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Rokstock RSR Turbo

17638 Views 55 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  supraz
For anyone who grew up in the 70s and read Road and Track magazine you probably knew about the Rokstock. I like to think that this is the 1970s version of the Celica Supra. A reasonable cost 2 door hatchback with 6-cylinder that was easy to upgrade for more performance.

Richard O. Kiser formed a tuner company Rokstock in Tigard Oregon that sold performance parts for the Mercury Capri II. He sold everything from cosmetic parts such as front spoiler, rear whale tail, suspension parts from mono-leaf rear springs and Bilstein shocks, engine upgrade kits, up to converting your Capri into a full RSR Turbo.

He used an Ak Miller draw-through turbo to significantly increase the hp over that of the stock engine. The Ak Miller system used an AiResearch turbo running at 7psi of boost to deliver 175-180 hp. The base engine was a stock 2.8L V6. 9psi boost was also available.

The typical Rokstock suspension lowered the car 2 inches and one of the wheels sold were Cromodora 'Daytona' magnesium wheels in 13 x 6 1/2". These wheels weighed about 9.5 pounds!

13 x 6" version of the Cromodora 'Daytona' magnesium wheel

You could purchase any of the above parts or if you had Rokstock convert your Capri you were given a Rokstock serial number. Apparently only about 35 RSRs were ever built.

It sounds like he ran into financial problems and withdrew from the automotive scene which has increased the mystique of the car.

It was quite well sorted. Road & Track magazine wrote an article on the car so there IS some information about the cars.

What sounds like a partial conversion car surfaced in Calgary Alberta, and passed through several hands. I don't know if there are any other of these cars still in existence.

There is a Capri list which is quite quiet compared to the Celica Supra forum. I think there are a few others here who are members of the Capri list as well.

If anyone has information on other Rokstocks, I would love to hear about them.

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I had a 1978 Capri II which was an unsold 1977 Capri II retitled by Mercury.

I put a Rokstock-like suspension on it. It had Bilstein shocks and strut cartridges, 2" lowered coils and mono-leaf rear springs, front and rear Addco anti-roll bars. The suspension bushings were polyurethane and the rubber steering coupler was replaced with a nylon coupler.

The driver seat was replaced with a Recaro LS-C seat and the seat belts were replaced with a 5-point harness to keep you in place.

The car was very direct to drive. The rear roll stiffness was a little too high so on low-medium speed corners the inside rear wheel would lift, putting on quite the display outside the car.

The 2.8L 60 Degree V6 had an Offenhauser 4-barrel dual plane manifold and a Holly 390 cfm carburetor. The cam was stock but the throttle response was crisp.

I can only imagine what a turbocharged version of this motor would feel like. The stock horsepower was only 109, but the car was quite light at about 2900 pounds.

I bought a set of Cromodora Daytona magnesium wheels in 13 x 6" to try to duplicate the look of the Rokstock, but youthful enthusiasm got me into trouble before I could ever install them.

The car was pretty good looking with looks that I think have held up to this day.

This car is not mine, but the rear spoiler is the same as what I had.

They are quite rare these days which I find odd, but it does make them a poor man's exotic.

If you ever watched a '70s English TV series called "The Professionals" you would see them driving the living daylights out of Capris.

One day.....
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I am so glad that you logged on to share information about your car!
You fascinated me because you I believe that that photo that I posted came from a BMW site. I have always imagined that you must be a fan of the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) which pitted Ford with the Capri RS3100 against the BMW 3.0 CSL cars in competition that made Ford versus Chevy competition look like sissy slapping!
In that picture of your glorious Capri is a BMW. Someone who enjoyed cars from both sides of this grudge match has to be a real car lover.

For those who don`t know, the European Touring Car Championship was very similar to the original Trans Am when factories got involved for the prestige of being the best. BMW and Ford got into serious factory backed competition with things escalating up to 1974 when the Ford was running a Cosworth GAA, adapted from the English Essex 3.0 V6. It displaced 3412 cc, had mechanical fuel injection, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder and 455 hp.

