When I first saw the back end of this car from a block or so away, I had a momentary brain fart. What is that? Those two big round taillights really threw me. But not for long.
The monochromatic paint job and lack of any badges and such added to the initial mystery, but the basic shape is of course distinctive and recognizable. But apparently this owner would rather keep folks guessing, and I suspect it does, since this generation of Capri was never common, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen another.
Someone likes gray. Well; they’re not exactly the only ones…
The profile is its most distinctive feature. I will say that this is the best looking one of these I’ve seen, as it adds a bit of gravitas to rather lightweight design otherwise.
A more detailed CC on the Capri:
Curbside Classic: 1989-94 Ford/Mercury Capri – Unfashionably Late
Wild! I had a white one, I was driving Miatas and figured I would try out the stepbrother. It was fine but wish it had been the Turbo model. I ended up selling it to my BIL who drove that thing for years.
The rear end seems too well executed to be a one-off, I wonder if that was something you could get overseas or something…..
Looks similar to an Australian special edition called the Capri Clubsprint, which was produced in collaboration with Tickford Vehicle Engineering.
The example Paul found looks a bit different, but maybe other aftermarket suppliers copied the general idea. I think that rear end treatment looks better than the original.
Wow never seen that before! Reminds me of the spirit of the 1997 M Edition Miata.
Of course all these Capris rolled off the Australian Broadmeadows Ford Plant which is located just north of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
I recall seeing hundreds of them parked at Port Melbourne being loaded on ships bound for the United States of America. Both LHD and RHD versions rolled down the Australian Ford assembly line together.
There are/were a couple of Australian companies supplying aftermarket rear ends for the Capri. One was a copy of the Clubsprint bumper with ‘C A P R I’ moulded into it; the other was the ‘Roadster’ bumper from SSV (Sydney Special Vehicles). The feature car looks to be wearing one of SSV’s bumpers, albeit minus the reversing light.
It’s amazing how much I actually like this. I really disliked this Capri when it came out. I thought the styling and common colors on these made them look like a garish mishmash- especially when inevitably compared to the Miata. This one actually looks like a cohesive design, and the taillight cap with tasteful cutouts gives the rear a rather classy vibe. That cutout, filler paneled, bespoilerd ass end with the big cheesy plastic tail lights was IMO the worst part of a marginal design. Nice job, this one.
I thought these were so utterly atrocious when they were introduced. Total chick cars. These modifications make it slightly less vomitous.
As a driver of many Miatas I generally roll my eyes hard at any Chick Car pronouncements, but in this case it’s pretty tough to argue.
I never considered the Miata to be a chick car. Call me a hypocrite. Honda Del Sol? Yes. New Beetle. Yes.
When I was a kid Miatas were most definitely being called chick cars, it did seem early owners mostly cared about it being a “cute convertible” with Japanese build quality than it being the spiritual descendant of the original Lotus elan with Japanese build quality, and to take to the local autocross on weekends. That “Miata is the right answer” trope is something that I never really heard from “dudes” until I had internet access in a pocket sized device.
On that note I remember when the Honda S2000 came out it was instantly considered to be the “cool” sports car, despite really just being Honda’s Miata, but it looked more aggressive and had VTEC, which every prepubescent teenage boy in the 2000s knew was cool. But enthusiastic young gearheads rarely buy new cars, so it was a flop. “Chicks” bought Miatas new and there are a ton of them as a result for enthusiasts to gobble up after. It was a positive symbiotic relationship, despite the crass terminology.
Really it’s sad there aren’t many “chick cars” around these days, the cheap and cheerful fun of Miatas, Del Sols, Capris, Celicas, Trackers, etc. all gave way to the universal “chick car”… the crossover. The few cars in their lineage that remain have lost their universal appeal and are strictly in the realm of “dude cars”, which are overpowered, overwrought, and more expensive to buy, feed and insure.
