Have you been suffering the Mercury blues ever since that brand’s demise? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe XR2 might be the cure for what ails you, but first we’ll have to see if its price has you wanting to go shopping on the aisle of Capri.
You know what bugs me? VW Type 1s, that’s what. They really Bug me.
See what I did there? What you all did on Friday was to give our 1970 VW Baja Bug contender a rousing 91% Nice Price win. With that also went a lot of boasting, much of it along the lines of “If it weren’t for this damn’d ankle bracelet keeping me in the house, I’d be there right now, throwing money at that seller!”
Baja Bugs are all kinds of fun. They’re fun to look at, they’re fun to imagine bursting through the cacti in the Baja 500, and they’re fun to work on as the engine’s kind of prolapsed out the back there making those quarterly valve adjustments easy as a peasy.
The thing though that’s probably not all that much fun in an old Baja Bug is driving in present-day rush hour conditions, in summer, in a place like Phoenix Arizona, which come July will likely be hotter at 9 pm than hell’s hibachi.
Today’s 1991 Mercury Capri XR2 however, should do just fine. The ad notes that everything works, including the A/C and heater. It also will pull a three-way when it comes to the top situation: hard, soft and none.
Now, you might not even remember this application of Mercury’s venerable Capri name, and I’m sure many of you in Europe right now are going “what that fu…” while a few Australians are saying “oi, mate, that’s a Ford Capri by crikey!”
The fact is this model was produced by Ford of Australia (Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!, Oi! Oi! Oi!) from ’91 through ’94, out of parts sourced from the Mazda 323’s closet. Very loosely, it was the production version of the lithe and lovely Ghia-designed and Fiesta-based Ford Barchetta, only made bigger-er and redesigned by Giorgetto Giugaro’s ItalDesign to accommodate the higher firewall of the 323.
This being the top-o-the-line XR2 model, the engine is a 132-bhp 1.6-litre. That’s a DOHC four that’s similar to the mill used in Mazda’s MX-5 Miata only here it sports a turbocharger and sits sidesaddle. Yes, the Capri is FWD, which means that while it may have a similar engine—and one with more ponies than a Miata—it sure as hell isn’t going to handle like one.
The thing of it is, it doesn’t need to. Not ever car needs to live up to the MX-5’s standards. The world needs its Steve Buscemis as well as its Brad Pitts.
Here you get a five-speed stick so this’ll at least be somewhat engaging to drive, and there’s a small back seat in case you have dogs or gym bags to tote around.
This one even comes with a hard top just like a Mercedes SL and while it may not be the prettiest girl at the party, nor the one with the best dance moves, at least it’s all tidy and seemingly clean and would probably get you home without any drama.
There’s 122K on the clock, and the front of the motor was done at 100K. The ad says that the axles and shocks were done at the same time. As far as war wounds go there’s an annoying dent on the nose, a broken fog lamp, and what looks like some scratching on the sides. Otherwise, this looks to be probably the best one of these you are these days likely to find.
The interior too presents itself well in the ad, and the car comes with two sets of wheels and tires: the factory jobs, and some chromed monstrosities that probably don’t do the car any favors.
Okay, do me a favor and give us a vote and a comment below as to your opinion on this Capri’s desirably at its $3,000 price tag. Does that seem like a deal to relive the marque that was Mercury? Or, was the Aussie Capri just too lame to warrant such a price, no matter what the condition?
H/T to Stadt for the hookup!
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