They used magnesium wheels, transmission case, and front struts. Fiberglass was used in the hood, trunk, doors, and fender flares. The glass was replaced with Perspex. They relocated the front radiator to the sides of the car for weight distribution.

There was really bad blood between Ford and BMW so I was fascinated to see you enjoyed cars from both camps!

The stock Capri was a decent handling car. With the mods you made, the car really handled like a go-kart. You went whole hog with the engine which I did not. The BWA wheels were so iconic 1970s. What year was this car? The thin body side moulding looks like it was a 1977 or 1978 Ghia.

Your car just so perfectly represents a 1970s European hot rod, from the front/rear spoilers, BWA wheels, Recaro seats, lowered stance, in-your-face colour, to those absolutely outrageous exhaust tips!

After I saw your car I started looking around for a Mk II Capri to recreate a Rokstock RSR. Instead of a turbo 2.8 though I think the current hot-ticket would be a small block Ford V8 which apparently is lighter than the Cologne V6. I quickly found that finding a Capri II in the shape that suits my restoration abilities is a difficult task. The Capri community is served by Team Blitz, equivalent to Raptor Racing in the Celica Supra community.

I have to say that I recently corresponded with Richard O. Kiser, the owner of Rokstock. He is in the process of re-entering the Capri aftermarket. It was a real thrill for me to talk to someone who was such an influence on me automotive-wise.

Again, thanks for posting here.

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I had a 1978 which was a re-titled 1977 and it was a Ghia model. Luckily, it did not have the vinyl top. They were very common in Canada though.
I ran across a one owner 1976 several months that looked very nice, but I just don't see the support and parts availability that the Celica Supra has. I let it go. Sigh, I truly would like one.

Interesting article. I've seen the Tickford, but I've never seen this article before.
Again, I'm struck by the parallels that the Capri has with the Celica Supra. Tickford was sort of equivalent to Spearco in releasing a performance upgrade package for those who want more.
Even the route they took, turbocharging, is the same. Tickford went somewhat further with body modifications as well as interior changes.
The body styling package doesn't really thrill me, but it's certainly a matter of personal taste. They certainly came up with the complete package.

And just think, an Aston Martin!

Beautiful. That sure brings back memories.
That nose sure is screaming for a front spoiler though!

About a year ago there was a local 1976 original owner with about 50,000 miles that I passed up like an idiot. These are definitely becoming collectible now.
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Richard O Kiser's current Capri

This is a couple of years old now.

Chuck, you are going to cause me marital problems. I see a Capri like that, then see the pics of your car, I feel the need for yet another car.

Honestly, short of an actual Rokstock, your car was absolute perfection. The look, the handling, just gorgeous. I suppose now a days, a small block Ford in a Capri may actually be lighter and easier to find parts for, but your car defined the '70s for me. At a car show, that Capri would out draw European exotics.

Thanks for posting back here with these news bits.


I was on the Capri list site a year and a half ago and the person who owned one of the two RSRs that appeared in the Road & Track article published that he still has his car. It sounds like it's in pretty nice shape. I think he knows ROK as well.

I'm going to have post there to see if he can do an article with pictures on his car.

As for reliability, it was a Ford product, and as much as I love Fords, they do have the "odd" quality issue. I remember my first week at my new job in 1980 when I parked my Capri facing a concrete wall in the parking garage. At the end of the day I went to back out, put the gear shift in reverse and the gear shift lever broke off in my hand! My dad picked me up and we went to the closest Mercury dealership and they said that there was a recall notice for the gear shift lever and they had a dozen in stock, but would not give me one without the defective exchange. Well, my dad just lost it!!!!! lol But hey, the most interesting cars are not necessarily the most refined.

And of course, the V6 throttle linkage had a HUGE stick because of the 'S' shaped cable path. I bought a throttle kit from Dobi that changed the cable path into a 'U'.

I suspect that one could build a way better restomod out of a Capri. With aluminum heads and intake, the Small Block Ford V8 is lighter than the 2.8 Cologne. Just imagine your old Capri with 350hp, a five speed transmission, and the handling that it had. That seems to be the direction that ROK is trying to head to.

