GRAFTERS: Mk2 Capri
3.2-litre X-pack road-racer project.
Let’s face it, old Fords really can get under your skin a real and tangible manner, and it isn’t exactly unknown for those of us with a passion for Blue Ovals to undertake more than one Ford project at the same time. The Capri seems to attract this kind of treatment more than most, and when it comes to fettled Capris there’s one name that stands out, Patrick Tompers. Patrick’s automotive efforts have graced these pages before of course, his V8-powered Mk1 going on to be selected as one of our cars of last year — no mean feat!
Patrick’s latest project is still a Capri, naturally, yet it’s also a Capri that’s about as far removed from his previous car as it’s possible to get. Based around a Mk2, Patrick’s latest project has seen him tackle a number of obstacles, namely the mish-mash of front panels that the previous owner opted to fit. Now on the way to being a running concern, we caught up with Patrick to find out more about the project and how it differs from his previous endeavours.
How you came to own the car?
It’s actually a 1976 Mk2, though the previous owner had decided to fit Mk3 front wings and bonnet, along with half a Ford X-pack kit. The work was done fairly well, that much is clear to see, so I didn’t fancy ripping it all apart and fitting Mk2 parts.That would’ve been simply too easy, while also requiring me to chop up the front spoiler and custom side skirts on either side.
How do you plan on modifying the Mk3 wings?
It’s going to take a little bit of graft right enough, though the quality of the work means that it shouldn’t be too daunting. If you look closely you can see that I’ve already marked the wings at the correct point with a red marker, so the next step is to cut out the area around the front headlights and turn and remount the indicators, plus fitting a Mk2 bonnet of course. I imagine it’ll take a fair bit of time and effort, but it’s nothing too scary in the grand scheme of things.
Have you had to carry out any welding or other bodywork to get to this point?
It was spotless rust-wise, the perfect blank canvass. The fact that it was in such good
order allowed me to just dive right in with other aspects of the build, and the ducktail rear spoiler is a good example of this. It’s actually a rare, NOS part from Ford in the ’70s, and I plan on fitting it once I’ve finished painting.
Your Mk1 was powered by a bigV8. Are you planning something similar here?
Not quite. I wanted to create a Capri that felt different from the Mk1, so a V8 was never on the cards. Instead I plan to create my favourite Ford engine using an overbored 2.8 Cologne, with the crankshaft from a 2.9 24-valve engine — an engine with a stroke of 72 mm — connected to 96 mm high performance pistons.This is a nice combination and one which ultimately results in a 3.2 Cologne, albeit one with impressive reserves of bottom end torque and power, and good reliability of course.
Are you planning any other tuning work?
Well the heads are unleaded and have already been ported, polished and fitted with larger valves, so there’s that. I’m currently planning on handling the induction side of things with a four-barrel Holley carburettor atop an Offenhauser intake manifold, but could see itself replaced by three double Solex carbs by the time I come to drive it.
What about the ancillaries and steering components?
Well the biggest issue, the crossmember left over from the Mk2’s original Essex, will be solved when I remove it and fit the equivalent part from the Cologne. I’ve been planning this build for a while now so I’ve managed to amass a sizable inventory of parts, though most of the required bits I’ve been able to take from a salvaged, crash damaged 2.8i — all of those are currently being sandblasted and prepared for paint. I’ve also taken the time to drown all original suspension nuts, bolts and other fixings in WD40! I plan on fitting a power steering assembly at the same time as I swap in the Cologne and crossmember, though this is a relatively simply modification and one that I’ve done before.
What will you be running transmission wise?
The gearbox will be a Borg WarnerT5 from a Sierra Cosworth with a custom-made bellhousing to match the V6 engine, and a custom prop to the 2.8 rear end.
How do you plan on making it handle?
The chassis will be very different when I’m finished, that’s for sure! I’ve bought some Gaz front shocks and -1 inch springs (150lbs), while the rear will have uprated dampers and single leaf springs, with polyurethane bushes all round.The stopping force will come from 285 mm Granada disks and floating Mondeo callipers.
Your last car had some amazing split rims, what do you plan for this one?
I will have the choice of wheels and tyres depending on the road conditions. If dry and sunny, a set of classic ATS wheels in 8 and 9.5×13 inch with Avon semi-slicks will do fine, whereas in rainy conditions 9×15 inch BBS wheels with a better wet handling tyre will be used.
What colour will the Mk2 eventually be?
Ah, that’s actually still something of a secret! For now I’ll only mention now that it will most likely be in the racing colours of a well known oil/petrol company.
Will this be a stripped out race car, a standard road go-er or something in between?
Interior wise, the latter. It will be finished in standard black with classic Scheel seats that will be recovered in RS cloth in the middle and vinyl on the sides, though I’m also planning to fit six-point roll cage.
“THE COLOUR? IT’S A SECRET, BUT IT WILL BE A FAMOUS OIL COMPANY’S RACE LIVERY”
Name: Patrick Tompers Age: 49 Job: Pilot Location: Luxembourg
The Mk2 came to Patrick with the X-Pack kit already fitted, though he’s adding the über-cool ducktail spoiler — a new-old stock item.
Right: replacement Atlas axle has been rebuilt and awaits its turn to be fitted. The planned Cologne V6 is now a 3.2, currently wearing a Holley carb though Patrick hopes to swap this for a trick triple Solex set-up. Type-9 bolted up behind is being switched for a Cosworth T5 ’box.
Scheel seats will be retrimmed in black.
Patrick’s next job is to trim the Mk3 wings back to the Mk2 profile.
The interior obviously needs some work — it will be fully trimmed in black with a roll cage, too.
Patrick’s planning on running two sets of rims— these 13 inch ATS Classics with semi-slicks, and a set of 15 inch BBSs with wet weather tyres if it’s, erm, wet.