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Holy Grail’ of Ford Capris: RS3100 may sell for record £60k

A one-of-a-kind Ford Capri dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’ with just one careful owner in 50 years is set to sell for a new record price when it goes under the hammer next month.

The prototype RS3100 was bought for just £1,500 in 1972 – the equivalent of £21,000 in today’s money.

Experts believe it will meet its pre-sale estimate of £60,000, which would be almost £5,000 more than the record figure paid for a Capri at auction.

The ‘Holy Grail’ of Ford Capris: This one-of-a-kind prototype RS3100 is being offered at auction next month and could become the most expensive Capri of all time

The car is registered as a 1975 model, but was produced three years earlier than that. 

That’s because it is a prototype version of the RS3100 Fast Ford.

It was built at Ford’s Advanced Vehicle Operations in South Ockendon, Essex, in 1972 as the pre-the production run for the 249 RS3100 examples that followed, all of which were built in 1973.

Despite being the blueprint for those cars, this was the last one to be registered.

The RS3100 was specifically created for Ford to enter the Mk1 Capri in the European Touring Car Championship in 1974.

Rules for the series stated that 1,000 road-going RS3100s had to be built in order for a competition version to participate – though Ford only produced a quarter of that quota, blaming the 1973 oil crisis for strangling demand for new cars. 

This prototype and the other road-going models are fitted with a de-tuned version of the race car’s 3.1-litre V6 engine, producing 148bhp.

The car is registered as a 1975 model, but was produced three years earlier. That's because it is a prototype version of the RS3100 Fast Ford that became the blueprint for 249 other examples

The car is registered as a 1975 model, but was produced three years earlier. That’s because it is a prototype version of the RS3100 Fast Ford that became the blueprint for 249 other examples

The RS3100 model stands apart from standard Mk1 Capris with the addition of a ducktail spoiler as well as a sports exhaust, racier suspension and beefier brakes

The RS3100 model stands apart from standard Mk1 Capris with the addition of a ducktail spoiler as well as a sports exhaust, racier suspension and beefier brakes

When new, it was claimed to be able to hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of around 125mph.

When new, it was claimed to be able to hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of around 125mph.

It stood apart from standard Mk1 Capris with the addition of a ducktail spoiler as well as a sports exhaust, racier suspension and beefier brakes.

When new, it was claimed to be able to hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of around 125mph.

This version is finished in a bright ‘Sebring Red’ – which is almost orange – with a contrasting Black Vinyl interior and badged ‘Capri GT’. 

It has been retained by one owner since being bought from Ford with only 500 miles on the odometer.

It has now clocked 70,722 miles in half a century – an average of just 1,414 miles per year.

The Capri has been retained by one owner since 1972, when it was bought from Ford with only 500 miles on the clock. It now shows 70,722 miles - an average of just 1,414 miles per year

The Capri has been retained by one owner since 1972, when it was bought from Ford with only 500 miles on the clock. It now shows 70,722 miles – an average of just 1,414 miles per year

This prototype and the other road-going models are fitted with a de-tuned version of the race car’s 3.1-litre V6 engine, producing 148bhp

This prototype and the other road-going models are fitted with a de-tuned version of the race car’s 3.1-litre V6 engine, producing 148bhp

This example, finished in a bright 'Sebring Red' - which is almost orange, standards apart with a contrasting Black Vinyl interior and badged 'Capri GT'

This example is finished in a bright ‘Sebring Red’ – which is almost orange – with a contrasting Black Vinyl interior and badged ‘Capri GT’

It is being offered to the highest bidder at Classic Car Auction’s Summer Sale, hosted on 18 June.

With a guide price of £50,000 to £60,000, it is widely expected to eclipse the previous record figure paid for a road-registered Ford Capri.

The most valuable Capri of all time is currently a 1987 280 Brooklands sold by Silverstone Auctions in 2017. 

That car, with just 14,680 miles on the clock at the time the hammer dropped, was bought for £55,125.

This prototype RS3100 differs from the rest of the production run of 249 examples that followed it.

Namely, it has fixed rear quarter windows, a flat three-spoke steering wheel and black rocker covers (production ones are blue). 

The most valuable Capri of all time is this 1987 280 Brooklands sold by Silverstone Auctions in 2017

It had just 14,680 miles on the clock at the time the hammer dropped at £55,125

The most valuable Capri of all time is this 1987 280 Brooklands sold by Silverstone Auctions in 2017. It had just 14,680 miles on the clock at the time the hammer dropped at £55,125

This prototype RS3100 - with registration 'KVV 648P' - has been kept it in its original unrestored condition having only had some small paint rectifications over 50 years

This prototype RS3100 – with registration ‘KVV 648P’ – has been kept it in its original unrestored condition having only had some small paint rectifications over 50 years

It has been stored on chassis stands from 1982 until this year when it was recommissioned. Up until 1982, it had been used by the vendor as a daily driver

It has been stored on chassis stands from 1982 until this year when it was recommissioned. Up until 1982, it had been used by the vendor as a daily driver

Classic Car Auctions says its availability represents a 'once in a life time opportunity' for collectors to own a very special piece of Ford's RS history

Classic Car Auctions says its availability represents a ‘once in a life time opportunity’ for collectors to own a very special piece of Ford’s RS history

It also has a unique chassis number ‘BFECRK’, the rest being ‘BBECND’-series.

The car – with registration ‘KVV 648P’ – has been kept it in its original unrestored condition having only had some small paint rectifications over 50 years.

It has been stored on chassis stands from 1982 until this year when it was recommissioned. 

Up until 1982, it had been used by the vendor as a daily driver.

Classic Car Auctions says its availability represents a ‘once in a life time opportunity’ for collectors to own a very special piece of Ford’s RS history.

Simon Langsdale, from the auction house, said Ford used this car for the studio shots used on the Single Sheet Sales Brochure and the Supplementary Handbook, the latter being supplied with all production cars.

‘The ‘Holy Grail’ of Capri’s has always been out of reach so the chance to be able to offer such a special car is good enough and keeps the juices flowing for sure,’ he added.

The Capri arrived in 1969 as ‘the car you always promised yourself’, as Ford Europe’s response to the huge sales success of the Mustang in America. 

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