I'll post anything I find on them here.

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Hi Malibyte,

Wow! Original owner!!!
The Mk I is such a small car that a lightly modded 2.0 will still make it fly.
The suspension is very basic, but with springs, shocks, and swaybars, it handles like a go-kart.
These cars are so cool.

Did you buy it in Canada and then take it down, or is this an American car?

I assume that you mean Norm Murdoch of Team Blitz?
I believe that a 302 Ford actually is lighter than the 2.6/2.8 Cologne engine, but Esslinger sells speed parts for the 2.0/2.3 I guess that could be difficult in California though.

I missed a chance to pick up a Capri II Ghia last year and I'm still kicking myself. You just don't see them. In Canada they were quite popular back in he 70s so where they've all gone, I don't know. They can't ALL have dissolved with the tin worm.

Tell us more. How many miles, what does the interior look like? How easy is it to get 13" tires?

We want more!

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I missed a chance to pick up a Capri II Ghia last year and I'm still kicking myself. You just don't see them. In Canada they were quite popular back in he 70s so where they've all gone, I don't know. They can't ALL have dissolved with the tin worm.
Well, I just remembered where they all went!
During the 1970s there was this English TV show called "The Professionals" which had 2 secret agent type people who shot people, chased women, saved the nation, and of course drove the bag out of their Ford Capris and Escorts!
Rokstock RSR Sighting! listing

This looks to be a genuine Rokstock RSR, Serial Number 018

Truthfully, the car is what I would generously say "tired".
But it is the real deal. Richard O. Kiser has commented on the site.

The data plate says 'Special Popular Hot Rodding Project Car April 1979'. I have not been able to find any PHR articles on this car. Any one out there with a collection of late 70s, early 80s Popular Hot Rodding Magazines? I would love to see if there is a published story about the car.

There is a youtube link to the owner showing the state of the car.

Engine Running

Underside. Eeek

Land vehicle Car Vehicle Tire Vehicle registration plate

The hood appears to be special to clear the turbo. I have never seen this before so I have to assume it is one of the things PHR did to customize the car as part of a special article.

This car is is really poor shape. I don't know if it is ever going to be restored given the asking price. However, it is truly a rare car with an extremely interesting story.

Another time when I have to question why I was born so darn good looking instead of rich.

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I can't imagine its worth $50K in that state. Without the conversion, it'd be worth $20 to 25K in Europe fully restored and would cost probably $30K to restore it just as a typical DIY project. Probably more like $50K if you just dropped it off at a shop. Break-even would have to be in the $80 to $100K range. Tuner package certainly adds considerable value as does having been featured in a magazine article. I can't imagine those two factors quadrupling or quintupling the value but maybe I'm wrong. I hope some wealthy gearhead will do it tho regardless of value and that it stays here in the states. I'd like to see it at a car show some day. I'll never get to see it if stays there in the junk yard or if it goes to Europe. But it sure won't be me doing it. I'm neither rich NOR good looking. ;)
You've hit the nail on the head.
Restoring a standard Capri II is extremely difficult given the rarity of the parts in North America. This car with special parts is going to bleed the restorer of money.

Is it worth it? If you grew up reading about them and are now approaching/in retirement, it really would be.

The rear window opening in the hatch looks rusted out.

The unique Rokstock parts are something that will take a dedicated search. The ANSA Free Flo quad exhaust tips are rotted. The Bilstein shocks will need replacement. The single leaf rear springs are there, but they may well need rearching. The Recaro LS-C seats require replacement or a total rebuild. The owner will of course need the Cromodora Magnesium wheels to give it the final touch.

But damn..... it would be magnificent.

But I have to take exception to one thing you said. It is well known that you have to be good looking to be a member of the forum. We are ALL good looking here. A healthy self-image is not only healthy, but true.

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Wow Rokstock Capri...

US imported Capri's didnt get the vented front disc brake rotors, 5spd trans from the factory...

