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Ford Capri RS 2600 driving report: RS 2600 - the 911 failure

Dino Eisele
Ford Capri RS 2600 driving report
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The future was colorful, and it began at a quarter past eight. “Make a wish” was the name of the
G ameshow for the new decade: German chop bearers discussed free love with communards, the painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser asked tenants to paint the house facades and the most famous of all candidates was a 17-year-old schoolgirl whose see-through blouse became the national theme.

Motorists' wish of the 70s: cheap cars that are a lot of fun

It was that simple, the wish fulfillment in Germany in 1970. The sixties had brought the aggregate concrete facade to the body generation and the hi-fi Plant, the package holiday and the automatic dishwasher. And now they wanted the impossible: Cars that are finally fun, at prices that not only specialists could pay, but also skilled workers.

In America, they had seen the end of the automotive corporate society half a decade earlier . And that's why it was first the German daughters of the US corporations who discovered the make a wish game in the sales salon. With the GT, Opel launched a Volks-Corvette, followed by Ford and the Ford Capri, which copied the Mustang's triumph from 1969. Nevertheless, “Der Spiegel” was not alone in its opinion of the Ford Capri: “It looks better than it is,” wrote the Hamburg news magazine, referring to the all-too-gentle power output of the successful coupé.

Ford Capri: Hot on the outside, mild on the inside

In fact, the Ford Capri looked as important as a real sports car. But whoever drove it initially had to resort to the most powerful V6 engine with a displacement of 2.3 liters and 125 hp so as not to be thrown off the left lane by sparse Mercedes /8 chauffeurs. That could be even more disturbing than brightly painted house facades or the free love of the Communards. And the shape of the Ford Capri RS 2600 simply aroused the desire for more.

But the US corporations were also familiar with this trend: They had already launched an armada of loud, nasty muscle cars . The same niche now opened up in a distant country that had recently celebrated a VW 1500 S with two carburettors as a miracle of agility.

At Ford in Cologne, a more powerful engine was on the shelf in 1969: It came from 26 M, that pompous version of the P7 series thathelplessly pinned to the tracks of the Opel Commodore. Above all, however, the German Ford branch has had a racing department since 1968, which, under the direction of the young Jochen Neerpasch, was allowed to deal with the tightening of the Ford Capri.

Ford Capri was Germany's first muscle car

The result was the Ford Capri RS 2600 - Germany's first muscle car, a sports car from the Group's modular system that provided the thrust of a Porsche 911 S, but only cost a little more than half. “One believes,” wrote an euphoric Manfred Jantke in auto motor und sport , “the Ford Capri RS 2600 wants to make up for what all Ford Capri 1300s together have failed to do so far.”

The Ford Capri RS 2600 still manages that today. And unlike in the rough years of his youth, it is enough if he stands still in front of his viewer and fixes him with his double headlights. It is then not difficult for him to understand why love could only be a Ford for large parts of the parent generation.

Many of them came from the Beetle and then hooked into a Ford 15 M Coupé or a B in installments -Kadett Rallye in matt black rally design. So they now stood in the showroom, saw the long hood of the Ford Capri RS 2600, the sweeping side bead and the profiled webs of its C-pillar. They found it all just as exciting as the Oswalt Kolle column in the “Neue Revue”.

Matt black with aluminum rims, but without bumpers

Sure, mostly they only bought a Ford Capri 1700 after all. But the lower Ford Capri RS 2600 will have made you nervous because it seemed to be crouching on the ground and it was newfangled Wore light alloy rims, no more chrome-plated hubcaps like those on the brazen Ford 20 M. They liked it because, with a matt black hood and no bumpers, it tore apart the fathers' sedate car world. Because almost everything was black and therefore looked sporty. Not only the upholstery of the sports seats in the Ford Capri RS 2600, which was reminiscent of the fabric of corduroy trousers, but also the headliner, the rear panel and even the engine compartment.

