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Ford Capri II restoration: the perfect Capri in 9 1/2 weeks

Hardy Mutschler
Ford Capri II - Staccato restoration
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U m the Ford Capri II 3000 Ghia again It took hard work and perseverance to restore it to its new condition. 'The nights were short,' recalls Tilo Rögelein. There was life in his workshop until three at night. Friends stopped by and helped assemble his Ford Capri II. The appointment could not be postponed: Tilo had the fixed plan to show his Ford Capri II at the Retro Classics. And it opened its doors on in exactly nine weeks and three days.

It was a staccato Ford Capri II restoration, but Rögelein knows his way around the matter. The 37-year-old from Erligheim in Swabia has already slaughtered over 1,000 Ford Capri in his life, which began at exactly the right time, as he emphasizes: 1969. That was when the Ford Capri also rolled off the assembly line for the first time. He can even remember his first contact with the Ford Coupé very well. It was 1973 when his father bought a Ford Capri 2300. 'I was absolutely thrilled,' he says: 'I wanted to have a car like this later.' He had become a Ford Capri fan at the age of four.

Lord of 40 Capri

There were times in his life when he hoarded 86 Ford Capri. Today there are only around 40. He has reduced, but: The Ford Capri lures him. He can't leave him. His automotive career began consistently. At 18, he saved a third series Ford Capri 2300 Ghia from being safely scrapped. He rebuilt it and found out then how difficult it was to get spare parts. 'The Ford dealers hardly helped,' he says, 'they always had excuses.' So he bought a second Ford Capri to cannibalize, followed by numbers three and four. Today the Ford Capri parts fill three halls.

One and a half years ago, the former gardener Rögelein turned his hobby into a profession. Last December he was looking for Ford Capri tracks on the Internet again. It landed on an ad for sale - a Series II Ford Capri, three-liter Essex V6 and Ghia equipment. The car had once run barely more than 80,000 kilometers in the first hand. The seller suggested 3,500 euros as a basis for negotiation, 'a fair price for this very original car,' says Ford Capri specialist Rögelein.

The Ford Capri owner had it for himself that he ultimately paid significantly less attributable to. Shortly before the handover, he had started on one last jaunt - andpromptly collided with a deer. The bumper, grill and front apron of the Ford Capri II were dented, a headlight splintered. Tilo Rögelein bought the Ford Capri anyway. Its stock of parts is extensive enough to offer replacements for these rare pieces. 'There was only one thing I was not allowed to do: put the Ford Capri in the hall,' he says, 'then I probably wouldn't have touched it for ten years.'

The minimal solution becomes a full restoration

'It was actually worth it,' says Tilo. Not only because he discovered a mouse's nest and former residents between the headliner and sheet metal, but also because he found rust perforations hidden behind the transmission. This problem is typical of the noble Ford Capri II Ghia models: only they had tar mats for insulation. At the time, Ford had negligently glued it directly to the bare metal. Nothing happened where the glue held. However, the other areas were eaten away by water penetrating capillaries.

Tilo Rögelein made suitable sheets and welded them. He replaced the perforated blower box on the front wall of the Ford Capri II with a used part from his warehouse. He optimized the lower area so that there will be no more water here in the future - in order to live up to the old Ford promise: 'Everything is built to last,' promised the Ford Capri brochure, 'the sheet steel of the body is, for example Fourfold protection against corrosion. '

Tip for satisfied painters at top performance

Countless Ford Capri owners later painfully learned that this could not be quite right. Good specimens can only be found today with luck. Tilo Rögelein's three-liter Ghia was such a thing: he discovered some rust on the wheel arches and the pockets on the left and right of the trunk, but it wasn't much more. 'In these areas, many Ford Capri are hopelessly eaten away,' says Tilo, 'because Ford has sprayed them here with anti-drone foam.' The moisture persisted, and that was seldom without consequences. Even the rear leaf spring mounts, also known as critical Ford Capri spots, were still healthy on his copy. Only the tailgate, which appeared to be unsuspicious on the outside, revealed a lot of food inside. The Ford Capri screwdriver found a spare part in one of itsHalls.

For painting, he packed the Ford Capri II body on three stacked Euro pallets, a solution that has proven itself: 'Painters don't like to work at floor level,' says Tilo Rögelein, 'and if I bring the body to the right height, the sills are painted to the edge and the wheelhouses are cleanly painted. He opted for the authentic Stratosilver, although the color is actually too conservative for him: 'I would have preferred a loud tone, but this Ford Capri seemed too original for a color change.'

At eight kilos Cavity grease equipped for the future

A new underbody protection and the ample use of cavity grease ensure future rust protection. Rögelein sprayed eight kilograms in the Ford Capri structure, and Lokari inner fenders now protect the wheelhouses from falling rocks. While the painter was working on the body, Tilo Rögelein looked after the Essex V6 engine for the Ford Capri II 3000 Ghia. The entire cooling system had overgrown lime, including the cold run controller. Tilo dismantled the cylinder head, re-ground the valves and checked the condition - perfect, he found. He overhauled the 38 Weber carburetor, which sits between the cylinder banks, and readjusted it.

Parts such as the intake manifold or wheel suspension were blasted and painted, the exhaust comes from a battle vehicle. The Ford Capri expert made a conscious decision not to use a stainless steel version: 'They sound different than the original.' Nine weeks and three days passed breathlessly, then the Ford Capri drove again - straight to the trade fair in Stuttgart. It was a double success because he returned with the Motor Classic Cup 'Best Youngtimer'. Conclusion: 'The many night shifts were definitely worth it.'

Expert tips Ford Capri II - 'The Capri II models are not very popular'

The 1974 Capri II replaced its predecessor. With tighter lines, a large (and extremely practical) tailgate, it clearly stood out from the original Capri series that Ford offered from 1969. Only very rarely do specimens appear on the market today; mostly there are four-cylinder models. On the other hand, the V6 three-liter Capri and the 1600 GT version are particularly interesting - both are all the more rare. Despite their rarity, even these models are not expensive. 'High prices are not paid within the scene,' says Tilo Rögelein, who has been dealing with the subject of Capri for almost 20 years. Ford's ignorance is particularly regrettable, he finds: While other manufacturers have long been promoting the preservation of their former model range, Ford is hardly supporting its own tradition.

Typical weaknesses of the Ford Capri II

Rust is considered Capri's biggest deficiency. All typical areas such as rocker panels, fenders, wheel arches, lamp boxes, floor panels, rear leaf spring mounts and side pockets in between suffer from itWheel arch and rear bumper. Here Ford had injected foam to protect against droning. The Ghia models like to rust under the tar insulation mats reserved for them on the front wall. There are some repair sheets for the Capri II, and experts like Tilo Rögelein can often help with used sheets. The three-liter V6, the so-called Essex engine, offers torque, but is considered a bit weak.


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