The Ford in Miniature – Capri III

By Dave Turner

Photographs and illustrations of some of the models discussed can be found at the end of the article, as can a listing of all the models mentioned.

“For People Who Do Things In Style”

Ford Capri III 1978-1987

Ford launched their Capri series in January 1969, the first version of which lasted until the end of 1973, miniatures of these were covered in this column in MAR 49 back in February 1991. Second series Capris lasted until early 1978 by which time production had ceased in the UK, henceforth to be carried out exclusively in Germany. MAR 265 (October 2012) featured the Mark II Capri in miniature. Now it’s time to look at models of the Mark III Capri, production of which ceased in December 1986, although sales of the final examples continued through to 1988.

Throughout these years the basic structure of all the Capris remained the same. Giving the Mark II a softer more rounded look was achieved by providing it with slightly bulbous sides that curved back to the Mark I’s original narrow floorpan. Despite an almost negligible development budget Ford managed to give the subsequent Mark III a little more “thrust” by putting quad headlights into a sharper nose and taking the bumpers round to the wheel openings. Documenting in detail the many and subtle changes to the Mark III cars over the years would become tedious but briefly the line began with four engine choices – a 1300 ohv, 1600 and 2000 ohc, and 3 litre V6. Base, L, GL, S and Ghia degrees of finish and equipment with a mass of options created a complex overall choice. The ’S’ was immediately recognised by the “S” side striping in place of the bodyside rubbing strip.

The base models soon disappeared from the listings while in March 1980 a limited run GT4 appeared based on the 1600L featuring some rather wild striping and a few tweaks to the trim details. In January 1981 an “LS” was added featuring the 1600 ohc engine and having the feel of being between the “L” and a de-trimmed “S” . At the same time more ‘specials’ included the Tempo based on a 1300 or 1600 “L”, the Cameo based on the “LS” and the Calypso that was in effect a two-tone “LS”. In June 1981 the Cologne 2.8i V6 arrived to replace the Essex 3 litre V6 and in effect saved the Capri range from what was intended to be imminent termination. This German engined Capri in effect replaced the 3.0 Ghia, as that level of trim then only came with the 2000 ohc unit. This Cologne V6 engined car was developed by Tickford into some quite potent and desirable cars right through to the end of Capri production. From Jan 1982 no more 1300s were made while just four months later the Cabaret arrived in 1.6 or 2.0 form – more or less a two-tone finished “L” .

By mid 1983 the Capri range had been whittled down to just three models, the 1.6 LS, the 2.0 S and the 2.8i. Colour coding of the grille, mirrors etc came with the Laser 1.6 and 2.0 in January 1984, a treatment carried out to the 2.8i from September when it became subtitled “Special” along with 7 spoke alloy wheels, limited slip diff and improved trim and fittings. This and the two Laser models carried the Capri flag into 1986 although a rather special revised Tickford Capri was offered in small numbers (2 ?) from December 1986, coinciding with the end of all Capri production. For a couple of years the UK had been the only market that sold the Capri, and after the last one was made a total of 4,400 were left to be sold in 1987, and a few (150) in 1988. A last run special was created with the 280, unofficially known as the Brooklands, these featured 15” rather than 13” wheels and 1038 of them were produced. Eventually around £2000 had to be lopped off their list price of £11,999 to shift the last few.

Unlike the situation with the first Capris when contemporary models of the car were quite numerous, models and toys of the Mark III were rarely produced throughout the real cars production years. However they seem to have been issued almost continually ever since!

As an indication of how collecting can be complicated, fascinating and also frustrating is clearly illustrated when investigating a particular model Capri III that was trialled by Atlas as part of a proposed range. This was discussed at length by David Lynn in a recent issue of Diecast Collector and he came to the conclusion that the short trial run of model Capris was based on tooling by Ixo who had produced some resin Capri III models in their Premium X range and went on to make more under White Box and Ixo brands. The Atlas example depicted a 2.8i of 1981 in red while the Premium X models were of the Tickford development cars, a rhd white one for the handling and the red for power train development. The interior of the Tickford was finished in a plain light grey while the walnut dash and instruments were created with stick-on printed labels. When Ixo produced their 1982 lhd 2.8i on their own label it featured a very plain base marked simply 1:43 Ford Capri with a feint Ixo logo but the model is nicely detailed otherwise. The base is significant as the Whitebox lhd 3.0S has exactly the same base minus the Ixo logo. The selfsame ‘pepperpot” wheels were featured although these weren’t a standard ’S’ fitting but no doubt could be optioned. Also available on the Whitebox label were a 1980 rhd GT4 and a 1982 rhd 2.8i. A further issue of these Capris came under the RBA label and it is believed that these were also the same as the White Box examples.

Autosculpt miniatures were made in Sheffield from 1993 and were solid aluminium tinted resin around 1:90 in scale. All three Capris were included, their Mk III is listed as a 1978 and as it features a tailgate mounted spoiler but lacks the side rubbing strips it has to depict an ’S’ although the four spoke wheels don’t fit that assumption – the ’78 ’S’ had eight spoke wheels. A very small number of larger solid miniatures were also produced – usually for car clubs, and one of these was a Capri III, possibly a 2.8i in 1:38. Pepperpot wheels and twin exhaust tailpipes support this suspicion.

