The swinging Sixties was a game-changer of a decade. Music, fashion, and the very fabric of society underwent a revolution. The motoring world wasn’t any different.
Some of the most well-known cars were produced, from the Aston Martin DB5, and the Jaguar E-Type, to the Mini — although, strictly speaking, the Mini was launched in 1959, but it’s intrinsically linked with that decade.
Those three went on to make a name for themselves all over the world but there were other iconic British models that were happier to just leave a mark on home soil, like the Ford Consul Capri 335.
The two-door coupé version of the Consul Classic saloon made by Ford of Britain was code-named “Sunbird” and took design cues from the Thunderbird, such as the quad-headlight styling. Instigated by Sir Horace Denne, Ford’s sales director, he wanted a model that would add some glamour to the product line.
The car was designed by Charles Thompson and he gave it sweeping lines and a pillar-less coupé roof. The Consul Capri’s body was sub-assembled by Pressed Steel Fisher with final assembly taking place at Dagenham, and it went on sale in 1962 with features such as variable speed wipers, 9.5in front disc brakes, dimming dashboard lights, and a cigar lighter.
It was fitted with a 1,340cc, three main bearing engine, but it suffered premature crankshaft failure so Ford replaced it in the same year with a 1,500cc, which fared far better. Mated to a four-speed manual, it had a top speed of 130kph and weighing just 953kg, it was nippy on the move. Its live rear axle helped to bring some drama to proceedings, too.
The following year, a GT version developed by Cosworth was launched with a raised compression ratio, a modified head with larger exhaust valves and a twin-choke Weber carburettor, which pleased power-hungry customers.
However, the Consul Capri was expensive to produce, and overall sales weren’t as high as Ford execs had hoped, and even though it gained a cult status, it was removed from sale in 1964.
Today, it’s one of the rarest cars from Ford of Great Britain and if you happen to find one, be sure to check the headlight panels, outer and inner wings, door sills and wheelarches, as these areas in particular are prone to rust.
The 1.5-litre four-pot was a solid and reliable motor, and used in many other Fords back in the day, so finding parts for it is generally easy.
Around Dh40,000 buys you a very well-maintained, low-mileage example.