Beating ULEZ with a 46-year-old Ford Capri Car News

The second advantage was a sublime gearchange-clutch combination. This car had a gearlever action whose lightness, slickness and perfect definition I remember vividly from my first four-speed Caterham Seven (albeit with a slightly shorter gearlever and hence a shorter throw between ratios).

But the feeling was there. Add an ideal clutch stroke and engine flywheel weight that combined to make slick, quick gearchanges a delight.

The Capri did quite well on the motorway, given that in your first five minutes you’re conscious that in today’s world it lacks one or two high ratios.

Perhaps the absence of a tachometer (a characteristic of the L model) was helpful; you were only aware from the engine note that it was pulling more revs than you’d nowadays prefer to use at around 70mph.

Road noise built up steadily from 50mph so that, when cruising with the traffic, you had to start raising your voice to converse.

Yet, oddly, it never felt oppressive. Still, I did go everywhere at 65-70mph, which might not please everyone, even if experienced UK motorway travellers know you can spend so little time at elevated speeds that relaxing on motorways costs you little in time.

I’m aware that the above contains a fair bit of carping, but that’s not the end of the story. The Capri’s restricted width, which made manoeuvring in traffic easy and made ‘taking a line’ through B-road corners usually possible, added fun to our progress.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-31 07:01:46

By Auto Car

Coach is a weekly British motoring magazine published by Haymarket Media Group. First published in 1895, it bills itself as "the world's oldest automotive magazine."

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