Ford Consul Classic and Capri

Ford Consul Classic and Capri

If you want tune and improve a 1960s Ford with a di­fference, look no further than the Classic and Capri range.

Something quite different to the mainstream classic Ford here — it’s the stylish Consul Classic range. These oft-forgotten cars share a lot in common with the 105E Anglia in terms of visuals — the sweeping back window of the Classic for a start — but you may be surprised to learn that there’s also a very similar front suspension. Ironically, it used to be the thing to source Classic front struts to give your Anglia instant disc brakes as the whole units virtually bolt on. These days the options have moved on — as we’ll see...

Ford Consul Classic

Along with the more plentiful four-door, there is a rarer two-door Classic although we’ve so far missed off the real peach of the lot — the ultra-cool Consul Capri. The fastback lines of these really have American styling, which just needs enhancing. Get it right and you’ll have a stunning car that really stands out.


The unique styling of the Classic and Capri are all part of their charm. There’s not really a whole lot you can do without ruining the styling, but bumpers can easily be removed front and rear for the race look, or you can even fi t quarter bumpers. The profile can be cleaned up by removing some of the chrome trims, but the resulting holes will need to be welded up, so really should only be done if you are planning on a respray.

If weight is an issue, or even if your front wings or doors are rotten, consider fitting glassfibre panels. The quality is a lot better these days and they’re relatively easy to fit, as well being cheaper than steel panels. Smith & Deakin produce a range of GRP panels for the pair.



The Classic range came with a Pre- Crossflow Kent — the majority were 1340cc (with a three-bearing, hollow crank) but the later Classics and Capris were fitted with a 1500 including a GT version, which has a five-bearing, solid-construction crank.

The most obvious route is to bring the engine to GT-spec, either by swapping in a complete engine, which isn’t a bad idea as the head’s an altered casting with higher compression ratio (CR), or having the standard one worked, adding a 28/36 Weber and tubular exhaust manifold. The cam was uprated too but the nearest commercially available is now a Kent Cams BCF1 or slightly better, BCF2.

The A-Series Cosworth cam profiles are upgrades after this, coupled with a CR raise by skimming the head. Do this through a specialist such as Vulcan or Throbnozzle Engineering. The GT carb will be good to around 100 bhp, while 40 DCOEs will release more. Or swap the bottom end for Crossflow for potential to 1700cc and around 145 bhp.


Since the engine’s Kent-based the most obvious swap is to Crossflow power. It’ll fi t with a bit of mount-jiggling as the block’s slightly wider, plus the battery may well find its way to the boot to gain extra carburettor clearance. However, you will also need a Mk2 Cortina front bowl sump and front cover to clear the steering box-based front suspension. You could use a Cortina block although the later 711M unit has revisions making it stronger. The other obvious route is a Pinto, although this needs bulkhead clearance — especially if you use it in conjunction with rack and pinion-based front suspension. More common now though is to fi t a Zetec (below), which needs less massaging and is easier to wring out lots of power from.

The 1340 Pre-Crossflow of non-GT models can be tuned, but the 1500 makes for a much better starting point.


Non-1500 cars all had a non-syncrofirst, three-rail gearbox, invariably that’ll be column-change too which, to be honest, everyone’s going to change. The desirable choice is to 2000E ratios, which can be achieved by swapping to the appropriate ’box and cutting a hole in the floor — although it’s in a different place to the GT models that also had a floor change.

More likely though the list- topper will be a five speed, which will mean tunnel mods to fi t in a Type-9 five-speed.

2000E ratios work best if you’re sticking with the four-speed, though gearlever hole may need moving.


Classic struts may mean front disc brakes but that’s limited to non-vented discs as the spaced-out callipers will clout — although you can fit the bigger solid discs and callipers from the later Capri range. Hence the reason for fitting Mk2 Cortina struts (see Suspension), instantly giving a far wider spectrum of brake options — Capri 2.8i vented discs and callipers are then dead easy to fi t along with a 0.70-inch master cylinder.

Swapping to rack-and-pinion front suspension will give virtually the same brake options, too — with the usual crop of Willwood-based or even Hi-Spec kits available according to the size of wheels you use. There’s plenty available for you here.

At the rear, the English axle means you can uprate to GT-size 9 inch drums or an Old Ford Auto Services disc brake kit.


If you’re retaining the steering box the ticket’s swapping to Mk2 Cortina suspension including the steering arm units. Lowering is straightforward using Escort lowered springs or fi t an abutment kit and 2.25-inch ID springs with adjustable platforms. Popular is swapping to Escort front suspension, which means adapting the front crossmember and adjusting the top mounts; Old Ford Auto Services do a kit that bolts straight in. Round the back many swap the lever arm dampers to telescopic dampers although there isn’t a kit available, meaning adapting an Escort turreting kit and sourcing adjustable dampers — OFAS can advise here. Height can be dropped using lowering blocks, while many stiffen up the springs by adding extra leaves.


The Consul Capri is all about American styling, which means bench seats and column change although that’s not exactly performance orientated. You could swap to single seats reupholstered in period style — keep it simple though, losing the headrests, coupling pleated vinyl to match the rears. And if you’re aware of your hot rod routes, you could consider metalflake vinyl with matching steering wheel. This would better suit a floor change if you want to swap in an extra gear in the ’box.

Whatever, we reckon keeping it period-themed really suits these cars — even uprate to leather if tracking down good early trim is difficult.

Money spent in this area can really make your car — both from the driving enjoyment and looks.


Classics belong to the era of crossply tyres and ultra-skinny wheels, which virtually everyone is going to change, at the very least to radials on the standard rims although more likely is tracking down a set of 4.5-inch GT steels. Everyone’s favourite however is obviously going to be Lotus 5.5s — although the price of them now means alloys could be an even cheaper option. Check out the advertisers in Classic Ford for some hard-to-beat deals.

The deep wings mean they’ll swallow 6s and 7s at the rear. Traditional tyre choice is 185/60R13 tyres — possibly wider at the rear. While we’re on the rotating bits, you may want to look at the rear axle ratios, which can be a bit tall — with a bit of engine tuning, we’d drop to a 3.7 or Cortina 3.9:1 gear ratio.

Original interiors in both cars are Sixties-tastic, needing only careful tweaks to improve them.

Wings should swallow up to 7 inch wide wheels with the right offset.

Ford Consul Classic and Capri

Owners Club

Pre-67 Ford Owners’ Club

Old Skool Ford



GT’s extra dials can be added to cooking models.



105Speed 01234 826827

BGH Geartech 01580 714114

Burton Power 020 8518 9127

Ex-Pressed Steel Panels 01535 632721

GAZ Shocks 01268 724585

Kent Cams 01303 248666

Milton 01233 730959

Old Ford Auto Services 01344 422731

Retro Ford 01536 204823

Small Ford Spares 01684 219865

Smith & Deakin 01905 458886

Specialised Engines 01375 378606

Throbnozzle Racing 07724 000320

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