Hampshire Capri Club Keeping the legend alive

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This Capri is Wayne's first crack at restoration and most of us would be pleased with the results, considering its only a trial run for a serious restoration job, his Escort Mexico is waiting its turn in the garage.

The car was used as everyday transport until the middle of 1992, by which time it was beginning to look a bit crumbly with a good many perforated panels. Wayne felt that the Capri had done its job well and was now in a condition where he couldn't make it any worse, so he decided that he might as well have a go and learn about restoring cars by rebuilding it.

Most of the outer panels were pretty horrible and got binned. The outer sills were chiseled off and the wheel arches were dismantled right down to clean metal.

Pulling up the carpet was a horror story as large bits of the rear footwells came out with it. Only part of the car was rotten, most of it was sound.

There was plenty of metal left to weld to so Wayne bought a bargain bucket of replacement panels and got stuck in. New patches on the floor, new outer sills, new wheel arch panels, new wings, second-hand doors and bonnet.

It was a year before the body shell was ready to go off for its spray job. The outer wings and bonnet were sprayed separately and reassembled onto the car later, when the whole lot came back from the paint shop in Cobalt Blue.

The performance of the 1300cc Capri is a bit pathetic, so Wayne decided there was little point in putting the original engine back in. So he ended up with a 1300cc Crossflow which was encouraged to breathe properly and had been bored out to 1400cc.
There were two Webers dangling off the side and an Escort manifold chopped and welded to fit a Bracknell Autocross exhaust system. The size of the Webers did cause problems with the positioning of the standard brake servo. In the end the answer was a remote unit from an old Rover P6 and fit it on the passengers side of the engine bay. The first master cylinder was from a Mk1 Escort but the bore was too small and Wayne had to stand on the pedal with both feet to have any chance of stopping, so a bigger bore rallying master cylinder was substituted and did the job nicely.
The decision was also made to change the gearbox as the standard 1300cc gearbox only comes with 4 gears. So a gearbox from an Escort Mexico was fitted and with its close ratio it can take more of a caning.

Stiffened and slightly lower springs improved stance and stability and a nice set of 5 spoke alloys with Goodyear NCT’s were fitted. The windows were changed from clear to tinted glass and the interior was upgraded to half leather Recaros, which go well with the Cobalt Blue paint. Is the car finished?. Almost. It will go better when the carbs are properly jetted and balanced on a rolling road.

After it was all finished there cannot be a better way to use it than getting married and it being the wedding car.