Story and photography by Tara Hurlin

It’s not a Subaru, a Volkswagen or even one of those European-market Ford Escort Cosworths. It’s a Capri, built in Germany by Ford and sold stateside through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. And for more than a decade, this one has stood out at American rally events.

Bob Olson prepped the mini pony car more than a decade ago. He longed for a rear-wheel-drive, European-spec Ford Escort but settled for the next best thing: the Capri, built from 1969 through 1986. This chassis is dated as a 1974.

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fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/6/20 10:17 a.m.

LSPR2018 was amazing, even with my disqualifcation... 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/6/20 10:23 a.m.

That's a great photo.

GeorgeWeb
GeorgeWeb
5/6/20 9:27 p.m.

This Capri looks like a MkII model (I had a 2.6 V6 Mk I version). I don't believe that this model was ever sold retail in the US. How did he get it? A privately imported car?

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
5/7/20 4:27 a.m.
GeorgeWeb said:

This Capri looks like a MkII model (I had a 2.6 V6 Mk I version). I don't believe that this model was ever sold retail in the US. How did he get it? A privately imported car?

MkII's were sold in the US, until 1977 so basically all the life of the MkII.

Cool car in the article.

Gustaf

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/7/20 7:18 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

That's a great photo.

Agreed. It makes a wonderful Desktop background.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
5/7/20 9:00 a.m.

Cool enough cars.  I had a friend that drove one in high school, but hey, that was over 40 years ago.  All but impossible to find nowadays.

Birkline
Birkline
5/8/20 2:38 p.m.

Back in the early years of rallying in the US, there was a east cost series called the MONY Series. Rally's were held in MI, OH, PA, NY and eventually others as it expanded. Our club Erie Shores Sports Car Club put on the Erie 100 and later the Cooper Tire 300. Bill Dodd our rally master and frequent competitor ran a 2600 Capri for several years. As a privateer, Bill competed very well against the "factory" teams of the time, John Buffum, Rod Millen, Scott Harvey and others. My father and I crewed regularly for Bill and particularly enjoyed The POR and The Molson Criterium Rally, at the time the only WCR in North America. The POR went on to carry the WRC title as well. Those were the days!

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/8/20 4:38 p.m.

My father had a MK1 capri in that typical 70s brown. It was a very cool car.

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
5/8/20 5:04 p.m.

There was a very limited run of all wheel drive Mk I Capris built for rallying back in the 70's.  I know that a couple were imported and race here back then.

I can't remember the name of the car builder though?

 

I have a nice '74 V6 5 sp. in my garage right now.  It's a friends car.  We are slowly getting it back on the road. It runs and drives but needs much detailing, like a complete interior! It only has an old stock seat that on it's last legs to sit on.

twentyover
twentyover Dork
5/8/20 9:21 p.m.
jimbbski said:

There was a very limited run of all wheel drive Mk I Capris built for rallying back in the 70's.  I know that a couple were imported and race here back then.

I can't remember the name of the car builder though?

 

I have a nice '74 V6 5 sp. in my garage right now.  It's a friends car.  We are slowly getting it back on the road. It runs and drives but needs much detailing, like a complete interior! It only has an old stock seat that on it's last legs to sit on.

Ferguson. They used Cologne shells, shipped to Coventry to be fit with the FF system,.

 

I have a 76 MKII waiting for a new motor

 

 

Being identified as a 74 is interesting- the MKI was sold as a 74 model in the US, the first MKII were sold in Europe as 75 model, and as 76 in the US. Was the shell imported from Europe? It could have been a European import.

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
5/24/20 1:52 p.m.

Actually, both MkI and MkII were sold as 1974's. My MkII is a 1974, sold new in Sweden. MkI 1974's are quite rare in Europe but you find them now and then.

Gustaf

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
4/9/21 9:14 a.m.

Fantastic looking race car.  Looks like fun too...

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