In November 1973, at Ford's Halewood
plant in the UK, production of the RS3100 began. Production
of the RS3100 actually overlapped with the Capri MKII
and was intermittent at best.
Homologated in January 1974 for the
forthcoming UK Touring Car season, only 248 examples
of the RS3100 were officially completed. They were
an expensive road car at 2,450 Pounds and arrived right
in the middle of the 70's oil crisis.
Ford Australia managed to import 50
examples of this "Special" Capri and many
of these cars still exist today in private collections.
These examples sold in Australia for $6,250.00
The RS3100 differed from the 3000GT with a larger bore
and therefore an increase in capacity to 3091cc (188.6
cu in), a Weber 38 EGAS twin choke carburetor and
a 9.0:1 compression ratio, which meant it developed
148bhp @ 5000rpm.
Its torque was rated at 187lb ft
@ 3000rpm and it came with manual transmission only,
with an optional limited slip differential. It had
ventilated disc brakes, RS2600 German cast alloy wheels
with 6in wide rims and had a top speed of 125mph (201kmh).
1973 had not been a good year for
Ford in the European Touring Car championship. After
two years at the top the highly acclaimed RS2600 had
finally been overcome by BMW's 3.0 liter CSL
. One of
the major advantages that the CSL had over the RS2600
was its improved aero dynamics.
Nicknamed the "batmobile" due
to its new wings the CSL knocked 15 seconds off the
previous lap times at the Nurburgring
, and was signigicantly
more stable to drive. In order to redress the balance
Ford needed a new contender. This was to be the RS3100.
To improve the aerodynamics of their
racing Capri's Ford fitted newly designed front and
rear spoilers. To meet the ETC rules these new aerodynamic
aids on the racing RS3100's had to have been fitted
to 100 road homologation cars. The distinctive boot
mounted "duck-tail" rear spoiler and smaller
front lip spoiler reduced the coefficient of drag (Cd)
from 0.40 on the RS2600 to 0.37 for the RS3100.
The RS2600 had used the German 2.6
Cologne engine - which had been bored out as far as
it would go. Therefore the RS3100 used an overbored
Essex 3 liter unit producing 148 bhp (although the
racing engines were bored to 3421cc and produced around
415 bhp). The road going homologation RS3100's shared
many fetures with the RS2600's; brakes, suspension,
wheels bumpers, and headlights were all the same.
dummy side vents and interior were standard 3000GXL
equipment but the 130mph speedometer, flat dish RS
steering wheel, and AVO paint scheme were unique to
the RS3100, as was an optional limmted slip differential.
Production ran from December 1973
to January 1974 and although 1000 cars were planned
only 248 vehicles left the factory. These were launched
into a country suffering from on oil crisis ; not the
best market for a Capri with the largest engine ! At £2450.00
the RS3100 was nearly £800.00 more than a 3000E,
and as the sales of the RS3100 were overhadowed by
the launch of the MkII Capri in early 1974 in is no
wonder that this car is one of the rarest going!