My 1981 "Black Magic" Mercury Capri

S's 1981 Mercury Capri "Black Magic"
Special Anniversary Edition


The Dream Car

This was, and still is, my first "cool" car.  The others were neat to me, but other people thought this car was really neat.  Rick, that's what did this to me!

This car has EVERYTHING from the factory, except beans.  It was not the turbo 4 cylinder, because the West Palm Beach salesman (Phil Vassallo) who ordered it expressed durability concerns with the turbo.  It was ordered with the Lear pace car seats, but they weren't available without the pace car option, so that fell off of the build sheet.  He didn't order cruise control because I would have received the ugly TBird steering wheel instead of the cool Rally wheel.  But it has everything else.  Even the rear wiper washer option!  The 5-speed automatic transmission was the same one that Merkur XR4tis came with years later, and it was an over $1000 option!  This car stickered at nearly $11,000 in 1981!!!  I still have the original dealer sticker, original sales brochures and flyers, and Chilton's service/maintenance manuals, too.  In fact, the salesman I bought it from had ordered it and shipped it by way of California, so when I titled it in Palm Beach County that year, I received the MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin).  Thus, I was one of the first registered owners -- out of only 469 of this model made!

This picture was taken when I first received it, which included its signature T-Tops and crash bar, and gold alloy wheels.  It is also shown before I had made any modifications.  I eventually put on it:

The "TURBO" labels on each side of the hood and the rear spoiler; a 2.5" exhaust; a complete Mustang GT suspension and rack; GT Turbine wheels; 140 MPH FMS speedo and 8 grand tachometer; Corbeau gold cloth seats; a powerfully wicked (at that time) Sony top-of-the-line digital cassette stereo system with six Jensen speakers in the headrests, doors, and beneath the hatch, plus a Sanyo 80-watt amplifier under the passenger seat; and tons of electronic doodads, including remote radar, alarm from hell with power unlocking, pumped up CB, a bold Kamai front spoiler, a customized Mercury dash cover/protector, a 100-tune electronic car horn, and so much more.

I got about 22 mpg on average, no matter what, and I kept a meticulous record of EVERY time I purchased gas in it.  But I stopped using it back in 1994 after it reached 66,666 original miles, and got kinda fonda Honda as a workhorse car up until November 2000 when I bought a Saturn sports coupe (SC2).  Since then, I had two offers by car admirers (the FEDEX man and the UPS man).  But I refuse to give it up!

That's my wife's 1988 Honda Civic LX behind it.  I wish my Capri would power-shift like that Honda, what a blast it was!

Presently, the body is still in mint condition, but it could use some TLC in the way of a little exterior cosmetic work and interior engine work.   I would love to restore it someday when time and money permits, as well as hearing from and getting together with fellow car enthusiasts.

History lesson is over.  And now, you know,  the "rest of the story".

 

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