The Mercury Capri show car gives other Fox-bodied Ford Mustangs a run for their money | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • Foxtoberfest 2023 featured a red 1986 Mercury Capri owned by Paul Van Hulst that tied for Best in Show with a 1990 Ford Mustang.
  • The Mercury Capri is a second-generation Fox Body car that shares the same platform as the third-generation Ford Mustang. It had its distinctive styling cues and front grille.
  • Paul’s Capri has a custom red exterior with white stripes and a custom black interior. It features a 306-ci V8 engine and various upgraded features that make it stand out from the rest of the Fox Body cars out west.

Since Ford with the launch of the Mustang in 1964, the automaker had a pony car it could rely on in terms of sales. Customers can’t get enough of the Mustang, so Ford can’t keep the iconic car in its lineup as the last true 2-door. With that in mind, this was the third generation Ford Mustang who lived the longest, and it’s no secret that she has her own set of fans and enthusiasts.

The third-generation Mustang is based on the Ford Fox platform. Because of this, the third generation mustangs are also called Fox Body Mustangs, which still have their followers. But the Fox platform also underpinned other models, including the Mercury Capri. I wonder what FoxbodyFX YouTube channel came across a Mercury Capri show car that was showing off other Fox Body Mustangs during Foxtoberfest 2023.

The Mercury Capri was best in show at Foxtoberfest 2023

Red Mercury Capri is the best at Foxtoberfest 2023

  • Foxtoberfest 2023″ took place in October at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • A red 1986 Mercury Capri owned by enthusiast Paul VanHalst
  • Pavlo and his friend Joshua Sashko were at the event
  • It tied with the 1990 Ford Mustang for Best in Show.

Paul VanHalst and his friend Joshua Sashko fell in love with the Fox Body Mustang. So when Foxtoberfest 2023 was set to take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina in October 2023, they didn’t hesitate to bring their Fox Body models. One of their show cars was so impressive that it tied Tom Schwenzer’s 1990 Ford Mustang for Best in Show.

Paul did not win with a Fox Body Mustang. Instead of attending Foxtoberfest with a Mustang, Paul brought a second generation 1986 Mercury Capri. While it may seem that Capri was out of place, the reality is that Mercury was very qualified to take part in the event. Foxtoberfest wasn’t just about the third-generation Mustang, as it also celebrated all Fox Body Ford models, including the second-generation Capri.

Mustang owners and fans from across the United States attended the event. Like all second-generation Capris, Paul’s car is based on the Ford Fox platform. Also, the second-generation Capri is essentially the higher-end twin of the third-generation Mustang. Mercury was one of Ford’s main brands until 2011.


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The Mercury Capri is the twin of the Ford Fox Body Mustang

blue 1983 Mercury Capri
Via: Ford

The same fox body ponies, but with differences

  • The third-generation Ford Mustang and the second-generation Capri are Fox Body twins
  • Both sit on the famous Ford Fox platform
  • The Mustang and Capri were twins, but had a few differences
  • Paul’s red pony car was one of the last Mercury Capris built

Essentially, the second-generation Capri (1979 to 1986) is a rebadged version of the third-generation Mustang (1979 to 1993). They have several differences, but both cars are based on the iconic Ford Fox platform. However, the Mercury Capri had its styling cues and distinctive features. Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two cars is the front grille. The Capri also had a sleeker and sportier grille, although many consider the Mustang to be the more aggressive of the two.

The Mercury Capri was also available in various trims and variations such as the Capri Ghia, Capri GS, Capri RS, Capri RS Turbo and Capri 5.0L (later models). According to, The Fox Body Mustang and Capri debuted in 1979but the production of the latter lasted until 1986. The Mustang continued to be produced until 1993.

Paul’s Capri was created for the 1986 model year, marking the end of the Mercury line muscle car. However, his Capri boasts a few extras that made this pony car stand out from the crowd of around 700 Fox Bodies at Foxtoberfest 2023.


