A motorsport Icon, the Group 5 Zakspeed Capri

When aerodynamics were wild and boost was high.

‘Group 5’ racing had existed since 1966, but it wasn’t until the 1976 season that the FIA introduced a new Group 5 “Special Production Car” category. This allowed extensive modifications to production based vehicles which were homologated in FIA Groups 1 through 4.

Only the bonnet, roof, doors and rail panel had to be left unmodified by the rule book. The rules however did not mention headlight heights which lead to some creative interpretation and the creation of the legendary Porsche ‘slant nose’.

The MK3 Capri as you see it here was a join project between Ford Cologne and Zakspeed Racing. The boxy form has now become a definitive shape for ‘tin top’ race cars of this era. The idea was to maximise the tyre width and minimise frontal area.

Zakspeed cars were developed to race in the German DRM championship and the Capris were successful, taking the 1981 title at the hands of Klaus Ludwig.

Utilising a fully space frame construction, virtually none of the base Capri is left. Some 80 meters of aluminium tubing replace the steel monocoque of the original car. The engine is an iteration of the highly successful Ford Motorsport BDA engine, this time with a small capacity of 1426cc and a high boost turbocharger configuration.

It’s rumored that these engines could produce up to 700bhp in qualifying trim and grew in capacity and boost through the development of the car.