As a child I used to spend most of my weekends watching Bodie & Doyle strut their stuff on TV while also watching them cocking about doing handbrake turns and smoking the tyres around the streets of London in a selection of cars from the likes of British Leyland and Ford to name but a few.
Of course as you get older – reality slips and you realise it was all fake and just for the purpose of TV entertainment in the end – but as a young boy It didn’t stop me spending many hours in my garden acting out scenes from the latest episode where I was the good guy in my Ford Capri 3.0S and my brother was the evil criminal trying to get away in his Austin Maxi. I am also not ashamed to admit either that I used to have a large wall poster of the 3.0S on my bedroom wall and every night I used to look at it and think. ‘One day you will be mine’
This of course brings me onto talking about one of the cars from that show ‘The Ford Capri MkIII 3.0S’.
The Ford Capri MkIII 3.0S started production back in 1978 till around 1981 and were driven by some of the biggest stars of the time like; James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Terry McCann (Aka Minder) and of course Bodie and Doyle toname but a few.
This of course gave the Capri a lightning start, thanks mainly to the success of the TV series and Ford was happy to use that image to portray the Capri as ‘real mans’ car on the back of that.
Also, because Ford had got the cost of owning a new Capri bang on target – it was quickly seen as an affordable sports car that could easily be tweaked by pretty much anyone who had a set of very basic tools and an eye for detail.
But, owing a MKIII during the 1980s and early 1990s was a risky partnership – as it was portrayed as one of the most stolen cars in Britain and classified as “high risk” by a Home Office report around that time.
This of course got many owners worried and sales of security devices such as the Crook-Lock and The MOSS Car Alarm soared. Although the Moss Alarm itself was not very good at stopping the thieves from taking your pride and joy and I can easily recall many evenings back in the 90s where I would hear the call of a MOSS Car Alarm bellowing away in the distance as yet another MKIII Capri was selfishly driven away from its rightful owner.
Then, in 1981, the 3.0 V6 units were dropped from Ford’s line-up, and a new sporty version was born, called the 2.8 Injection which featured a Bosch K-Jetronic injection system and increased power output of160bhp along with a small gain in top speed to the tune of 130 mph.
Of course Ford was very happy with the updated Capri 2.8 Injection because it had breathed new life into the range and kept the car in production for another few years which they then hoped would give them enough time to hopefully develop some newer models.
But for reasons I don’t understand – something went wrong and From November 1984 onwards Ford introduced 1.6 and 2.0 variants and branded them with a new trim level called “Laser” – which featured new instruments, leather gear lever, leather steering wheel along with colour-coded grille and mirrors. I actually owed a ‘Lazer’ for a short time and to be honest it never really felt like a ‘real Capri’ more a wet biscuit truth be told.
Sales of course then began to drop off and Ford decided to have a last ditch attempt on the Capri in the form of a limited edition “Brooklands” Green, 280 models, which featured a limited slip differential, full leather Recaro interior and seven spoke 15 inch wheels.
There were also a few special edition Turbo models built throughout the years by various companies with Ford’s permission to increase performance – but they were quite expensive to buy – and were in the end well outside the scope of even the most well heeled person.
I am going to end the Capri story here with a few technical bits about the MKIII 3.0S below, but I hope you have enjoyed reading this short insight into one of my all time favourites and It is my hope that Ford continues to produce cars we can all lust after just like the new Focus RS I recently tested which to my amazement still felt like it hadn’t lost any of its old school ‘FastFord’ attachment – and let’s be honest here – that’s exactly the reason why you go out and buy a Ford in the first place.
So in the words of one of Ford’s classic advertising slogans for the Capri “The car you always promised yourself”
|1978 – 1981 : Mark 3 Capri 3000|
|General Engine Data|
Bore and Stroke
|6-Cyl. vee formationat 60 degrees
93.66mm x 72.44mm (3.69in x 2.85in)
2994cc (182.7 ci)
101kw (138 bhp) at 5100rpm
236nm (174 lb/ft) at 3000rpm
Internal Expanding Shoe Drum Type
|Type||Weber 38/38 EGAS carburettor|
|Weights and Dimensions|
|Wheels and Tyres|
|Standard||6″ alloy wheels with 185/70 tyres|
|4 Speed Manual||4th 1.00, 3rd 1.412, 2nd 1.94, 1st 3.16, rev 3.346|
|8.5 secs Manual – 10 seconds Automatic
196km/h (122 mph) Manual –190km/h (118mph) Automatic