Henry Ford II’s SVE-built Capri set for auction

A 1981 Ford Capri 2.8 injection created for Henry Ford II will be auctioned on 23 April by online specialist Car & Classic. The car is one of three special Fords created for Henry Ford II, the Capri specifically for him to use when traveling in the UK.

Starting life being hand-picked off the Cologne production line in Germany, the Capri underwent a transformation that included additional layers of paint, stricter quality control and comfort features such as a C3 automatic transmission, and leather trimmed door cards and wider seats.

Grandson of founder Henry Ford, Henry Ford II was a key driver of Ford’s Total Performance program that led to projects including the Ford GT40 and Mustang that were a catalyst for Ford’s success at the time. It was critical that Henry Ford II was available for dealer and supplier visits in the UK, hence his need for a bespoke Capri during that time.

The work on AVW109X was undertaken by Ford’s SVE division at Dunton before being delivered to Turville Grange, the Ford family’s home in the UK. It was enjoyed by the family until 1983 when it was purchased by Ron Mellor, then Head of Ford Product Development. After three years, he put a for sale sign on the staff notice board, leading to Alan Jarman, a designer at Ford, buying the car to commute from Torquay to Dunton. In 1993 Jarman sold the car to Leslie Garner who kept it until April 2007 when the next owner recommissioned the car with many new original Ford parts.

Now showing 68,958 miles (110,977km) on the odometer, the Capri has only covered around 6,800 miles (10,944) in the last 28 years. Fresh from a comprehensive refresh this February 2021, restoring it to its full glory, it’s now ready to be enjoyed once more.

“Fast Fords are always highly sought after but this Capri is much more than that,” said head of editorial at Car & Classic, Chris Pollitt. “Specifically prepared by the legendary SVE department for one of the most influential people in the history of Ford and then subsequently enjoyed by other key members of the company, it is a widely appreciated, documented and renowned part of the Ford story.”

The seven-day online auction will start with the special Capri estimated to go for £25,000 to £35,000 (A$44,927 to (A$62,927). The car comes to the sale with a vast array of history including old invoices, MOTs and copies of its time in Classic Cars magazine this February and in Steve Saxty’s book – Secret Fords, which came out in 2020.

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