The Truth About Cars » Caprice http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:06:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Caprice http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Turbos Beat Displacement In Police Testing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/turbos-beat-displacement-in-police-testing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/turbos-beat-displacement-in-police-testing/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 15:15:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=683186 It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to join the dark (blue) side. Every year, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department runs the newest crop of donut-holders around Fontana Speedway. With no significantly new entries available, it’s no surprise that the results are fundamentally the same as they were last year. I’m not exactly […]

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EcoBoost-Police-Interceptor

It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to join the dark (blue) side. Every year, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department runs the newest crop of donut-holders around Fontana Speedway. With no significantly new entries available, it’s no surprise that the results are fundamentally the same as they were last year.

I’m not exactly sure what the justification is for using lap times to rank police vehicles, but we live in an era where police get to do pretty much whatever they want. Why not run ‘em around a track? Some of the significant laptimes:

  • Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor: 81.25 seconds
  • Chevrolet Caprice PPV 6.0 (355hp tune): 81.97 seconds
  • Dodge Charger HEMI AWD: 82.19 seconds
  • Ford (Explorer) Police Interceptor: 85.58 seconds
  • Chevrolet Tahoe PPV: 91.71 seconds

Looking at the tests of previous years, for which various police officers have posted full results on officer-oriented discussion forums, there’s a gap of a few seconds between the turbo/V-8 cars and the normally-aspirated sixes, then a couple of seconds back to the FWD Impala, which is still available for police fleet orders. Then, of course, you have the Tahoe, which is noticeably slower than everything but the Impala. Some ten to fifteen seconds behind that is the Harley Davidson Road King.

Other tidbits I picked up trolling through cop discussion boards:

  • The Taurus Interceptor cannot “meet CHP minimum load”, whatever that means. Presumably it involves more than the 400 pounds that the LASD loads the vehicles with for acceleration testing (but not track times).
  • Ford delivers PI orders in sixty days or less. GM is quoting six month lead times for the made-in-Australia Caprice.
  • Spares for the Caprice are difficult to get and, anecdotally speaking, Caprices are often idled for months waiting for body parts.
  • Even female officers report that the Caprice feels cramped. The Taurus Interceptor isn’t as good in that regard as the Crown Vic, but it’s not unlivable.
  • Cops love the Charger but hate the trunk space, and have a perception that it’s in for service more than competitive vehicles.
  • Ford specifically removed both keyless entry and “chip keys” from both Interceptor vehicles. As a result, the same blank keys can be cut for an entire fleet of Ford cop cars. Good news if you want to steal one, and also good news if you’re a fleet manager for a police department.

A solid comparison between the Ford Taurus SHO and “Police Interceptor” can be found at Hooniverse. When it comes to sales, however, the departments are voting with their wallets for the Explorer-based Police Interceptor. It’s outstripped the Taurus sedan Interceptor and sales are increasing steadily as departments grudgingly give up parking lots full of worn-out Crown Vics.

While the newest generation of police vehicles is almost certainly the fastest in history, it’s hard to shake the suspicion that they are the worst tools for the job since the Sixties. Cramped, complex, and expensive, the current Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge vehicles succeed primarily in making cops homesick for the old Panthers and Bubble Caprices.

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Junkyard Find: Bubble Caprice, Gucci Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-bubble-caprice-gucci-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-bubble-caprice-gucci-edition/#comments Sun, 19 Aug 2012 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456822 After discussing Kreayshawn‘s love for the Buick Reatta in the recent ’88 Buick Reatta Junkyard Find post, it seemed only fitting that I would find a car at the very same Denver self-serve yard that appears to be an homage to Kreayshawn’s greatest hit. While the 1991-96 “Bubble” Caprice isn’t a particularly common sight in […]

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After discussing Kreayshawn‘s love for the Buick Reatta in the recent ’88 Buick Reatta Junkyard Find post, it seemed only fitting that I would find a car at the very same Denver self-serve yard that appears to be an homage to Kreayshawn’s greatest hit.
While the 1991-96 “Bubble” Caprice isn’t a particularly common sight in self-service wrecking yards, they’re not realy old or special enough for me to pause when I see one in the GM section among the Saturn SLs and Olds 88s. This one, however, looked a little odd.
Could it be that GM was following in the footsteps of the Etienne Agnier Edition Volkswagen Golf and bringing back the Detroit designer-edition car? Well, probably not.
It’s pretty clear that we’re looking at the aftermath of a fabric-and-glue-gun frenzy, involving a Caprice that was likely on its last few thousand miles.

