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Kris Saines - ’83 2.0S

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Powered By A Pinto

I have always had a love of cars from a very early age (I have been told my first word was car!) & Fords in particular, For me the Capri was not “the car you always promised yourself”, I'd always wanted (& still want) an Escort Cosworth, but I always have loved the older Fords. I had a renewed interest in Capris over recent years. I had to replace my daily driver & since I never buy “normal” everyday runabouts I wanted an old Ford. Escorts were silly money for a daily runner so after toying with ideas of either buying a Cortina, Zetec-engined 100e or Anglia the Capri won me over. My mates said it had a something to do with one of my mates owning one but it was all down to the looks & the appeal of owning such an icon.

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I found my car on the Pistonheads website in August 2009 & it seemed perfect – overall good condition, original, new exhaust, camshaft, dry stored, original strut tops, lots of recent service history, very little rust, and a rare colour Graphite Grey – it was worth a look, & if I didn't like it then walk away. That first 350 mile round trip to view & a test drive was worth it, and a deal was done to pick the car up at a later date.

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6 weeks later (1 week after the Brooklands 40th Anniversary show & me telling my mates I'd bought one) I picked it up. The slight worry of the very low temp gauge concerned me but after getting the car home following a 175 mile journey from a little village near Ipswich I was pleased. The car needed a bit of work to get it to my “standard” but all in good time, it was solid & for a daily car was just right. First thing on the to-do list was to sort the temperature, so I replaced the sender unit & thermostat, flushed the cooling system out, job done. For the first couple of months I was getting the hang of RWD in such a light car & the snow of Xmas 2009/January 2010 driving to work never seemed so appealing! Those months taught me valuable lessons in car control! Coupled with upgrading the brakes, changing the gearbox & a host of little changes whilst keeping it clean & polished, the car is on it's way to being a very tidy example.

I joined the Surrey Capri Club in December 2009 as a normal member. The club had some very friendly, helpful, warm & welcoming characters, and all team players who help out each other in need.. So 1 year later after a number of great car shows, a small but significant magazine feature with Classic Car Mart (even gaining front cover status) & the opportunity to show my enthusiasm as co-chairman of the club arose I settled down to many years of Capri ownership. My Capri long term plan has always been to restore & replace to as new condition, whilst learning many DIY mechanic skills along the way, which the Capri is an ideal learning tool, Originality is key to owning a classic car of any sort, but as a lot of people do, I have tweaked the original features just to bring the car up to date.

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The car has been driven almost daily for 9 years, through the most horrible of wet & snow weather, and across many parts of the UK and more recently my first ever driving trip abroad to the Capri Meeting at Speyer, Germany in 2017. 1000 miles covered over the weekend, and apart from very minor snags, she didn't miss a beat. She doesn't have a name but I sometimes call her the Grey Lady.

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Running the club since 2011 has given me a lot of new life skills & philosophies, understanding different people, but ultimately getting out there with like minded enthusiasts & enjoying mine, and others Capris and classic cars. As mentioned above, my Capri has had magazine features, starting with Classic Car Mart in 2010, and most recently Classic Cars magazine special Capri 50th anniversary feature. However, whilst having your car in print is great, the main aim of a magazine feature is to promote the club, or the Capri as a whole to get more people into this great car.

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Get ready for the ride.....

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Specs & Mods: 1993cc “Pinto” engine (rebuilt 2015), Weber 32/36 DGAV Carburettor, K&N Air Filter, Rolling Road Tested 100.4bhp (112 lb/ft torque) (original engine tested 2010),  5 Speed gearbox. Sportex exhaust & 4 branch manifold fitted. Rebuilt engine not rolling road tested.

Suspension/Chassis: Front strut brace, Gaz adjustable shocks all rounds, lowering spring 1”, grooved brake discs, braided brake hoses, 13x7 JBW Allycat replica wheels. 

Misc:Clear indicator lenses, grey powdercoated Pinto rocker cover, billet and chrome engine parts – some bling, but function favours form.

All over bodywork restoration, ongoing (daily driver demands detailing). Detailing using clay bar, compound polish & wax by hand.

Mods Planned: Full polybushing front & rear, engine bay tidy up

Wish list: Nut & Bolt restoration, high tune Pinto, Cosworth YB or Ford V8 conversion

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Thanks to all those companies who keep my car going: Jason @ 999 Hire & Auto repairs (bodywork), Old Ford Autos (80% of mechanical repairs), various motor factors for DIY spares, Clean&Shiny for detailing products, Burt @ Coops Insurance for insuring everything.

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Life Philosophy: Sit there & do nothing, or get up & do everything you can. Life is for living.