The Sexy European: 46k-Mile 1976 Mercury Capri II 4-Speed

  • February 24, 2021
The Rundown
  • Ford 2.3L SOHC Gasoline I-4 Engine
  • 88 hp, 116 lb-ft of Torque
  • 0-60 mph in 12.2 Seconds, 103 mph Top-Speed
  • 46,018 Original Miles Stated
  • RWD, 4-Speed Manual
  • Few Left Around, Hard to Find a Clean One
Why We Like It

Upon its introduction in 1971, the Mercury Capri was billed as “The Sexy European,” which all tied into the Lincoln-Mercury Division’s place as Ford’s “captive import” division. You’ll recall that Lincoln-Merc also handled sales and distribution of the DeTomaso Pantera, and later a couple of other Euro model Fords sold in North America as Merkurs. The Capri was updated into the Capri II for 1974, and with that came large, yet fairly well integrated body colored safety bumpers, and the switch from a conventional trunk to a hatchback. The model offered some pretty sporty attributes for the time, including rack-and-pinion steering and front disc brakes. The standard engine in the Cap II is Ford’s homegrown 2.3L I-4 (shared with various Pintos and the Mustang II), which replaced all of the Capri’s prior 1600 and 2000 cc European I-4 engines, and the hot(ter) option was a more powerful and lusty sounding 2.8L V6. The German-built Capri II enjoyed an unfortunately short production life, available here from ‘74-‘78, when Ford migrated the Capri nameplate onto a Mercury version of the new Fox-bodied Mustang beginning in 1979.


If you want a Capri II, this one is worthy of your consideration. It appears quite original, and the mileage is extremely low for its age. Too bad it’s not the V6 version, but the 2.3L is a trusty and well-known engine that gets pretty good fuel mileage and can be easily modified for more power, if that’s what you want. The yellow color is appealing, and these cars have pretty nice interiors for the time, plus they handle well. The seller states that it runs great, starts up every time with no problems, and if you like your rides on the rare side, it’s likely that on any given Saturday morning, you’ll be the only one at your local Cars & Coffee with a Capri.the-sexy-european-46k-mile-1976-mercury-capri-ii-4-speeds-l1600-14


Valuation Verdict

Hagerty lists a #1 Concours condition Capri II I-4 at $14k, and a #2 condition Excellent car at $8,500, so lots of negotiation bandwidth here. The low miles and original condition certainly count for something, but in terms of comparables and such, you can also equate the Capri to other like kinds, such as Mustang IIs and Toyota Celicas, and really fine examples of those can run up nearer to $10k+, so this Capri II’s ask isn’t entirely beyond reason, but still strikes us as modestly optimistic, leading us to declare it fair market at just below the buy-it-now price.

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