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The Ford Capri Laser Page

Please bear in mind this article is historical and was written circa year 1995.  This Capri was sold around 2002 when our second white Laser was purchased.

A Very Bad Start

My love affair with Ford Capris first began in 1992 when I was driving around in a rather tatty Ford Escort. I had decided I rather fancied a Capri for a while - don't ask me why because at the time I didn't know anyone who owned one. It must have been those repeats of 'Minder' ! I was fighting a losing battle with rust on the Escort and the clutch was getting very dodgy. I decided to start looking....

The first Capri I saw in a local dealer's showroom was an immaculate metallic silver A-reg 1.6 LS for £1995 that had 44K on the clock. It had four new tyres and new exhaust and was free of rust. I was immediately taken in by the long bonnet and 'growling' looks. On the test drive, the car drove well and I was impressed how powerful and solid it felt compared to my Escort.

After a bit of haggling and discussion over some work (the car didn't have rear seat belts which I required), I paid my £200 deposit and went away a happy man.

Now being a cautious fellow, I decided to check on the history of the car. During my test drive I located the service history log book which was full of dealer stamps. It also had the details of the previous owner and I decided to call him and ask him a bit about the car. I was horrified to learn that the car had been around the clock ! and had done 144K. It was straight back to the garage where the dealer protested his innocence. To cut a long story short, the service book was a stolen one with the cover replaced. I got my money back and reported the incident to Trading Standards Officials. I was so careful yet nearly got duped. Let that be a lesson to you all !

Better Luck Next Time!

I have to admit that this incident put me off Capris for a while. After a few weeks however I was on the look out again. Eventually I spotted my new car at Booth and Phipps in Bicester, Oxon (long since disappeared!). It was a gorgeous D-reg 2.0 Litre LASER Capri in Diamond white. The mileage was a mere 40K and I immediately got this verified by the previous owner who was very helpful. The car was priced at £3495 which was at the top end of the price range. Compared to the previous Capri this was the business. It had 4 spoke alloy wheels, electric aerial, sunroof, 5 speed gear box & a decent sound system. I went for a test drive and fell in love with 'her' straight away. The twin choke Weber carb. made a huge difference to the performance and the newer car handled the curves better.

The main problem now was the price which was more than I had budgeted for. After some haggling, I got the dealer to give me £1500 for the Escort. This was amazing because I had only paid £1100 for it 18 months ago! As a footnote, they re-sold the Escort for £2495 a few weeks later but I had to admit that they had tarted it up nice. Who said cars don't go up in value !

The New Arrival

The Capri was just fantastic! I loved driving around with my bum only 8 inches off the floor peering over that huge bonnet. My ex-wife hated it and wanted something sensible like a Cavalier. Anyway, life settled in with our Capri and everything went well for a while. I had a warranty with Booth and Phipps and they agreed to do some jobs on the car: the rear differential was slowly leaking oil, and the front shock absorbers were past their sell by date. I have to say that Booth and Phipps were very good to me, especially their mechanic who was a Capri fan. He even gave me a set of locking wheel nuts for the alloys.

The Capri was running like a Swiss watch and on a good drive we were getting 34 miles to the gallon out of her. One drawback is that she only ran on leaded fuel which meant the petrol bills were higher. Minor problems occurred in the first year such as a split radiator (the AA did it for me - a replacement radiator was £40) and the exhaust blew a hole ( complete system with 2 year warranty was £65).

This web page is owned

and operated by Mark Swetnam

Last updated 26/10/21
©1995 to 2021

E-mail: Mark@Swetnam.co.uk

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