Monday, May 1, 2017

Deutsche Pony: 1969 Capri


The market success in the USA of the Ford Mustang and competing brands' "pony cars" (a real mustang is a wild horse) led to a European version developed by Ford's German branch.  It was called Capri.  Capris were even exported to America as Mercury Capris -- Mercury being Ford's mid-range brand at the time.

Several versions of the Ford Capri appeared in Europe over 1969-1986.  The first, retroactively called the Mk I, was produced 1969-1974.  It is the subject of this post.

Background on the European Capri is here, and about the Mercury Capri here.

Gallery

Like the Mustang, the Capri featured a long hood.  The bold character line on the sides is unusually strong and is also unusual in how it partly frames the rear wheel opening, thereby creating a different, smooth character to the aft side.  Distinctive, but not visually satisfying, it was eliminated on Mk II Capris.  What look like air intakes aft of the door are (probably) non-functional: entry level Capris had only sheet metal there.

Rear three-quarter view of a Capri for the UK market.  What looked like a semi-fastback in side view was achieved via sail panels.  The rear license plate / tail light ensemble is tidy.  Note the vinyl covered top, a styling fad in those days.

Another UK Capri.  The grille design a very simple.  Headlight housings are pretty well designed, given the shape of the headlights used.  The turn indicator segment divider does not align with the hood cut line -- a minor flaw.

Another publicity photo.  This sporty version has its hood, rocker panels and other bits painted black so as to provide even more sporting credibility to potential buyers.

This Capri has quad headlights.  Another feature besides the aft part of the character line that bothers me is the rounded window outline.  It's too symmetrical and thereby too static for a supposed performance car.  This too was changed on the redesigned Mk IIs.

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