Take a look at this Fox-Body Mercury Capri prototype, created in collaboration with Cosworth and McLaren

This Mercury Capri has a Cosworth inline four under the hood and comes from McLaren Engines Inc.

Origin of Paul’s Red Fox Body capri

Short specs of Paul’s Fox Body Capri


Mercury Capri

Model year

1986 year


Ford Fox platform


306-ci V8 with Speedmaster cylinder heads and Anderson N41 cam


280 hp on wheels, up to 320 hp. on the crank


Non-standard red with white stripes


Black to order

(Source: FoxbodyFX YouTube channel)

In an interview with Lance of the FoxbodyFX YouTube channel, Paul revealed that he bought his 1986 Mercury Capri about five years ago, making his high school dream come true. Josh, who also brought a Fox Body Mustang SVO to Foxtoberfest 2023, assisted Paul in this incredible build. However, Paul did not reveal how much he spent on his Capri.

At the heart of this 1986 Mercury Capri is a 306-ci V8 with Speedmaster cylinder heads, an Anderson N41 cam, and ported GT40 upper and lower intakes. They had already tested the Capri on the bench and it produced about 280 hp. maximum power on the wheels or between 315 and 320 hp. on the crank. They are currently working on some setup issues, but hope to resolve them soon.

According to Paul, this Capri came from the factory with a two-tone gray color scheme – lighter gray on top and dark gray on the bottom. The car was then painted black when Paul bought it. However, since he wanted to paint every inch of the Capri red, they stripped the car down to the nuts and bolts for the color change.

Customize the look and feel to Paul’s preferences

Paul adds stripes to keep the capris from being too red

  • For Paul, his Mercury Capri was too red
  • He added side stripes courtesy of Hank Henry
  • Hank owns a striped ASC McLaren Capri
  • Hank is also responsible for other mods at Paul’s Capri

Paul, however, felt that his Mercury Capri was too red. To break up the color a bit, he thought of adding some stripes to the pony car. So he turned to Hank Henry of Odessa, Florida for the job. Since Hank also owns an ASC McLaren Capri – essentially an aftermarket pony car convertible – and recreates parts for it, putting his own stripes on Paul’s disc was a light but well done job.

White stripes decorate the sides of the Capri between the wheels, and there are stripes at the bottom that wrap around the car. While racing stripes can look good on any car, these smaller stripes match the character of Paul’s Capri.

Hank has also been Paul’s supplier of some of his Capri accessories in addition to the striped kit. Hank provided the ground effects, rear spoiler as well as inserts. According to Paul, his red Capri was still a work in progress. However, he made this statement to FoxbodyFX back in October 2023, and a lot could have changed in a few months.


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Custom black interior for modified Fox Body Capri

Paul’s Capri received a special black interior from Malaysia

  • Paul commissioned the custom interior two weeks before Foxtoberfest 2023
  • The custom interior installation at Paul’s Capri was completed in seven days
  • Paul’s Capri also has SV wheels, Cobra brakes and an SM spindle up front
  • Paul only put 632 miles on his Capri

Paul also modified the interior of his Mercury Capri. In the video, Capri shows off the custom black interior he ordered from Malaysia about two weeks before Foxtoberfest 2023. The supplier immediately sent the entire custom package to Paul in Tampa, and it took them about seven days to completely install the new one. interior on Capri.

The Capri cabin in the video looked very fresh and dazzling simply because it was newly installed at the time. Completing the Paul Fox Body Capri build were 18”x9” SV wheels, 03-04 Cobra front and rear brakes, Fox length axles in the rear, and an SM spindle in the front (9495).

According to Paul, he doesn’t drive his red Mercury Capri very often. In fact, he kept the pony car in storage for two weeks before the event. Additionally, Paul did not drive the Capri on the road from Tampa, Florida to Charlotte, North Carolina; they were transporting a pony car on a trailer during the trip. Paul has put about 632 miles on his Capri so far, being a Mustang mirror car. In the sea of ​​Fox-bodied Mustangs at the festival, it’s easy to see why this one stood out above the rest.

Source: FoxbodyFX on YouTube,

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