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Weekly Craigslist Hidden Treasure: 1985 Mercury Capri ASC McLaren

Car Culture / 2 Comments

Now you can rock this piece of '80s history.

Once upon a time, there was a Mustang McLaren, at least that's the way Ford wanted to brand it. The Mustang ASC McLaren indicates it was definitely not your typical Fox-body Mustang. But here's the thing: the McLaren you're probably thinking of had nothing to do with this car. No, this was an odd collaboration (hey, it was the '80s) between the American Sunroof Company and Detroit-based car builder Peter Muscat. The latter, ASC, just so happened to be working on a project with McLaren when Muscat came to them with an interesting idea.

Muscat had already personally chopped the top off the then-new 1983 third-generation Mustang and fitted his own custom-made top and tonneau cover, and the result looked pretty darn good. He figured there was a market for something like this. ASC McLaren felt the same so it then knocked on Ford's door with the idea. Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and this was a classic example.

via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist

You see, Ford had not built a Mustang convertible for a decade at this time, and it wanted to celebrate the occasion of doing so again. A special edition Mustang convertible with a European-style folding soft-top just sounded like a cool idea to have alongside the regular Mustang convertible. But when it finally did go into production, the car was not branded and sold as a Mustang, but rather a Mercury Capri. This was the Mustang's platform-mate at the time, a consequence of badge engineering.

Originally, it was the only Capri that received the ASC/McLaren customization work, but this created a problem of sorts: it was expensive, even more so than the Mustang GT. Ford realized this blunder and, combined with dwindling sales anyway, the Capri was discontinued in 1986. As a result, the Mustang ASC McLaren came to be for the 1987 model year. It remained on the market until 1990.

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via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist

Finding a Mustang ASC McLaren is not particularly difficult, assuming you're in the market for one. Finding a Mercury Capri ASC McLaren is a different story. But we managed to track one down. This 1985 Mercury Capri ASC McLaren is up for sale in Portland on Craigslist for an asking price of $3,250. The seller is even willing to consider trading it in for an early Ford Ranger 4WD trade if you happen to have one. If not, this Capri ASC McLaren is still an interesting and pretty rare find.

This is just one of 257 examples built in 1985 and just one of 94 painted white. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 with fuel injection and paired to an automatic transmission. The seller claims a total of 99,754 miles are on its odometer, which is confirmed by the Carfax report. Mechanically speaking, it reportedly drives just fine and has regularly passed all state testing. It does require some cosmetic work, specifically some paint and bodywork. The interior and, just as important, the tonneau top, are in solid condition.

via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist

As this generation Mercury Capri was built on the same exact assembly line as its Mustang sibling, there are plenty of replacements parts out there. The seller also points out this example has received some upgrades, including Lincoln Mark VII five-lug front disk brakes, 1985 SVO rear end with five-lug disc brakes, Lincoln LSC wire-mesh BBS wheels, SVO 140 mph speedometer, and, perhaps most interestingly, Thunderbird Turbo Coupe bucket seats. The air conditioning hasn't been turned on for quite some time so it'll definitely require a recharge.

An earlier owner reportedly found this rare Mercury parked under a tree and decided to save it from nature's wrath. Generally speaking, it's been well-maintained and cared for over the decades and now it's time for a new owner to enjoy some '80s-style cruising.

via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist
via Craigslist

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