CC Outtake: The Aisle of Capri


Capri isle

The 1989 Ford Capri, exported to North America as the Mercury Capri, is a curious car that deserves a more thorough write-up. These were a victim of timing, given their concurrent launch with the Mazda MX-5/Miata, but it was timing that Ford should have realized as they had close ties with Mazda. The basic idea – exporting Australian-built Fords in sufficient volumes to make production costs viable – was sound, and the US in particular had always been a large market for convertibles. But of all the cars for Ford Australia to manufacture, they chose a small convertible, a somewhat baffling choice given Australia’s general apathy towards that body style.



Initial teething problems like leaky roofs soured some people on the Mazda 323-derived Capri despite the car’s overall reliability being sound, and they sunk without a trace in North America. You still see the odd one around, though, because those who did buy them absolutely loved their cute little Australian front-wheel-drive convertible. Perhaps these junkyard Capris will be scavenged for parts to keep roadworthy examples alive, instead of going on the slow boat to Guangzhou.



CC 1991 Mercury Capri – Birds of a Feather