Devil in Disguise: Capri project How-To

Hot Rod Magazine: July/August 1976

Read this doc on Scribd: Hot Rod Magazine-1976-Devil In Disguise
Read this doc on Scribd: Hot Rod Magazine-1976-Devil In Disguise
WHO KNOWS WHAT DEVIL LURKS IN THE LINCOLN-MERCURY DEALERSIIIPS ••• THE SHADOW KNOWS! well-handling, economical vehicle. We happened to have one of the first Capri II "S" cars in the area, so immediately grew accustomed to questions from passers-by, but it's nothing compared to taking the car out now, even on a normal little shopping spree. The combination of the UOP-type paint, molded-in roadrace fender flares, louvered rear window and the beautiful BBS magnesium/aluminum racing wheels with Pirelli fat-guy tires, is strange enough as a street combination that onlookers really freak out over the car. To us this is accomplishing a goal, as we like to create excitement which could easily cause someone else to get an idea and do-it-to-it. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO ME NOW? Although your basic Capri II "S" is a neat automobile, there are improvements, both mechanical and cosmetic, that can add to its overall driving pleasure. And without getting into a serious discussion over what consti- tutes a driveable package (those things tend to be so subjective), let's consider that the upgraded "S" suspension package can be improved upon. The Europeans don't bother themselves with such worries as Federal bumper standards, so they are capable of sorting out suspension systems that are statically low and dynamically flat. We happen to have just such a suspension on our car, and it basically consists of a front and rear anti-roll bar, higher spring rate coils, with less free length, and stiffer rear leaf springs. The shocks themselves are also different, but we retained the McPherson strut front shock assemblies and replaced the rears with adjustable Konis. Black/gold Capri Interior Is finished nicely with Racemark wheel, Radio Shack CB and Panasonlc radio. The Panasonlc multiple cassette player and radio took some work to Install, but gives stock look. The Realistic One-Hander makes CBlng easy, the Super Snooper evens 'em up, and the Racemark mirror. well .... " Our stock Capri II "S" before the 'glass addition was a "looking good" piece. Here Jeff Scozzaro (left) and assistant hold up our disguise pieces, and the effort was worth It. HOT ROD JULY 1976 41 DEVIL IN DISGUISE Probably the single most noticeable suspension change, one that made a drastic difference in the handling characteristics of the car, was the tire/wheel combination. Initially, the BBS road racing wheels were considered because of their European road-race flair and great-looking appearance. However, after talking first with Ed Austin of Wesco Track & Tire (he is something of a Southern California distributor for BBS wheels and those trick Pirelli Cinturato radials), we were convinced this was the way to go. Our initial call to Paul Harsanyi of Intermag (Box 2, Berkeley, California 94701), a U.S. importer for BBS wheels and Pirelli tires, was kind of comical. We were questioning him on the technical aspects and availability of the BBS wheels, when we got to the subject of what size tires would be right for the car. We, of course, wished to fill the wheelwells but did not want to bog the engine down with too much tire. In his great gentlemanly manner, Paul's reaction to our initial tire selections went something like, ..... well, do you want the car to just look pretty or would you also like it to handle?" Of course we wanted it to handle, so we went with the Pirelli Cinturato CN36, 235/60 VR 13 size. These steel-belted radials are nearly nine inches wide, and at Paul's suggestion, 'We mounted them on 9-inch-wide BBS wheels, using 5%-inch outer and 3%inch inner wheel rim halves. We obtained the European fiberglass parts from the L&M engineering department, and they consisted of a front spoiler, four fender flares and a rubber-tipped rear spoiler. The window shade we used is Chastain's Shadow assembly, which by the way, is a snap to install. Because of our desire to have a well-finished, as well as a racy appearance, we did not want the fiberglass panels riveted on; we wanted them blended into the body. This takes a batch of manhours and a lot of labor to do correctly, but that's what we wanted. Jeff Scozzaro (his car was featured on our May '76 cover) of Jeff's Place in Anaheim, California, executed all of the bodywork, inner wheelwell modifications, and applied the ribbons of color and a gallon and a half of black lacquer. tires and some of the little convenience items we felt we needed for taking long trips. For our trek across country, we were careful to plan out the interior appointments. The first installation was a Panasonic FM/AM/FM stereo with cassette tape. The model we used is the CQ-742EU, but it is not a drop-in installation. We liked this particular unit, so we removed