Junkyard Find: 1993 Mercury Capri

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1993 mercury capri

After the Miata (introduced in the United States as a 1990 model) turned out to be an instant hit for Mazda, the marketing wizards at Ford decided to put Mercury badges on the Australian Ford Capri, a four-seat sporty convertible, and beat Mazda at its own game. Sure, the ’91-94 Capri was a Mazda under the skin (it was based on the 323), and it had front-wheel-drive, but so what?

The Capri was powered by a Mazda B engine, just like the Miata, and it had a convertible top, but the similarities ended there. While the Miata was a perfect expression of everything that the Alfa Romeo Spider and MBG had tried— but failed— to be in the past, the Capri was just a funny-looking 323 with a soft top.

I still see the occasional Capri of this generation on the street, for the same reason I see Geo Metro convertibles on the street: driving with the top down is fun!

The 24 Hours of LeMons has several teams campaigning these things (all turbocharged models), and they’re about as quick around a road course as, say, a Ford Ranger pickup or Kia Sephia. In other words, pretty slow.

This one only managed to get 120,000 miles, which makes me suspect that it spent a few years parked with something expensive broken.

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3 of 66 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Aug 28, 2012

    I test drove one of these in 1991. The salesman was a dick and so was his manager. That turned me off from the start. The car had the smallest trunk I ever saw and was cramped inside. It reminded me of a TR7 and not in a good way. The handling was unresponsive and the car was dead slow. I bought an SL-1 Saturn and was glad I did.

  • Leilapk Leilapk on Nov 05, 2012

    REALLY , THE TRUTH THAT YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THE CAPRI... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Capri Second Generation (1979–1986) During this period, a version of the Ford Mustang was sold through Lincoln/Mercury dealers as the Mercury Capri, giving Mercury a pony car for the first time since the Mercury Cougar was upsized in 1974 to complement the Ford Thunderbird. The Capri was built on the Ford Fox platform, which was used for the Mustang from 1979 to 1993 with a design change in 1994. It was the only Mercury Capri generation with a V8 engine.

    • DubTee1480 DubTee1480 on Nov 06, 2012

      REALLY, THE TRUTH THAT YOU CAN'T READ TO THE BOTTOM OF A WIKIPEDIA ENTRY BEFORE POSTING ON A WEB FORUM AND MAKING AN ASS OF YOURSELF... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Capri From the SAME article: Third Generation (1991–1994) Ford Australia produced a Mazda Miata rival named the Ford Capri from 1989, which ironically, was based around many Mazda 323 mechanics. Therefore, it is Front Wheel Drive as opposed to the Mazda Miata's Rear Wheel Drive. From the 1991 model year, this car was sold in North America as the Mercury Capri. The car was sold until the 1994 model year with minimal changes (1994 models did get a minor cosmetic update that included new front and rear bumpers as well as taillights).