Cars, Number 28

Petrolhead tendencies…

I will admit it; I like to have hobbies! I’m also a bit of a hoarder, and cars are no exception to this habit. I’m sure there will be articles in future about the metal collective taking up the driveway, shed, patio, etc – but this one serves to introduce the current “project”; Sylvia.


Sylvia is my 1983 Ford Capri Mk3. She started off life 34 years ago as a standard 2-litre “Sport” model, with black & red interior, 5-speed gearbox, and 2-litre, carburetored ‘Pinto‘ engine.

She has had a varied life; there are ‘concourse entry’ stickers on the windscreen suggesting that once upon a time she was almost immaculate, and a competition entry. When I acquired her in November 2005 she was slightly scruffy looking, and I paid the princely sum of £400 to take her home. For 2 years after this she spent time moving between various lockups, and a local farm barn as I taught myself to ‘spanner’. She was the second Capri i’d had (I didn’t think the 1.6 laser engine was ‘big’ enough), and I made a lot of mistakes (That I am slowly undoing now), but I did learn, and became more adventurous!

I acquired a turbocharger from a S1 Escort, fuel injection system from a Ford Sierra, new ‘Kent‘ camshaft, and ‘Megasquirt‘ engine computer with the intention of making her faster and more ‘interesting’, before stumbling across in my local yellow free-ads (Remember those?!) a non-running, 2.9 litre, V6, quad-cam, 24 valve Ford Granada Scorpio Cosworth for £100.

I almost bit the sellers hand off.

The 2.9 Granada Cosworth engine is a close sibling to the ‘big’ engine in the top-model Ford Capri 2.8 Injection, and, with the appropriate parts, will drop right into the cavernous Capri engine bay, and mate up to a standard Ford gearbox. It has the benefit of full electronic fuel injection, and over 200 horsepower readily available.

So cold winter months were spent toiling away, removing what was left of the old ‘Pinto’ engine (It went to a local guy building an Escort rally car), the steering, engine crossmember, exhaust, and gearbox. I replaced the front and rear suspension, front brakes, anti-roll bar, and fuel tank with newer, better versions, and fitted 2.8i power steering, and exhaust, and a 4-speed heavy duty gearbox from a much older Ford Granada 2.8 model.

She then spent almost 6 months at a local garage, being ‘finished’ in their off-time. They sorted the cooling system, and fixed a few issues with the wiring that I had missed, and did a fair bit of welding underneath before issuing me with a fresh MOT.

to be continued…


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