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This week it’s all about the subtlety with Simon Coulson’s take on the Mk3 Zephyr and Mk2 Capri. Let’s get to it!

mk3 zephyr

What’s better than a Mk3 Zephyr? One without stickers, that’s what. We’ve taken a hairdryer to our ’60s sleeper with show-car potential and carefully removed all the decals before taking it to the paintshop for a clean up and full respray in slightly more classy — and in-period — Dragoon Red. Once back in the warm confines of our garage, we’ve treated the Mk3 to some serious lowering before bolting up a set of 8×16 (rear) and 7×16 (front) inch steels and domed hubcaps sourced from the US of A via Northants Tyres — the Zephyr’s five-stud hubs mean these will bolt straight-on.

Under the bonnet, the straight six has been carefully removed and put into storage, and a modern Ford V8 crate motor has been dropped in its place, running on factory management so we might get some meaningful mpg figures, with its gasses and fine sound exiting from custom twin pipes, and backed up by a six-speed auto, shifted by the original column change set-up with the gear indicator on the steering column tweaked to match. While the two-tone blue interior looks great, it won’t really work with the red, so we’ve retrimmed it in black vinyl, keeping the front bench seat, naturally. 

This first-year Mk2 — arguably the purest form of the squared-off Capri — leaves us in a quandary. Sure, we could modify it, but it’s a GT and… well, we can’t bring ourselves to do it, even in two-dimensional form. Instead, we’re going to import this former Greek god and restore it to show-winning glory. The poor respray in black has got to go, and while this Capri was originally green, we’ve opted for a darker metallic shade that’s still in keeping, accented by a subtle pinstripe along each flank. Inspired by the race cars of the era, we’ve opted for a set of period-correct, 8×13 inch BBS E30 split-rim wheels, sat slightly closer to the standard arches thanks to some stiffer and lower springs.

The running gear, including the 1600 Pinto, remains totally standard, just carefully rebuilt and super-detailed, with all the bolts under the bonnet lined up for inspection, while on the inside, the interior has been carefully cleaned and refitted, with the steering wheel staying firmly on the left-hand side.

Words Simon Woolley

Illustrations Simon Coulson

Click here for more of Simon’s project ideas

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