Upscale Muscle: 1983 Mercury Capri

capir1

It’s easy to forget that for a time, the Ford Mustang had a corporate twin called the Mercury Capri. The Capri is a name that seems to have struggled for an identity in the U.S., with a few different incarnations under this badge identifier. More often than not, however, the Capri name was stuck on some pretty neat cars like this 1983 Capri RS hatchback here on eBay.

capri3

With the venerable 5.0 V8 up front attached to a Borg Warner 5-speed manual transmission, this Capri represents a classic Mustang recipe. The interior appears in good shape and looks largely original, right down to the factory cassette deck. Like so many other muscle cars, it’s rare to find one that hasn’t been hacked up due to previous owner’s’ personal preferences.

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The Mercury brand was typically positioned as a more upscale choice for buyers who might consider a Ford product but wanted more prestige. Although they ultimately weren’t successful in this objective, cars like the Capri at least stood apart from the Mustang with unique front and rear-end designs – but really, you don’t have to work too hard to realize this is a Mustang underneath.

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The seller is the third owner and seems to know plenty about its history. The original Holley carb was removed and stored safely in a box and will come with the car. The seller is a bit hazy as to whether this is original paint or not, but does claim the factory decal kit is in place. A new headliner will be needed, so I think the $5,000 asking price is a bit ambitious for a less-than-perfect car. $4K seems like a fair deal to me; what do you think?

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Comments

  1. edd

    Once saw a 1980’s Capri that had the Mustang front end. The guy said he bought it new that way. He thought it was cool. So much for badge engineering.

  2. Todd Zuercher

    Very few of these left. They were gone in another couple of years.

  3. Kincer Dave Member

    These are cool except for that extra big hatchback, the only thing I never liked about these.

  4. Rick

    If it runs good and looks as nice in person as in the photos I wouldn’t quibble about $5K, even taking the headliner issue into accout think that’s fair, especially since its nowhere near as common as it’s Ford badged twin.

  5. grant

    I had an 80, loved it. This is a nice car.

  6. Alan (Michigan)

    The eBay listing indicates a repaint, and that it is presented without the sticker kit. Brush up on your reading skills, Jeff!

    Have a friend who owned the McLaren version of this car, drove it year-round, with some good winter tires on all four corners. Brave, eh?

    I look at those wheels and recall a “TRX” wheel and tire package, some metric specialty thing. Hope that is not what is on this car, proper tires are hard to come by?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Those are the TRX wheels (and probably tires) in the pictures. You can get them from Coker Tire, but they aren’t cheap:
      https://www.cokertire.com/michelin-trx.html

      • Patrick

        They are indeed! Factory size in 1983 for the Mustang and Capri was a 220/55VR390….Coker has them available for a “mere” $364.00 each. Swap them out for a set of 10 holes and pop some readily available 225/60/15’s on there and do yourself a favor! Not to be negative, this looks like a nice car and priced right.

  7. piper62j

    Just another name for the Mustangs of that era.. Nice little car though.. sharp looking and a stick too..

    Great find..

  8. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    …the older Gen 1’s are the most desirable………

    Don’t knock them, or a Piranha might bite you in the a**…….

    http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/car_info_ford_capri_perana.php sic Perana

    • James

      the good old Mk1 Capri.. this was my favorite style of them all. we only ever got them with the V6 and straight 4 here in the UK the Mk1 got the 3.1 as the biggest engine the Mk2 and Mk3 only ever got the 2.8 V6

      EDIT im sure the Mk1 Capri in the UK got a V4 at the start of its life..

    • Lonnie

      I had 2 of the first generation Capri with the 2600 V6 factory dual exhaust ect. Cant seem to find them anymore. Fun little 4 speed car!

  9. James

    we never got any of the Mercury branded cars here in the UK. we did however got a Ford Capri but nothing like this. I like the style of the front end but the rear spoils it for me.

    this was our Ford Capri from 1983

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FORD-CAPRI-2-8-INJECTION-IN-BLACK-FULL-MOT-/231808422682?hash=item35f8dbd31a:g:LlgAAOSwYIhWkPVu

    • AMX Brian

      Another great example of an American company’s foreign sports car. I love seeing obscure pony car/muscle cars like these. The Monaro and Falcon X Series also come to mind.

  10. The Walrus

    Be careful with the language on the bill of sale… the author of the ad is a ‘needs replaced’ guy. If I have a pet peeve, ‘needs replaced’ is it! Will have to pass on this lovely example on principle. Perhaps, when it comes to this particular language foible I ‘needs tolerate’, but on second thought… Nope!

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      I’m happy I’m not the only pedant reading these posts.

      • Cheeks malone

        I always assumed “needs replaced” was an artifact from days of print ads where sellers were charged by the word and the phrase “needs to be replaced” was truncated to save 50c or so. Anything to that, or is it just poor grammar?

  11. RayK

    Forgot about these beasts
    Sure they are a Ford
    But different styling
    Fun rides, good engine
    5k is fair price
    They fought like heck with those
    Shelby charger Daytonnas
    Now all gone

  12. AMC STEVE

    I always thought the Capris were better looking than Mustangs of the era. This ones all there and 5k seems reasonable cause it’s a 4-spd and all there.

    Mercs are long gone but there are plenty of parts that cross over so that shouldn’t be an issue.

  13. Spaceman

    Had an 83 myself, ran like a scalded dog. If you didn’t like the bubble back, a regular Mustang hatch fit and looked good.

  14. Rocco

    The interior looks like a higher quality. Not the plastic interior like on the Mustang. Plus it has the T-5 trans. instead of the 3-speed with overdrive(4-speed) trans. that made those cars sluggish.

  15. Todd Zuercher

    1983 was the first year for the five-speed and the 302 was rated at 175 hp. For those of us that were excited with the introduction of the 82 GT with a four-speed and about 20 less horsepower, that was big news and a welcome change. I was a teenager in those years and it was always very interesting to see the horsepower changes that came along at each year’s model introduction.

  16. piper62j

    I’ve always believed that the Mercury line from Ford was of better quality.. Where Fords had no sound insulation, Mercs did.. Subtle differences in upholstery and exterior enhancements made them look better.. Like comparing a Chevy to a Buick.. Sort of..

  17. Charles

    This looks like a decent car. At least it has the best engine and transmission combo for that year.

    I never understood why Ford would choose to build two cars so similar as the Mustang and this generation of the Capri. Of course GM did the same thing with the Camaro and Firebird, and there are many other examples.

  18. MountainMan

    I think the $5k ask is reasonable, sure looks like a good example. As mentioned above there are not nearly as many of these as Mustangs of the same era…even the early 80s Stangs are becoming thin on the streets. The owner has apparently taken good care of this one. I have to remind myself when I look at something like this that it is over 30 years old now

  19. John L

    And here is my UK designed and built Ford Consul Capri from 1962….

    • Alan (Michigan )

      That looks to be a drag strip locale.
      Hopped up a little bit, perhaps?

      • John L

        My Consul Capri runs a stock Toyota 4AGE and 5 speed from an AE-86 Sprinter. Twice the power of the original 1500cc engine. Does a 15 sec 1/4 mile. It only weighs in at 1050kg. So pretty agile too.

  20. Jason Houston

    If you think a Mustang-wanna-be is a great idea of a Capri, take a look at real Capris, like the ’54, ’55 and ’56’s! And stand by for a shock…

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