Spotted in the Wild: Ford Capri Tickford Turbo

Ford Capri Tickford

A rare tuned Capri from the 1980s, with an Aston Martin connection.

The Capri was conceived by Ford as a European take on the Mustang, an aspirational coupe for blue collar workers and was originally marketed as "The car you always promised yourself". For the most part, this ethos held true through the three generations of the the Capri. However, for the third generation of the Capri a small number of official luxury high performance versions were created, with the cars breathed on by Aston Martin subsidiary Tickford.

The Tickford Capri was based on the 2.8 Injection model and featured a reworked interior with Connolly leather seats and Wilton carpets. Externally a very 80s bodykit was added which included a blanked off grille similar to the Aston Martin AM V8 Vantage. The styling was completed with a set of BBS cross-spoke alloy wheels. The car wasn't all show and no go, though; Tickford turbocharged the 2.8 V6 to produce 205bhp. That might not sound like a lot of power by modern standards, but at the time a standard Porsche 944 only made 163bhp. In order to cope with the extra power, rear disc brakes were fitted as standard.

This extensive rework, rumoured to be as much as 200 man hours, was far from cheap and the Tickford Capri cost twice as much as the standard 2.8 Injection when new. Not surprisingly there were few takers and less than 100 were made, making it a rare sight both then and now. Older fast Fords are very collectable and Tickford Capris can sell for over £20,000 in today's market.

Given their rarity, spotting one in my local supermarket car park today was something of a surprise. This particular Tickford looked in great condition for its age, and was finished in a nice shade of metallic blue.  It's not a car I particularly covert but is still an interesting piece of 80s automotive history.