the vinyl dash face, trimmed a metal dash support, and plopped the unit in place. The interior of the Capri is very well done and very compact, so it doesn't leave a lot of room to just hang things. This makes a CB installation somewhat difficult, if not impractical. What we did was go with the new Radio Shack 21-161 transceiver that has all the controls located in the hand-held mike. The power unit itself was mounted underdash and out of the way. The only visible giveaway, other than the Breaker, Thomas Jefferson, guttermount antennas, is the dash-mounted mike. The one-hand operation is rather nice, and you have the option of using the power unit speaker, external speaker or the little speaker mounted in the mike head. Added insurance was our installation of Autotronics' new Super Snooper radar detector. For our needs, tt)e unit works well. It is rather large in overall size and so does not complement the compact interior, but Autotronics must have figured that not everyone would want the detector in operation all of the time, so they very conveniently equipped the unit with a cigarette lighter connector. The Capri "S" interior is one of the best we've seen in quite a while. The vinyl-trimmed corduroy seats have adjustable backs and are very comfortable. The rest of the all-black interior is finished very nicely, and we especially like the individual folding rear seats. About the only complaint we had was with the steering wheel. We just didn't like it, and it doesn't go with the image of the car, but Bob Bailey's custom Racemark wheel does. Another thing it does is move the wheel away from you a little, thus giving you even more of a true race car feeling. About the only thing necessary to mount the flatblack aluminum wheel was to bend the turn indicator/high beam/horn control toward the dash a little. HARD ROAD Before we head out for parts east, we promise to give you the full technical, how-to rundown next month. We also promise, the Lord willin', that if you attend any of the events mentioned, you'll get to see the car in person. And although these pictures do the car justice, thanks to Kenny Youngblood's color layout treatment, it just ain't like seeing the real thing. We're not done with the car either. Plans are to install a peppy little Ford 302, along with a 4- or 5-speed trans. We also intend to drop the car in the dirt a little further, and add a few touches like smaller bumpers, rectangular headlights, driving lights, wire mesh grille, race-type oil cooler, blacked-out windows ... the devil is making us do this; think we better stop now. •• I'VE GROWN ACCIJSTIIMDJ TO HER nu:E Now after all this work It would be heartbreaking to allow some evil person to walk off with a part or all of this little car. So what we did was Install a Page Alert security system that Is rather unique. Basically, It's a coded radio frequency transmitter and receiver. It works to within a 1500-foot radius, operates off the original 12-volt battery and is easily Installed. The receiver is a small rectangular box that can be carried In your pocket or clipped to your belt and Is triggered If someone opens the doors, hood or trunk of your car. Its beep Is ear-piercing and consequently can be heard In any room of the house or office If you set It down. The triggering mechanisms are micro switches such as those that operate dome lights, Ignition key reminders, etc. It's a great idea, the unit really works, and If nothing were to ever happen, It at least gives you a sense of security. •• ALL IN THE NAME OF ROCK AND ROLL We didn't just build this car for the sake of doing it and then giving it back to Ford for someone to stick in a corner. We bought the car, paid for the bodywork and paint, wheel and 42 HOT ROD JULY 1976 VBJUICE Aside from turbocharging, one of the few practical ways to increase the power of a Capri Is to upgrade the powerplant. In essence, this V8 Capri swap does Just that, by replacing the V6/4-speed with a small-block Ford V8 and C-4 trans. Modifications to the '76 Capri were minimal. Dave Bowling, whose action emporium at 14846 Acton Drive In San Jose, California, turns out everything from rear-motored sprinters to V8 Caprls, merely fitted the V8 with a Bronco 011 pan and pickup, fabricated steel plate front and rear motor mounts, altered the driveshaft nose to accept a C-4 U-Joint assembly, bolted In a '74 Capri shift selector which only required a 3-inch extension added to one shift rod, then added a trans cooler, increased the capacity of the stock V6 radiator, attached a shortened water pump, and then finished it all off with a set of over-the-counter headers. The entire Installation is straightforward and simple enough to do, but if you feel not quite qualified to tackle something like this, Dave will either do the work or supply the actual conversion kit. This swap took a week and a half to complete and $2000 •• The small-block Ford V8 nestles In the Capri engine compartment nicely. It looks like this is the place it was meant to be and it Is. Fabricated rear trans mount bolts up In the stock location. It's made from 'I.