1981 Ford Capri 3.0L S


  • Fastidiously maintained, very low mileage car with 41,718k miles on the clock
  • Finished in classic black and in great condition 
  • Highly original right down to the factory radio 
  • MOT and tax exempt
  • One of the last 3litre cars built 

The Appeal 

The Capri was the E-Type for the everyman, a dashingly styled sports coupe that Britain took to its heart. The car was so popular that it stayed on sale here well into the hot hatch era.

The Mk3 made over the aesthetics one final time, introducing the classic quad-lamp, aeroflow front end with sawtooth rear lamps. While there was a Capri for every type of driver, those with a sporting bent went for the burbling 3litre S.

Of course amongst that lucky group were Bodie and Doyle, who showed just how entertaining a rear drive, easily drifted 3litre could be on episode after episode of The Professionals. It was also remarkably adept at smashing through cardboard boxes. 

This gorgeous 3litre S is one of the last built and a showcase for old school, carb-fed cool. In superb condition and with a genuine 41,718 miles on the clock, this is a very, very rare opportunity to acquire one of classic motoring’s true icons. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First UK registered 24th June 1981
  • Current owner, a genuine Capri enthusiast, since 23rd February 2016 
  • The seller has always garaged the car 
  • VIN records confirm that this Capri was built in Germany in June 1981
  • One of just 931 3litre Capris built in 1981 before production ended
  • The 3litre was replaced by the 2.8litre in April 1982, making this one of the last built
  • Original factory handbook 
  • Original bill of sale included 
  • First buyer leaned into the sporting vibe with optional black paint, headlamp washers, mud flaps and fog lamps
  • Thick history file including lots of old MOTs and invoices and Capri Club magazines 
  • 4 keys
  • We understand this car was used to create the Vanguards Capri model, which bears the same number plate
  • The Vanguards model shown in the photographs is not included in the sale 
  • MOT expired on 27th June 2023
  • No advisories on the last test and the car has covered less than 300 miles since
  • This car is of course ULEZ, tax and MOT exempt 

Maintenance includes:

  • Water pump replaced in 2015
  • Stripe kit fitted in 2014 
  • Repairs to both front wings, nearside door and scuttle in 2016 at cost of £800
  • Windscreen replaced in 2017 
  • RS alloy wheels acquired and fitted in 2020 

The Interior

  • Entirely standard interior in superb condition showing barely any signs of wear
  • Original fittings include radio, 3-spoke leather wheel and classic mesh headrests
  • Stand-out check cloth sports seats in excellent condition 
  • Pop-up glass sunroof fitted
  • Parcel shelf in good condition 
  • Boot area very presentable 
  • Original vinyl door cards clean, straight and undamaged 
  • Dashboard well presented with no visible cracks or deterioration 

In the 70s and 80s Ford were masters of ‘surprise and delight’ design and the interior of this Capri is perfect testament to that. From the ‘full instrumentation’ dashboard to the stand-out check cloth sports seats, wherever you look around this well maintained car you’ll find new features that reward the eye.

It is in very good condition indeed and highly original, right down to the period radio. We are told that the odometer has not been round the clock, indicating that the displayed mileage is genuine. The condition of the seats and the limited wear to the wheel and gear knob would seem to support this. 

The car is factory standard except for the addition of a pop-up glass sunroof - a popular 80s enhancement - and an additional modern radio discreetly fitted inside the glovebox. 

Look around the car and there are very few signs of its 42 years. This is a particular achievement for its owners since Capri interiors were not necessarily built to last. The vinyl trim, headlining and switchgear betray few signs of wear. The dials are clear and fresh and the vinyl trim panel surrounding the facia fully adheres to its backing. 

The Exterior

  • Optional and desirable black paintwork in superb condition 
  • Standard car with optional RS polished alloy wheels 
  • Bodywork improvements undertaken to front of car in 2016 
  • Strut tops appear solid and with no visible issues
  • Underside in the same condition with no recent MOT advisories for structure
  • Glasswork, lights, badging and decals well presented and unmarked
  • Boot area solid and similarly presentable 
  • Matching spare wheel 
  • Small rubbing scuff on inside corner of passenger door
  • Marshall tyres

Ford’s designers may have been influenced by the Mustang when penning the original Capri, but the essential rightness - and distinctiveness - of its svelte coupe shape explains why it remained in production for so long. It is a classic big bonnet, fastback coupe style, one that looks particularly good in the optional factory black of this car. 

The effect is enhanced considerably, of course, by those silver S stripes and smart RS alloys. It is a specification that is classic Capri, which may explain why this car appears to have been chosen by Vanguards to develop its diecast model of the Capri. 

As befits a car owned by a Capri enthusiast, it is in very good condition. The paintwork and stripes are very well presented with no obviously visible marks around the car. The Capri came from an era when cars were more likely to rust but this example appears solid in all the places you would want it to be. The history file indicates work to the front wings, scuttle and nearside front door in 2016. 

The detailing such as the lights, glasswork and decals are of the same standard as the rest of the car. It sits on smart, unmarked RS alloy wheels that nicely accent the bodywork. 

The Mechanics 

  • Lusty 2,994cc Ford Essex V6 developing 160bhp 
  • Single Weber 38DGAS carburettor
  • Standard 4spd manual gearbox 
  • We are told that the displayed mileage is correct and the car has not gone around the clock

Before the advent of the 2.8 Injection, the 3litre S was the last bastion of a certain old school, grunty approach to the business of sports car propulsion. Equipped with a Weber carb to feed its 160bhp, this light, rear wheel drive coupe is from an era before driver aids, when kicking out the back on roundabouts was all part of the V6 Capri experience. The later 2.8 got a LSD, which tended to dial down this hoonery.

We are told that we can trust the displayed mileage and that this car has not gone around the clock. The condition of the bodywork and interior seems to support this impression. 

This car has clearly been well maintained by its enthusiast owner, although at the time of writing we did not have any details about the last service. The MOT expired on 27th June 2023 but it has covered just 300 miles since the test. The photographs indicate that gaining a new one will not present any issues. And of course it is now tax, MOT and ULEZ exempt. 


The Capri wasn’t just the car you’ve always promised yourself, it was also many drivers’ first introduction to motoring in the 80s. They’re no longer quite so inexpensive and disposable, the rare survivors being highly sought after by fast Ford fans and lovers of great, iconic classics.

This rare 3litre S is one of the last built and has been lovingly maintained by its enthusiast owner. With a desirable specification and highly original interior, we’re sure this fantastic car will be in high demand. 


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1981
  • Make Ford
  • Model Capri
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 41,718 Miles
  • Engine size 2994
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Windsor
  • Location Berkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
13 bids from 6 bidders
  • BCV80V £28,000 24/09/23
  • kevin-w•••• £27,000 23/09/23
  • BCV80V £25,000 23/09/23
  • kevin-w•••• £21,000 23/09/23
  • BCV80V £20,000 23/09/23
  • kevin-w•••• £18,000 23/09/23
  • BCV80V £17,100 21/09/23
  • BCV80V £16,100 21/09/23
  • BCV80V £15,100 21/09/23
  • toby.ro•••• £13,250 21/09/23

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