NEW! Award 113: 1983 Mercury Capri RS 58K – NOW $19,000

by | May 2023 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

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May 5, 2023 Update – The seller replaced their second Craigslist ad in as many months with a fresh listing.  Using the same pictures and description from their original ad, the seller elected to lower their asking price by another $500 to land at the current $19,000 level.

March 29, 2023 Update – The seller replaced their initial Craigslist ad with a fresh listing.  While the pictures and description remain the same, the seller decided to lower their asking price from $22,500 to $19,500.

Throughout its history, Ford’s Mercury Division lived in relative obscurity, forced to make do with up-level, badge-engineered versions of similar Ford-branded products.  By the 1980s, Ford’s bean counters forced designs between the two divisions to be nearly identical. One exception was the 1979 Mercury Capri. While the car’s greenhouse reminded you of a Mustang, the Capri’s distinctive front and rear styling, combined with more flared fenders, provided a much more distinctive look, at least on the exterior. Once inside the cabin, it was hard to tell the difference between the two cars.  The most desirable version of the Foxbody Capris is the V8-powered RS version, essentially a badge-engineered GT.

This black 1983 Mercury Capri RS 5.0 for sale currently on Craigslist in West Chester, Indiana (Indianapolis),  is a modified example featuring a Holley “Double Pumper” four-barrel carburetor, subframe connectors, lowering springs, and fresh paint. This Capri RS 5.0 is a nicely-optioned example featuring the more desirable five-speed manual (topped with an aftermarket shifter ball) and the extremely comfortable Recaro seats.

Currently offered for $19,000 (the original ask was $22,500),, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the current ask is three thousand dollars above the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for second-generation Mercury Capris produced between 1979 and 1986.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Capri featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls $6,400 above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of only $13,100. In the seller’s defense, while the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool does not list 1983 Mercury RS models, a check for the equivalent ’83 Mustang GT Hatchback reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guides #3″ Good” of $11,400 and its #2 “Excellent” of $28,100 for examples in stock condition.  While we get the seller is trying to recoup the car’s fresh paint job costs and other performance upgrades, time will tell whether potential buyers will be willing to pay the premium for something different than the typical Mustang GT from the same time frame.  Consequently, we’re awarding the seller our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!”) Award for what may turn out to be somewhat optimistic pricing based on recent sales.

Leveraging its new Fox Body platform launched with the 1978 Fairmont line, Ford introduced the new Mustang and Mercury Capri siblings for the 1979 model year.  While the Ford Mustang version replaced the Pinto-based Mustang II, the Capri version replaced its European captive import predecessor. As a result, the 1979 Mercury Capri marked the first Mercury “pony car” since the 1970 Mercury Cougar.

While visually similar to the Mustang, the second-generation Capri came solely in the three-door hatchback configuration. Capris featured its front fascia, a vertically-mounted grille, and dark-tinted taillamps with horizontally-ribbed lenses. In place of the widely flared wheel openings of the Mustang, the Capri offered slightly flared wheel openings and widened front and rear fenders. In 1983, the Capri received a redesign of the rear hatchback, distinguished with a large compound-curve “bubble-back” rear window. For 1984, the front fascia of the Capri RS was fitted with a front air dam.

Along with the base-trim Capri, Mercury offered the Capri Ghia (shared with the Mustang), Capri GS, Capri RS, and Capri Turbo RS.  The Capri RS/Turbo RS was the Capri equivalent of a Mustang GT. During its production, the second-generation Capri maintained a common powertrain with the Ford Mustang, with inline-four, inline-6, V6, and V8 engines offered during its production; the only Mustang model with no Capri equivalent was the Mustang SVO.

The second-generation Capri was produced through the 1986 model year. In 1987, while the Mustang underwent a mid-cycle update (lasting until 1993), Mercury withdrew the Capri, focusing on the Cougar XR7 as its two-door performance vehicle; the next Mercury hatchback sports coupe was the 1999 Cougar.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features this vintage test drive of the then-new 1983 Mercury RS 5.0:

While prices of Foxbody Stangs continue to rise, this 1983 Mercury Capri RS for sale offers the performance of a similar Mustang GT for less money. The seller reports the polished set of original TRX metric wheels will be included in the sale;  given the cost of replacement Michelin tires, which are the only ones that fit the OEM rims, we have no problem with the aftermarket units.  The fresh paint combined with a Recaro seat interior in excellent condition may motivate some buyers to pay the premium asked.

If you are serious about buying this Capri RS 5.0, you can start the conversation by contacting the seller though the information provided in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Mercury featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Hatchback has the following features:

Black Exterior / Red Interior
New Battery
New front tires (2 yrs ago)
Original, numbers matching 5.0 w/5 speed Tranny
Shorty Headers with Flow Master Exhaust
Lowering Coil Springs
Sub Frame Connectors
650 Holley Dual Pumper Carb
New Paint & Decals
Creager Chrome Rims w/ raised white letter tires – 21560R14 (front) 23560R14 (rear)
No Body Damage or wrecks / No Interior wear or tears (extra interior cloth for this same interior going with the car)
Four original polished aluminum rims go with the car
original interior rear roll-up cargo cover
Exterior Car Cover

Yea or Nay: What say you about our pricing assessment of this 1983 Mercury Capri RS Hatchback for sale?


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