1970 Ford Capri Perana V8 to be offered by Silverstone AuctThe Ford Capri may have been just a blip on the radar in 1970s America — it was badged somewhat anonymously as a Capri and sold through Mercury here from 1970 till 1978 — but over in Europe, where it was built, it was a much bigger deal. The Cologne-built Ford Capri was the sportiest offering from the Ford Motor Co. in many world markets starting with the 1969 version, which introduced the bodystyle for which it would be best remembered. The quickest variants powered by the 2.8-liter Cologne V6 and the 3.0-liter Essex V6 were essentially muscle cars in family car package.
Ford’s global reach assured that the Capri would be available in just about every market in some form, but it would be a country far from where the car was actually assembled that would see sales of the most powerful and exclusive version of this long hatchback coupe. South African tuner Basil Green would fit a 5.0-liter 302 Windsor V8 into the Capri’s long engine bay, giving birth to the Ford Capri Perana V8. One surviving example of this South African sleeper is headed to auction next month in the U.K.
Johannesburg-based Basil Green made a reputation for himself tuning European cars like the Austin Mini and the Ford Cortina before the word “tuning” came into use, and the debut of the 1969 Ford Capri provided a new canvas for his performance upgrades. The new chassis and the relatively generous size of the engine bay may have been designed for the V6 engine, but it was clear that an even larger powerplant could be adapted with some effort. That powerplant was the 5.0-liter Windsor V8 out of the Ford Mustang using a four-barrel Holley carburetor. Green’s versions used a Perana T4 Toploader manual gearbox. Green also modified the suspension in the Capris he sought to market, in addition to making a number of adjustments to the engines themselves that included alloy bellhousings, an alloy intake manifold, a strengthened driveshaft, and a large-capacity radiator. The result was a Capri that produced nearly 300 hp.
Basil Green made only about 500 of these V8-engines Capris from 1970 through 1973.
This particular example was purchased from inland South Africa recently, and is said to have received a nut and bolt restoration, including a bare-metal respray, that took place over the course of three years. The car is said to have had very little rust, though a number of body panels were replaced during the restoration, including the lower wings, rear quarter panels and driver’s side floor. The restoration also reportedly saw the replacement of a number of suspension components including the leaf springs, coilovers, and gas-adjustable shocks. The interior was also reportedly redone with a period basket-weave pattern on the upholstery. The Ford 302 V8 is claimed to have been rebuilt, receiving new pistons, rings, rod bolts and bearings, also benefitting from new Edelbrock carburetor fitted to a Boss 302 intake manifold.