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FORD CAPRI STAMPEDE

by The News Desk | Oct 16, 2020

 

MODEL HISTORY

The Ford Capri is a fastback coupe built by Ford Motor Company between 1968 and 1986, designed by American Philip T. Clark, who was also involved in the design of the Ford Mustang. It used the mechanical components from the Mk2 Ford Cortina and was intended as the European equivalent of the Ford Mustang. The Capri went on to be a highly successful car for Ford, selling nearly 1.9 million units in its lifetime. On 25 February 1974, the Capri II was introduced, Although it was mechanically similar to the Mark I, the Capri II had a revised, larger body and a more modern dashboard and a smaller steering wheel.

A wide variety of engines was used in the Capri throughout its production lifespan in addition to interdependent tuners making the cars faster and more capable. One of these tuners was Jeff Uren. A British racing driver and race tuning expert, his main work was with Fords. His most famous works of engineering included the V6 three-litre Modified by Weslake Ford Cortina MkII Savage and the BOSS 302 5.0 litre race engined Ford Capri Stampede. He was also involved in motor-sport as a team manager for Ford and later the Willment/Race Proved team along with John Willment. He raced competitively – in saloon and GT events – until 1964, racing in various Fords including Anglias, Prefects, 100Es, and Cortina Mk1s. He held class lap records at Aintree, Goodwood, Brands Hatch and Snetterton in his Zephyr and was British Touring car Champion in 1959, beating the similar factory Ford Zephyr entrants to the title.

The Uren Stampede was introduced in 1973 and was based on the 3-Litre Capri, the engine is a Boss 302 mated to a mustang transmission with a single piece prop-shaft and Capri axle. Suspension and brakes were uprated along with wheels to cope with the extra power, speed and performance. Marketed as a cheaper alternative but with equal power at the time to Muiras, Panteras and Daytonas, it’s conversion a 5th of the price.

The Ford Boss 302 engine is a high-performance small-block 302 cu V8 engine. It was designed for racing and used in the 1969 and 1970 Boss 302 Mustangs and Cougar Eliminators, created especially for the 1969 Trans-Am road racing series. It is a unique Ford small-block and differed substantially from regular 302s. It was produced in small numbers over a limited period of time.

 

 

EQUIPMENT

Uren Stampede specification including Boss 302 V8 engine, Revised suspension, Uprated 4 pot front brakes, 14 inch Cosmic wheels, Manual transmission, Uprated radiators, 3.09 Axle ratio, Engine oil cooler, Twin Kenlowe Fans, Complete custom repaint including door shuts, Full front air dam, Laminated screen.

 

 

EXTERIOR

Incredibly striking there is no doubt that this Capri was bought, built and painted in the 70s. It’s psychedelic paint work is a work of art with layers of metallic flake, stencilling and hand crafted designs covering every inch of its body.

The paintwork was created by Mech Spray, who at the time were International award winners for custom cars, working over a white base they applied a ‘frosted grape pearl’ effect and then patterns in yellow and blue. A layer of sparkling Mirra Flake was then topped with coat after coat of lacquer. Such is their reputation and quality of custom work they still operate today and were asked only recently to revisit and survey the original paint and design that they had crafted over 40 years ago.

Having enjoyed the dry climates of Greece in its early years with its first and long term owner along with over 28 years of dry storage this Mk2 Capri is rust free and with its original panels and custom paint as applied in 1976. There are some stone chips and minor marks around the body as expected with its mileage, age and original condition but these detract in no way from its fantastic stance and character.

Key features are proudly sign written with Boss 302 on both sides along with signatures on the rear of its creator and Mech Spray.

Commissioned by a Greek from new, much of its minimal mileage was covered driving from the UK to Greece in the summer and as such it still retains its GB rear sticker and headlight deflectors as a nod to his aspirations at commissioning such a capable and unique car back in the early 70s.

 

 

INTERIOR

The black cloth interior is standard Capri Ghia specification, in excellent order throughout it has stood the test of time and use with only minimal wear and slight looseness to the seat cloth to report. The big change to the interior being the 4 Speed gear shift emerging from the floor.

The sunroof works as it should with the surrounding black headlining presenting as new.  The standard speedo maxes out at 130mph, from here you’re left to guess as to the theoretical 160 top speed.  The original radio is still fitted and sits neatly amongst the black dash and various buttons and heater controls, all of which remain positive in operation.

 

 

 

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

The conversion offered by Jeff Uren and his company Race Proved Performance and Equipment ltd involved a blueprinted, gas flowed Boss 302cu Mustang V8 with a top loader mustang gearbox. Extra cooling was naturally added alongside tuneable suspension components (Stiffer springs, Girling Dampers, uprated anti roll bars and bushes) all perfected by the race car driver himself and Formula one racer John Miles.

140mph was achieved at Goodwood in the period on test and further performance figures recorded by ‘Motor’ magazine in which the car went from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds – exactly the same time as that of a Ferrari Daytona and 0.6 seconds quicker that the E-Type. It was still hanging onto the Ferrari at 100 mph and was considerably faster than both when timed from 50-70mph thanks to its short gear ratios.

The engine today is in excellent working order having been subjected to a full rebuild and component check alongside date markings to confirm its provenance as the rare and specialist Boss 302 engine. This was also carried out to the Gearbox in the same mindset and can be confirmed as the correct Boss close-ratio gearbox.

This example was recently sold through www.fast-classics.com

The innocent Ford Capri 3 litre automatic Ghia was built and supplied new in 1974 as a Ford Management order and used as such by the management types at the company for a year in the UK before being passed into the dealer network for sale.

At the same time Jeff Uren had been successfully marketing his performance conversions and had subsequently caught the eye of a young Greek car enthusiast, Mr Fafalios, who was working in London for the family shipping firm. Such was the desire for a custom and unique performance Capri, a deposit was paid up front for both the conversion and the donor car, the cost of the work £2950.

It was decided that with Jeffs access to low mileage Ford management cars that a used example would be more cost effective than a new Capri, with only one stipulation from the young Greek, that the car had to be white to fit with his paint work aspirations,

With a suitable donor car found and all the components ready to go, the mechanical conversion took the best part of three months at which point it went to Mech Spray in Rochester for it striking custom paint work.

Once completed the car was used and enjoyed in the UK with frequent trips to Greece in the summer and by 1978 had in fact covered just over 20k miles. At this point it was put into its first and longest period of storage while in Mr Fafalios ownership and not used again till 2005. It was recommissioned by Mike Brown, who was a former mechanic for Uren when it was brought out from storage and MOT tested in September 2008 when the mileage crept up to just above 21k, however following Brown’s retirement the car was put back into storage again until its subsequent sale in 2013 and into the hands of it’s current owner who have worked tirelessly to preserve it’s originality and provenance while keeping it in full running order.

The history file is 3 folders thick and includes everything any collector/owner would wish to see from such a special car, from the original Uren marketing brochures, order correspondence, used car purchase invoices from Ford Management, later letters from Mr Fafalios, magazine articles, past registration documents, MOTs and engine rebuild photos and documents to name a small selection.

It’s believed only eight Stampedes were built with five so far accounted for and only one in the Mk2 body. The Uren conversion on its own provides a formidable and special machine however this cars ownership and custom paint in period, of which it still wears gives it ever so much more character.