46K Mile 1976 Mercury Capri II

British singer Donovan had a hit with his song Mellow Yellow in 1967 and that was almost a decade before this mellow yellow 1976 Mercury Capri II was made. Both the song and the Capri are smooth and cool and easy to listen to. I’d almost always rather listen to an exhaust note than a song but that’s just me. The seller has this beautiful car listed here on eBay in Murrieta, California and they have a buy-it-now price of $12,500 listed or you can make an offer.

I’m a sucker for yellow cars and this one looks fantastic. The seller lists the mileage as 46,018 and for a car that’s 45 years old, that’s just over a thousand miles a year on average. That’s cray-cray, as no Capri II owner has ever said. They give almost no information at all about the car other than it “Runs Great! Starts up everytime with no problems!” As a reference, Hagerty lists a #2 excellent condition 1976 Capri II as being worth $8,500.

The Capri II is an update of, yes, the Capri I, or the Capri. The first-generation Capris were made from 1970 to 1978 and they were made in Cologne, Germany by Ford of Europe. The Capri II was a facelift a little more than halfway through the first-generation run of cars and although they were sold in most Lincoln/Mercury dealerships, they weren’t badged as a Mercury, just a Capri II. The second-gen Mercury Capris were basically rebadged Ford Mustangs.

This particular car appears to be in wunderbar condition. The Capri II had a hatchback instead of a trunk which in 1976 was still a bit of a novelty in the US. Although, a person could even get a Chevrolet Nova with a hatchback back then so they weren’t quite as “weird” as they would have been a decade earlier. The interior looks great in this car both front and back. Sadly, there’s no photo of the hatchback or rear cargo area on this one.

But, they did include an engine photo so all is right with the world again. Ha, well, at least as far as this Capri goes. There were two engines available in this era, a 2.8L Cologne V6 with 109 horsepower or the 2.3L inline-four with 88 horsepower. This one is the latter and it’s basically the same engine that was in the Pinto, Mustang II, and other Ford cars of the era. This car looks tight and tidy and I’d love to own it. Have any of you had a Capri or Capri II?

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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    What a nice Capri II. Basic 4 cylinder 4 speed model. Would make a fun run-around-town car, and a worthy entrant at any car show. They were fairly popular in their day, and not commonly seen today. My (now) wife had a 1971, and even though it was a 4 cylinder automatic, I remember it was kind of fun to drive. I’d love to have this example.

    Like 6
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    A Friend of mine had one just like this,with a V6.
    I flew down to L.A. from Eureka to look at a Lotus.The
    deal fell through,so we took his Capri for a trip back to
    Eureka.When we got to Santa Cruz,I asked him if I could
    drive,as Highway 17 was a blast back then.
    We pulled up next to a Corvette in Golden Gate Park,
    & I noticed that they were watering the grass,so the road
    was wet.The Corvette driver kept revving his engine,as did I.
    I asked my buddy “Is it okay if I have some fun?”.He replied-
    The Vette driver driver didn’t realize that there was a
    sharp corner,just before the Golden Gate Bridge.We both took
    off quickly,& I backed off,right before the turn.
    The Vette got out of control,but didn’t loose it.We went
    quickly by him.We didn’t see him until about 10-20 minutes later,
    after he gathered up his courage & went flying by us.
    Good times….

    Like 9
  3. Steve Bush Member

    Sharp little car but for the $12.5k asking, there are many better buys out there.

    Like 13
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Okay, so the Capri and Capri II were sold only at Mercury dealers in the US. correct?

    Yet, many folks refer to them as Fords, because that’s what they were in other parts of the world.

    And, they were never know as Mercury Capri?

    Like 2
    • Sonny

      They were sold, titled and registered as “Mercury” here in the US.

      Like 7
    • Mike

      The Capri was built by Ford of Europe. In the USA, Ford was desperate for economy cars to sell because of the Arab Oil Embargo. They imported the Capri but did not want to sell them in Ford dealerships because it would have competed with the Pinto. So they sold them through their Lincoln/Mercury dealerships instead. Hence, Mercury Capri.

      Like 2
  5. GuernseyPagoda Member

    I had this exact same car as a junior in high school(1987), except mine was a 2.8 V6 version, and the previous owner put a Offenhauser intake and a Holley 4 barrel on it. It would scoot down the road….. I added wider Hurricane rims with BF Goodrich RWL tires, and that really set it off. Tonight, I showed my buddies from high school, and they are telling my to “buy it up”! :). OH the good times!!!! Great post, and thanks for the memories.

