The history of the Ford Capri 109E


1961-1962, 11143 produced.
The first 200 Capris were hand made for export to Germany in time for the 1960 car show expo.
They were designed by Fords Charles Thompson and an ex Canadian jazz musician named Roy Brown.  Roy was involved with the design of many great American Fords in the 40s and 50s until he got to the Ford Edsel, the first expensive Ford disaster. After that Roy turned up in a small outback Ford factory called "Dagenham" where he was involved in the design of the Anglia, Consul etc. Then he did it again, another expensive Ford disaster, the Consul Capri.
At the Dagenham factory the Capri was known as the "SunBird" a cross between the Yank-Tank Thunderbird and Sunliner models. The term Yank-Tank came fron early American, Dutch immigrants named Jan, collectively called Yan-kees, the tank bit was the due to their size. The term Dagenham dustbin was due to the fast rusting cheap recycled metal used on early British Fords.The early Capris were underpowered and also tended to snap the crankshaft.
Dubbed by Ford as Britains first personal car It had cutting edge disc-brakes, multi-speed wipers, four headlights, a dash dimmer and even a cigar lighter, all clever stuff but no help when you've got a broken crankshaft.
Both the Ford Edsel and Capri are now very sought after classic cars.
Ford (UK) launched its first ever family sized coupe in 1961, the Ford Capri 109E. The Capri used the same floor pan and mechanical items as the Ford Classic 109E saloon which appeared at the same time. Both new models used a new overhead valve 1340cc four cylinder engine and had a four speed gearbox with either a floor or column change. The styling of the Capri was very transatlantic and certainly not to everyone's taste. The Capri had a unique "5 Star" grille and twin headlamps, plus a long swage line that ran down each side of the side of the car and swept into the large "Gull Wing" rear fins. From the rear the Capri looked like a scaled down Chevrolet Impala and was certainly distinctive. Sadly the Capri was misunderstood by the public and needed more power. In 1962 a 1500 version arrived but this was also short lived and so the first Capri project faded away in 1963.

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