- Automotive Makes & Models
Poised to be a Collector Car: The 1991-94 Mercury Capri Sport Car
You might not agree, but the Ford\Mercury Capri made from 1991-94 in Australia has all the necessary elements. Collector cars need to be 30-35 years old, so it is a little early, but this car does have a loyal following not only in the USA, but even more so in "down under".
The Capri has a unique history. The body was designed by Italians. The 1.6L engine and all suspension\chassis mechanicals are from the 1988-89 Mazda 323 base model and GT. It was assembled in Australia. Only around 66,000 were made, with the 1994 models being the rarest with only 4000 made. The car was a convertible two seater with a small rear seat that is usable and folds down. The trunk is 8 cu. ft. Its engine was a twin overhead came that could produce anywhere from 100-132 hp (in the turbo version). It is front wheel drive and the interior is spacious for a small sports car. Brand new, the car cost around $15,000, today, one can find a decent one for $1500-3000.
When the car came out, most of the reviews of it were very good, yet, the Mazda Miata had just been released also, using, ironically, the same engine! The Miata was simply better at being a sports car, while the Capri satisfied those who wanted a semi-sports car and more room to carry things, which the Capri is much better at.
The Mazda 323 engine and tranny remain great engines and have a long life span of over 200,000 miles when taken cared of. Because the car was really a Mazda 323 mechanically, owners can still find the parts fairly easily either form Mazda or Mercury\Ford dealers at decent prices. It is also easier to find a mechanic also for the same reason.
With only 66,000 made, as the car moves into its 30-35 yr bracket (in the year 2021), there is little doubt it will become a collectible for many car collectors. Consider this: the Chevy Corvair is considered a collectible car and over 1.4 million were made between 1960-69. By comparison, the Capri will be a car to buy now and save for the future.