Doug DeMuro recently discussed both sides of the “investment car” issue, those cars that may actually appreciate in value and those that probably won’t despite their supposed collector status. The problem with this ad on the Detroit area Craigslist for a 1991 Mercury Capri (that’s the little car that Bob Lutz wanted to be the Ghia Barchetta but ended up being a FWD “sports car” imported from Australia), is that it doesn’t even approach the collector status of the cars on Doug’s “don’t invest” list.
We can debate the possible upside to buying a Buick Grand National, but do you think that there really is another person, other that this seller, who appreciates the future collector value of a ’91 Mercury Capri? Beyond that, would even a Capri collector pay $20K for this. I’m having a hard time imagining even one person that thinks that a ’91 Capri could be worth twenty grand but the ad is real, so there you go. The fact that the seller didn’t use a photo of an actual car but rather a pic taken at an auto show in 1992 to show “what car actually looks like, no kidding” makes the ad even sillier.
The people who “invested” in a bicentennial 1976 last of the breed Eldorado convertibles may have acted foolishly but they weren’t completely deranged. People actually liked and still like big Eldo ragtops. A nice ’76 Eldo can go for $40K. Heck, I’d say that more people appreciate the future collector condition of a Lincoln Blackwood pickup truck than a 1991 Mercury Capri, even with a turbo and the cradle that stores the hardtop when not in use.
Text as found on Craigslist:
I HAVE ORIGINAL 1991 MERCURY CAPRI CONVERTIBLE TURBO IN MINT CONDITION. ALL ORIGINAL EXCEPT BATTERY WITH 16,000 ORIGINAL MILES. THIS CAR NEEDS TO FIND AN OWNER WHO APPRECIATES FUTURE COLLECTOR CONDITION OF THE CAR. I ALSO HAVE THE ORIGINAL WHITE HARD TOP AND CRADLE THAT HOLDS THE TOP WHEN NOT ON THE CAR. PHOTO ATTACHED IS WHAT CAR ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE – NO KIDDING. SERIOUS BUYERS ONLY. CALL TO SEE 734.323.4525
Now if you happen to love 1991-94 Capris please don’t sent me any hate mail. While the car wasn’t what it could have been, it has its enthusiasts. There’s even a club for owners of ’91 to ’94 Capris on Yahoo. On the other hand, maybe there is something about FWD Capri enthusiasts. This guy on YouTube says that “In another 10 years, they will be a 90s collector car”, that it’s “one of 30,000″ that remain. He also says that the front wheel drive Capri shared the “identical chassis” as the Mazda Miata, which would have been a great achievement if it were true, or even possible since the two cars have completely different layouts. To their, and the car’s, credit, Capri enthusiasts point out his many errors in the comments. Also, he only paid $1,500 for his Capri, not $20,000.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS