We can look at the 1980 Capri in two different ways. Was it yet another underpowered fake-sporty Detroit rattletrap, or the raw material for countless Fox Ford freaks who would stuff all manner of insane engines into its lightweight chassis? The Fox is the gearhead's friend, so we can't look at this car the way we'd look at, say, a Lynx or Monarch. In any case, this ad scores very high on the Malaise Era Cheepnis-O-Meter.
I forgot all about the "sign of the cat" catchphrase.
The German ones were superior. It must be the marketing people that take a perfectly good name and attach it to drivel. It can't be car guys/people. Look at the 70's and 80's "Cobra".
Then again, some of the cars that were enthusiast oriented didn't sell at all and I can't say I blame the manufacturers for not taking chances after that. Why go out on a limb when you can slap a couple stripes on an econobox and call it a "sports car". The general public couldn't care less.
The Mustang SVO, the Grand National, the Syclone and Typhoon (among others), were all chances to get our attention with something different but middle white bread america wasn't having any of that.
They had questionable build quality but that wasn't really the issue (at that time). The issue became how much were the domestic car sellers willing to invest in a questionable venture. The middle is a much broader target and they didn't do well at hitting that either, as a gross generalization.
Mediocrity sells as long as it's quality mediocrity, apparently.