1979 Ford Capri MK3 1.6 GL
(Featured on 26th May 2014)
Sellers original description:
Just 6,000 (Six thousand) miles and one elderly owner from new.
Totally standard specification with no factory or dealer fitted extras.
Taken off the road almost 34 years ago, when just nine months old, and correctly dry stored following the manufactures instructions issued at the time for "Laying up your car"
Consequently now remarkably rust free.
Only ever taxed for the road when new and never re-taxed since. Never been even been submitted for an MOT until now.
Retaining all of its original factory fitted panels & glass and having never received any paint rectification since new.
Absolutely exceptional in every way, presented in show winning condition and a Concours contender if ever we saw one.
EVERYONE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, WHEN THEY SEE THIS CAR HAS THE SAME REACTION - WOW!
Following the runaway success of the Mustang in the early 60’s Ford desperately needed to produce a European equivalent to appeal to the younger customer in the emerging coupe market.
By 1964 Ford styling and design studios in America and Europe were drawing up the first ideas for "Project Colt". By the beginning of 1966 the new car was being shown as full size mockups to "clinics" in London, Cologne, Milan and other European cities. The Colt, owing to copyright issues with by the Japanese Car manufacture, became the Capri and was launched in the U.K to great acclaim in 1969.
‘Ford Capri: the car you always promised yourself’
An instant hit the Capri soon became the ‘must have’ car of the early seventies.
By 1973 the Capri had sold over a million units. However, sales had begun to drop off and a new model was called for to keep the Capri ahead of its up and coming rivals.
The Mk II Capri project was codenamed "Diana" and was launched in the U.K on the 28th February 1974.
The most obvious difference between the Mk I and Mk II Capri was the introduction of a hatchback.
What had been sold as a sporty but practical car, suitable for a family, was now even more sporty and practical. The overall style of the Mk II Capri was obviously an evolution of the Mk I design. The new design was longer, wider and taller than its predecessor. Mechanically most areas had been improved.
In March 1978 the Capri was updated once more and for a final time with a design that became known as the MK III. The new model featured revised bumpers to include plastic quarters, revised bonnet, quad headlamps, steel front spoiler and new grille.
Capri’s remain extremely popular and desirable today. The Mk III has a rapidly growing following amongst Capri aficionados; consequently good original condition examples, of which there are very few left, are highly sought after.
It is nearly 30 years since the last Capri’s left the production line. Time has taken its toll and very few original un-restored Mk III’s now remain, of those that do very few are the desirable G.L version.
Most of the remaining examples are either visibly very rusty or have been very rusty and that rust is now hidden, for the time being at least, by restoration.
You would be hard pushed to find an un-restored car. If you can find one though it will almost certainly have, at the very least, have had considerable rectification to its paint work. If you are looking for an investable classic then of course exceptionally low mileage is a must.
We suppose then if you could have a blank canvas to create the 'Holy Grail' of Mk III Capri's available today you would start with the sort after 1.6.
You would want a car that will last and not ever start to show signs of rust reappearing, you will want it to hold its price and indeed rise in value over the coming years - so you are defiantly not going to add 'restored' anywhere to that blank canvas but you will most certainly want to add original panels, paintwork and interior.
Mileage - well fifty or sixty thousand is low for the year but at the time that these cars were current it would have been considered high. So let's say 30,000 or even 20,000 actually still too high - after all we did say you had a blank canvas and exceptionally low mileage and original condition is the key to worthwhile investments. So why not go the whole hog and make the mileage just a four figure sum, so under 10,000 - no let's say under 7,000 miles. Oh and just for good measure why not add the very best colour combination of Oyster Gold with the best trim colour - chocolate.
So then on your blank canvas, you have created the perfect Mk III 1.6 GL Capri, but surely though - over 3 decades since they were last made your expectations are just unrealistic as such a car and the investment opportunities it would present could not possibly still exist.....
.... well actually they do!
On the 25 of May 1979 the first and only owner of WTE 655T travelled the 6 or so miles from his home to Ford Main Dealers Gordons (Bolton) Limited, they still occupy the same site today. The purpose of his visit was to collect his brand new Ford Capri 1.6 GL.
The owner, then fifty, was extremely excited about collecting WTE 655T as this was the first brand new car that he had ever owned.
From the offset it was never the intention of the owner that WTE 655T would be a car for everyday use. He had always been a Ford enthusiast and had always loved the sporting looks of the Capri. He had decided to buy the car of his dreams, use it very infrequently and cherish it so that it would see him through to his retirement. A meticulous man, the first owner kept WTE 655T garaged from new in the integral garage at his home.
In early 1980 the owners employer provided him with a company vehicle and permitted private use of it.
This left the owner with a dilemma having waited for so long to own his first new car, and one that he loved so much, he was now faced with having to dispose of it after just a few months of use. Back in 1980 there was no such thing as opting out of company car schemes you either accepted it or self funded the alternative!
