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Ford Consul Classic & Capri

Published: 16th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Consul Classic & Capri

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 1340cc/4-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 54/4900
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 74/2500
  • Top speed: 78mph
  • 0-60mph: 22.5sec
  • Fuel consumption: 29mpg
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual
  • Length: 14ft 3in (4.34m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 5ft 2in (1.66m)
  • Weight: 2025lb (920kg)
  • Books: The Ford in Britain File by Eric Dymock. ISBN 0-9534142-9-9
  • Clubs: fredpipes/fccoc
  • Websites: Ford Classic & Capri Club, 01206 844 754,

Model In Depth...

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The Classic was supposed to take Ford upmarket in the late Fifties, but it was only ever intended to be a stop-gap until the arrival of the Cortina. Looking like it had been designed in the US, it was penned in Dagenham – and it was the styling which was to prove the biggest barrier to success. The fi rst car to arrive was the 1340cc 109E Classic saloon; the Capri 109E would follow, with its sportier roofl ine. Both Classic and Capri versions were fi tted with Ford’s fi rst UK attempt at quad-headlamp styling, and the trans-Atlantic Thunderbirdesque styling looks great now, but was seen as garish when the car was new. The cost was also too high; prices started at £745 while the Capri was a hefty £916. If you’re after a classic with a difference, any of these cars should fi t the bill quite nicely. The 1340cc editions have 10 greasepoints that need attention every 10,000 miles; 1498cc cars don’t have these while the engines are also stronger. Rebuilds are straightforward except for sourcing panels, and while the mechanicals are easier to fi nd, apart from the engine and gearbox, little is shared with other Ford models. Join the Classic & Capri Owners’ Club and you’ll fi nd it easier – they’ve also had the most important panels remade.

What to look for?

Rotten bodywork is the most likely malady, with the various box sections rusting from the inside out and seams harbouring rust which spreads into the panels. Rot hot spots include the front inner wings (especially the suspension strut tops), the whole length of the sills and the headlamp support panel. You also need to pay close attention to the leading edge of the front wings plus the trailing edge where it mates to the A-post. Floorpans and jacking points corrode while the Capri’s triple-skinned windscreen pillars rot rampantly; Classics don’t give such problems. If somebody is selling a 1500GT, ensure it’s genuine by looking for a black leathercloth-covered dash (standard cars have a bodycolour painted facia). Other additions include extra instruments mounted under the parcel shelf, black instruments and a black steering column. Under the bonnet should be a single Weber carb with fourbranch exhaust manifold. There are shedloads of other differences between a standard car and a GT – checking with the Classic & Capri Owners’ Club will make sure you don’t get stitched up. Bear in mind that most of the changes could be added to a standard car, but if it doesn’t have the correct chassis number its humble origins can’t be disguised. Any genuine GT will have a serial number starting with H39, H being for Halewood and 39 being the GT Capri code.


There’s little difference in value between two or four-door Classics and although De Luxe versions are easier to sell, they’re no more valuable than a Standard car. Classics are worth 10-20 per cent less than a Capri in comparable condition and engine swaps don’t make much difference to a car’s value – to some owners it’s more desirable to have the 1500 unit fi tted regardless of what was there originally. Either way, engine size doesn’t affect values with the best Capris worth £7000 while a tenth of that will buy a complete restoration project; £2500 buys a usable runner, if you can fi nd one.

Driving one

Low pricing has always been Ford’s greatest marketing tool, rather than cutting-edge innovation. That was certainly the case with the Classic and Capri because there was recirculating ball steering combined with a live axle at the rear, which was suspended by semi-elliptic springs and lever-arm shock absorbers. At least there were MacPherson struts at the front with an anti-roll bar and coil springs. But unless you bought the GT there was no servo – although there were disc brakes at the front of all cars. The inherently weak 1340cc engine produced 54bhp while the 1500 unit was capable of generating 60bhp. Although neither of the cars will leave you gasping with excitement, at least the bigger engine is much smoother because it has fi ve main bearings. The 1498cc unit is also more fl exible, although there’s less of a difference in performance between the cars than you’d think – top speed and acceleration are much the same.


Jun 1961

The Consul Classic 315 109E is launched in standard and De Luxe trims, in two or four-door editions.

Jul 1961

The Capri 109E debuts; apart from the roof-line there are no signifi cant external differences between the Capri and the two-door Classic.

Jul 1962

The 109E Classic and Capri are replaced by the 116E, with a 1498cc engine. There’s now a hot version of the Capri called the GT, with 78bhp.

Sep 1963

The Classic dies.

Jul 1964

The Capri is killed off.

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