Junkyard Find: 1992 Mercury Capri

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1992 mercury capri

Imagine it’s 1992 and you’re shopping for a sporty convertible: Do you get an Australian-built front-wheel-drive Mazda based on the 323 … or do you get a Miata?


As a result, the 1991-1994 Mercury Capri wasn’t a big seller in the United States, but I still see about as many of them in wrecking yards as I do Ford Capris (sold by Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the USA but not badged as Mercurys) and Mustang-sibling Fox Capris these days.

Under the hood, pretty much the same engine as the Miata, but flipped sideways. From what we’ve seen in the 24 Hours of LeMons, a well-driven Capri will get around a race track just about as quickly as its very distant Miata cousin (but a Miata with an ordinary driver will run away from a Capri with an ordinary driver).

It took a while for 1980s-style graphics to disappear from the flanks of cars.

Made in Australia!

Overseas, they can’t wait to get their hands on one. Can you?

Imagine being a Lincoln-Mercury salesperson during a brutal recession and having to sit through about 19 hours of these training videos. Third prize, you’re fired!

Join the conversation
2 of 44 comments
  • Sitting@home Sitting@home on Dec 30, 2015

    I had one of these for about 7 years/100k miles. Despite only twice-a-year Jiffy Lube maintenance, nothing went wrong except a snapped window cable which I replaced for $10 from Orchard Supply. It was much roomier than a Miata; the vestigial back seat was usable at a pinch and allowed the fronts to almost fully recline for camping. The roof packed completely into the body shell for a clean look, and when raised allowed a pass through for things like skis (yes, I took it both skiing and camping).

  • Nicktcfcsb Nicktcfcsb on Feb 03, 2016

    An older empty nest couple had one of these in my parents neighborhood growing up, teal green with a white top, I always liked it, and thought it was neat. I remember them replacing it with a 98 BMW Z in dark green. I don't know why but I always noticed these when I saw them. I think we will someday look back fondly at a time where a sub compact convertible was smaller than a new Mini Cooper.

  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”
  • 28-Cars-Later I'll offer this, offer a registration for limited use and exempt it from all inspection. The Commonwealth of GFY for the most part is Dante's Inferno for the auto enthusiast however they oddly will allow an antique registration with limited use and complete exemption from their administrative stupidity but it must be 25 years old (which ironically are the cars which probably should be inspected). Given the dystopia being built around us, it should be fairly simply to set a mileage limitation and enforce a mileage check then bin the rest of it if one agrees to the terms of the registration. For the most part odometer data started being stored in the ECU after OBDII, so it should be plug and play to do such a thing - this is literally what they are doing now for their emissions chicanery.
  • Probert For around $15 you can have a professional check important safety areas - seems like a bargain. It pointed to a rear brake problem on my motorcycle. It has probably saved a lot of lives. But, like going to a dentist, no-one could say it is something they look forward to. (Well maybe a few - it takes all kinds...)
  • VoGhost ICE is so dangerous.
  • Akear Back as early as 2014 Ford was building some pretty decent vehicles. The Ford Fusion was getting good reviews and selling around 300,000 annually. The Mark MKZ was also the top selling US luxury car at the time. My Ford Fusion is approaching the 200,000 mile mark, while current Fords blow gaskets at 40,000 miles.