Championing Ford’s unsung ’60s duo, Stephen Wickham explains how the Ford Classic And Capri Owners Club has continued success.
When was the club founded, and why?
The club was formed in about 1982 as a merger of what had previously been at least three clubs covering either the Classic saloon or the Capri coupe — all in competition with each other for a dwindling supply of original parts. Given the pooled resources of 600 members, the resultant Ford Classic & Capri Owners Club was able to focus on finding or making both mechanical and body parts common to both cars. This also enabled a better social programme for the demographic of original owners and much younger fans — the average car was 20 years’ old back then!
Which models do you cover?
We include the UK-built Consul Classic and for overseas members, the Consul 315, the Consul Capri, Consul Capri GT and if you can find one, the Hooper conversions of either of these. There’s even an Estate of Kenyan origins. All were built between 1961 and 1964.
What does your club offer to new members?
A club magazine, parts, helpful advice and reprinted manuals, and the opportunity to see other cars which sport the different original extras or individual custom details. We can also help with the DVLA.
Have many members do you have?
Circa 450 and it’s growing again after a period of natural decline — possibly due to the general rise in interest in Fords of the era, subsequently making restorations more worthwhile.
Can you describe a typical member?
They’re likely to be a firm fan of the styling as a given, whatever their age and walk of life which varies greatly. The cars are rare and demand exceeds supply in a quiet way. In the UK some want them as British stand-out-vehicles, while overseas there’s often genuine regional exclusivity. A Consul 315 saloon is stand-out, as well as practical, and a well-presented Capri can pickup a local show-prize with the greatest of ease against very expensive opposition.
What shows does the club have a presence at?
We do lots of regional events, but for the big ones, we do the NEC twice a year, and we do great stands! We returned to the Classic Motor Show about nine years ago and have got better and better each year. We then engaged with the Restoration Show with some technical aplomb in its third year and have grown with it. We’ve also had a presence at the Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show at Bath & West Showground for many years, as well as the Old Ford Rally at Gaydon.
Does the club run a spares service?
Yes, very much so. We’ve recently been issuing an illustrated Spares Magazine and this has notably expanded from the standard 28 pages to 44 at the last count. There’s a bewildering selection of well over 200 different parts and kits in there — and that’s without including all the panels. There’s over 30 of those —
60 if you include handing for the left or right side…
Does the club produce its own magazine?
Yes, the award-winning Classic Capri Review is a longterm institution, now in colour, now expanded in length with a lot of original content — and at least quarterly.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
Basically to keep these great old cars going, but in the immediate future we have the 60th anniversary of the launch in 2021 to prepare for!
Membership costs: £23 per year, UK or overseas
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