By 1986 time was running out for the Ford Capri. Sadly, there was no longer a place for this 'specialist' car which took too much time and too much effort to build. There was also no disguising the fact that it was an 'old' car, completely out-of-step with the rest of the Ford range.
But, to Ford's eternal credit, the company didn't allow the Capri to simply fade away. In 1986 rumours began to circulate that it planned to produce a very special, final limited-edition of the 2.8 Injection. The specification, which was yet to be finalised, was for a 200 bhp turbocharged engine produced by Turbo Technics who were already marketing a similar conversion through Ford dealers. There was even talk of a 245 bhp twin-turbo version. Plus, at long last, it was to get rear disc brakes. A run of 500 was planned, all with a special '500' badge. Of course, it was all too good to be true. At the end of 1986 the last of a final batch of 1038 Capri's came off the Ford production line.
Badged as the Capri 280 and resplendent in metallic Brooklands Green paintwork with a tasteful red and white coachline, the only change to its mechanical specification was the fitment of ultra' low-profile 195/50 VR 15 Pirelli P7's on 7J x 15 wheels. These kept the original rolling diameter of the standard 2.8 Injection Special wheel-and-tyre package. The superbly-comfortable Recaro front seats were trimmed in Raven hide, with matching leather-trimmed steering wheel and leather gaiters for the handbrake and gearlever.
Priced at £11,999, it was not a bargain but no one would deny it was an instant classic. After 18 years of production, Ford had allowed its old stager to make a dignified exit.
Today (1995) there are an estimated 500 still on the road. There are at least three that were never registered. Most are D-registered but I have seen several E-reg and at least one F-reg versions (there is one in my home town, St. Ives, Cambs!). A few of the 280's were fitted with the Turbo Techniques 200 bhp turbo conversion. These are very beautiful Capris indeed !
" The end of an era - the very beautiful Capri 280 in Brooklands Racing Green"