The Capri was launched in 1969 as the European counterpart to the wildly popular Mustang in the USA. Ford had been using motor racing as their main marketing tool throughout the sixties and it came as no surprise that Jochen Neerpasch, head of the Motorsport Department in Cologne, was delegated to turn the Capri into a race winning car. The RS2600 was the initial Group 2 offering, homologated on the fastest Capri sold in Germany, this was good enough for class wins in the European Touring Car Championship but Ford wanted the main prize.
For 1974 the rules were to be changed and by July of ’73 Ford Cologne had built 1,000 examples of the new Capri RS3100, the minimum required for Gp 2 homologation. With the “production” car engine now 3,100cc the race engine could be taken out to 3,500cc and as only 100 cylinder heads needed to be produced for Gp 2 homologation Ford commissioned Cosworth to design and build 100 full race engines utilising the new, larger block. This became the legendary Cosworth GAA used not only for the Capris but also very successfully in single seaters, the 3.4 litre V6 engine being very competitive against the 5 litre V8s in Formula 5000. With over 400 bhp and some fairly extreme aerodynamics Ford duly won the 1974 ETCC against opposition from the BMW Batmobiles.