- Built for Ford's CEO, it could now be yours...

Henry Ford II’s bespoke 1981 Ford Capri 2.8i to be auctioned this week

Bespoke specification includes automatic transmission, wider, full leather seats and interior trim

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A 1981 Ford Capri 2.8 injection created specifically for Henry Ford II will be auctioned on April 23rd by online specialists Car & Classic. It is one of three special build Fords designated for Henry Ford II to use whilst in the UK.

The car received extra layers of paint before being delivered to Henry Ford II

The car received extra layers of paint before being delivered to Henry Ford II

Starting life being hand-picked off the Cologne production line, this very special Capri then underwent a transformation that included additional preparation, stricter quality control and comfort features such as a C3 automatic transmission and wider, leather trimmed driver's seat and door cards.

Grandson of founder Henry Ford, Henry Ford II was a key driver of Ford’s Total Performance programme that led to projects including the Ford GT40 and Mustang that were a catalyst for Ford’s success at the time. It was critical that Henry Ford II was available for dealer and supplier visits in the UK, hence his need for a bespoke Capri during that time.

The work on AVW109X was undertaken at Dunton before being delivered to Turville Grange, the Ford family’s home in the UK. It was enjoyed by the family until 1983 when it was purchased by Ron Mellor who was then Head of Ford Product Development. After three years, he put a for sale sign on the staff notice board, leading to Alan Jarman, a Ford designer, buying the car to commute from Torquay to Dunton. In 1993 Jarman sold the car to Leslie Garner who kept it until April 2007 when the next owner, recommissioned the car with many new original Ford parts.

An automatic 2.8i built for the CEO

An automatic 2.8i built for the CEO

Now showing 68,958 miles on the odometer, the Capri has only covered around 6,800 miles in the last 28 years. Fresh from a comprehensive refresh this February 2021, restoring it to its full glory, it’s now ready to be enjoyed once more.

“Fast Fords are always highly sought after but this Capri is much more than that,” says Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic. “Specifically prepared by the legendary SVE department for one of the most influential people in the history of Ford and then subsequently enjoyed by other key members of the company, it is a widely appreciated, documented and renowned part of the Ford story.”

The seven-day online auction will start from April 23rd on Car & Classic, with the special Capri’s estimated to be sold for £25,000 - £35,000. It comes to the sale with a vast array of history including old invoices, MOTs as well as copies of its time in Classic Cars Magazine this February and in Steve Saxty’s book - Secret Fords, which came out in 2020.

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