Pick of the Day: 1974 Mercury Capri

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The Mercury Capri coupe of 1970-77 is pretty much a forgotten classic that nonetheless was quite popular in its day. The captive import built by Ford in Cologne, Germany, and sold in the U.S. by Mercury dealers, was favored by those who appreciated its European styling and sporty handling. But these days, they are rarely seen anyplace.

The Pick of the Day is a 1974 Mercury Capri described by its private seller as a “rare, exceptional vehicle.” These were fun cars to drive when powered by the 105-horsepower 2.8-liter V6, as this one is, and four-speed manual transmission.

The car has been fitted with custom chrome wheels

The Capri was originally a California car, according to the ad on ClassicCars.com, that was “extensively restored in Arizona in 1998-2002,” although there is no explanation in the brief description as to why restoration took four years. It was then featured in a June 2002 article in Collectable Automobile Magazine, the seller says.

Now located in Waterloo, Ontario, the Capri is “one of the best Mk1 Capris left in North America,” the ad says, referring to the first-generation cars. Mileage shown on the odometer is just 9,633, presumably since restoration. Body and interior look very clean, with custom chrome wheels.

I drove a ’73 Capri back in the ’70s because my brother-in-law owned one and would lend it to me. It was a cool little runabout with tight steering, nice shifting and cornering like a sports car. Not terribly refined, but I liked it.

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The dashboard is pure ’70s style

This one being a ’74 model, when DOT safety and emissions standards took hold, the coupe is burdened with jutting impact bumpers and saddled by “plumber’s nightmare” emission controls. Still, it should be fun to drive and be seen driving, partly because of its rarity on today’s highways. And if you were so inclined, those bumpers could be retrofitted with earlier chrome ones.

The asking price is cheap enough at $10,995, if it’s as nice as the seller says it is. For that, the new owner would have an unusual collector car, and most likely the only one to show up at the next Mercury car show.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I remember the Mk I Capris. They were the perfect car for Montreal and other big Canadian cities, as well as being a "first teen" car for Calgary college students and tradespeople when a Mustang, Celica, or BMW weren’t right for middle-class Canadians. I still see some in Vancouver and Seattle, and they look as good as they were when they left Cologne.

  2. At one time, I owned 2 Capris. One was a 74, 4 cylinder gray one. Later, I bought a 74, 6 cyl Capri from a cousin. Wish I’d kept both.

  3. I had a Green Mark 1 74 Capri with the 4 cylinder and Auto Tran. I got it after my 73 Pinto was totaled from a head on drive by collision. It reminded me of the Pinto..fun to drive, same 4 cyl, same tranny , but much better handling…AND much safer. Gas tank behind a firewall behind the rear seat, basically inside the trunk. Plus, a built in roll cage. Loved it. Unfortunately I only had it a year, when some guy came speeding out a street and hit the car and totaled it. But..of all my cars I’ve had…that was still my favorite

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