07 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - Gucci Edition Bubble Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Vellum Venom Vignette: The Next Iconic American Sedan? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/vellum-venom-vignette-the-next-iconic-american-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/vellum-venom-vignette-the-next-iconic-american-sedan/#comments Sat, 28 Jul 2012 16:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=454427 The (mainstream) staying power of GM’s B-body is pretty much history.  Panther Love shall live for the next decade or so, not much longer.  I was in this state of mind when auto writer extraordinaire Alex Nunez posted a picture to my Facebook wall, suggesting that the Chevrolet Caprice’s proportioning is somehow a worthy successor […]

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The (mainstream) staying power of GM’s B-body is pretty much history.  Panther Love shall live for the next decade or so, not much longer.  I was in this state of mind when auto writer extraordinaire Alex Nunez posted a picture to my Facebook wall, suggesting that the Chevrolet Caprice’s proportioning is somehow a worthy successor to these Iconic American Sedans.   My response? Relative to the Chevy Impala, sure.  But proportioning is more than having rear-wheel drive and a lot of real estate.  If you proportion it wrong, you create a Fool’s errand. You create the Chevy Caprice.

While we say Panther Love, we really mean Cab Backward design for an Iconic American Sedan. Can you dig it?

Cab backward is the complete opposite of what we see today. The passenger compartment doesn’t interfere with the natural placement of the engine, axles and front/rear overhang.  While the original Chrysler LH cars were a fantastic case study in Cab Forward awesomeness, the concept’s absolutely ruined today. Not that every car should look like a Rolls Royce Phantom…

But perhaps the Iconic American Sedan should! Just look at the Town Car’s massive hood and short A-pillar, compared to the Caprice’s vast wasteland of dashboard and visibility-hampering A-pillar.  And look at how tiny the nose is compared to the green house: like a body builder who reached their caves’ growth limitations. It’s disproportionately small. Iconic American Sedan?  Not a chance.

That said, you won’t see me giving the last Town Car a free pass, its proportions are still on the wrong side of the Cab Forward spectrum.

 

 

If you were there for the beginning of Panther Love, you’ll remember this photo. The 1988 Town Car had far better visibility from a lower belt line, the space between the dashboard and front wheel is unabashedly delicious, and the fascias make it clear: this isn’t an import wannabe.  Again, Iconic American Sedan. Not the only one, it’s one of many.

Not just many, a cornucopia of Automotive Americana. Sadly, the Iconic American Sedan has been under attack for decades.  Perhaps one day an empowered design team will have the right platform, the right motivation, etc and make a proper sedan for us Yank Tank Fans. Unfortunately, I won’t hold my breath.

 

 

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Junkyard Find: 1969 Chevrolet Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1969-chevrolet-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1969-chevrolet-impala/#comments Sat, 05 May 2012 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442682 GM made immense quantities of full-sized Chevrolets in 1969. How many? According to the Standard Catalog, the total production of ’69 Biscaynes, Bel Airs, Impalas, and Caprices was 1,168,300 cars. Well into the early 1980s, these things were as commonplace on American streets as mid-2000s Camrys are today. Given that nobody with the money to […]

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GM made immense quantities of full-sized Chevrolets in 1969. How many? According to the Standard Catalog, the total production of ’69 Biscaynes, Bel Airs, Impalas, and Caprices was 1,168,300 cars. Well into the early 1980s, these things were as commonplace on American streets as mid-2000s Camrys are today. Given that nobody with the money to restore a ’69 big Chevy is going to waste time on a non-hardtop four-door (what with the large quantities of restorable coupes and convertibles still extant) we can assume that the few remaining sedans will be flushed out by $250/ton scrap-steel prices and crushed during the next few years.
This one is fairly rough, though not rusty, and it looks like many of its pieces have been grabbed for other cars.
I can’t decode Fisher cowl tags by heart, but I believe the “JAN” means this car was built in the Janesville, Wisconsin plant.
As a former 60s Impala sedan owner, it makes me a little sad to see another one get eaten by The Crusher. However, there’s no way I’d pay even scrap value for a beat example like this, so I can’t be too sad.

