Ford Capri Zakspeed Turbo for sale

Yes, it's a real one and yes, it's for sale in the UK – form an orderly queue…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Loading comments

More often than anyone would like to admit, motorsport-inspired special editions are a bit naff. Championships are celebrated with little more than a new paintjob and some interior plaques. They’re half-hearted at best, cynical at worst, a cash-in on months of hard work with something that looks like it’s taken 15 minutes.

But not all of them are a waste of time, and the Zakspeed Capri may well be top of the list of great motorsport specials. It wasn’t a homologation car built for motorsport, rather a model that celebrated competition success. Zakspeed was Ford’s official team for German touring cars until the early 1980s, and for 1981, a Group 5 Capri Turbo was dominant. The Zakspeed car took 12 poles and 9 wins in 14 races, enough for Klaus Ludwig to win the 1981 title. It was the first title for the Capri since Hans-Joachim triumphed in 1972 and was therefore well worth celebrating.

The roadgoing Zakspeed Capri wasn’t much like the race car, but that’s because the race car wasn’t much like a Capri. The engine was a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo that made more than 500hp and revved beyond 9,000rpm, for starters. The Zakspeed Capri road car was notable, however, for turbocharging the venerable Cologne 2.8 V6. Already potent for a Capri as standard, the ‘Werksturbo’ produced almost 200hp. Not as much as the Tickford Turbo, but more than enough to be getting on with.

Additional upgrades included a limited-slip diff, Bilstein dampers and uprated anti-roll bars. All featured bodywork built by Zakspeed in its factory (ahead of Ford at Cologne finishing things off) to make the marketing link a more tangible one.

Yet they didn’t all sell. Ford set out to convert 200 cars to the Zakspeed-inspired spec, but it’s believed that only 155 were made. Which would have made it rare when new, let alone 40 years later. And in the country it was never sold in…

But here we have it, a Zakspeed Capri Turbo – or at least that’s what we’re calling it – for sale in the UK. It looks an absolute stunner, too, having covered just 34,000 miles since 1983 and with the same owner since 1988. It’s all original, too, and has “never been restored, just preserved throughout this time” according to the advert. Unsurprisingly it’s a concours winner, too, awarded by the Ford RS Owners Club and Capri Club International. It isn’t hard to see why, either, given the condition of everything – seats, wheels, bodywork, engine bay, even the original dealer stick looks little short of factory fresh.

It is also being sold with parts no longer available, which should help the next buyer keep it on the road. Because you’d want to drive it at some point, surely. Very, very carefully, of course – what was pretty special at the time is highly prized four decades later. Turbo and tyre technology has come on a fair way since the 1980s, too.

Bring all those factors together – the rarity, the UK’s fast Ford fascination, the incredible condition – and you would expect this Capri to cost a pretty penny. And you’d be right. Though the PH advert is POA, the dealer has it listed for £89,995. Which is a lot of money – even Focus RS500s aren’t that much… But then there really is nothing quite like a Zakspeed; a Brooklands or similar just doesn’t compare. If the collection is short a turbocharged Capri, there can be few better.

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