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Screwdriver Required: 1973 Mercury Capri


Similar to dining establishments that allow you to saddle up to the bar with flip flops and a tank top, this 1973 Mercury Capri here on eBay follows the adage of, “No shirt, no shoes, no problem!” That’s because you don’t need a key to start it – a flat-head screwdriver will work just fine. The price is adjusted accordingly as well for this project-grade Capri, as the Buy-It-Now of $1,000 has been removed to make it a no-reserve auction with a solitary $500 bid on the board. 


It looks rougher than it is, as the interior looks downright hospitable when performing a surface level inspection. Though the steering wheel is wrapped in what looks to be a child’s bicycle tire, I’m hopeful what lies underneath still bears some resemblance to artificial leather or high-grade 70s vinyl. The good news is there are supposedly solid floors underneath the carpet, with the only rust on the Capri contained to the rear arches. The automatic is a shame but if this thing goes for cheap, you could have some room in the budget to do a transmission swap.


In what can only be described as a fad that’s dumber than ghostriding the whip and gluten-free dairy products, this poor Capri was coated with either driveway sealant or an industrial-grade black crayon, as the engine bay and much of the exterior still wears the remnants of someone’s poor attempt to mask old paint. Don’t the kids enjoy patina anymore? What’s unfortunate is that the previous owner didn’t even have the means to vinyl wrap the poor thing, which is just barely better than spray-bombing it in your backyard.


As you can see from this picture, the same screwdriver used to start the car can also be used for opening the trunk, and eventually tightening up a replacement rear bumper. Does this Capri have needs? Yes. Is it cheap? Also yes. Do the two generally go hand-in-hand? Yes again. This car is a runner with some recent work already performed, giving the next owner a platform to restore that they can at least drive around the yard while it’s re-assembled. Seems like a great summer project to me – what do you think?


  1. Avatar photo Mark

    I had one of those, I think mine was actually the color this one was originally. The little V-6 engine having a lot of spunk when connected to a 5 speed, I’m not sure how good it would be with an automatic. Even though these carry the Mercury name they were actually imported from Europe.

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  2. Avatar photo Grr

    Ford. You owned one and you thought it was an Opel?

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    • Avatar photo DA

      71-74 was Mercury in N America.

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  3. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Child’s bicycle tire, HA! I HATE when people wrap the steering wheel with those fat covers. I had a car just like this, only a 4 speed, and it was a miserable car. I know some had good luck with these, but I hated it. It was only 2 years old, but already was using coolant, it had the Pinto 4 speed, ( big hole between 1st & 2nd) and sorely needed a 5 speed, should of had a hatchback, the trunk opening was useless, uncomfortable seats, lousy heater, back seat also useless( except maybe for kids) and a nasty blind spot on the “C” pillar, terrible in snow, (front heavy) to name a few, oh, and the gas filler on the C pillar would almost guarantee spillage down the side of the car. The Capri ll addressed many of those issues, but by then the damage was done, and they were discontinued shortly after and Capri became a part of the Fox platform, which was a much better car. And to think people complained about seeing a useful car like the Corolla on BF’s, and now this. ( just kidding, I like all the submissions)

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  4. Avatar photo Marty Member

    Here’s what used to be a Capri on St. Louis Craigslist:


    It doesn’t look like a deal to me, but I thought Capri fans might appreciate (or cringe while) seeing it.

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  5. Avatar photo Chris A.

    Had 4 of these in the family, all sticks. #1 was golden bronze like this one with a manual sun roof and had the Pinto 2000 cc engine. More torque, better interior and easier to drive. Still a nimble car, but the front end was subject to vibration unless you balanced wheels, tires, brake rotor, hub all at once. Ok driver, but a little more nose heavy. #3 was a brand new 2600 V6 red that lasted 3 weeks and my mom was side swiped into a guide rail. Mom ok, car totaled. #3 bought the next day was a silver V6 that lasted 10 years. Ok in dry weather, not ok in winter or wet. Needed studded snow tires and two bags of rock salt in trunk. Ziebart actually worked. #4 was a #2 that lasted 3 months when I was hit in the rear as a Chevy Impala slid on ice into me. Entire back end gone, but luck held as tank is up against back seat area. Totaled and I got the insurance settlement. Very easy cars to work on. Fun to drive with good tires. The balance of the 4 cyl made it nimble. The Capri Series II were bigger and only came with a 2800 V6. Mercury dealers could have cared less.

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  6. Avatar photo angliagt

    Capri II’s also came with a 2300cc,4 cylinder engine.
    You’ll also notice that the rear side window is missing – the
    earlier cars had a latch that was glued to the window,while
    later (MKI) had a pin that went through the window.The auto-
    matics also have a wider transmission tunnel.
    I had a ’73 2000,4 speed one,bought from the original
    owner in 1978,with 99,000 miles on it,for $350.Great road car!

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  7. Avatar photo Hoos Member

    I had one of these, just like this one, a ’76 I bought from a junk yard in ’84 for $125. It needed a driver’s window regulator, and an ignition switch. The wires were just hanging out of the steering column, waiting to be crossed to start it. (No screwdriver required). I was a senior in high school, and my motorcycle broke down at the beginning of summer. The shop could not get to it for a few weeks, and I’d seen this car when when I was out with my best friend searching junk yards for parts for his Toyota Corona MKII. I needed wheels for work, and girls. I went and asked, and ended up taking it home after getting the cheapest insurance I could find and getting it registered. A year later, I did have to put a throw out bearing in it. Other than that, and fixing the window and replacing the ignition switch, it needed nothing else. The radio was missing, but I enjoyed rowing the 5 speed and listening to the car. It did leak some oil, and burned some more, but I liked that car. I owned it 2 years, and sold it for $250. That was 30 years ago, and it is still the only car I made money on.

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    • Avatar photo Scott

      5-speed? These only came with 4-speeds here in the states.

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      • Avatar photo Mark

        No, they came with a 5 speed. I actually had one with a 5 speed, with the small V-6 and the 5 speed they were a really nice car!

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  8. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    Is the black Plasti-dip?

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  9. Avatar photo stillrunners

    Took on a old girlfriends V/6 stick when it got towed in from where she left it – got the call to help – and oh by the way I think the clutch is out – after paying to get it out and a new clutch I drove the piss out of it….good little car – wasn’t it German made?

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  10. Avatar photo Steve B

    LeMons car

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  11. Avatar photo AlphaRoaming

    Learned to drive on Dad’s ’71 Capri 2000 (and Grandpa’s IH pickup). Loved that Sexy European, but 10 salty winters sent it to the crusher.

    I’d love to have a ’76 Black Cat edition. Sexy European Meow!!

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    • Avatar photo Oakland stroke

      I had one that same color but had the V6 and manual transmission. Good looking car, a little pep for the time but I had lots of trouble with it. Where to start? Let’s see, back windows fell out, reclining seats lost their support and couldn’t stand up anymore. Dad put suitcases in back seat to get them to sit upright. Transmission issues and one evening I went to run an errand and shift knob snapped.

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  12. Avatar photo OA5599

    Neighbors had one. They were in a constant state of breakdown. Also were excellent incubators for rust. We called them “Crap-ee’s.”

    Like 0

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