The 1985 Mercury Capri ASC McLaren was an experiment to see if
American muscle could be polished to compete with European
2-seaters like the Mercedes SL. Powered by the legendary Ford 5.0,
this is a nicely preserved example of one of the more interesting
footnotes in the Mustang/Capri's long, illustrious history and a
downright fun car to drive.
The Capri DNA is quite evident, but the extensive modifications to the bodywork really do make it a unique car. The most notable change was the complete removal of the back seat, along with a special air dam that gives the Capri an altogether more aggressive look. Thanks to a fresh paint job, this car looks absolutely spectacular, with a deep two-stage urethane shine that makes this car seem like it should cost far more than it does. And since it was virtually hand-built by the guys up at ASC, the build quality is quite impressive, particularly compared to many of its peers. Out back, it does without a spoiler and with those big Capri taillights, it's a lot more attractive than a comparable Mustang ragtop. And you will note that the Mercury badges have been neatly (and intentionally) removed; this is not merely a Capri. Given the unusual look, the fact that few people have seen a stock Capri (never mind one with a top that goes down), you should be prepared for a lot of questions any time you show up in this striking black 2-seater.
The interior is perhaps the McLaren's most dramatic feature. First of all, the back seat is gone, replaced by a Mercedes-style package shelf that's actually pretty handy for running errands around town. The Recaro buckets are upholstered in high-grade tan leatherette and are every bit as comfortable as they look. The center console almost looks like a factory Capri piece, but is just different enough to make even experts do a double-take. The rest, of course, is standard Capri fare, including the highly legible gauges and well-designed switchgear. Standard features include power windows and locks, A/C, and a fantastic AM/FM/CD stereo. Seeing as ASC specializes in convertible conversions for the OEMs, it should be no surprise that there's a snug-fitting black canvas top that stows easily under the flush-fitting rear deck and offers a very Mercedes-like rear window treatment that is surely no coincidence. Better yet, trunk space is unaffected, so there's a surprising amount of storage space.
Power comes from the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8, which made a robust 180 horsepower and 260 pounds of torque. It's legendary, so I'm sure I don't need to get into the specifics, but it's remarkable to see a completely stock and unmodified 5.0 that hasn't been heavily modified and raced. Everything is pretty much the way the factory intended, so it starts easily and runs beautifully and has a nice burble from the throaty dual exhaust. A 5-speed manual transmission makes for easy around-town driving and with the tall overdrive, the freshly-installed 3.55 gears in a fresh 8.8-inch axle with limited slip mean that it still loafs along on the highway. And yes, the undercarriage is every bit as clean as you'd expect, with almost $1000 just spent on a brake service and new front tires. Speaking of tires, they're bigger than stock, with 245/40/17s up front and 275/40/17 in back on a set of custom 17-inch wheels.
One of only 460 Mclaren Capris built in 1985, this is surely one of the very best. Hailing from long-term ownership and with receipts and maintenance records, it's a car you can buy with confidence. Call today!
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