Ads on Test: 1987 Ford Capri 280


Classic Cars magazine

by David Milloy |

It’s top money for a Capri, but as our tester David Milloy finds, this 280 is an excellent example of this most investible of MkIIIs.

This Capri looks great inside and out. There’s one major drawback – a total lack of any service history. However, its excellent-yet-unrestored condition strongly suggests that the recorded mileage of 45,646 is accurate. Hence the steep asking price.

It’s hard to find fault with the exterior. The Brooklands Green paintwork is in generally excellent order. The coachlines are also in first-rate condition, with the exception of a very small split on the rear offside. There’s a tiny mark on the rear spoiler, the black paint on the wiper arms is peeling and there are some keying marks to the black-painted driver’s door lock. Panel fit is excellent and there’s no evidence of dents, damage or corrosion. The ‘starfish’ alloy wheels in 280-specific 15-inch diameter are in very good condition and are fitted with 195/50 Courier Monza tyres all round. The seals of the factory-fitted sunroof appear to be in fine fettle.

Classic Cars magazine
©Classic Cars magazine

The interior is also very hard to fault. There’s a little creasing to the bolsters of the driver’s seat and a couple of small marks to the rear seats, but otherwise the standard leather Recaro seats are in great condition. The carpets, headlining and door cards are all in superb order, with no evidence of water ingress. The switchgear and instruments are in good cosmetic condition and working order, although there is some wear to the markings on the rear wiper button. There’s little in the way of electrically-powered gadgets to go wrong, with the windows, mirrors and sunroof all being manually operated. A modern radio/CD unit is fitted and works well, though most drivers will prefer the music of the V6.

The engine bay maintains the high standards set by the rest of the car. It’s very clean and tidy, and there’s no obvious evidence of rust, accident damage or fluid leaks. A spare alloy wheel, shod with an old Pirelli P7 tyre, is located under the false floor in the boot.

Classic Cars magazine
©Classic Cars magazine

This Capri’s Cologne V6 starts without fuss and settles to a smooth idle accompanied by a pleasing burble from the twin exhausts. Some water infused with soot emanates from both exhaust pipes on start-up. The vendors will investigate this and attend to it as necessary. Clutch travel is good, first gear engages easily and the Capri pulls smoothly away from rest. The throttle pedal is progressive without being overly sensitive, and the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is well weighted. The Capri gains speed easily and the V6 burble morphs into a growl as the revs build up. The gearchange is smooth and precise, and the brakes bring the Capri to a halt cleanly and in a straight line.

As mentioned, there’s no service history and little in the way of printed MoT certificates. The online MoT history shows that the Capri has been sparingly used over the past eight years. It was presented for testing in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019, passing each time without advisories. The seller will service the car before it’s sold and it will come with a fresh, advisory-free MoT and three month warranty.

This Ford Capri 280 is one of four Ads on Test in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

Engine 2792cc ohv V6, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection Power 158bhp @ 5700rpm Torque 162lb ft @ 4300rpm 0-60mph 7.9sec Top speed 127mph Length 4440mm Width 1699mm Fuel consumption 22-27mpg

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