When it comes to old cars you often hear about ‘barn finds’, well, this is the story of Two Wells local, Robert Dyer’s, ‘barn find’,
Back in October 2013 Robert, or Bob as he is known around town, and his wife, Evelyn bumped into a friend while out shopping and decided to catch up over coffee.
“Reluctantly I said yes as I had work to be done at home in the shed,” Bob laughed.
“The chap asked me if I would be interested in a new project, as he had an unfinished one that might interest me.
“He told me he had a Ford Capri that needed a new home.
“Well, I have always wanted a Capri, ever since they came out in 1969.
“Two of my mates had them but at the time I couldn’t afford one, the best I could do was an Escort.”
Bob’s excitement and interest in the Capri grew the more the friend elaborated.
He learnt a lot of money had been spent on the car in the mid to late 1990s including an engine rebuild, new brakes, exhaust system, upholstery, tyres and paint.
“I asked him how much he thought he would sell it for,” Bob said.
“He didn’t know, but it probably owed him quite a bit.
“By this time my excitement had started to die, as I thought there was no way I would be able to afford it.”
The car had been locked away in a shed and not used for the past decade, and Bob was rueing the fact he hadn’t asked to view the vehicle.
Biting the bullet, about six weeks later he contacted the friend and arranged to look at the car.
“If only to get an idea of the condition and value for future reference,” Bob said.
Luckily the car was located only a short drive away.
“On arrival we were taken out the back to a shed and under a very perished car cover, and covered in dust and bird droppings, we saw the telltale nose of a 1970 Mark I Ford Capri,” Bob said.
“Of course, I was very excited.
“After a good look, it was evident the vehicle had not seen the light of day for many a year.
“It was last registered in 2002.
“The paint work was very dull and faded, a few rust spots were starting to show through and the mice and spiders had been living in it.”
However, after a thorough inspection and discussion a price was negotiated that both parties were happy with and the deal was done.
“Once I got the car home, I washed and vacuumed it and that made a huge difference,” Bob said.
“I then polished it and WOW it came up like new, no need to repaint, just a few rust spots to take care of.”
Luckily, Bob was able to make and install all the panel work and touch up the paint himself.
A new water pump and thermostat later, and after a thorough check and installation of a fresh battery, the Capri was fired up.
“It had 10-year-old fuel that was still in the tank and started without any problems,” Bob said.
“Finally, I had the car I had always promised myself.”
So, here are the specs.
The vehicle is a Mark I Ford Capri 1600cc OHV crossflow, with a three-speed automatic gearbox and painted Vermillion Fire (which is an orange colour).
It is now valued at more than seven times what Bob paid. “Almost every time we take it out, we get lots of looks and comments like; ‘my Mum had one of these’ or ‘I learnt to drive in one of these’ or ‘I had one like this, I wish I kept it’,” Bob said.
“Capris are quite rare now.
“Back when they were produced they had to compete with the Holden Torana, and as the Torana was an Australian car, the British designed Capri got left behind.
“This car was manufactured 50 years ago in October 1970, coincidentally the same year Evelyn and I were married, so it has extra significance to us.”
Bob jokingly added that if he had to compare, he thought the Capri had probably fared better than him and his wife!