Having weighed everything up he decided that instead of keeping WTE 655T until he retired he would alter the timing of his plans and keep the car in as new condition to use when he retired and beyond. In fact he thought this would be the car to most likely see him through his remaining driving days.
Who better to advise him of the best way of storing the car in the correct manner he thought than the people who made it.
He wrote to Ford and asked them the question.
They sent back a four page document detailing the correct way to lay the car up and how to put it back on the road afterwards.
Salient points from that document advised that the car be thoroughly cleaned inside, outside and underneath then dried off completely by driving it on a dry day for a few miles. This the owner did and then as a belt and braces measure he had under-seal professionally applied.
lubricate items such and door hinges handbrake cable etc, spray clear thin oil (WD40) into the doors with the windows wound up. Done Drain the engine oil and flush through with special storage oil. Done.
Drain that oil and then refill with new storage oil and run to warm then remove the plugs fill with more oil through the plug holes and then fit corks into the holes. Done. Similar procedures are then detailed in the document for the gear box, differential, cooling system. The fuel tank was filled to the filler neck as instructed to prevent condensation in the tank and prevent air contamination to the fuel in the tank and elsewhere in the system.
The electrical system also received attention as instructed. The wheels were removed and stored in a dry dark place and the whole exterior and under the bonnet professionally coated in Envirogarde autocare (their sticker still on the back window) a wax similar to that used by manufacturers to protect new cars.
Ford also recommended that if storage was to be for longer than a year ideally the car should be kept in a heated, but not overly warm, environment and provided that that environment was not damp the car should be covered with a cotton cloth. The integral garage within the owners house met all these conditions very well.
In February 1980 having covered 6,980 miles and less than a year since being built in Germany with all of its original parts still in place - from wiper blades to tyres - WTE 655T was correctly laid up under covers for what the owner expected to be the next 10 or so years until he had his 'brand new' Capri brought back to life for use in his retirement.
The best laid plans and all that!
The owner did not actually retire until the mid nineties and by this time he had had various other company vehicles. Vehicles that had power assisted steering, central locking 5 speed or automatic, electric everything etc and to his dismay vehicles that seemed easier to get in and out of than his beloved Capri - both for him and his wife. So WTE 655T stayed in storage until we acquired it recently direct from the owner - now 84 but still driving.
The first and only tax disc ever issued to WTE 655T remains on the wind screen it expired in April 1980. It has never had, or even been submitted for, an MOT test until our mechanic took it for one this month.
It is as though the car has been transported from the seventies to the present day in a time capsule.
We have now re-commission the car and presented it on the 2nd of December for its first ever MOT, of course it passed without advisory note. When we acquired WTE 655T everything on/in the car was as it was 34 years ago when it was assembled in Cologne with the exception of the exhaust back box and the battery which were changed by the owners mechanic earlier this year when he came to get it started, which once the petrol was drained and replaced and the other essential storage measures reversed it did with ease.
Today the original registration document (it's never had a V5C) shows just the original owner at the address, which is also where we collected the car from with a trailer, that matches the address on the bill of sale (in the history file) from Gordons of Bolton. Previous registered keepers of course show as none.
Today the mileage of this outstanding un-restored example of this iconic Ford which is such a credit to its owner and that remains pretty much as it was when the car was just 9 months old is a totally genuine and guaranteed 6,989.
WTE 655T, of course, retains all of its factory fitted panels. The code numbers are still stamped on the inner lips of both front wings for example.
In the 9 months he used the car from new the owner gives us written assurance that the car was not involved in any accidents or received any paint rectification whatsoever.
However it would seem that the front valance was repainted prior to delivery to the first owner by the supplying dealer.
It was quite common for German built seventies Fords to suffer light scratching or scrapes in places. After all they had quite a journey from Cologne by Rail/Rhine barge/RoRo car transporter ship/sea crossing/ and finally road car transporter from the docks to the UK dealer, who then often had to put right any transit damage on the pre delivery inspection.
Front valance aside though the paint work is that applied in the factory. However in one of the pictures we were informed, in the first listing, that it appears that there is a slight variation in shade to the driver's door. We have fully investigated this now and can confirm that if any paint work has been carried out on the door, 'in the flesh' you would be hard pushed to see that any has, this was certainly carried out at the factory prior to production line assembly. Again a common occurrence in the seventies due to flaws in the paint finish such as a paint runs etc.
The paint finish retains a fantastic lustre as you would expect from a car that has only seen 9 months use and has spent the remainder of its time wax covered, in a dark dry garage under a cotton covering.
There are a couple of minute stone chips and the odd minuscule surface scratch.
The passenger door has a couple of barely visible dimple dents one with a tiny scrape to the paint caused during storage.
A little of the newer surface paint has flaked off the valance in an area 3cm or so square over the years and has been touched in by us with a touch up brush.
Door, boot and bonnet shuts are excellent and as new.
Gordon Ford original number plates and tax disc holder remain.
