In early 1995 I received a letter inviting me to a 'Fast Ford' magazine rolling road 'Dyno shoot-out' with 19 other Capris. The event was held at Interpro, Bristol (01454) 888900 and was great fun. Most of the Capris were big 2.8i's, many of which were turbocharged. I felt a bit intimidated to say the least!
Anyway for those of you who don't know, a rolling road is a simulated road test where your car is tested under 'load conditions' as it is strapped to a set of rollers that can measure the power and torque generated by your car wheels as it accelerates to top speed. The cars are strapped down because of the high speeds involved. The car is gently brought into 4th gear and then the accelerator is floored. Over the next few seconds (or minutes in some cases!) the car accelerates up to the red line on the RPM gauge and a power curve is obtained. It is quite frightening to watch a car going at 115 mph right next to where you are standing ! To keep the engine cool during the test, a large fan blows air at the radiator.
" My Laser Capri is put through its paces "
As my Capri was un-modified apart from electronic ignition, and has (at the time of the test) 82,000 on the clock I was expecting to reach about 90 bhp at the wheels. A brand new 2.0 Laser My Capri is rated at 98 bhp but as a rule of thumb, the power of an engine decreases about 5 bhp for every 50,000 miles on the clock. My Capri managed 97.5 bhp at the wheels at 5250 rpm with a maximum torque of 114 bhp. I was very pleased with this result and the operator said that the car was running well and the carb was well set up. Fast Ford were quite surprised when I told them that my car had not been to a garage in 50,000 miles.