'Stick a V8 in it,' says Will. And he often does. Currently sticking one in his 1970 stack-headlight Merc and talking about doing the same to a Prius just to upset people.
PPC editor Will Holman’s Capri is what got him hooked on the highly addictive V8 habit. He bought it eight years ago but the 3-litre Essex V6 never performed very well so Will decided it needed a rebuild. But when the price of the parts and machining added up to £1100, Will had second thoughts. Then he read about Basil Green’s Capri Peranas in South Africa. Green ditched the V6s, fitted 5-litre Mustang V8s and cleaned up in South African Touring Car Racing. Ford were so impressed they sold the cars through dealerships and even considered bringing them to the UK – until the early ‘70s fuel crisis, that is.
'Always buy the best car you can afford', is the advice PPC mag regularly churns out to readers. It's sound too, but unfortunately Will couldn't really afford a nice quattro so he bought a shonky one for 1200 quid. He managed to get it on the road but the engine went pop quite soon afterward.
At the time, pistons for the 10-valve five-pot turbo were unavailable so Will bought a 20-valve unit from an Audi S6. In bits. After Charlie had finished swearing at him he managed to get it in the car and badgered Dave Walker to build him a custom Emerald ECU to run the five-pot turbo engine - it needed sequential ignition and injection.
Built in South Africa, Will imported this 1971 Merc five years ago, having found it in a supermarket car park near Johannesburg, where it was someone’s daily driver. It was dented and tatty but rust free. A Romano LPG injection kit was Will’s first investment (fitted by Jess Court 01303 230055) – allowing him to use the car every day. But after 18 months it was clear that, having lived in an area where it rains for around six weeks a year, the poor old Merc wasn’t enjoying the British climate much. PPC regular Mike Coman came to the rescue by arranging for his students at Leeds College of Technology to respray the car.