These are two of the most prominent vehicles used in the hit British TV series “The Professionals” in the early 1980s by the show’s two lead characters – Ray Doyle and William Bodie.
Both of the cars are Ford Capri 3.0 S variants, the European equivalent to the Ford Mustang GT, and one of the most desirable locally-made sports cars of the time. The popularity of The Professionals greatly helped with the popularity of the Capri, and it’s now considered one of the enduring classics of the period – particularly in range-topping 3.0 liter form.
Fast Facts – The Ford Capris From “The Professionals”
- These are two of the key Ford Capris from The Professionals, one of the most popular shows in British television in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The two cars are now being sold together as a package, given their historic link it was decided that they shouldn’t be separated.
- The Professionals was a British television series that ran from 1977 to 1983. It starred Lewis Collins as Bodie, Martin Shaw as Doyle, and Gordon Jackson as their boss George Cowley. The series was set in the fictional government agency CI5 – Civilian Intelligence Department 5 – which was loosely based on MI5 and CID.
- Each episode of the show typically involved Bodie and Doyle working together under the orders of Cowley to catch terrorists and hit-men, infiltrate hate groups, and nab espionage suspects.
- The cars used by Doyle and Bodie from 1980 onwards were MkIII Ford Capris with the 3.0 liter V6 engine option, making them the fastest Capris you could buy in Britain at the time. The model’s use on the show helped its popularity, and they became a common sight on British roads.
The Importance Of The Ford Capri
The first generation Ford Capri was a two-door coupé that was produced by Ford of Europe from 1969 to 1974. It was designed as a European counterpart to the Ford Mustang, and was a huge sales success, shifting over 1.9 million units in total.
The Ford Capri MkII was produced by Ford of Europe from 1974 to 1978 as a direct replacement for its forebear. It had its work cut out for it, the earlier Capri had been wildly popular and second acts are never easy. The MkII would prove to be a success as it didn’t stray too far from the original, and it became one of the most popular European sports cars of the time.
The Ford Capri MkIII, also known as the third-generation model, was produced by Ford Europe from 1978 to 1986. The MkIII was the final iteration of the original Capri series, and during its production it underwent several updates and revisions to stay competitive in the market.
The MkIII was introduced in 1978 with significant design changes compared to its two relatively similar predecessors. It featured a more modern, angular body design, which aimed to attract a wider audience, especially younger buyers. The car retained its classic long hood, short rear deck, and fastback roofline – characteristic features of the Capri series.
One of the most noteworthy versions of the Capri MkIII was the 3.0 S model, it was part of the “Sport” lineup and represented the highest-performing variant of the Capri range of the time. It was powered by the 3.0 liter Essex V6 engine that produced around 138 bhp, giving it respectable performance by the standards of the time.
Above Video: This is episode fro season four of The Professionals, it features both of the cars shown here on screen.
The MkIII 3.0 S was featured in the British television series The Professionals, and was driven by the characters Bodie and Doyle. The car was a great choice for the show because it was affordable for many viewers, fast by the standards of the time, and surprisingly practical.
The 3.0 S was also featured in a number of other films and television shows, including The Sweeney and Minder.
Although many considered the Capri less than desirable as a modern classic it’s now enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Many are seeking out the sports cars of their youth, and for a significant percentage of the British and European community one of the most memorable is the humble Ford Capri.
The Ford Capris From “The Professionals”
As noted in the introduction, these are two of the key Ford Capri 3.0 S vehicles used in The Professionals from 1980 onwards. The Stratos Silver car was assigned to Bodie and the Solar Gold example was driven by Doyle.
On 4th June 1980, the Ford Motor Company registered a Ford Capri 3.0S on the plate “OWC 827V.” This car was then loaned to Mark 1 Productions Ltd. for filming in Series 4 of The Professionals.
The car was used on screen by Bodie, and it appeared in ten episodes of the show – “Black Out,” “The Gun,” “Wild Justice,” “Blood Sports,” “Hijack,” “You’ll be All Right,” “Kickback,” “Discovered in a Graveyard,” “The Ojuka Situation,” and “The Untouchables.”
The Solar Gold 3.0 S was first registered on the 4th June 1980 to the Ford Motor Company as OAR 576V and loaned to Mark 1 Productions Ltd. for the filming of Series 4 of The Professionals.
The Solar Gold car was allocated to Martin Shaw who played the part of Ray Doyle, and it went on to feature in ten episodes of the Series – Blackout, It’s Only a Beautiful Picture, Blood Sports, Hijack, You’ll be All Right, Kickback, Discovered in a Graveyard, Foxhole on the Roof, Operation Susie and The Untouchables.
The cars are now due to be sold as a two-part package by Silverstone Auctions on the 26th of August with a price guide of £200,000 – £230,000 or approximately $258,000 – $296,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here and here.
Images courtesy of Silverstone Auctions
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.