Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercury Capri is a McLaren, but not THAT McLaren. Still, it’s pretty unique and historically relevant, so let’s check it out and see if its price makes it the Mac Daddy.
Yesterday’s hot-milled 1986 Olds Custom Cruiser looked like it could have been the subject of an old school Jethro Tull song—so rough and yet oddly inviting. Sadly, its presentation couldn’t muster sufficient enthusiasm for its asking price and it fell in a 74% Crack Pipe loss and thus ended our winning streak at three.
Let’s see if we can turn things around today.
Here we have a 1985 Mercury ASC/McLaren Capri in arrest me red over a biscuit interior, and rocking a modest 88,000 miles on the clock. Wait, what’s that, you’ve never heard of the ASC/McLaren Capri? Okay, come with me.
These cars were the brainchild of a mechanical engineer named Peter Muscat. His wife worked for Ford at the time and was not allowed to park her beloved Mercedes SL convertible on the company lot. Being the dutiful husband, Muscat wanted to give her a classy drop-top that would be welcomed, and hence floated the idea of a modded Mustang convertible to Ford execs. Sadly for Muscat and his wife, Ford already had a drop-top pony in the works.
The Ford execs suggested to Muscat that he talk to the good folks over at Mercury as the coupe-only Capri wasn’t enjoying the same sales success as the Mustang. Muscat contracted with American Sunroof Company (Now American Specialty Company) to undertake the convertible conversions, and they in turn engaged McLaren to do the car’s suspension and wheel package. The first models arrived in 1984 to little fanfare.
By 1985 however, the ASC/McLaren Capri added sales, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 140-mph speedo, and what are arguably the flattest-bottomed Recaro seats in the business. Those are leather here, and they further feature stereo speakers in the headrests. Other nods to civility and convenience are an automatic transmission behind the carburetor-equipped 302, power windows, and a lined top.
This one has lost its original basketweave wheels, but otherwise looks pretty much as it came from the ASC shop. The ad is light on details, but it does claim an appropriate maintenance history and the all too important “ice cold” A/C. The paint looks impressively sharp, while the interior seems to have held up its end of the bargain applaudably as well. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that dangly thing in the interior shot is a microphone for an aftermarket bluetooth stereo.
Why own this instead of the vastly more common Ford Mustang factory convertible? Well, mainly because the ‘Stang is just that common, while this is one of only 257 cars built in ’85. It’s also a Capri and to be honest, you don’t see too many Capris of any kind rolling around anymore.
Exclusivity comes at a price however, and in this case that price is $7,500. That gets you not just what seems to be a nice cruiser, but also an interesting bit of history. The Fox-body Capri would only last another year after this one was built and then the name would be forever sullied by being applied to an Australian import that was little more than a step towards the grave for Mercury as a whole.
This Capri seems to have plenty of life left in it so what’s your take on its price tag? Do you think $7,500 is a deal for a McLaren? Or, does that seem too much to pay on the aisle of Capri?
H/T to Lokki on Hooniverse for the hookup!
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