Having been there at the time, Miatas were mostly derisively called chick cars by men who either couldn’t fit into them, were jealous that the Miata was more popular than whatever it was they were driving, or were so insecure that they felt their car had to define them and somehow a low, quick, well-handling, attractive, reliable, and inexpensive sports car didn’t quality. Oh yeah, and by definition a chick car should “attract” “chicks” so those same men denigrating it were apparently against that as well. Whatever, their choice/loss.
Note that while an automatic was always available in the Miata, the majority of them seem to be motivated via a manual gearbox. The “chick car” trope was also leveled by plenty of men who can’t drive a stickshift while some/many of the women driving them actually did drive stick, and quite well at that.
In the other corner, you had plenty of cars that lots of women did actually purchase and were quite often seen in command of, such as the Ford Mustang, Toyota Celica, Acura Integra, BMW 3-series, etc., none of which got called out the same.
The main problem with the S2000 vs the Miata was the fact that the S2000 base priced 75% higher which put it into a completely different league of vehicles and market. ($35k vs 20k). At $20k in 1999, a Miata was easily justifiable as an extra car or just as a fun daily. At $35k in 1999, things require a greater commitment… It also somehow managed to be ten years late to the party.
I’m basing this on the opinions of gradeschoolers/middle schooler peers in the 90s and 00s, but I’m sure they probably picked up on the terminology from their dads. That’s what I find so ironic, people in my age group went on to embrace Miatas, but I remember they were singing quite a different tune then! I’ve also most definitely heard Celicas, V6 Mustangs(in the 3.8 years) and Integras called chick cars as well. The 4 door BMW 3 series in the non-M variety had a reputation of being realtors cars, which is basically chick car by another name.
I agree it’s all pretty silly and hypocritical. Cougars were chick cars too, but I don’t know what “man car” I was expected to choose instead.
…or who decided it was Mazda’s fault they couldn’t have/didn’t finish their project car. Or who just generally stopped growing up around grade 7. Or who were never taught manners. Or who hadn’t realised that other people exist.
(the list isn’t pick-one; it’s pick-as-many-as-apply)
“Note that while an automatic was always available in the Miata, the majority of them seem to be motivated via a manual gearbox”
In the early years, the Miata manual to automatic ratio was about 90/10. The current model runs about 50/50, but that’s still an extremely high take rate for the manual.
First thought that came to mind.
I see it!
I also would love a late 80s Riv with the 5.3L V8 from about a 2006 Imp SS swapped in…..
It’s a definite improvement, with a JDM vibe yet hard to disguise the chunky looking shape. Extra points for manual transmission too.
It is rare that aftermarket modifications improve the looks of a car but here they actually. The colour is well chosen as well. Canada did not get these so I do not get to see the very often.
Nobody sees them very often!
A significant improvement!
Not only do the round taillights look substantially better, the bumpers clearly protrude out less, shortening the overhangs. I thought these were ugly when I’d see them in the 90s, but if they looked like this I’d think different, I might go so far as saying I like the looks of this better than the Miata.
The tasteful modifications and subtle color choice have really improved the looks. These caught my eye when they debuted, because there weren’t that many two seat sporty cars, and it was a convertible. The fact that it was Korean made was a turn off back then.
From all the road tests that I read it didn’t perform like a sports car.
4 seater actually
Korean? I believe these were made in Australia.
All of these Capris were built in Australia, in LHD and RHD form.
These did end up in odd corners, I need to check whether the dealer in Enterprise Oregon population 2,000 still has the one I spotted in September
Nissan Skyline called and wants their rear lights back…
1973 Chevelle requests the same thing.
The extra curviness of the Clubsprint-style bumpers makes the car look much better, even more so with the removal of the side bump strips. Not so keen on the grey paint though.
I generally like the offbeat, made somewhere besides the US or Japan cars, but not this one. To me it’s just ugly to the bone.
Calling it a chick car is demeaning to women, they usually gravitate to some sense of style, and this one has none.
Sorry, just my .02.