    Like 4
  6. Billy1

    Great car, but priced too high for a base model. If it was the V6 Ghia he might get that price for it.

    If it was a Chastain Capri I would be all over it.

    Like 3
    • Rick Rothermel

      I was really into Capris in the 70s, had three over a six year stretch. The Chastain packages were mostly cosmetic, and the over-fenders and riveted trim probably didn’t help with the cars’ rust issues.

      Hotter setup was the ROK/STOCK effort from Oregon, with real suspension and drivetrain upgrades. The Road Test magazine test of the company’s flagship showed performance approaching Porsche Turbo levels.

      Rick Kiser wanted to be a latter day Carroll Shelby, had great chops, massive energy and an excellent mail order catalog but lousy timing. The company was felled by a crappy late-’70s economy, a worsening currency exchange rate that raised the prices of the base car and eventually Ford’s desertion of the imported Capri.

      Like 4
      • PDXBryan

        Nice little write-up about Mr Kiser, Rick. Does seem a shame he didn’t get the breaks he deserved. I remember the road testers heaping praise on his cars.

        Like 1
      • Rick Rothermel

        I left Oregon in 1983, Rick Kiser had gone to work selling Hondas in Beaverton. I recently learned that he’s still at it, has a shop in that same area, and road-races a V8 Capri.
        His black RSR would be worth a blue fortune to a few of us now.

  7. Sonny

    Paint job looks good at a distance but an awful lot of overspray under the hood and take a close look at the door jambs and sills. Obviously not original paint. I’m guessing this is a flipper. If this were mine and I was selling I’d be much more descriptive in words and pics. Rust might not be an issue if this is originally a CA car, but underside photos are always a must with these cars.

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      You’ve got to live the detailed description. The seller says nothing of importance, he lets potential buyers fill in the blanks, which they will, seemingly in the most positive interpretation possible.

      Steve R

      Like 5
  8. Terrry

    The odo may say 45k, but the clutch pedal and driver’s seat tell a different story. And that Pinto engine doesn’t justify its asking price.

    Like 8
  9. Dean Wilson

    I had 2 Capri’s. A 1971 with the 1600 I bought as a very low mileage used car when I got back from Vietnam and a 1973 V-6 4 spd that I purchased new. The 1600 was fun but slow with an 87mph top speed and it took forever to get there. The V-6 was the total opposite and ran pretty strong for a small car. I would love to own one of the last Euro 2.8i models but nice ones are $25000 plus shipping.

    Like 3
    • Terrry

      I had a ’71 too, back around 1986. It was a 1600, lemon yellow. It wasn’t fast but was fun to drive.

  10. Fred Veenschoten

    I had a ’76 with the V6 and it was a great car. It would do 120 MPH and handled very well. Wish I still had it.

    Like 3
  11. local_sheriff

    One of the very few examples where a US front on a European car looks better than the original

    Like 3
    • Solosolo Member

      Sorry Sheriff, I can’t agree with you there. If I were to buy this car I think I would remove the front bumper before taking it out of the sellers driveway. As for ownership, I have had all of the British models from the 1.6, 2.0, and 3 litre V6, and the 2.0 litre OHC was the best of the lot. The only one I really wish I had of bought was the Basil Green Perana V8, South Africa’s fastest road car along with the Ford Fairmont at 142 mph.

      Like 3
      • Howard Kerr

        I drove about half a dozen different Capris over the 70s-80s, split between 4 cylinder and both versions of the Cologne V6, and I tend to agree with you that the 2 liter was the best balanced of the range.
        I even bought a 2 liter, ” facelift ” model with automatic transmission.
        I now own the next best thing (in my opinion) to a smaller engined Capri, a Cologne V6 powered Mustang.
        Wouldn’t mind owning this car, love the color combination. However, without A/C, sunroof, and/or V6, the ask is a bit ambitious. Possible, but ambitious.

      • local_sheriff

        Solosolo; the US park bench size bumpers are indeed horrible but I’m talking about the headlight setup. The square Euro lights make the Capri Mk2 resemble a ’76-’79 Taunus/Cortina, even the indicator lights look the same. So, so good Ford came to their senses and reverted to the quad lights for the Mk3…

        Like 1
  12. Michael Candee

    I had the first capri 1970- that was the most fun car of all capri’s. I also had the “white cat” and “black cat” 1976 capri’s- About the only thing they had in common w/the first capri’s was the name and place of origin.. The capris came to an end when the factory in cologne burned to the ground. That was the last of the german capris. R.I.P.