All 5 tyres are the factory fitted Michelin ZX radials ( a must if Concours is to be your thing) and whereas they show no signs of side walls cracking as most tyres that have not been correctly stored do they should be checked professionally prior to journeys of any distant or use at speed.
The underside is superb of course no welding has ever been carried out and none is, or should ever be if correctly kept, required.
Of particular note are the black body fittings such as door handles, window trims, side mouldings etc of often in poor condition but on WTE 655T in fantastic original as new condition.
Correct sports wheels that are original and have not been refurbished with bright rim embellishers, a couple of which are slightly marked in places.
Even items so often requiring replacement like the window and windscreen rubbers have not deteriorated.
Then there are other fittings such as door hinges and door retaining straps, courtesy light switches, screws, nuts and bolts all original and retaining their as new shine.
Overall the original body and paint finish looks stunning and is as good as that of any car of this age we have ever seen.
WTE 655T's interior is exemplary in every way, totally original and again the best we have ever seen. It is completely unmolested with original Ford push button Radio. Nothing has been added or taken away from standard spec.
It is a truly lovely place to be and you will not find better. The cigar lighter has not been used this is not a car that has been smoked in or transported children or dogs.
The herringbone seat coverings have not sagged and have no marks, tears, stains or faults. The seat valances still have their build stickers as do the seat belts and pedals.
The rear seats look as though they may have never even been used.
The carpets are not worn, damaged, stained or faded the pile remains as it should be. The heel mat shows no sign of wear.
The headlining and sun visors are unmarked.
The dash is first-rate and there is no fading or cracks to the vinyl and never has been.
Door cards and rear parcel shelf (not warped) have never been cut and have no damage.
Standard Ford push button Radio.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Exceptionally clean with original stickers.
No sign of rust to the body or inner wings.
Factory marker paint remains on many of the components.
IN THE BOOT:
Carpet and trim in exceptional as new condition.
Unused sports spare wheel with new original ZX tyre.
Jack and wheel brace, unused
The spare wheel well has not trace of rust and is exceptional.
The tail gate stays up even with the parcel shelf attached.
ON THE ROAD:
WTE 655T has been re-commissioned for use by our mechanic-Lee.
Before doing anything though Lee drained the storage oil out and added correct oil. This has allowed us to run the car up to normal operating temperature and run it around on our private ground just to make sure all was well before we took it on the road- which of course it is!
The car starts on the button with manual choke.
The engine absolutely purrs. There are no untoward noises.
The gears change up and down exactly as they should.
This will be as close as you could ever hope to get to driving a new Capri.
There is a new MOT, it's first ever.
New battery and exhaust back box.
Everything feels tight and it is immediately apparent that this is an exceptionally low mileage well cared for car.
Everything checked so far worked including the rear wash wipe, heted rear window and the heater fan on both speeds.
During re-commissioning Lee will drain out the newly added oil replace it again with new and change the filter. Other fluids will also be replaced. The written instructions "Putting your car back on the road" issued by Ford 30 odd years were followed.
New spark plugs, ignition leads, distributor cap etc have been fitted as precautionary measures but we have kept the original motor craft items which are all fine.
WTE 655T is an absolute joy to drive – just delightful and Lee has told us it is indeed like driving a new Capri and the best example he has ever driven.
1. Original registration document the new owner will need to apply for one (V5c) in their name.
2. MOT December 2014
3. Original plastic document wallet containing Capri operating guide, Ford audio guide, owner handbook, Ford Capri accessories brochure.
4. letter from the owners Son confirming mileage, history, and that no paint rectification has ever been carried out since new
5. Original bill of sale from Gordons Bolton
6. Ford "Laying up your car" document
7. Original spare set of keys.
It is a safe bet that you will never again get an opportunity to own such an original, extraordinarily low mileage, 1 owner Mk III Capri 1.6 GL.
WTE 655T is more than just an exceptional 1979 MK III 1.6 GL Capri - it is the "Holy Grail" of such examples. It has unmistakably been cherished, cared for and loved by its elderly owner. It has covered just 6,900 miles from new and been used for just 9 months of its life.
For the rest of its 35 odd years it has been correctly and properly stored following the manufacturers instructions.
It is just such a right, proper and honest car and it is most certainly up there with the very best of the best, if not the best, of cars that we have previously offered.
It's a bold claim "almost certainly the lowest mileage best original condition 1979 MK III Ford Capri 1.6 GL available anywhere - worldwide" and not one that we make light heartedly, but it is one that we genuinely believe to be correct. WTE 655T is truly immaculate and would take very little to become a concours contender.
It will be of interest to collectors, investors and enthusiasts alike. Who will realise that they may never get such an opportunity again.
It is a show winner if ever we saw one.
If you did want to show it though and if you meet other Capri owners at those shows with their restored examples, no matter how well those cars have been done you will know and so will they, if they are honest, that what they have is not an original car at all like yours will be - but in fact nothing more than a reproduction of one that's probably cost them more than the real thing will have cost you! We are sure that you will not smirk or gloat though!