A 1981 Ford Capri built for Henry Ford II will be auctioned this week. It was kept for Ford’s use when he travelled to the UK, and is one of three vehicles modified especially for him.
The Capri 2.8 injection started life being hand-picked off the Cologne production line, before undergoing a transformation that included additional layers of paint, stricter quality control and comfort features such as a C3 automatic transmission and wider, leather trimmed seats and door cards.
Henry Ford II was the grandson of company founder, Henry Ford. He was also president of the company from 1945 to 1960, chief executive officer from 1945 to 1979, and chairman of the board of directors from 1960 to 1980. Plus he was responsible for projects including the GT40 and Mustang.
The bespoke car was used by the Ford family until 1983 before being sold to Ron Mellor, then head of Ford product development, who kept it for three years before selling it to Alan Jarman, a designer at Ford. Jarman used the car to commute from Torquay to Dunton, Essex.
The Capri’s odometer now shows 68,958 miles, only 6,800 of which were covered in the last 28 years. The vehicle is ‘fresh from a comprehensive refresh in February 2021, restoring it to its full glory,’ says auction website Car & Classic.
Its value is estimated to be between £25,000 and £35,000 and it goes onto the virtual auction block with a vast array of history, including old invoices and MOTs.
“Fast Fords are always highly sought after, but this Capri is much more than that,” said Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic.
“Specifically prepared by the legendary SVE department for one of the most influential people in the history of Ford, then subsequently enjoyed by other key members of the company, it is a widely appreciated, documented and renowned part of the Ford story.”
Daniel Puddicombe writes for Motoring Research