The engine compartment of the Ford Capri RS 2600 is only effective today Viewers rather touching with its low-tech content - the archaic Kugelfischer injection pump, for example, which hugs the right-hand side of the V6 engine and whose transparent fuel lines are a bit reminiscent of drinking straws. Next to it, close to the standing plate, the air filter, also matt black, is lost. And on the engine block is a silver air collector made of cast aluminum, on which is written FORD in massive capital letters.

It was, together with the manifold and the slightly higher compression, a home-made tuning package for the Ford Capri RS 2600. But of course it was enough to cause a sensation: Ford fans whispered tothat the 150 hp of this engine are only in the brochure. In reality it is 160 or 170, more than the performance of four Beetles. Four bugs! In addition, Alexander Onassis, the shipowner's son, had just lost a race against Ford works driver François Mazet in a Ford Capri RS 2600 in Paris. Onassis drove a Porsche 911 S, list price 29,980 marks. 15,850 were on the price tag in the Ford Salon. In between there was a quarter of a condominium in a prime location in Wattenscheid in 1970.

Dark bass can be heard from the RS exhaust

It wanted to be paid off, which is why very few Ford Capri RS 2600 admirers actually felt the tight grip of the bucket seats. Her wives never held the map-reading lamp, which is on the passenger side of the cockpit. Together they were denied the hum of the electric fuel pump and the roaring rumble of the Ford Capri RS 2600 exhaust after the 2.6-liter engine woke up.

The dark bass settles over the ticking of the valve train, the only timbre that the Ford Capri RS 2600 shares with its middle-class V6 colleagues. It has long since looked as nostalgic as the deeply cupped steering wheel with a leather rim, that valance that must have been a promise of ferocity and toughness for the medium-sized companies of the 1970s. The steering of the Ford Capri RS 2600, a nuance too sluggish in its response behavior for modern terms, was a model of precision in the make-a-wish age. The somewhat long shift travel was also not noticed.

Much more important was the acceleration of the Ford Capri RS 2600: from zero to 100 in 7.7 seconds. And it was even faster: Ford dealers held the plastic doors and Plexiglass panes of the racing version with which Jochen Mass, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Dieter Glemser were on the circuit are ready. The curb weight of the Ford Capri RS 2600 could thus be reduced from 1,050 to 890 kilograms.

However, just as edifying is the serenity that a Ford Capri RS 2600 with its high-volume genes shows in everyday life. It is smooth, elastic driving without holes when accelerating or resisting, if you want to be fourth at 60 km /h, but also with long-lasting neutrality on winding country roads.

Obscene like the young Tom Jones

Sure, the Ford Capri RS 2600 doesn't like to bounce, and in the border area it comes short and dry with the rear, as has always been its kind is. In moments like this, it arouses the desire for the fully twisted third who still helps to stir the worldview of urgent TDI pilots. And when the Ford Capri RS 2600 makes the speedometer needle vibrate over 200, then it roars as wonderfully obscene as the young Tom Jones, who would have fit well behind the small leather steering wheel.

That the Ford Capri RS 2600 is there bruteGait sucks a good 17 liters of super through the fuel tube, be granted to him. The real breaking point remains the driver's conscience: should he really do this to him? Those in the know know that there aren't many left. Shortly after the oil crisis, in February 1974, production ceased. The Ford Capri scene estimates the number of survivors from the Ford Capri RS 2600 tribe at around 100 copies.

The Ford Capri RS 2600s have pushed the image of Ford to new heights and on the racetrack with the Porsche 911 and BMW CS raked. You were tempted when Germany talked about free love and see-through blouses. Eternal youth is therefore certain of the Ford Capri RS 2600. And maybe it's even enough for a piece of immortality: In Cologne today they are talking about a new Ford Capri, a sports coupé with a long nose, rear-wheel drive and double headlights, like those on the Ford Capri RS 2600 at the time. It could be that simple: wish fulfillment in Germany ..


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