Classic Ford Capri fetches Jaguar E-Type price at auction
With their distinctive 'go faster' stripe, sloping rear end and c-pillar, they were the motor of choice for young executives, boy-racers and even Del Boy Trotter.
And it would seem that more than 30 years after their 1970s and 80s heyday, the Ford Capri still holds a place in some drivers' hearts, with one 1987 model selling for a world record NZ$113,703.
The near-showroom fresh Capri 280 'Brooklands' had covered just 936 miles since it rolled off the production line nearly three decades ago, and was snapped up by one very happy fan at a Silverstone auction last month.
The Capri 280 'Brooklands' sold at the Race Retro Classic Car sale, smashed its original estimate of about NZ$80,000, and sold for the same price as a lower-end Jaguar E-Type - or a brand new Jaguar F-Type coupe.
The sale of the The D-registration V6 coupe put down another marker in the astonishing rise of fast Fords in recent years, when it went under the hammer - setting a record price for a Capri, according to Silverstone Auctions.
Billed as 'the car you always promised yourself', the Capri was conceived in 1969 and quickly became something of a cultural icon.
It had been designed to be the equivalent of the famous Mustang for the European market, with models coming in every price point being built at Ford's British plants in Dagenham and Halewood.
The car's cool credentials were boosted with frequent appearances on The Professionals television show, with Martin Shaw's Doyle driving a gold Mark III, and Lewis Collins's Bodie a silver version.
However, the car developed something of a boy-racer image, not helped when a lime-green 1980 Mark III model, complete with tiger-print seats appeared in a 1991 Only Fools And Horses episode where it was sold to Del by Boycie, and promptly dubbed the 'Pratmobile' by an unimpressed Rodney.
After selling nearly 1.9million units, Ford put the brakes on the Capri's production in 1987, but it is now seen as one of the firm's most iconic cars, with aficionados still racing to buy the classic models whenever one comes up for sale.
The Ford Capri 280, known as the ‘Brooklands’, was a final version of the legendary coupe of the 1970s and 1980s and featured a raft of special features, along with a 3 litre V6 engine.
Just 1,038 of the cars were made.
One famous Capri fan was tennis star Ilie Nastase, who is pictured with fans surrounding his car in 1972.
Silverstone auctions said its car had ‘covered an unbelievable 936 miles from new’ when it was sold by Ford main dealer J. Hollingsworth of Hastings, to a Mr T Carey who apparently had always intended to keep the car as ‘a completely original and preserved example from day one’.
It was then used very sparingly and kept in a strict temperature controlled environment before being sold in 2011 to its second registered keeper, who subsequently preserved it and sold it in the auction at the end of February.
The Silverstone sale also saw other fast Fords hit high prices, including a 1995 Ford Escort RS Cosworth LUX which went for £52,875.
Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: ‘Fast Fords have seen a rapid rise in value at auction over the last 12 months.
'Their mass appeal is unquestionable and as fewer original, low-mileage cars filter onto the market, collectors are starting to pay large premiums for concours examples.
‘We are not surprised by this growth and suspect prices will continue to climb across all RS models as demand simply overwhelms supply.’
Prices hit full-throttle for former favourites
A record price of NZ$616,129 was achieved for a special 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.
Despite its astonishing $114,000 tag, the Capri wasn’t the top-priced sale at the Silverstone auction, however.
A record price was achieved for a special 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, with just 1,723 miles recorded, which sold for $616,129.
The Ford Escort Mexico sold for NZ$92,367, almost NZ$34,000 above its lower estimate.
Meanwhile, a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT sold for NZ$899,000, a 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S, one of just seven right-hand drive models produced, sold for NZ$448,500, and a 1994 Jaguar XJ220 sold for NZ$580,462.
Among other fast Fords snapped up was a 1972 Ford Escort Mexico, selling for NZ$92,367, more than NZ$33,700 above its lower estimate.