B S Design kits from Germany are similar in some ways as they are 1:87 solid resin but in kit form. The also produced a few plastic models in 1:25 and although a Capri III in the larger size has been recorded at some time no further details have been found.

More H0 scale Mk IIIs from Germany came from Herpa, with their quite simple plastic miniature that is marked “Ghia 3.0” on its base. Initially it came in self coloured plastic with a silver base/front panel/bumpers component but an alternative issue came in a metallic finish with black base and appropriately coloured lights. these were possibly contemporary with the real cars. A more recent issue depicted the German Zakspeed Turbo RS, 200 of the real cars were made from 1981 and possibly inspired the Tickford project. The Herpa RS featured a matt black bonnet. On the subject of the RS Mk III, very nice 1:87 and 1:43 models of the Turbo came from Neo featuring the subtle flared wheel openings to accommodate the wider wheels and the extra large rear wing on the tailgate. Unfortunately the mirrors on the smaller model have a tendency to fall off if you look at them too closely!

Another range of resin kits but in 1:43 was C G Hobby and included was a kit to make a Mark II or Mark III no doubt as a competition car. An example was purchased around 30 years ago but has not been seen for a long time amidst the mass of other various unbuilt Ford kits.

Back in 1980 Corgi produced two sizes of Mark III – 1:36 and 1:58 – all were 3.0 ’S’ versions, one in each size was sold as ”The Professionals” TV series car while a second colour was offered in the larger line and a several other colours were produced in the smaller scale. While in the Corgi arena an interesting Mark III in plastic that scales out to 1:19 is meant to be a racer but other than a mass of stick-on labels the model is in stock Mark III shape. A long antenna emerges through the left side front wing while the obscured interior contains all manner of electrical gubbins. A battery cover in the base reads “Corgi M5700 Capri made in Hong Kong to Mettoy Company Limited specifications”.

The Vanguards range is of course part of the Corgi operation, although it began as a Lledo project. Their range of Capri III models runs to around 20 variations although the variety is not as great as might be imagined. There have been three versions of the 2.8i plus a 280 and a 2.8i Special, a single 3.0 Ghia, one Calypso and no less than six 3.0 “S”, the rest are competition or Police versions. Interesting is that the first Vanguards issue of the Mark III has a detailed base marked “Corgi Drive Time Ford Capri Mk III” while all the rest have a simple “Vanguards Ford Capri Mk 111” marking.

Minichamps entered the Mk III arena in 2003 with a very nice 1979 3.0 ’S’ following a year later with a colour change on the same subject. In 2007 a 2.8i came along which compared to the 3.0 ’S’ was more or less a simple colour and decal change, same interior and very well detailed base with twin exhaust system picked out in silver with the addition of the distinctive ‘Pepperpot’ wheels. In the same year a 2.0 GT4 was added and again this was another colour change, while the same base had the right side part of the twin exhaust system was left unpainted and that side tailpipe was omitted. All very nice models of course.

Mark IIIs from Norev were all 2.8 of various derivatives, albeit in two scales. The 1:43 example is a superb miniature of the 2.8 Super Injection as it was known in Germany while the 1:18 scale models were treated to subtle changes to the wheels, grille colour and decals to create at least three different versions, 2.8 Injection, 2.8 Super Injection and 280 Brooklands. The larger models have among the neatest opening features seen on any models together with extremely detailed engine compartments.

More multiple Mark IIIs came from Oxford, albeit in 1:76 scale. At least two colours of each version – 3.0 ’S’, 2.0 Laser and 2.8i. plus one in police livery. These are relatively simple but attractively finished. In the same scale a list of models was produced by Maz Woolley in MAR 214 (August 2007) and that included an entry for a TPM resin/white metal kit Capri Mark III Ghia but as yet this has not been seen by this column.

By quite a long way the first model of a Mark III 2.8i that was recorded came from the Mini Racing Prestige stable of 1:43 handbuilt resin models. This was almost contemporary with the real thing and stood alone in the Capri cabinet for a while. It is now one of many while the depth of dust it has collected is evidence of how much longer it has been there! Like many of the early resin offerings, the body is not as crisp and well defined as the more recent products, but it was appreciated for many years. Despite having the ‘pepperpot’ wheels of the first 2.8i, it also has colour coded grille and front panel of the later Special/Super versions.

Finally, while not quite in the “model’ category, Scalextric did some Mark III Capris, at least two of which were quite ‘stock’ other than the inevitable imaginative colour decorations that are all part of the slot racing scene. Very likely several will have been repainted to match owners real cars.

Ford Capri Mark III Models.

