Mustang’s Sister: 1983 Mercury Capri RS 5.0

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Here’s a car you don’t see everyday: a 1983 Mercury Capri RS with the factory high-output 5.0 liter V8. Like all things Mercury, this is basically a warmed-over Ford product intended to give buyers some feeling of greater luxury or more sophistication than their Ford siblings. In the case of this Capri, it’s been mildly restored but is overall a fantastic survivor that you can use everyday with some room for upgrades. While the Buy-It-Now is higher than I’d like, these don’t pop up too often in decent shape – and the overall stock appearance with a lightly worked-over engine is a pleasing combination with the potential to surprise a few drivers when the traffic signal turns green.

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It’s amazing to me how much life Ford squeezed out of the 5.0. So many vehicles left the factory with this engine, and frankly, many of them are still doing just fine with this beast up front. And even if you manage to run it out of oil or suffer some other catastrophic destruction, rest assured you can find one for sale in a junkyard within about 15 minutes of looking. This example sports a mildly tuned re-built engine that the seller estimates is in the 275 b.h.p. range. Although he touts the benefits of keeping the original 4-speed in place, the SROD trannys are not known for their durability, meaning a swap to the later Borg Warner T5 might be in your future.

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Despite some of the awfulness happening to automotive interiors in the 80s, I’ve always thought the Mustangs and Capris of this era were fairly handsome. The sport steering wheel and gear stick create the impression of a driver-focused interior, and while the fake wood and crank windows may look cheap, it was certainly an easy-to-maintain cockpit. This one remains in good shape overall, with the factory RS badge still affixed to the dash and an aftermarket radio the only major deviation from stock. I would have vacuumed the carpets before taking photos, personally.

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While the repaint and engine rebuild may make this less of a survivor to some folks, there are so few of these left on the roads today that it’s getting near impossible to find original paint examples. Given this Capri RS remains numbers-matching and clearly loved by its owners, I’m optimistic it will remain a survivor for many years to come. You can find it here on eBay if you’re interested in lodging a bid, where you’ll have to take a guess as to what the reserve price is set at. Which would you prefer – the loud-and-proud Mustang or the more svelte Capri?

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Comments

  1. Alan (Michigan)

    Make mine a McLaren edition. Add to the fun factor. Some people didn’t like the appearance of the back glass/hatch. Although it added utility perhaps, there was disagreement on whether it was good, bad, or just different.

    Like 1
  2. Vegas Vic

    Good engine, good handling, fun ride for early eighties USA hot ponies!
    Stereo was decent as I recall
    Rubber was gone st 16k miles
    Aero styling works
    And Mighty Mecury comfy seats…

  3. boxdin

    A buddy had one of these, bubble glass was vandalized and it was 1200 bucks 20 yrs ago.

  4. Charles

    I am in my 70s and amazed to realize how many people I know/knew that had cars found on Barn Finds. Once again, the wife of a friend bought a new dark blue 1984 5.0 Mercury Capri because she liked the looks of it better than the sister Mustang. She drove it for many years, and gave it to her son to drive to college. He drove it while in college and returned it to his mother when he started his career and she gave it to a high school niece. Don’t know what happen to it after that. But, the car had very few if any problems outside of the usual maintenance repairs.

  5. Jeff Stewart

    Nice cars, I actually liked the Capri a bit more than the Mustang, I thought the slightly flared fenders were a nice touch.

  6. grant

    I had an ’80 back when I was a teenager. Bright orange with the flat glass hatch, pinto motor and a 4 speed. Not at all fast but a great looking little car that I miss to this day.

  7. jim s

    will the hatch from a mustang bolt-on/fit? looks good in the photos, has a lot of work already done. not sure about that radio stack. great find.

    • grant

      Yes it will. As will front sheet metal through about 1993.

      • jim s

        thanks.

  8. AMCSTEVE

    I hate sellers who try to hide the seat covers, in this case the fronts are prolly shredded. That alone knocks major denero off the price. I also hate these new radios , why can’t people leave the stock one alone?
    It’s a shame because it’s a nice car otherwise but ain’t worth 10k

  9. grant

    Looking closer at this car I notice a few things. He paid for a new paint job but reused the body side moldings, they’ve new paint as well but they’re shrinking up. Maybe some clear coat issues as well. And that exhaust from the 3/4 rear view just looks awkward. Still, I like it. But almost 10k BIN? No. Maybe $6500. Tops.

  10. Shane FitzPatrick

    Hey, that’s my car. Thanks for the attention. I hate buyers that don’t read the auction, the seats are shredded. Says so in the description. Anyway, I think I’ll keep it. There will come a day when I wish I could buy it back for 10k………

    • Mark

      Hey Shane – You’re right…KEEP THAT CAR!! 79 – 86 Capri’s are getting very hard to find. My first 2 cars were Capri’s: A 2.3 Turbo & a 5.0. I always kicked myself for selling them! I got really lucky & found this 47K mile, original beauty (except put of period wheels) just a few months ago. She’s in excellent shape, & you can bet your life I will NEVER sell her! Your car will only go UP in value…hope u kept her!!

  11. Jonny Humphrey

    i have a 1982 rs with the 5.0 4 speed with only 79k runes great i would let her go for 4500

  12. Boone

    I have a 83 black magic 2nd owner not been driven or tagged after 89

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