It was the year man walked on the moon for the first time, the legendary Woodstock festival took place and the very first Boeing 747s reached for the skies. In that same year, half a century ago, Ford’s Capri hit Europe’s roads for the first time.
When it launched in 1969, it was billed as “the car you always promised yourself” and more than 1.8 million people would make good on that promise. The demand saw Ford’s Cologne plant in Germany produce Capris for the next 17 years, through three generations, until 1986. Since then countless drivers have continued to own, drive and enjoy Europe’s answer to the Ford Mustang.
A new video to mark the model’s 50th birthday takes a rare RS2600 Capri on a nostalgic trip; from its birthplace to the forests of the nearby Eifel mountains – where extensive testing occurred before launch – and then onto the racetracks of Spa, in Belgium and Zandvoort, in the Netherlands, where Capris celebrated famous victories.
“The Capri was the car that allowed the man on the street to live the everyday dream,” said Steve Sutcliffe, the journalist who took the classic Ford on a trip down memory lane. “It made you feel good about yourself when behind the wheel, and it still does today. Ultimately, it was about the pure enjoyment of driving something just a little bit different.”
The featured Capri, from Ford’s own heritage collection is equipped with a V6 engine and travelled more than 800 kilometres in three days of filming, including a few laps around the Zandvoort circuit. The 47-year old example left a lasting impression.
“I’m falling in love with this car, completely falling in love with it,” said Sutcliffe, suggesting that the Capri might still be a car you should be promising yourself today.