Ford Capri’s 50th anniversary celebrated with iconic models at the London Classic Car Show

Fans of the iconic Ford Capri and Ford Escort will be treated to special displays by the Capri Mk1 and Ford AVO owners’ clubs at the London Classic Car Show on 14-17 February 2019. Taking place at ExCeL, London, the London Classic Car Show has become a firm fixture on the UK event calendar with 37,000 classic car owners, collectors, experts and enthusiasts enjoying the classic car extravaganza each year.

The Ford Capri launched on 5 February 1969, advertised as “The Car You Always Promised Yourself”. A huge gamble for the Ford Motor Company, the Capri was an affordable sporty coupe that could carry the whole family, targeting the newly-married couple in their twenties. With vast options to choose from, every owner could select the specification that was perfect for them. Its combination of sporty styling and practicality proved hugely popular, with almost a quarter of a million Capris sold in 1970 and nearly 1.9 million sold worldwide during its production.

The Capri Mk1 Owners’ Club will celebrate the iconic model’s 50th anniversary with three examples at the London Classic Car Show. Firstly, a pristine example of the smallest engine Capri, the 1300L in Silver Fox that rolled off the Halewood production line just a couple of months after launch. Showcased alongside will be a three-litre, top-spec Sapphire Blue 3000GXL from the tail end of Mk1 production.

However, the highlight will be a much sought-after RS3100. Only 250 of these were made for homologation purposes in November 1973, with Ford struggling to sell them at the time. A rare survivor, this superb example is finished in the garish archetypal 70’s shade, Daytona Yellow.

Meanwhile, the Ford AVO Owners’ Club will pay tribute to the Escort after it celebrated its own half-centennial in 2018. Confirmed to attend the London Classic Car Show is a Mk1 Escort Twin Cam.  The 110bhp Lotus-powered Escort Twin Cam was conceived and developed by Ford’s Boreham-based competitions department during 1967 and unleashed onto an unsuspecting public during January 1968. It immediately set the world of competition alight and went on to achieve many international race and rally victories during its short production life. Approximately 883 cars were built in total and as all subsequent performance RS Escorts used the Twin Cam model as a basis, this car is seen to be the birth of the RS marque.

Also heading to ExCeL London is a Mk1 Escort Mexico. The Ford Escort Mexico was introduced in November 1970 and was so named because of Ford’s victory in the 1970 World Cup Rally, which finished in Mexico after 16,000 miles. Production of the Mexico lasted until the closure of the AVO factory January 1975.

Rounding out the club’s display is a Modena Green Mk1 Escort RS2000. The RS2000 was the last car to be introduced to the AVO production range, launched in June 1973. The original name for the car was to be the

‘Puma’, but it was decided to keep with the RS tradition and so it was re-named the RS2000. The RS2000 that will be on show has been used extensively on tours in the UK and Europe, having benefited from period modifications such as twin carburettors and a five-speed gear box. Owners of an RS2000 include legendary car designer Ian Callum, who will be appearing at this year’s London Classic Car Show.