Thursday, October 13, 2016

Craigslist Crash Tester: 1984 McLaren ASC Mercury Capri

A collaboration between the American Sunroof Company and McLaren (but not that one...), these semi-factory official cars were offered in both coupe and convertible from 1984 to 1986 or so. Just 557 drop-tops were made.

No fully FoMoCo-made Capri convertible was ever offered, and these McLaren ASC cars were essentially coachbuilt. From Wiki:

"Convertibles required redesigning of the car's unit construction and the fabrication of a replacement rear decklid, floor reinforcements, quarter panel caps, tonneau cover and a windshield that was raked back an extra 10 degrees. They received a manual convertible top that took up residence in the area once designated for the rear seats. They used a smaller top than the Mustang convertible that is unique to that car, as are the seals, weatherstripping, windshield moldings, etcetera"

This one's an early crash test car, likely among the first handful of pre-production prototypes ever built, presumably almost entirely by hand.

How something like this A. avoided the crusher and B. survived the past three decades intact is certainly a mystery.

Reads the ad:

"This was a crash test car. No drivetrain, dash or seats. No title. $350 OBO."

It's obviously no good as a car anymore, but if art is (at least partially) defined as something with no practical purpose beyond existing for its own sake, for the reaction it solicits from its viewers, then I think this intriguing old heap fits the definition perfectly. Besides, those taillights have to be worth at least a couple of bucks on eBay.


  1. Did those taillights only go with the ASC convertibles?

    1. I don't think they're specific to ASC cars, but regular ol' Fox body Capris are rare enough that they have to be pretty valuable I'd guess.