Steve Whitworth of Scurry, Texas says his 1970 Mercury Capri was originally intended to be a father and son project. His son, Steve Whitworth, Jr. was learning to drive the car but tragically unfortunately passed of a heart condition in his sleep at 16 years of age. Since then, Steve, Sr. has done everything he can to make sure his son would be proud of he and the Capri that Jr. had nicknamed “Black Sunshine”.
Having to overcome even more hurdles in life, Steve was in a head-on collision in 2006. He explained that he wasn’t expected to walk again, but his passion for drag racing and love for his son kept him motivated and determined, stating, “nothing will stop me from getting in my car and making my son proud of his dad.”
This little Capri sports a 560- inch big-block Ford with dual NOS big shot plate kits, backed by a C4 transmission custom built by Steve, Sr. with a 5200 rpm Freakshow torque converter. It’s got a full strange 4-link suspension, ultralight brakes, and Dana 60 pro rear-end with 4.88 gears that transfer the power to a meaty set of 33×15.5-15 Hoosier Pro tires. The roof, doors, and quarters are steel, it sports a carbon fiber trunk and tail panel, and a custom one-off front end.
“I did the paint in my shop at home where I do all my own work, and a good friend of mine at Performance Auto Supply in Mesquite, Texas does my machine work,” Steve explained. “It’s a 7.50 certified car, all legal. We just like to grudge race for fun. I try to do all I can to get kids off the street and on the track.”
“I usually run 1967 Cougar’s. I’m building a 1967 xr7 cougar now, a small tire car. I love my mercury’s.” Steve said, explaining that he always liked having something a little different than the norm. “The cougar I’m building now is number 23 I have had.” In the future, Steve said he’s looking into fuel injection and a twin-turbo set up for the Capri.
“Black Sunshine” has been the light through a dark time for Steve. Looking at this car, there is no way his son couldn’t be proud.