Ford Capri

Capri Swarm 2001

Story by Bev Connell and Norm Murdock
Photos by David Wells and Mike Robertson

Swarm 2001 Photos!

Capri Swarm 2001

"Swarm 2001" took place over Labor Day weekend (August 31 - Sept 2) at National Trail Raceway and Columbus Motor Speedway, near Columbus, Ohio. As in years past, The Swarm, was held in conjunction with the Ford Expo. We had a total of 18 Mk 1 and Mk 2 Capris! The biggest gathering of Ford Capris in North America in 20 years!!

The trophy winners of the weekend were:

The Turtle - Jerry Wagner - Tow vehicle broke down on route
Best Stock - David Martin
Best Modified - Rocco Pontrelli
Longest Distance Driven in a Capri - David Martin
Best Model by a Junior - Dustin Vissoc
Best Model by an Adult - Carlos Carmona
Capri Trivia - Larry Wells
Rally - Mike R.
Fastest Capri ET in Autocross - Roger Boone
Fastest Drag Race ET - Rick Selzer

Friday:

Capri Swarm 2001

CCNA volunteers met early Friday morning to pitch the club sun shelter. Event Chairman David Valone proved his prowess with tent pegs and a sledgehammer, and the shelter was assembled without injuries. Likewise, the club display was unloaded, banners deployed, and flags unfurled. Products from CRC Chemicals (Associate Swarm Sponsor this year) were put out for use of Swarmers all weekend. Their orange-scented handcleaner was particularly popular for those tuning and tweeking their machines. Also unloading Friday morning was Associate Sponsor Team Blitz, on hand once again with their technical display of Capri parts and upgrades.

Friday is the most kicked-back day of the Swarm. Yet early arrivals came in from places as far flung as California, Arizona, Canada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and more. Many of these stalwart Capri enthusiasts drove their Capris too. (Please see photo section of the 2001 Swarm Report.) While greeting old friends and making new ones, Swarmers relaxed and talked "Capri shop". Friday is often the best time to break out the tool box and encourage fellow weekend warriors to join in an impromptu tech session. Roger Boone and Norm Murdock spent a lot of time over the next few days test-fitting aero devices to Roger's swift Capri II V6, for example. Dave Martin made some inventive on-road temporary repairs when one of his sway bar nuts fell off on the highway. He made good use of the Team Blitz truck for back-up loaner parts to get him home safely.

Capri Swarm 2001

The rest of the day was spent spectating at the drag races, imbibing refreshments, and doing a little bit of light horsetrading. Of note, was a Capri Mk1 small-block Ford drag car turning routine 11's. (The driver ended up winning fastest Capri drag racing trophy. See awards graphic.)

Just before dinner time, assembled Swarmers took down the display, and with a few gray clouds rolling in, drove down to the Buckeye Sweet Corn Festival for the Team Blitz annual customer-appreciation outing. A chance to ding old Norm for a burger, BBQ, or chicken roast dinner is not to be missed, and the event was well-attended much to Norm's delight! It was a fun rally over with Swarm vehicles all parked side-by-side in the grass. With everyone settled in and ready to eat, the rain began to pour in earnest. Spirits were not dampened, however, and the rain moved on after a hour or so. It proved to be the only rain of the weekend as it turned out.

After a couple hours of taking in the local color, some Swarmers headed back to the HQ Hotel while others stayed to hear the bluegrass band. CCNA Webmaster Bev Connell flew in late Friday to join in the weekend festivities and pick up her borrowed Capri II. And CCNA Membership Chair Mike Robertson arrived by plane a bit later. As all fluffed their pillows Friday night, the scene was set for the biggest Saturday yet in Swarm history.

Saturday:

The main day of the event. We had a total of 18 Capris The Biggest turn out to date!

Capri Swarm 2001 Roger Boone - 1976
Bev Connell/Team Blitz - 1976
James Gibat-Thoroski - 1977 Ghia
Robert Harber - 1972
Keith Heck - 1986 Fox Capri
Kenny Heck - 1974
Dave Martin - 1976
Bill Morrison - 1973
Norm Murdock - 1976 Rally Cat
Rocco Pontrelli - 1971 SCCA Racer
Mike R. - 1974
Chris Rolls - 1974
Rick Selzer - 1973
Lee Shepherd - 1970
David Valone - 1973
John Volbers - 1973
David Wells - 1974
Larry Wells - 1971

About 100 other people - members and capri enthusiasts - participated in the Swarm over the three days, not counting members of the general audience.

The afternoon started off with a Rally around the area. Those who participated had a questionaire to complete...and it was only by driving to a set of instructions and finding items in the area that completed the blanks. The Rally ended up at the Harley Davidson Museum which a number walked through for a tour. After the rally we all drove over to the banquet hall. However along the way, one of Ohio's State Troopers was a little too curious about one of the "British Capris" on Capri Swarm 2001 the road. I guess he couldn't believe that a little 1300cc could lead such a pack!

The banquet was attended by most of the members. It started off with the trophy awards, then was followed by a delicious meal. Afterwards, Larry and David Wells gave an interesting presentation about "their project". They are currently restoring a RS2600. With overheads, theme music and a lot of technical data.. they professed their knowledge on their unique Capri. More details about this Capri can be found on their website. Just click on RS2600 for more information.. and be sure to use your back button to continue with our story!

Sunday:

Capri Swarm 2001 autocross group photo

We went to Columbus Motor Speedway, a circular 1/3 mile NASCAR track, instead of National Trails. We met up with the folks at the United Ford Owners (UFO) club, who had marked out an autocross course with cones. It wasn't as tight as last year's, however it presented a great challenge to get that best time in. Larry Wells gave us a lecture on autocrossing and a tour of the track beforehand.

There were 14 Ford Capris, one Fox Capri and one 2001 Rental who ran through the race. The best times were.....(need some help here)

Thanks to.....

Thanks to the organizers of this year's mega-successful Capri Swarm, on behalf of all of us in attendance. Of special note:


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