The 1985 ASC McLaren Capri is a 1985 Mercury Capri with some modifications: a McLaren massaged suspension, different exterior pieces, and a different camshaft for the 5.0L V-8. In 1985 it also had a set of 15 inch, neon colored mesh wheels that looked more at home on a VW or BMW of the era. Thankfully the 1980’s mercifully ended, and this Capri has changed with the times.
The car was purchased out of Pennsylvania with the intention of keeping it “mostly” stock, but plans change and the 302cid stock engine was replaced with a 349cid forged stroker motor. An Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold connects the Holley Ultra Street Avenger carburetor to the Ford Racing Performance Products (FRPP) Z High Port heads. The B303 Motorsports camshaft the original motor shipped with has been replaced with a Comp CamsXE282HR bump stick. Guiding the spent gasses out of the engine are a set of FRPP Z shorty headers leading to a Dr. Gas X-Pipe and a Flowmaster Force II cat back exhaust. An MSD Pro Billet distributor orchestrates the ignition side of the combustion process.
The power the 349 produces is sent to the BBS GTII wheels (shod in 275/40 rubber) via a King Cobra clutch, through an OEM transmission (until a Tremec unit can be sourced and installed), and through a FRPP Aluminum drive shaft. At the end of the drive shaft is the rear differential sporting 4.10 gears and a GT500 31spline carrier. The 31 spline carrier is necessary to use the FRPP 31 spline disc axles that are in place of the stock axles.
At the end of those axles sit a set of new 5 lug disc brakes. The front is much the same, except the front hubs have been swapped out for a pair of SN style 5 lug hubs so 13” 10th Anniversary Cobra brakes could be fitted. FRPP “B” Springs sit at all four corners with Bilstein struts up front and KYBs out back.
The exterior sports restored OEM paint and neon graphics. The restoration was done in 2001, and it’s held up very well. The interior is the same as it was in 1985, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The seats are comfortable and in good shape, the leather wrapped steering wheel isn’t worn, and all the lights come on. Not too bad for a mid-80’s American car.
This ASC McLaren Capri sits as a testament to the car’s original intent: A better version of something that was better than its competition.
Photos and Words by Michael Chandler
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