5k: Short Pants With Teeth: 1972 Mercury Capri V8 Perana Wannabe

UPDATE: 5/19/2014 The seller has re-listed this car on EBay claiming a non-paying bidder.  The previous Ebay listing closed at $4,683 and the seller has now lowered his price to $4,500, while still fishing for $5,500 on Craigslist.  Maybe the last high bidder noticed the plates expired in 2009. (See story below for details)

Sometimes my bleary eyed searches for Daily Turismos take me down hazy nostalgic paths reminding of gentler times and sporting cars of years gone by. Other times, most frequently after my third cup of coffee, I’m off too Hoonville where I latch onto cars like this V8 swapped 1972 Capri, in Granada Hills, CA via Craigslist for $6,500 as tipped by Dirk S. This 1972 Mercury Capri V8 Perana Wannabe is also on Ebay with more hi resolution pictures, currently bidding at $4,483 with a few hours left to go.

I owned a 1971 Capri 2000 for a few months when I lived in Texas in 1974 and remember that Capri as a totally tossable little car that needed more power. Lots more power. Had I only lived in South Africa, instead of Texas, I could have gotten what I was after. In Texas, we all knew that Texan/chicken farmer/race car driver Carroll Shelby influenced the mating of various Ford V8’s into non-Ford European sports cars like the AC Cobra and the Sunbeam Tiger, but those efforts died in 1967 (the year the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards effectively killed everyone’s fun). Meanwhile, in South Africa in 1967, Basil Green Motors was just beginning to insert all manner of Ford V8s into the European Ford product line. BGM branded their creations with the name Perana and were authorized to sell them through the Ford network of dealers, much like Saleen managed to pull off here in the States.

There’s no way of knowing if the owner of this car is even aware of the existence of Ford 302 powered RHD Perana V8s as pictured above, as he too included a picture of a RHD Capri, but he chose a Cosworth twin-cam that was offered for sale a couple of years ago on some other blog. One thing is for certain, this owner managed to pull off the backyard equivalent of the Perana by stuffing carefully engineering a fuel injected Ford 302 and 5 speed from a donor 1989 Mustang GT into the Capri’s engine bay.

The picture above suggests that its a bone stock 302 which would have left the factory 25 years ago with about 225 horsepower. While some of those horses are tired after who knows how many miles, he claims it has a mild cam which could save a couple of those stray steeds from the glue factory. In either event, this engine should roughly double the horsepower the original V6 this car was born with. The best news is that according to the interwebs the Perana V8s were only 20 pounds heavier than the European Capri 3000, which means few if any suspension mods are required.

Not sure how much of the scavenged ’89 Mustang GT was used, but one might hope that along with the wheels, they also borrowed transferred the rear end which would be able to stand up to the additional horsepower and would be properly mated to the Tremec 5 speed and provide a rear disc brake set up.

We’re all about buying the other guy’s time and investment for as little as possible, so now that I’m through pointing to the potential of this little sleeper, lets start deducting some style points to keep that price down! We’ll start with the interior, or lack thereof. The picture below shows what’s been hidden under slip covers and dash covers for years. The good news is, there’s enough foam and pattern to keep the rehab time down to time of a typical stay for LiLo.

While the generally good appearance of the bright bits and the complete sun fade on the interior bits and the license plates suggest that this car’s been in California for quite some time, it does have rust is in the usual spots but they should be a pretty straightforward fix.

So, there you have it, the heart of an ’89 Ford Mustang GT with a slightly smaller, lighter body, which the seller has road tested for several thousand miles. Disgusting looking enough to keep those with fear of tetanitus away from you on the highway and potent enough to punish those who are out picking on 25 year old econo coupes at stop lights.

Hopefully, you read all the way to the bottom and haven’t already called on this car, because I just spotted a little fly in the blue decal on the back license plate. While a blue tab is the correct color for a 2014 registration in CA, its also the correct color for a car that hasn’t been registered since 2009 as shown in a close up of one of the seller’s pictures below.

See another former econo-sport rust bucket jacked up on steroids? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com

*Result  of Previous Auction*