While the Fox Body Ford Mustang has enjoyed a major renaissance in recent years, the same can’t really be said for its platform mate, the Mercury Capri. That’s a shame, really, because the Capri was a cool car in its own right. And in that hierarchy of things, they just don’t get any cooler than this spectacular one-of-one Mercury Cosworth Capri prototype that’s currently up for grabs at Bring a Trailer.
This is the only 1980 Mercury Cosworth Capri ever produced, and was a joint effort between McLaren Engines and Mercury Performance Marketing Corp of America. It was also developed as such from the beginning, with zero intentions of ever selling this vehicle to the general public.
As such, it’s fitted with a very slightly detuned version of the Formula-Atlantic racing 1.6L DOHC Cosworth BDA inline-four that’s fitted with dual Weber 45 DCOE carburetors, a dry-sump lubrication system, an aluminum radiator and expansion tanks, and custom tubular headers with a 2 inch exhaust system.
That mill is mated to a ZF five-speed manual transmission, which sends 186 horsepower back to a limited-slip 9 inch Ford rear end. Performance was very good for this era, with 0-60 taking around 6 seconds flat. Regardless, the car has a mere 468 miles on the odometer 40 years later.
This race car in a street car’s clothing is equipped with a slew of performance suspension components as well. They include Koni F81 shocks, front disc brakes, and gold 15×8 inch BBS wheels wrapped in 255/60 Firestone Firehawk SS tires.
The boxed steel fender flares that make this 1980 Mercury Cosworth Capri so unique were fabricated by Ron Fournier and featured in his 1984 book, The Metal Fabricator’s Handbook. Other exterior mods include a front spoiler, functional hood and brake ducts, and black moldings with red accents.
Despite its racing intentions, the interior of this prototype is quite laden with amenities. They include heated leather Recaro Model C seats, an AM/FM/cassette stereo, and Stewart Warner gauges.
Altogether, the 1980 Mercury Cosworth Capri is one of the most unique and interesting concepts produced in the early ’80s, and it just proves that perhaps the “other” Fox Body is deserving of a little more attention, too.