At $7,400, Is This 1993 Mercury Capri XR2 a First

Nice Price or No Dice 1993 Mercury Capri XR2

For better or worse, we are unlikely to find a Mercury Capri XR2 in as nice of shape as today’s Nice Price or No Dice example, but does that ensure we’ll find its price tag equally as nice?

When I go out for my weekend run (rock music on Saturdays/podcasts on Sundays) I pass by a house a couple of blocks away that has not one Ford Crown Vic Interceptor in its driveway, but five. Someday I’ll jog over there and ask the people who live there what that’s all about.

Many people like to drive decommissioned law enforcement cars and trucks since they tend to be more robust and a bit more utilitarian than the average bear. That was the role yesterday’s 2013 Chevy Tahoe SSV (Special Service SUV) played, and quite a few of you lauded it for its service in the comments. Unfortunately, having been a working truck, it had battle scars and a few mechanical issues to show for a life lived in the line of duty. For most of you, that simply didn’t add up to the seller’s $15,000 asking price, and the Tahoe teetered over in a 74 percent No Dice loss.

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I’d like you to think for a moment about the heritage behind today’s 1993 Mercury Capri XR2. The Capri name is one that Ford Motor Company had employed for literally decades, beginning with the Lincoln Capri in 1952. Ford of England borrowed the name for a two-door coupe edition of the brand’s Consul and later for its Cortina-based mini-Mustang. That car’s successor in America was actually based on the Mustang, taking over the role previously played by the Cougar. Then came this Capri, designed and built by Ford Australia and available for the first time ever as a factory convertible.

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The Aussie Capri is based on Mazda’s respected 323 platform and carries a DOHC 1.6 liter four that’s kissing cousins to the engine in Mazda’s MX5 Miata. Here, however, buyers could ink a turbocharger checkbox that boosted its output to 134 horsepower. That could be paired with either an automatic or, as in this car’s case, a five-speed manual.

The bodywork has some history too as it started out as the lovely Barchetta show car designed by Ghia. The interior, which admittedly doesn’t look all that special, is reportedly the work of ItalDesign. Other benefits of the Capri over the contemporary Mazda Miata at the time of launch included a modest back seat with trunk pass-through and a respectably lower price tag.

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Sadly for Ford, it didn’t work out. Today, the Capri name, Mercury, and Ford Australia are all pushing up daisies. If it weren’t for cars like this amazingly low mileage (44,000) edition, how could we ever judge where things went wrong?

Aside from the appreciable lack of use, this Capri also benefits from being the top-of-the-line XR2 edition as well as the rare four-season hardtop. Per the ad, the soft top folded up beneath is in excellent shape. Despite its Ghia pedigree, the Capri’s styling was never universally appealing and it has aged similarly. That’s not to say it’s homely, just a little awkward from some angles. It’s also a car that looks far better with the top off than on.

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The interior looks all original and in phenomenal shape. BMW should have used whatever Ford was using for these dashboards since it’s crack-free even after all these years. The cloth upholstery appears to be in great shape too — front and rear — and the headliner shows only minor separation. The car even has the period-correct Ford stereo in the dash, down below the very ’90s tiny LCD clock. It carries a driver’s side airbag but passengers are SOL.

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According to the ad, the tires on the factory alloys are new and amazingly, the A/C still blows cold. It offers a completely rust-free body and, while the engine bay could stand a good cleaning, nothing seems amiss in there. Since it’s all Mazda stuff, mechanical parts should still be fairly easy to obtain.

The asking price for this clean-title Capri is $7,400 which, appropriately enough, is still well off what a contemporary Miata in similar condition would pull.

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What’s your take on this wonderfully presented Capri and that $7,400 price? Is that a reasonable asking price for a taste of what once was the Miata’s closest (familial) competitor? Or, does that price tag make this Capri the answer to a question no one ever asked?

You decide!

Fort Myers, Florida, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to John W. for the hookup!

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