Ford’s Capri was unveiled to the press at the Brussels Motor Show on January 24th, 1969, as the car company’s first fastback sports saloon. The Capri was marketed as “the car you always promised yourself” and production began at the Halewood plant in November 1968. This meant that all Ford dealers in the UK had at least one Ford Capri in their showrooms by February 5th, 1969.
The Capri was designed by American Philip T. Clark, who is also known for being one of the main designers of the Ford Mustang. However, this fact was not widely known until 2010. The Capri was built using mechanical components from the Ford Cortina and was intended as the European equivalent of the Ford Mustang for the European markets.
The Capri went on to be a highly successful car for Ford, selling nearly 1.9 million units in its lifetime. A wide variety of engines were used in the Capri throughout its production lifespan, with the most notable being the Essex and Cologne V6s at the top of the range. Lower specification models used the Kent straight-four and Taunus V4 engines.
The Capri was not officially replaced by any Ford model, but the second-generation Probe was effectively its replacement after the later car’s introduction to the European market in 1992. The Capri’s design and mechanical components, along with its intended market position as the European equivalent of the Mustang, helped make it a highly successful and iconic car for Ford.