    Like 4
    • P Stewart

      Not really. The Capri II has a lot of parts in common with the Mk1. Otherwise, they have as much in common as any generation of car has with its predecessor.

      The (massive) Cologne fire in 1977 was a parts warehouse, not a factory, and the Ford Capri was sold for another 10 years in Europe. Ford stopped importing the German Capris because they felt it no longer made financial sense for them (exchange rate, changing product portfolio, etc).

  13. 200mph

    No, no, no. This was a 100% German car, and bore little or no relation to the Mustang. The NEXT Capri would be a rebadged, restyled Mustang, not this one.
    I raced a ’71 Capri in IMSA, and later bought a new V6 JPS Capri II (Capri II S in the US) to drive on the street. Very capable, reliable cars, and the hatchback on these was a huge improvement over the Capri 1.
    Many of these just rusted away, I’m glad to see one that’s been kept up.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      ? Did someone say that this was a rebadged Mustang? I must have missed something.

      Like 2
      • scottymac

        I think your line “The second-gen Mercury Capris were basically rebadged Ford Mustangs.” made people think you were referring to the Capri II as a Mustang II with different emblems. The Fox body Capri had the bulging fenders, the bubble glass hatch, and different grill, so even that was much more than a rebadged Mustang.

        Like 1
  14. Joe

    This model year gained a couple hundred pounds and slowed it down some. With the V/6 and a 4 speed it would do the quarter mile in 18 seconds, 0 to 60 in 10.6 seconds and a top speed of 108 mph. Not bad in its day, but the 4 cylinder is really slow.

    Like 1
    • scottymac

      I got lucky and found a guy that had imported Mark 2 “S” bumpers (black from the factory), had them chromed, and removed the federal battering rams.

      That eliminated about 80 pounds from each end of my ’76 Ghia. Now if I could just find time to install that T-5.

      Like 3
  15. Pete s Arnett

    What ever part of the world you are from, this is a Ford Capri, until of course you put those stupid pug ugly bumpers on them. They look awful.

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      Someone stole the step bumper off the back of my old pickup. I think that may be it.

      Like 2
  16. AnalogMan

    This might be one of the nicest Capri’s left, and a manual transmission to boot! No, it’s not perfect (overspray, and is the mileage real), but then, it’s almost half a century old.

    This car embodies the old car vs newer conundrum. For about this same money, you could find a used Subaru BRZ/Toyota FRS/86 with about the same miles (and probably much certainty that the miles are real). The BRZ would (obviously) be a better ‘car’, more than double the power, much faster, more reliable, much better safety equipment, vastly better heating/A/C, etc. You could drive the BRZ every day and have no worries about unexpected breakdowns or where to find parts.

    But it wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting or uncommon as this Capri, and certainly wouldn’t attract attention at your local Cars & Coffee. So it seems to be with pretty much any interesting old car these days. The prices are so high for anything remotely fun. What price do you put on nostalgia?

    • JoeNYWF64

      My friend’s ’73 capri v6 had a fantastic heater.
      Old R12 a/c refrigerant is superior to anything that came later. & the monstrous GM automotive compressors that came with earlier R12 systems were hardly efficient, tho they could cool a small house! & probably freeze you to death in the car, if adjusted accordingly! lol

  17. Rod Plapp

    Would love to have a 73 Capri V-6 4Spd again like the new one I had.Cruised up to Vancouver,B.C. doing 85 most of the way before OPEC and 55 Mph speed limit for the next 25 years.

  18. JoeNYWF64

    No red line on the tach?

  19. Jim

    Had the Ford version of this as my first car when I was stationed in Germany. Great little around town and short trip car. Could take a beating!

  20. Richard Sikes Member

    I saved my money and bought an orange 1976 Capri II equipped just like this, but with A/C. I was leaving for college and I purchased in late 1977, it had less than 35,000 miles, still smelled new. We tweaked the suspension, added aluminum wheels and wider tires and put a primitive cold air intake system on the 2.3, (also, disconnected the smog pump as it wasn’t required back then to pass inspection in TX). It was fairly quick and got about 27 MPG at 55 MPH which was really good for the late 70’s. Great little car, never let me down, although I admit I abused it a little. Once I drove it on a 15 mile, level, 4 lane stretch of I-35 between Austin and San Marcos (it was sparse country-side back then). My buddy in a new Trans Am pulled up even to to me for a while and finally passed. Later he told me that he had to go past 125 MPH to pull away from me. It took a while to get it up there, but it was a smooth, stable and capable car at speed. The engine was stamped made in Germany, although it was pretty much identical to the 2.3 in the US Mustang II. Those were the days.

