GRAFTERS: Mk2 Capri

3.2-litre X-pack road-racer project.

Classic Ford - - CON­TENTS - Words Jamie Arkle Pho­tos Jean­not Boe­sen

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.

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