Proudly South African: Chapter 1: MUSCLE CARS: PART 1 - CAPRI PERANA
Muscle cars that only we were lucky enough to have had.
This series I will be talking about cars that were only built in South Africa or especially for South Africa. Even if it is only a special edition of a car (for example the FXXK version of the LaFerrari or the GTR version of the P1), it will be allowed and it will be featured on my lists.
In this particular Chapter, I will be looking at our V8 muscle cars that have become global collector’s items. Here is the first beauty.
Ford Capri Perana
When the first Capri’s came out in South Africa, they only had two four cylinder engines to choose from. They were the humble 1600 Kent and the always underrated 2l Pinto topping the range. A guy named Basil Green started fitting some of them with 3l Essex V6’s and selling them as Capri Perana’s (20 V6 Perana's were built). It worked so well that Ford saw the need for V6 Capri and was not going to let someone else coin on a product they should have been producing in the first place. With the V6 option available at normal Ford dealerships, Basil Green could no longer create his special Capri. He then one upped Ford once more by fitting 5l / 302ci Ford engines into them and creating the fastest, affordable car available in South Africa (He then also took the V6's he just pulled out of the Capri's and stuck it into little Mk2 Cortina's so that no component went to waste.). At that specific time in 1972, there was very little that could keep up with it and nothing could offer the same speed for the same price. I am a Ford guy but I have to admit I don’t like these very much. People like these just way too much but I do respect its existence. It played a massive role in the performance and racing development in South Africa and for that I salute it. I am not sure about the track racing history.
Specs and Facts:
Around 500 were built (no one really knows a precise documented number and the “experts” are a bunch of secretive cunts who will say there were less to benefit their own wallet). As you can see in the ads, they made 190kW/255hp (a rare R-pack made 210kW/280hp) at 5000RPM and 405Nm/300lb.ft of torque at 2600 RPM. They had good aluminium intakes, no compression, shit cams and a gigantic 780cfm FoMoCo carburettor that killed it. They say it only weighted 9kg (20lbs) more than the V6 model so it’s around 1200kg. It could roughly do 140 mph / 225km/h. They only came in red, Gunston Orange and Yellow. There were manuals and autos unfortunately. They can complete the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds. It cost R4485 at that time.
The Capri Perana was truly South Africa’s Jaguar XJ220. It was the pinnacle of performance for about five minutes. A could have had a more powerful engine and a short while later a new kid on the block named the Chevy Can-Am was the hottest thing on the streets and tracks of South Africa.
Drop a comment and tell me what you think.