  21. Mercury Man

    I have a 1976 I am restoring right now that does have a genuine 40k on it. It was owned by a doctors wife before my friend bought it. Sunroof, V6 with an auto. He changed it to a manual and did most of the bodywork. Its a Canadian car so it got new front fenders and wheel arches I bought it when he lost interest. So I have a question for you all. It is dark brown metallic with the oxblood interior. The engine is out and needs to be re gaskets. So…. what colour would you paint it and should I mod the motor? I have all the parts to rebuild the suspension and brakes, and I have chrome euro bumpers. I plan to sell the car when I am finished to fund the next couple of Capri builds. Any ideas? Input is greatly appreciated.

    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Mercury Man, I’m glad to hear you are restoring one. I’m a “stock” kind of guy, even going back with the now-less-than-popular brown paint. If you go the modification route, keep it simple and straightforward, i.e. things which aren’t controversial or would hinder a sale (see the glass roof Mustang posted recently). Just my opinion.

    • Sonny

      A 2.0 Mk I Capri sold on BAT for $25,0000 not too long ago and had bumbers removed and wide wheels with some aftermarket wheel arches and no internal mods to the motor. These cars are rare enough that you should get a good price for it no matter what you do to it. Bone stock may bring in a bit more but not enough to make that big a difference as long as the mods are done well. I would stay with original paint. I would not put US bumpers on it as someone else posted. Every Capri enthuiast HATES em! Also that same poster mention distributor gear and what he meant was the cam timing gear. It has nylon gear ring on a metal hub and they do fail. I know it happened to me twice before I switched to a full metal gear.

  22. Howard A Member

    Great find, and the reason? Too many people had bad luck with the original Capri, the dealers were no help, and there were just better Asian cars to be had, something that wasn’t so with the original. The Capri ll was actually a much better car than the original. More room, hatchback, repositioned gas filler, but it was too late. A Celica or Z car had much more for less money and a better dealer network, the Capri, in America, at least, was toast. As usual, I couldn’t fathom spending 5 figures on ANY Capri,( with 156 viewers, neither does anyone else) but if you simply must, here you go. I doubt another like this will come along anytime soon.

  23. Mike

    This is one of the nicest ones I’ve seen lately even with the exterior overspray. The interior usually tells the tail for mileage and this one doesn’t look like 146k miles! I had two new Capris, a dark green ’73 2000 4spd and a 76 white 2800 V6 4spd. Loved them both bit the V6 was a totally better driver than the 2000!! I would pay this price if I had garage space… Always wanted a yellow one! Hope this one stays in CA!!🤓🚘

  24. Billy1

    Mercury Man if you plan to use the car your are rebuilding as funds for the next two Capris-best to go totally stock on the rebuild. Use the USA bumpers and fix the front suspension and rebuild the brakes. Be sure the distributor drive gear is updated from plastic to bronze. Paint the car the original color. A totally stock USA spec Capri II would be the easiest car to move when it comes time to sell it. Do as much work as you can yourself.

    Price it in the 4-figure range

    • Phil

      Billy – agree on those points, if resale is the aim. I have not heard of plastic distributor gears on the V6, will have to look into that. The fiber timing gear is a common replacement/upgrade item (and a job that is on my list).

