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Ford Consul Capri 109E.
JD kindly sent over this photograph, dating to the early 1960s (is that a 1962 tax disc in the window?). The car on show is a 2dr Consul Capri GT, which was in essence a 2dr coupe version of the Classic, with a much lower and rakishly-styled roofline. Whereas the Classic saloon had a reverse-sloped back window, not unlike that found on the Ford 105E Anglebox, the Consul Capri was fastback in shape, and alluded to a sporty nature, not something that could ever be levelled at the 4dr Classic.
As with some other cars featured in the photos that JD has sent over, this Consul Capri has received some accessories to make it stand out from the crowd. A lengthy aerial suggests that this Classic has a radio fitted, and other external goodies include two swept back wing mirrors, a clutch of Lucas lamps under the front bumper, and are those Lotus Cortina-style rims on the back?
The 109E range was launched in 1961 and shared its engine with the Classic saloon, an overhead valve unit of 1340cc. The Classic saloon had already raised a few eyebrows with its transatlantic-inspired styling, and the Capri added to this with the body modifications already mentioned. The 4dr car was already quite an expensive car to produce, with the complex pressings used in its coachwork (for example with the front wings), and the Capri just added to this. This, coupled with a mixed reception re the car's styling, meant that production didn't continue for long for either car, although it has to be said whereas the saloon looks a little odd from most angles, the Capri is a much happier looking design. In 1962 the larger Cortina engine of 1500cc was installed under the bonnet, but customer interest in the cars (known now as the 116E) was still less than amazing, and it disappeared from the showrooms the following year.
Consul Capris are now usually seen at shows only, those used in the daily commute have as a rule already shuffled off into the murky depths of the scrapyard. Tinworm, and low production numbers, have ensured that survivors are quite rare now, with numbers split between restored roadworthy examples, and those that survive by the skin of their overriders, either to be restored one day, or else provide parts to those that still run. The rarest version of all must be Hooper-modified Consul Capri - I don't think I've ever seen one in the metal, the story of one survivor is told in some detail on this blog, if you want to read more about them. If you are running or restoring a Capri, don't forget the free ads section at oldclassiccar - there is a page for the Consul Capri here.
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