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RS 2600 - 1970 to 1974

Feb 15,2006 Julian

Although the RS 2600 was the first Capri to carry the RS badge, competition Capri’s had been on the scene for some time, and even though the RS Capri is better remembered for European Touring Car exploits in later years, the 2300GT derivative was being used for rallying as far back as 1969. That year's Tour De Corse saw a German works entered 2300GT score an impressive third overall!

 Image courtesy of Len Peirce at

It was in fact the German motorsport department who first saw the potential of the Capri, although the development for an RS derivative (even though it would ultimately be made in Germany) was handled at FAVO. The British prepared show car was displayed at the Geneva Motorshow in March of 1970, and shortly afterwards the first fifty lightweight competition models rolled of the Cologne production lines.

 Image courtesy of Len Peirce at

The lightweight version was required for competition homologation, which stated that the car had to come in at 900kg. Quite a task for the designers. The result was more of a weight saving operation than it was a styling success; however the lightweight car with its glassfibre doors, bonnet and boot lid, did look quite the racer, especially as they had also done away with front & rear bumpers and carpets. Thinner glass (Perspex in the doors) was fitted and would you believe no undercoat - even one less layer of paint was seen as a valuable reduction, such was the need to remove weight wherever possible. The first fifty cars, often referred to as the ‘Plastikbombe’ Capri’s did not have the injection system fitted but did feature the long-throw crank.

 Image courtesy of Len Peirce at

The first full production models rolled of the lines in September 1970 and came to an immediate stop; until last minute widening under the wheel arches gave tyre clearance again - the joys of lowered suspension! Outwardly the early RS2600 was very distinctive with its black bonnet and alloys, with most changes occurring in October 1971 as adjustments were made to the ride height and springs. The familiar RS alloys were now fitted and the steel bumpers became mat black.

Aside from one or two special right-hand drive models created for ford management, all RS2600 Capri’s were left-hand drive produced, as they were, in Germany. Production continued until 1974.

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