  25. Mercuryman

    Thanks for the input. I have a dilemma, have been pondering but no one to talk it out with. After 2 rounds of surgery and 2 layoffs due to covid my enthusiasm and ability are at an empass. I have 6 Capri’s, have had them for 10 years. Collecting parts needed to restore them all. All are southern cars except the 76. Bodies are relatively solid, interior and trim are not. Only 3 came with engines. I have been forced to change my priorities. I didn’t intend to have as many as I do but… As far as the 76 goes, it was a mid level Ghia. Alloy wheels, sunroof but no grab handle on the dash or console. Car was built in 75. I have all the parts to rebuild the brakes, suspension and steering. Everything. I have an offy intake and carb, headers and can port the heads. These are spare parts. The engine will get anything it needs when I refresh it. The trans has been rebuilt and has a new clutch. It will have a new exhaust and I have a set of polished 10 hole mustang rims sor it. It will basically be a new car. Is it worth doing the mods? I want the car to go to someone who appreciates what went into it and will look after it. But it won’t increase what I get for it then it’s not worth it. I have a green 71 2.0L to sell this year also. Rebuilt engine and trans with all new ancillaries. Also rebuilt suspension, steering and brakes. All new seals but original bodywork and the best interior I can find. This is all so I can totally restore my Daytona yellow 73 turbo v6 and my red 72 v6 gt. Am I being an idiot? I have spent so much time planning this and now life is forcing me to give up my (unrealistic) dreams. Out of all of them I will probably only end up with one, and not the one I originally swore to keep. Thanks for letting me rant, and input would be appreciated. Cheers

    • Sonny

      OK, so, if they all dissapeared tomorrow, what would you do with your time? If you have an answer and that is more important that the car(s), then sell em…now and get on with other things. Otherwise just attack this at your own pace. I have 2 73’s; one I’ve had since new and I let turn into a rust bucket because I always had something more important to do. That’s why I bought the second 73 because I knew I’d never get the 1st one the way I wanted it, but in the back of my mind I still think I can save it but if not…it’s just a car. A car I had many memories with but they are just that, memories and they’ll be with me til I die and then none of it matters at that point. On top of that I just bought two Porsches that need some work but nothing major. I’m retired and will be 70 this year. So, make a choice and go with it and if it doesn’t work out…who cares? Now, about those 6 Capris.

      • Mercuryman

        Memories are all I presently have. I have had many Capri’s in my life, I want the feeling back of driving something special, different. I work on complicated cars every day. My cars are an escape. My goal is to find enthusiasts for all the cars I build. I spent much of the last 10 years building cars for others, dreaming of building mine. I am close, have spent so much acquiring parts but present circumstances have made it harder. I need to move those two cars to make room to work on others. Two of my cars will probably never see the road. One I do not have paperwork for and the other needs too much to be profitable so I will track it for fun. Part of me would like to build the cars as specified for someone rather than sell them finished. The problem there is I have a full time job and this is a hobby. I hope to use them to establish a business for when I retire. Time will tell o guess. Thanks for the advice

    • Phil

      Man there is something about these cars that causes people to collect crazy numbers of them. I bought mine off a guy that had 12 or 13 in various states. I wish I’d got more parts off him now, but that was many years ago.

      The problem is when it becomes a chore and a burden, and you feel stuck. Lord do I know that feeling. For an amateur, the fun of a car is ultimately in driving it, and for some, the associated stuff that comes with an unusual car (random parking lot conversations, cars & coffee, shows, whatever floats your boat). There’s definitely fun in knowing every nook and cranny, and satisfaction in figuring stuff out and fixing it up, but it’s all done for the driving, right?

      It sounds like your passion is with the Mk1s. So maybe offload the Mk2(s), or if you have everything to build up the ’76, make a concerted effort to do it quickly and clinically with an eye to the sale, and then turn your attention to whichever of the Mk1s is the dream car. I don’t think most people, at least in the US, care about whether the cars have grab handles and so on. From what I’ve seen it’s the “survivor” cars that make the money from scoring originality points. If you’re piecing it together, it already isn’t that, so get it running, make it look nice and move it on.

      Capris are definitely gaining reputation, stock or modded. A very heavily modded (cosmetically) Mk1 recently went for 25 grand on Bring a Trailer.

      If you haven’t already, I would recommend joining the Capri List, a quiet but knowledgeable email list that has more than a thousand members and that over the years has reminded me that I’m not the only person in the country with one of these cars. You’ll get a lot of good feedback on questions like this. You can find it here: https://groups.io/g/capri-list

    • Phil

      One other idea – if you have some with solid bodies but don’t think they’re viable runners, maybe see if you can get any bites from overseas. The Capri is a cult car in Europe but in the UK especially, and solid ones are hard to find there. I’ve seen a few on eBay that have reappeared in the UK some time later.

      Like 1
  26. Sonny

    MM, where are you located?

  27. Mercuryman

    Thanks Phil. Sometimes we need a gentle nudge to keep going. I live near London Ontario.

  28. MitchRoss Member

    As was said by someone, Capris in Eu rope are like Mustangs here. This one is likely heading for Europe when it sells.

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