Model Page

Ford Capri Perana V8

Ford Capri Perana Side Shot

Production Run:

500 - 550

Production Date:

1970 - 1972


4,949cc Ford 302 Windsor V8


Ford - Port Elizabeth (South Africa)


6.1 secs

Max Speed:

147 Mph

The Capri Perana was produced by Basil Green Motors of Johannesburg and became South Africa’s fastest locally produced car eclipsing more exotic rivals. Developed by Basil Green, the car won the South African championship three times under the name Z181 before being banned perhaps due to the car winning every race it entered that year with one solitary exception. The name Perana is a deliberate misspelling of the word Piranha describing the ferocious fish found in South America, the model was the only Capri ever fitted with a V8 that was officially sanctioned by Ford.

Capri Perana V8 Side Shot

Capri Perana V8 Side Shot

The Perana was manufactured between 1970 and 1972, during this period between 500 and 550 examples were produced the precise figure is unknown as no records exist to confirm production figures. Ford and Green had originally planned for 800 vehicles to be produced but this never materialised, at launch the car cost around £2200. Development of the vehicle was undertaken by Basil Green motors who worked closely of Ford of South Africa. Production was split across two sites, the Capri – minus engine and gearbox was manufactured at Ford’s facility in Port Elizabeth, the rolling chassis’s were transported to Basil Green Motors in Johannesburg for completion. The car was an official Ford sanctioned product and was sold through the Ford dealership network in South Africa, the car even retained its Ford manufacturers warranty.

The car was based upon the Mk 1 Ford Capri 3000 XL albeit with a strengthened shell, Basil Green installed a V8 engine from the Mustang along with a four speed close ratio top loader manual gearbox. Optionally the car could be fitted with a Ford C4 3 speed automatic gearbox. Power was delivered to the rear wheels through a Borg Warner Limited Slip Differential that was taken from the Ford Falcon with slight modifications.

Rear shot of the Capri Perana V8

Rear shot of the Capri Perana V8

The Perana was fitted with a Ford 302 Windsor 90 Degree V8 with a bore and stroke of 101.6mm x 76.2mm giving rise to a 4,949cc displacement with a compression ratio of 9.3:1. The power plant was fitted with a high lift Motorsport camshaft with solid lifters, fuel was fed to the engine through a four barrel Holley 460 CFM Carburettor. A large capacity radiator and unique exhaust system, both built to Basil Green’s exacting specification completed the setup. In this guise the unit produced 281 bhp @ 5,800 rpm and 300 lb/ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm – a colossal improvement over the three litre Essex powered Capri’s. Fuel economy, whilst not at Mini levels of frugality was certainly very good considering the units output potential and matched very closely those achieved by the Capri 3.0.

The front MacPherson struts were completely rebuilt with modified valves and stronger spring rates, the suspension being lowered by 1.5” and made stiffer to compensate for the extra weight. The brakes remained standard but had up-rated friction material (expensive Ferodo DS11 pads being fitted) with front discs and rear drums. It was not possible to retain the standard setup for the rack and pinion steering system due to the position of the larger V8 sump. To resolve the problem the Perana was fitted with an inverted left hand drive rack that was mounted on the back of a modified front cross member, the front struts were swapped from side to side to relocate the steering arms. The drive shafts for the Perana were custom produced in Australia and imported to exacting Basil Green specifications.

Perana Capri V8 Engine Bay

Perana Capri V8 Engine Bay

Considerable efforts were made to keep the weight of the vehicle low, weight saving techniques included the use of a Boss Aluminium bell housing and aluminium inlet manifold. The car weighed a mere 9 Kg more than the 3000 XL upon which it was based – most impressive.

The Perana was only available in two colours in Peri Peri Red or Bright Yellow, a few cars did slip out of the factory in other colours including Gold and Mustard yellow. Visually the cars were distinguished from the 3000XL through the lowered ride height and twin black stripes running alongside the bonnet and along up the side of the rear windows – all Perana Capri’s had a matte black boot lid finish. The car retained the XL badges on the front wings but had a discreet V8 badge on the boot-lid and bonnet. The appearance was enhanced through the fitting of 5” x 13” Chrome Rostyle wheel fitted with 185/70 tyres. Many of the cars were fitted with a rear window louver although this was a optional extra the majority of cars left the factory with this fitted.

The interior of the car remained identical to that of the 3000XL with the single exception of an alloy spoke steering wheel.

The Capri Perana V8 could achieve 60 Mph from rest in 6.1 seconds, powering on to a top speed of 147 Mph such was the power of the engine it was found that at 150 km/h the car had a fifty percent reserve of power. The torque characteristics of the engine allowed the car to accelerate in top gear from 12 Mph all the way through to the vehicles top speed (147 Mph).

The car was phased out in 1972 at the same time that Ford discontinued the Mk1 Capri, during its short production run somewhere between 500 and 550 Perana Capri’s had been produced making this a very exclusive Capri.

The Facts


Ford 4,949cc 302 Windsor V8


4,949 cc



Compression Ratio:


Fuel System:

Four Barrel Holley 460 CFM Carburettor

Maximum Power:

281 bhp @ 5,800 rpm.

Maximum Torque:

300 lb/ft @ 3,500 rpm.


Manual 4 speed.

3 Speed Automatic

Top Gear:

33.0 mph per 1000 rpm.


Servo Assisted ventilated front discs / rear drums

Kerb Weight:

1067 Kg

Max Speed:

147 Mph


6.1 Secs

Image courtesy of John Brits (c) 2009