-inch plate. With the rear insulator It looks nearly stock. The stock drlveshaft was retained but modified to accept the C-4 universal. The only mod to the shift linkage was to add 3 Inches. Bronco oil pan, along with the necessary pickup, was Installed to clear the rack and pinion and the front crossmember. IEALERSHIP IEVIL Have you any idea what comes from lincoln-Mercury dealerships, looks a little devilish and a lot freaky? Well, It's the Capri S/3, and It's based on the Capri II "S". All those bulbous flares, spoilers and such are the handiwork of Roger Chastain & Associates, the Shadow window louver people, and they are building these cars for L&M dealers. To get one, you simply bUy a base Capri with the $241 "S" package, with a 4-speed, V6 engine, power steering, tinted glass and the flip-out rear quarter windows. For an additional $1950, you can have a finished S/3, which means that in addition to the above features you will get a front air dam, full-flared front and rear fenders, rear spoiler, body tape, "gate-shift" center console, Shadow rear window louver, 7-lnch wire-mag wheels and B.F. Goodrich TA 50 tires. The complete deal, less dealer prep, destination charges, tax and license, but Including the "S" package and abovementioned options, will list out for $6848, and for that you get to turn the key and drive it away. Those of you who already have a Capri II can purchase blind-rivet, popon kits directly from Roger and, on a Saturday afternoon, assemble your own sinister-looking pseudo road racer. The components are available In Capri "S" white or black, so if you have any other color, you will need to have the components painted before assembly. There are two less expensive kits available: an S/1, which Includes a Shadow rear window louver and hood, trunk and side body stripes ($149); and there's an SI2, which Includes the rear window louver, all body stripes, front air dam and rear spoiler ($287). •• HOT ROD JULY 197643 DEVIL IN DISGUISE THYIN' TO GET THE FEELING Some people don't go In for engine swaps; they'd rather retain the stock powerplant and try to get it to perform so people will think It's something it really isn't. The Capri V6 is a popular engine and it's doubtful that many diehard Capri lovers would ever agree to parf with one. Jerry Kugel had one such customer-a va was out and a carefully prepared V6 was in. The basic rebuild consisted of a blueprint that brought all specs down to the minimum and clearances to a max. The heads were cut to give an overall compression ratio of 9.0:1, and a complete three-angle valve job added. The clearanced crank, rods and stock piston assemblies were carefully balanced and an Isky No. 450465 cam Installed. Offenhauser produces probably the most efficient two-piece manifold avail· able for a V6, so It and a Holley 390cfm carb made up the induction system. The stock Ignition curve was quickened to produce more "low-end" and was tailored In conjunction with Clifford Research headers. Although all this added up to one mighty impressive yet drlveable package, It would be necessary, at least in Call· fornla, to have the engine tested for emission levels. After all, this Is a whole bunch of changin' as far as the __ Feds are concerned. WIUD'S IT ALL ABIJ1JT IIJGER? The Chastain & Associates (Shadow) pop-on parts differ drastically from the European Ford components. Of course the Ford pieces were designed specifically for one thing-racing. The S/3 kit was engineered for the street and un· derwent many hours of Intense consideration before finalizing shapes, attachment method and overall design. For your edification, we present this striking comparison, as it tells you what Roger had on his mind. __ HOT ROD JULY 1976 ... OR HOW TO ROCK OUT WITH FIBERGLASS PANELS ILIN DI~ I PART2 Black is beautiful but it's difficult to keep clean. What we did was order a Custom Fit Car Cover from Beverly Hills Motor Parts. It was made for our car, constructed of 100% green cotton drill, is water-repellant and soft enough not to scratch our shiny black lacquer. Price is $45 to $55, depending on size. ast month we introduced what we feel is an exciting vehicle, one which looks very similar to a present-day road racer and one which could quite possibly be easily lost if compared to tomorrow's street freaks. A slow-moving trend is beginning to take shape, and that shape will be bold, very bold. Without resorting to tea leaf reading or fortune telling cards, it's a safe assumption to guess that you will be seeing more and more freaky L body panels and spoilers. Roger Chastain has set a precedent with his "pop-on" blind rivet panels, as they can be installed without expensive bodywork. And although they are currently available only for Capri lis, it's just a matter of time before these types of parts are made for other popular vehicles. Of course that day hasn't come yet, which means that we either have to modify existing pieces or make our own. Fiberglass is a wonderful thing and WE'RE SORRY, BUT ... It seems that somewhere In our production department we inadvertently left out a short paragraph In our Initial Devil In Disguise article. The paragraph dealt with our intentions of having our Capri on hand at the NSRA Street Machine Nationals and the NHRA Indy Nationals. We made reference to this In the story, but you would be hard-pressed to figure it all out, since there was no mention of the events we Intended to make. Our sincere apologies for the mistake ... I guess the Devil made us do It.