IF YOU were a motoring journalist faced with the task of assembling half a dozen immaculately finished and efficiently modified motor cars, to meet the standards of the most discerning motorists, then as things stand at present you would have no option but to approach Broadspeed to borrow their Stage 2 Capri. We recently had the pleasure of using such a car and there is no doubt that the company has created the most desirable, and probably the most expensive, 1600 GT Capri in Britain.
Finished in regal purple and metallic silver to Rolls-Royce standards, the Broadspeed-modified car performs as well as it looks with a top speed close to 110 m.p.h. and the ability to accelerate from a standstill to this country’s overall speed limit in just over 15 seconds. An aerofoil “lip” placed across the lower valance makes the car stable at a continuous 100 m.p.h., while the improved brake pads and linings plus the stiffened and lowered suspension take care of even the boldest road drivers.
The 1600 GT engine produces approximately 20 b.h.p. more than a standard unit, and does its work smoothly, over a wide crankshaft revolution range, as a result of the reciprocating parts being balanced in conjunction with careful induction work. Excluding balancing, the cost of the tuned engine, in assembled form, is £115, which includes parts such as high pressure oil pump, single Ferrari Dino-type Weber carburetter, polished and internally-enlarged inlet manifold and a new exhaust system from top to bottom.
The braking material changes are cheap, simple and effective. Modifying the suspension to give an inch or so lower ride height, while stiffening up the rear leaf and front coil springs, costs £45, including revised front geometry to incorporate one degree of negative camber.
For road use the handling and ride are well adapted to enthusiastic driving, the six-inch wide wheels and Dunlop 185 section radials giving excellent adhesion. If the car slides on a wet road the steering is sufficiently sensitive to avoid making a dent in the countryside. During track testing we found the front end tended to slide, which spoils the enjoyment a little. The addition of a thicker front anti-roll bar would probably cure this tendency.
As can be seen, the front end of the car has been extensively changed and all its features except the exposed indicators proved to be exceptionally practical. The interior is in keeping with the rest of the car, having a combined £80 stereo radio and tape player from Smiths, matt-black sprayed dash (useful in cutting out glare, but a little jarring when set against the normal mock wood finish), the driver’s seat is tilted on the runners, giving a more comfortable position and a sturdy Les Leston wheel fitted.
I must admit to driving the car very enthusiastically, and, even so, fuel consumption stayed between 22 and 25 m.p.g., which is hardly likely to worry those inclined to spend this sort of money on making their Capri stand out from all the others Ford have sold in a highly successful first year: according to the SMMT the Capri is the seventh best selling car in Britain, so there is nothing “different” about it in production form.
So far as the Broadspeed version is concerned I can see very little to criticise. The differential started grumbling towards the end of our test, but as the car has covered a number of racing starts in search of performance figures, I hardly think this is surprising. The frontal lip may look as though it is a gimmick, but the writer did try a straightforward comparison between the Broadspeed car and his (staff) 1600 GT Capri in a motorway crosswind and the Broadspeed car was far more stable. In fact this sums up the modified machine, for the expenditure of approximately an extra £500 Broadspeed has moved the Capri up a class in performance and ensured that it is a satisfying individual choice.-J.D.W.