I do miss my '74 2800 V6...I'll have to find some pics now!! 2nd owner from 1977-1986

Worst design water pump, located on the bottom of the block always leaked from the back housing, if you didnt get the gasket on perfect with Aviation gasket sealer...

Here's some mods that I added to my '74:

13" Vector mags (never could get those balanced well)
Pirelli CN36s
Ford RS Bilstein struts
Ford RS mono leaf
Capri II shift knob
Blaupunkt AM/FM radio with separate Clarion cassette and Clarion Equalizer
Cibie Euro 7" Headlights
Marchel fog lights
"Coyote" Orange paint/Black interior
ANZA twin tip exhaust
All trim painted satin black
It's funny how a LOT of mature Celica Supra owners owned Capri's before the Toyotas.
I guess those wanting a sportier handling car in the '70s who weren't sold on the original Celicas went for them.

As has been discussed, these weren't the highest build quality cars, but they were a perfect size.
I loved the V6 in my Capri II although it sounds like they were somewhat heavy for what they put out.

But the handling!
You must have done what I did. I got a Rokstock catalog and tried to copy What ROK did. Bilstein struts, mono leaf rear springs, sticky 205/60-13 tires, and fancy alloy wheels.
When I did this, the rear roll stiffness was a little too high so coming out of low speed corners, it would lift the inside rear wheel which was pretty spectacular looking and feeling.
I also had a nylon steering coupler to replace the rubber one so the steering was incredibly direct.

It truly felt like a go kart. The longer wheel base of the Celica Supra doesn't lend itself to the nimble feel that the Capri had. I think a hot 1985 Celica GTS would be more like this.

You have to post pictures. I know this is a Celica Supra site, but these things are like cousins.

If I could find a clean chassis, I would love a 2 or 2.3 Pinto motor, or in the case of a V6 car, go with a small block Ford. Apparently, with aluminum heads and headers, they are probably lighter than the V6.

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You have to check out David Salazar build for his Capri II ??

I don't know who that is. Do you have a link to it?

And in the meanwhile, to bring this somewhat back to the Supra,

2JZ Capri

Just so I don't feel quite so guilty going on about non-Toyotas!
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I see Fox body Capri's listed here in Vancouver every once in a while. They show up far more than the European version. Still uncommon, which is sort of cool too.

These cars really were the 70s equivalent of the Celica Supra of the 80s. I can see the attraction.

The Capri, especially when modified handles dramatically better than North American iron. Same thing with the Celica Supra compared to the Mustang, Camaro, and Monza of the same time.

Actually I love them all, but like women (or men to be inclusive), the first ones you date are the ones you always remember.
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California Capri Club trip to Laguna Seca @1977 maybe 1976 before I bought my '74.

I took the pic out of my best friends '73 Capri sun roof, I have the original pic hanging in my garage today!!

View attachment 18491
Arch, that is awesome!
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I really hope that ROK does something like that.
I read about his recent V8 powered Capri, and while it's interesting, I think it missed the mark.
The original RSR Turbo was in the sweet spot. It was way more powerful than the Mercury Capri, and it was readily identifiable. It was also thoroughly streetable.

By comparison, the RSR GT crosses WAY over the line into boy racer territory.
I suspect that Richard didn't have as much input into this car as he did in the original RSR.
Of course, this may have been intentional, just to get his juices flowing, perhaps?

Rokstock RSR GT

Tire Vehicle Sky Wheel Car

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood

It certainly catches one's attention, but I think you've got to be pretty young to consider buying this and putting it on the street. I'm sure it's a beast.

I would imagine that a 302 V8 with ITB EFI would fit under the stock hood and give the car a somewhat more sophisticated appearance.

Land vehicle Vehicle Hood Car Motor vehicle

Borla ITB EFI in an MGBGT!

Something like this is somewhat practical (okay, questionable air filtration, but hey!) but would be a show stopper under the hood of a Rokstock.
With serious suspension work the car would go, and with ROKs sense of style on the outside, I think it would appeal to the mature gearhead who is able to afford something like this.

Anyways, I will be eagerly awaiting so see what he comes up with.

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