The 1980 Mercury Capri Convertible that Never Was
With the loss of Mercury still fresh in our hearts, we can’t help but reminisce at the many missed chances that might have given Mercury a fighting chance. Among the many mistakes and lost opportunities is the never-made Fox-body Mercury Capri convertible. The Mustang got a droptop, and a few lucky Capri’s got a convertible conversion thanks to ASC McLaren, but Ford never built its own convertible Capri. Why?
Turns out that may not have been the case, according to an ad on Hemmings. Up for sale is a1980 convertible Capri that was once titled to William Clay Ford Jr. So why not build it?
It’s one of the many “why’s” associated with the Mercury brand. Apparently W.C. Ford Jr. contracted Andy Hotton Associates to not only turn this Capri into a convertible, but a car capable of competing with the European roadsters that dominated the droptop market. Under the hood was a Roush-tuned 302 V8, and the rear end was replaced with a “Mercedes-style” rear (we assume they mean independent rear suspension but we could be wrong.)
To differentiate the Capri from its Ford cousin, this special Merc was given a special paintjob and Star Wire wheels. It was also a two seater; no backseat for this red hot roadster. It was eventually used to help designers at McLaren make their own version of the Mercury convertible, and Ford passed the car on to a young woman who kept it garaged most of its life. There’s just 18,000 miles on this one-of-a-kind Mercury. Could this car have helped save Mercury, or would it still haven’t mattered?