-JD I' Stock fenders were trimmed to accommodate larger tires. Sheetmetal removal was done by drilling holes and tearing away the material with a chisel and punch. Lip was then turned under with pliers. Fiberglass panels were held In place and aligned so that the straight body seams complemented those on the doors. Once located correctly, the steel fenders were marked with white grease pencil. The fender alignment mark was used as a guide so that the metal could be ground with a body grinder. This Is to make preparation for the fiberglass bonding and to ensure proper adhesion. HOT ROD AUGUST 1976 95 CAPRI is not really difficult to work with, but in all fairness to those of you who are interested in purchasing racetype 'glass for street use, be ready for a considerable amount of handfinishing. For one thing, most of these components are designed for sophisticated race car applications, so there's not a lot of attention paid to paint-ready surfaces. This, of cou rse, means that once the parts are installed, it takes a capable bodyman to spot-fill and sand the high and low spots to achieve a smooth, Once the fenders were ground down to bare metal, resin-soaked fiberglass mat was applied to those areas where the fiberglass panel lips would be attached. With the fenders secured by a few rivets, the attaching lips were drilled at 2-lnch centers and blind-riveted to the fender. The rivets close most large gaps. After the fiberglass resin cured completely, a body grinder was used to make a smooth transition from the 'glass panel to the steel body, but the rivet heads were left. Final step was application of body filler to cover and blend all attachment areas. This was done In steps so filler wasn't applied too thickly in any area. After each application of filler material; the puttylike material was grated and sanded to arrive at a nice-looking contour. This simplified final blocking. CAPRI waveless body panel. A word to the wise here: Select a light-color paint and carefully placed accent stripes. We went just the opposite and se..Jcted black, which shows any and all body flaws. Our Capri body is really straight, but that's only because Jeff Scozzaro outdid himself and block-sanded the body until his fingers were raw. This type of fiberglass panels can be installed and finished in basically two ways: One is simply to blind-rivet them in place and paint over the protruding rivet heads, and the second is to rivet them on, blending the panels with fiberglass mat and body filler. The second alternative gives a more custom appearance but is far more costly. While the simple riveted panels can be done in your backyard with very little hassle, if you're interested in a smoother approach, we suggest that you carefully look over the accompanying how-to photos. They should give you a detailed idea of what is really involved in clothing a Devil. •• Devil In Disguise Part 1: Hot Rod Magazine July, 1976 Part 2: Hot Rod Magazine August, 1976 With the panels in place and contoured to the fenders, the entire car was block-sanded. Careful attention was paid to all modified areas so that the end result looked more custom than it did racy. For More Information on English Three colors of stripes were used, with no color separation between them. This gives the paint scheme a striking appearance but makes removing masking tape a tedious job. When removing, pull back, not up. The only clear on the car was applied to the multi-color stripes and white. The black was not cleared. Jeff Scozzaro hand-rubbed the black and finished it with glaze. He feels It's easier repaired later on. and European Fords Visit The basic car received 1'!2 gallons of black lacquer, and the entire body, Including the rear window slats, wl!s color-sanded. This, along with body preparation, Is the basic difference between a good and a bad Job. Ed Herling of Kim & Ed's In Fullerton, Calif., plnstrlped the car. He mixed a metallic sliver/gray paint that accents the stripes Just enough. Anything more gaudy would take away from the overall effect.
TAGS: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Capri, Capri II, Automotive, Custom, European

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