Atlas (Ixo) China 1981 2.8i rhd WLR 200X 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 199 1982 2.8i lhd 289 EGF 75 104mm 1:43 diecast
Premium X China TIC 001 1982 Tickford rhd White 100mm 1:43 resin
Premium X China TIC 002 1982 Tickford rhd Red 100mm 1:43 resin
Whitebox China 163 1980 GT4 rhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
Whitebox China 247 1982 2.8i lhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
Whitebox China 152058 1981 3.0’S’ lhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
RBA China C120 1982 2.8i 104mm 1:43 diecast
Autosculpt UK FO3 1978 ’S’ 43mm 1:97 resin
Autosculpt UK 001 FO 2.8i 120mm 1:38 resin
BS Design Germany 1:43 plastic
C G Hobby KC4 MkII or MkIII 1:43 resin kit
Corgi UK 342 3.0 ’S’ rhd Professionals 129mm 1:36 diecast
Corgi UK 343 3.0 ’S’ rhd yellow 129mm 1:36 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 61 3.0 ’S’ rhd  red 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 64 3.0 ’S’ rhd Professionals 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 141 3.0 ’S’ rhd white 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi Hong Kong M5700 radio control 228mm 1:19 plastic
Corgi Drive Time 10800 1983 2.8i rhd A481 WKU 104mm 1:43 diecast
Corgi Vanguards 10803 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd XFB 520T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10807 3.0 ’S’ rhd TDF 292R 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10808 2.8i chrome plated 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10809 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd UOO 303T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10810 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd SLT 741W 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10811 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd TUF 30S 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10812 1982 2.8i rhd UMG 545Y 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10813 1986 280 rhd D194 UVW 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10814 1978 3.0 Ghia rhd VKT 78T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10815 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd VHK 494S 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10816 1986 2.8i Special rhd D240 VRG 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10817 1982 Calypso rhd SME 977Y 104mm 1:43 diecast
Herpa Germany 2005 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 3005 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd  metallic 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 3505 1982 ’S’ lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 28509 1981 RS  lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Mini Racing France MRA 0090P 1981 2.8i lhd 98mm 1:43 resin kit
Prestige France PM 95 1981 2.8i rhd 98mm 1:43 resin
Minichamps China 82220 1979 3.0 ’S’ lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82222 1979 3.0 ’S’ 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82225 1982 2.0 GT4 lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82226 1984 2.8i lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Neo China 87240 1982 Turbo lhd K AW 240 52mm 1:83 resin
Neo China 43326 1981 Turbo lhd K AW 325 105mm 1:43 resin
Norev 182710 1981 2.8i rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182711 1984 2.8i Super lhd M CW 2095 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182713 1983 2.8i rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182716 1982 2.8i 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182717 1982 2.8i lhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182718 1986 280 rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 705610 1984 2.8i Super lhd  K A1 272 103mm 1:43 diecast
Oxford China CAP 001 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd  OWC 627W 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 002 1980 3.o ’S’ rhd  OAR 576W 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 003 1985 2.0 Laser rhd C99 UUE 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 004 1986 2.0 Laser rhd  D272 REW 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 005 1986 2.8i rhd D959 WTW 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 006 1983 2.8i rhd A233 YNV 58mm 1:76 diecast
Scalextric UK C117 3.0 rhd 132mm 1:33 plastic
Scalextric UK C300 3.0 rhd with lights 132mm 1:33 plastic
Skytrex UK 111 31mm 1:139 solid metal
TPM UK 78F43 1978-81 Ford Capri Ghia 1978-81 1:76 Resin/White Metal kit
Illustrations: Ford Capri Mark III


Norev 1:18 diecast : 182713, 1983 2.8i rhd

Norev 1:18 diecast : 182711, 1984 2.8i Super lhd

Corgi 1:19 radio control plastic from Hong Kong : M5700

Autosculpt 1:38 resin from UK : 001 FO, 2.8i

Scalextric 1:33 plastic slot car from UK C117, rhd

Whitebox 1:43 diecast from China : 152058, 1981 3.0 ’S’ lhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10814, 3.0 Ghia rhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10803, 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10813, 1986 280 rhd

IXO 1:43 diecast from China : 199, 1982 2.8i lhd

Premium X 1:43 resin from China: TIC 001, 1982 Tickford rhd

Norev 1:43 diecast : 705610, 1984 2.8i Super lhd

Corgi Drive Time 1:43 diecast from China: 10800, 1983 2.8i rhd

Prestige 1:43 resin from France : PM 95, 1981 2.8i rhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82220, 1979 3.0 ’S’ lhd


Neo 1:43 resin from China : 43326, 1981 Turbo lhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82226, 1984 2.8i lhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82225, 1982 GT4 lhd

Corgi 1:36 diecast from UK : 342, 3.0 ’S’ “Professionals” rhd

Corgi Jr. 1:58 diecast from UK : 61, 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Corgi Jr. 1:58 diecast from UK : 64 3.0 ’S’ “Professionals” rhd

Oxford 1:76 diecast : CAP 003, 1985 2.0 Laser rhd

Oxford 1:76 diecast : CAP 002, 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Herpa 1:90 plastic from Germany : 3005, 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd metallic

Herpa 1:90 plastic from Germany : 2005, 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd

Neo 1:83 resin from China : 87240, 1982 Turbo lhd

Autosculpt 1:97 resin from UK : FO3, ’S’

Skytrex 1:139 metal from UK : 111

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