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Mercury Capri XR2 turbo, Money Pit or Economic?

I have the opportunity to get a 1991 Capri, I’ve read just about everything on the net about these cars and the info is about evenly divided between Money pit P.O.S. and good, reliable, economic car. I do realize that a little over 66,000 of these cars were made and some interior and body parts are scarce. All I really want is a car to get me to & from work in relative comfort, is great on gas and has some pizzaz.

I can do light mechanical work (brakes, bearings, tune-ups etc.) but major work is not in the picture (overhauls & transmission). The target car doesn’t blow any smoke, and aside from a few door dings and headlights stuck in the up position is in good shape. It’s purchase price is barely over 1K. Please don;t suggest a new car, purchase price is a big factor. Opinions?

At the $1,000 price point you’re not going to be getting a flawless car, whatever you get is pretty much going to be the kind of car where if anything even semi-major goes wrong, it’s going to be more economically advantageous to just toss the keys the drivers seat and just walk away.

The problem with the Capri is that it never sold in large numbers and was only around for four years. This will indeed make getting specific parts for it more difficult. If it were me, and I needed a cheap car. I’d look around for either a base model pickup truck, without any frills (stick shift, base engine,etc.), or a used Crown Vic police car. These vehicles will be fairly reliable and cheap to fix.

For $1000, it’s not a huge risk, but you do need to have it checked by a mechanic before you buy, you could miss some potentially expensive problems. Also, does it pass emissions?

You haven’t told us how many miles are on this Capri, nor have you said anything about its maintenance history.

Turbo-charged cars are always a significant risk as used vehicles because their maintenance requirements are more stringent than standard vehicles, and sometimes they don’t receive the proper care.

If you don’t know the history of this car I’d say keep shopping.

As a daily driver – walk away from the POS.

As a project that will take up space in your garage for several years, occupy your time and money until you get bored, realize it will never run or look good, then sell it along with whatever parts you bought, for far less than you paid – go for it.



Call your local parts stores and check the price and availability of the water pump, turbo charger, CV axles, brake calipers, brake rotors and an ECU.