In The Lotus Eater by Somerset Maugham, a banker chooses bohemian existence on the Isle of Capri over his job. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a Capri that may bewitch you too — if you’ve got the bank.
Yesterday, the PDQ TVR got an OMG from 75% of you. That was one of the very few to have snuck through Customs in order to enjoy the pleasures of American macadam, and got itself a hoontastic V8 for its trouble. Today we’re going to look at another foreign visitor- one that, like Maugham’s banker, decided to stay.
You’re no stranger (well, some of you are pretty strange) to the German Capri, in fact Murilee found a ‘74 Down On The Street just this past Saturday. When the Blue Oval decided to bring over that mini mustang with its European moniker intact, it made sense to give it to the then-vibrant Mercury brand as a little brother to the Cougar, as that car had become a fat cat. However, before that Capri came to America, Ford brought over a limited number of British cars under the same name.
This 1964 Ford Consul Capri is one of the few that did make the transatlantic journey. Ford of Great Britain only built about 20,000 of these coupes before discontinuing them after ‘64. Out of those, fewer than 1,500 made it to our shores, and estimates are that there are only about 12 still running around here!
Designed by Edsel-penner Roy Brown, the Capri offers a dramatic roofline and vestigial tailfins, both of which give it an odd three-quarter scale American look. Despite that, everything is in proportion and overall it has a quirky hipster vibe. Under the hood, things are also more demitasse than grande with a lightly breathed upon Kent cross-flow. Much like the Falcon begat the Mustang, this little Capri sprang forth from the loins of the Ford Classic, although this car’s 1600-cc cross-flow motor and all-synchro four speed are from a later Cortina.
Keeping the familial trend going, this ‘64 has had a fresh coat of Grabber Blue, looking better here than on its originally intended Maverick. Topping that is some Von Dutch applied to the hood and a tramp stamp above the trunk lock. The wheels look like Cragar mags, which are a little out of place, but do allow for the fitting of some more modern rubber sizes than the original pizza cutter-thin rims. The steering wheel is from a later car, as are the seats, which obviously were a personal decision, but maybe one that will detract from their effort to get asking price for this fascino Ford.
That asking price is $10,000, and there’s little point of reference for that. The claim of it being rarer than pullus dentitus in the states works in its favor, but there’s lots of things that are rare due to a lack of desirability. Parts - especially trim and any consumables - would be tough to source, and the paint and interior decisions are kind of love-’em or leave-’em, so that would have to be factored into the equation.
Maugham postulated that the isle of Capri was so captivating that a life there, bereft of complication or stress, was the preferable choice. However, that decision was not without cost, and his bohemian banker eventually ended up badly- dying mad and destitute. Do you think that spending ten grand on this Capri would be an idyllic adventure? Or, for that price, would you too end up penniless and insane?
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