Ford are apparently going to do the best thing they have done for a while, maybe since the record-breaking Focus first saw the light of day. They are planning to re-launch the original boy racers icon – the Capri!
I’ll let you into a little secret; I myself have owned three of them at various times in my younger years and even just hearing the name again launches me back to those far off, heady days when nothing mattered but looking good in your car, getting tanked up on pints of lager at 45p a pint and somehow managing to pull the girl at your college who all your mates would drool over. It all started with my first Capri in around about 1985. It was a black 1.6s and I can honestly say that no car will ever make me feel like that again, no matter what toys it has or what the cost or ride is like.
I called her Charmian because cars always sound better with girl’s names, she loved me like I loved her and even though I can still see the guy from the garage in my rear view mirror, laughing his head off when I paid the screen price and insisted on taking her away that day, I will never regret or forget my 6 months with Charmian. The back end may well have permanently hung out on corners especially in the wet and in 0-60 terms it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding, but there was something about her, much like that girl all your mates take the mick out of, but you secretly like, she was ultra-cool in her own special way.
Unfortunately me and Charmian parted company all too soon, I won’t go into the details as it’s all still too painful, but I did somehow manage to move on quite rapidly, broken hearts don’t stay that way for long when you are 18. So when I got behind the wheel of my 2.0 GLX my love affair with the Capri began again in earnest. I cannot remember what I called this one, it might have been Madonna, but I do remember sitting at the top of the hill outside my Nan’s house, with ‘she sells sanctuary ‘ by The Cult just about to hit the good bit, when I kicked her in the guts and wheel spun down the road like a stunt driver in The Sweeny! Madonna (if that was her name) was brown with a black vinyl roof and went like the clappers and even though I knew passersby were mouthing a four word obscenity in my direction, I felt like Danny Zucco.
Those cars were great to drive, fantastic to look at and will give many blokes like ne some great memories, the new one, however, looks much like VW’s Sirocco and really has only the name in common with the car I knew and loved. Whilst I appreciate that times change and design moves on, it seems to me a cheap way of attracting a new generation of drivers who never got to experience the original when clearly there is no blood link whatsoever with its classically iconic namesake.
I live in hope that there are car designers out there who are a similar age to me and appreciate the Capri for what it was, imperfections and all and will one day look to re-create a model in something approximating its original image.
Bring on the new Cortina, now that was a car!