Mustang Sibling: 1986 Mercury Capri 5.0

While survivor Fox body Mustangs show up with some regularity, the same cannot be said for its corporate sibling, the Mercury Capri. This is the top-shelf RS/5.0 model with the venerable V8 under the hood paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. The RS/5.0 models also got the sweet air dam in front and the factory-installed Marchal driving lamps, along with the upgraded sport interior featuring deeply bolstered bucket seats. Mileage is listed as being 84,000 and the Capri is described as a weekend-only driver, which is evident in the strong cosmetics. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $9,100 and the reserve unmet.

The seller refers to it as an RS model, but the reality is Ford dropped that branding beginning in ’86, labeling the performance model simply the 5.0. While I understand the universal appeal of Ford’s venerable V8 engine, I also find it odd that they’d drop the nomenclature that helped set the Capri apart from its brawny sibling. Much of what Ford wanted to with Mercury centered around a desire for European car buyers to consider Mercury as an alternative to imports, and the styling of the Capri was designed to reflect that. To my mind, throwing the 5.0 badges on the fender just makes it another Mustang with a different name, not a high-line hatchback.

Regardless, the Capri still attempted to impress shoppers with its upscale duds, including an interior that, while it closely resembled that of the Mustang GT, it was still a fair upgrade over the standard interior. The “articulated sport seats” always struck me as one of the best-looking alternatives to Recaro seats ever made, which even paid homage to the legendary seat builder with netted headrests. The interior of this Capri remains in exceptionally nice condition, with no obvious damage or tears to the upholstery, and the center console and dash remaining in sound, un-cracked condition. Overall, it looks far better than you’d expect in a car with mileage approaching 90K.

I believe 1986 was the year that Ford introduced fuel injection for its V8 models, which utilized Bosch injectors and yielded a slight reduction in horsepower but a respectable increase in torque. This example looks quite nice for its odometer reading, and is an intriguing choice if you’re a Fox body fan but feel like the Mustang of this generation is getting a bit played out. The Capri is a hard car to find these days, especially in V8/ RS form. The seller notes a new exhaust has been installed and that everything is in working order. While it’s hard to say where the reserve price should be, I fully expect this survivor sibling to sell with no issue.

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  1. Sandy McInnes

    Beautiful car! I’ve always liked the styling of these, and that garage is awesome! The Jeep & the Mustang in the background look mint as well. Great post! ♥️

  2. DanaPointJohn

    This car is in great condition. But that front bumper us ugly! It would be interesting to know what the reserve is.

  3. Anatol Denysenko

    RS, or GS aside, 5.0 Capri’s are far and few between. Then throw in the stick vs automatic, t-tops and pop up sunroof options………. 86 was the one and only year for fuel injection. 200HP rating but more compression. 85 had either throttle body injected automatic, or a holley carbed 5 speed. My 86 has been a race car since 1989. 33k on the clock, 1/4 mile at a time.

    • Weasel

      That’s 132,000 passes. Sweet!!!

      • Steve R

        Not exactly.

        Steve R

      • Weasel

        Right Steve, the drive back…

        A safe bet would be 60,000 passes.

        Steve, you make a moron like me think. Thank you.

      • Steve R

        You also need to add in the shutdown area, my track has two, the first one is at least 1/4 past the finish line the second is closer to 1/2 mile. Faster cars and those in the left lane, since the turn offs are to the right, usually go all the way to the end. Then there is travel to and from the pits and the burnout. It’s more likely closer to 20,000 runs.

        Someone that hasn’t raced won’t think about that, why would they.

        Steve R

    • Weasel

      That’s why I love your input, Steve. I’m not worthy. You Da’ man!! All hail Steve.

      FYI: If I were you, I’d change my handle to “STEVE THE GREAT”.

      You’re right in that I’m not a racer. I grew up living in more than 12 foster homes and dropped out of 4 high schools. I had other things on my mind. Drag racing…no.

      Again, You’re awesome!!! Thank you for your vast knowledge.

  4. Craig P

    This car was for sale by a previous owner about two years ago. I should have bought it then. This is a mint example of the last and arguably best mechanical version of the Capri. The bubble back can turn off some buyers, but the fuel injection/5 speed should drive the price. The biggest set back at the moment is this Corona recession.

    • Jett

      If I had the room and the money, I’d jump at something like this!

  5. Kevin

    Nice car. Have not seen one of these in the wild for decades. I like the front end and the “bubble back” hatch which I think came in ’85? Check me on that. Drove a lot of Fords back in the day and liked their upmarket seats from this era. Good looking and comfortable to boot. Feds mandated the third brake light in ’86 and I remember at the time most of them looked tacked on, like this one. If this had been up a few months ago, I would likely be a player. Be well everyone.

