Rare In Red: 1985 Mercury Capri ASC/McLaren

Despite being sold in very limited numbers, the ASC McLaren still seems to pop up for sale quite frequently. This example caught my eye as it’s one of the few that was painted in a color other than white or black, and it looks quite sharp with its camel-colored Recaro interior and bronze BBS-style wheels. The seller reports it is equipped with an automatic transmission and it has under 40,000 original miles. Find it here on craigslist in North Reading, Massachusetts for $12,500.

We all know about the genesis behind the McLaren conversion, which just barely beat the factory-built Fox-body convertible out the gate. This likely has as much to do with the limited success of the McLaren as anything else, as why pay the premium for an aftermarket product when your local Ford dealer will sell you the real deal? The McLaren also looked slightly awkward compared to the mass-produced drop-top, as the aftermarket conversions sometimes do. It’s almost like you knew it wasn’t quite a factory build, despite the fact that it was still very eye-catching. The smoked taillights were always one of my favorite details.

I’ve always been a sucker for Recaro seats, and you have my word if I ever find an ASC McLaren in the junkyard, I will do everything possible to get those seats out and saved! The bottom cushion was decidedly un-Recaro-like in terms of the flat surface with no significant bolstering to report, but that also may have been what buyers wanted in a cruiser like this. The goal of the ASC conversion was not to create a performance car – it was simply to offer a Fox body with a disappearing roof. The interior and paintwork appear to be in great shape on this example.

Mileage is low, too, with under 40,000 miles on the clock. The seller doesn’t go into any great detail about the Capri’s mechanical history or recent maintenance, but it’s not like these were difficult cars to take care of. Aside from the roof, this was your bread-and-butter 5.0L-powered Fox body, albeit one that was wearing some spiffier duds than the standard model. If I had to own one, I’d want to find an example like this with an eye-catching color combination, but preferably with a manual gearbox.

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Comments

  1. That Guy

    Back around 1992 I worked with a lady who drove a red ASC Mustang convertible. I think it looked really good, actually a bit better than the factory car. If I recall correctly it was strictly a two-seater though, and had a different body panel behind the front seats than how this car is designed. ASC did a nice job on these. Of course, after the factory convertible was released they didn’t have much reason to continue making them.

    Like 2
  2. Brian Ellis

    I have an 85 in black w tan interior. These cars for some reason don’t command any kind of premium as the regular Capri or mustangs. Mine is for sale for 6800 bucks in NH 1 small spot of rust on bottom or driver’s door. These things run and drive awesome. And yes 2 seater roadster the Recaro seats are great.
    I drive mine most every day lowered and handling by McLaren. Do some research about how these came to be ect. Great story

    Like 3
  3. Motorcityman Member

    Odometer isn’t straight……miles r spun back…….

    Like 4
  4. Howie Mueler

    Only 5 photos, and not the best.

    Like 1
  5. Tony Bittle

    I hate to admit…how much, at first glance-this looks like one of my bucket list cars… a Maserati BiTurbo convertible… (Yes, I enjoy getting kicked in the teeth on a regular basis.)

  6. Tim

    Good eye motorcityman

    • Motorcityman Member

      In my Best Elvis voice, “Thank You, Thank You Very Much” 😁

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