Saturday, May 19, 2012
A German Car that was not so good -- 1974 Ford/Mercury Capri
A belated autobiography – my 1974 Ford Mercury Capri
One of, if not the worst car that I ever owned was also the first car that I bought new. It was the fall of 1973, and I was working at Clemson University in Agricultural Chemical Services. Why a Mercury Capri? Made in Germany, at the Cologne plant, perhaps. As it turned out, a real piece of junk.
There were two Capris at the Edwards dealership in Walhalla, SC. One was a new 1973, yellow, hood damaged probably in transit, V-6, 2600 cc. In retrospect I should have bought it, but I opted for a new 1974 green Capri, loaded with 2800cc v-6, sunroof (manual), 4 speed, tan interior, cool little map light, AM-FM radio.
It was a dog, but I kept it nearly ten years. There were just too many add-on emissions control devices – a decel valve, a thermactor pump, spaghetti like vacuum lines all over the engine compartment.
And then there was the clutch cable. It first kinked about 6 months into our relationship. I began to lose pedal height, and it felt strange, like it was being wound up. 4 cables later, the problem (as I remember) was solved.
More… water pumps. I had several of them as well. And for a time, they came with imperfect castings, not exactly flat, so when the mechanic tightened down on the bolts, the pump cracked!