  6. Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice car, nice garage. If you are interested in a four-eye Mustang GT of similar vintage, this would be a more-unique alternative. Price should get into the low five figures.

    • CJinSD

      I always thought the box-flares made these much more desirable that the Fords, but then I had a quattro and a Festiva.

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If I were ready to buy and if the reserve is reasonable, and it’s about 2 hours away, I would snap this one up. The last cat show I went to had a sea of GT’s, and only one of these. I had a great conversation with the owner, very proud of his unique car.

  8. Ron

    The hood is a different color than the fenders.

  9. CJinSD

    Can anyone explain why Ford couldn’t figure out how to at least maintain power output while switching from carburetion to fuel injection? Even if they just pulled numbers from thin air, why not pull the same number or a bigger one?

    • Todd Zuercher

      @CJinSD – I often wondered that myself – seemed like a step back for ’86 to lose hp. I chose to forgive them and exchange a few hp for improved reliability and drivability.

  10. JoeE

    The bubbleback arrived in ’83. I had one back in the day. Now I have this exact car with a few bolt-ons & Vortech S-Trim. Really wakes up the 5.0 ;-)

  11. Jerry Soncrant

    Gone…..sold Fast!

    • Thomas

      Not sold reserve not met.

  12. SubGothius

    I remain forever mystified why Ford didn’t transfer these handsome boxflared fenders to the Mustang for its ’87 facelift, since they were cancelling the Capri at the same time anyway.

    For that matter, they probably should have canceled the Capri for ’84, so they could revive that as their captive-import marque instead of calling it Merkur.

  13. JoeNYWF64

    I’m surprised there are struts to hold up the hood!
    Don’t even most of the modern stangs that can cost up to 60 grand still have a cheesy prop rod? lol$prodpg640x480$

    • JoeE

      The hood struts weren’t factory. Mine doesn’t have them, and the prop rod is still on the radiator support in the pic. I think it’s a weight issue.

  14. Todd Zuercher

    Definitely the best year to have because of the EFI. I had an ’86 GT about 10 years ago – 20+ years after I lusted for one during high school. While I always liked the seats and their looks, I didn’t find them particularly comfortable.

  15. Nate

    Love the car but I prefer the Mercury Capri as it originally came to the USA. My dad had one and I ended up with one as well. They had several engine options from a wimpy but quick 4 cylinder to the 3 V6 options of 3400, 3600, and 3800. I believe we both had the 3600 with standards behind it. So much fun to drive as well as economical. Wish I still had mine

    • Nate

      Sorry, 3200, 3400, 3600 not 3800.

    • Jett

      It was called Ford Capri at the time. Mercury snapped up the name when they introduced the Fox-body.

      • Nate

        Mine and my father’s were both titled as Mercurys. The reason behind that was because they were imported from Germany by the Lincoln Mercury division of Ford. There was nothing on the car that said Ford or Mercury except some of the vacuum line connectors said “fomoco” on them. Maybe Pennsylvania was different in some way when it came to the titles but we both purchased them used. Dads was a 74 and mine a 73 if I remember correctly. Both were V6 standards as well. My cousin bought one of the 1st fox body Capris and his was a 5.0 and came with very expensive metric tires. At the time, none of the tire stores in our area carried these and he had to have one of them order them special. Guess he should have kept his foot off the go pedal a bit more. LOL

      • Nate

        Both of ours just said CAPRI in chrome letters across the hood as well as on the rear. They had a nice emblem on the front fenders that said the engine size. I’ll try to dig up a couple of pictures to share. Dads was a very nice red color and mine was that flat brown.

      • Nate

        I’m at a loss. I googled the “Mercury” capri and am really stumped now. I saw 2 identical year Capris setting beside each other, one says CAPRI on the hood, the other says FORD. I see some with FORD on the trunk as well as some that say CAPRI on the trunk but not both. I wonder if that was a dealer option or if they came from Germany that way?! Both of the ones we had said Capri on the hood and trunk and your said Ford. I guess some research is in order for me now. LOL. Either way, I sure wish I could have either of them back. Wonderful cars to drive as easy to work on.

    • Jett

      Huh. Virtually every one I’ve ever seen has had FORD on the hood.

    • Jett

      Maybe they used what they had on hand to fulfill orders. Say they had 20,000 set to ship over here, and put ford on for recognition. Then “oops…we need some more to top it up. We’ll use some domestic (german) market leftovers to fill it.”?

  16. Jett

    One of these was my unicorn when I was working as a bus driver—also red, and I’m sure it was an ‘86, as it lacked the RS decals. It sat on the corner outside a body shop on my route for over a year. Both it, and a first-gen Taurus SHO were parked there periodically, right where I could see them at any given time. It was torture, but I always looked forward to that part of my day…I would have been happier than a pig at sloppin’ time with either one.

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