wish I hadn't!

Within a month of buying, it went ridiculously downhill.

Alternator, starter and clutch all went at the same time. As a result, it barely started, and then the battery went, so it wouldn't hold charge anyway!

Then it started having fuel problems, as the carburettor started to wear out. Wouldn't idle correctly, very erratic, and didn't run without stuttering. Changed the VV to a Weber twin, and helped for a while (also gave it guts and made it very loud over 3000-4000rpm).

However, after this, the engine took a turn for the worse, started missing continually (thought it was plugs or HT's) but tuned out the cam shaft was wearing out and as a result, the valves were not opening and closing correctly.

These were just the mechanical faults. Every component attached to the engine basically went wrong.

Apart from this, the exhaust started blowing in three places, anti roll bar bushes and track control arm bushes all went and as a result the car rolled badly when coming out of corners.

Wheel bearings on both sides started rumbling, the steering rack started to show signs of extensive play in the bushes, and there were various other minor faults that I couldn't be bothered to sort out!

I have sinced changed the engine to a later Sierra 165 block, but am still having all sorts of problems with the ancillaries.

I am still trying in vain to sort many of the car's problems, as I really am sick of the sight of it, and am desperate to get rid.

General Comments:

At first, it was bloody good fun, even though under powered because of its bulk, but on windy roads and roundabout's, you can have some great back end entertainment!

The twin choke weber made top end performance on motorway more acceptable, but trundling around in low revs, it was unbelievably sluggish, and would barely pull its own weight up hills, probably influenced by all its engine problems. I have driven many 1600 pintos, and they are not all this bad. In standard form, it would barely pull itself to 95mph, you'd need to be going downhill, it made a previous 1.3 Astra seem like a supercar.

I loved this car at first, as I am only 19, and I love the way Capri's look. Mine is a lovely car to see, and the only plus point is that the bodywork is fantastic, no corrosion.

I would get another, but only a 2.8 Cologne. I would only get a pinto driven car in a later Sierra as the block was substantially improved, and the engine more efficient.

Fuel economy was also terrible, achieving low 20's most of the time, although I did get 30 out of it, but then I also got 15 out of it!!

I thought having an old Ford would mean easy repairs and cheap parts, and yes, sometimes it does, but don't forget the negative point that old Fords go wrong every day!!

I have since turned to Honda, Toyota and Peugeot for my fun, and am having a substantially better time, although I have to admit I still have a 2.0 pinto Sapphire Sierra as a burnoutmobile!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th March, 2001

2nd Apr 2001, 12:40

Sorry mate. but sounds like you bought a dud, I've been driving Capris (not to mention various other Fords, Pintos etc. for years). If they are given a good service on the oil and ignition every now and then they are the one of the most reliable cars I've known.

19th Jun 2002, 16:32

I've had several Sierra's and a few Cortina's with Pinto engines and they've never really had any faults, sounds like you've been very unlucky.

25th Jul 2002, 09:08

I myself owned a 1600 and 2800i, with no reliability problems in over five years of ownership.

I think the person who sold you that car had very large windows - they saw you coming from a mile off.

Sold a lemon springs to mind.

29th Nov 2006, 17:06

You are driving cars over 15 years old, probably not well maintained, and where the basic design goes back to the 1960's, and you are complaining?

Some of you people need a reality check.

23rd Jan 2008, 11:51

I can’t believe what I’m reading, admittedly I am a Capri nut and therefore very bias, but leaving that aside I have had a smattering of Cortinas, escorts even a sierra (may the good lord forgive me lol) and I have always found the pinto, 1.6 and 2.0 to be the most reliable engines in the classic class (try maintaining an old triumph or MG). on a sympathetic note you have been VERY unlucky, but take solace in the fact that parts are fairly abundant, the pattern replacements aren’t really that bad, and in the grand scale of things not that expensive.


1987 Ford Capri 280 Brookland 2.8i petrol from UK and Ireland


Door seals required replacing after water found in floorwell. Sump gasket replaced, new fuel tank and passenger wing mirror replaced.

General Comments:

Comfortable, fast, reliable and becoming rare, not to many Capri's on the road. Comfort and handling far better than most modern cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 1999