14 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1969 Chevrolet Full-Size Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Down On The Mile High Street: 1967 Chevrolet Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1967-chevrolet-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1967-chevrolet-impala/#comments Tue, 03 May 2011 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=393463 With all the relatively solid big Detroit cars from the 1960s getting eaten by The Crusher in these days of $4/gallon gasoline and $250/ton scrap steel prices, how does a rough survivor like this sedan manage to stay out of the Chinese steel foundries? The probable answer: because it keeps running! The mid-to-late-1960s full-sized Chevy […]

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With all the relatively solid big Detroit cars from the 1960s getting eaten by The Crusher in these days of $4/gallon gasoline and $250/ton scrap steel prices, how does a rough survivor like this sedan manage to stay out of the Chinese steel foundries?

The probable answer: because it keeps running!

The mid-to-late-1960s full-sized Chevy cars (and I can’t sweat this is actually an Impala, since all the emblems and most of the trim are gone; we might be looking at a Biscayne with Impala taillights, or a detrimmed Caprice) tended to be very sturdy and simple to fix, and they were manufactured in such vast numbers— well over a million units for the 1967 model year alone, counting wagons— that parts are still easy to find. Engine blows up? No problem— just drop in a random 350 from Pick-N-Pull and off you go.

DOTSD-67Impala-10 DOTSD-67Impala-01 DOTSD-67Impala-02 DOTSD-67Impala-03 DOTSD-67Impala-04 DOTSD-67Impala-05 DOTSD-67Impala-06 DOTSD-67Impala-07 DOTSD-67Impala-08 DOTSD-67Impala-09 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Sometimes We Pay The Price For Looking Cool http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/sometimes-we-pay-the-price-for-looking-cool/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/sometimes-we-pay-the-price-for-looking-cool/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 02:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=375248 Now that my ’66 Dodge A100 runs and drives, I’m contemplating what sort of stance it’s going to have once I install the new wheels. Certified Rambler-racin’ madman and Denver chop-n-channel artist Cadillac Bob suggests that I jack up the front end for that solid-axle gasser look, and he’s probably onto something. However, a cool […]

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Now that my ’66 Dodge A100 runs and drives, I’m contemplating what sort of stance it’s going to have once I install the new wheels. Certified Rambler-racin’ madman and Denver chop-n-channel artist Cadillac Bob suggests that I jack up the front end for that solid-axle gasser look, and he’s probably onto something. However, a cool stance sometimes leads to unpleasant sheet-metal-versus-concrete interactions.

Whether you’re jacking the rear of your ’68 Cyclone about four feet in the air in order to fit the fattest Mickey Thompson tires you can find (as I did to my daily driver at age 18) or installing 24s on your Caprice (as the previous owner of this rollover-victim Caprice I spotted in a NorCal junkyard this morning did), you’re ditching a lot of engineering man-hours dedicated to making your machine handle at least somewhat predictably. Worth it?

After seeing this bonked donk, which no doubt wrecked due to bizarre handling characteristics caused by its monster wheels, I’m reevaluating the idea of the gasser-ized A100; the handling of that van is squirrelly enough at factory ride height, the single-circuit four-wheel-drum brakes are pretty scary, and let’s not even discuss the zero crush space between driver and concrete abutment.

Crashed Caprice donk Crashed Caprice donk Crashed Caprice donk

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MI State Police: Caprice Cruiser Creams Competition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/mi-state-police-caprice-cruiser-creams-competition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/mi-state-police-caprice-cruiser-creams-competition/#comments Fri, 08 Oct 2010 19:42:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=367977 Chevrolet’s new Australian-built Caprice PPV killed the field at the Michigan State Police trials for 2011 models, winning 0-60, 0-100 and top-speed comparisons, the braking competition and turning in the fastest average lap time. Dodge’s Charger nipped at the Caprice’s heels, but the day belonged to Holden. As predicted [unofficial results including Ford’s Taurus-based cruiser […]

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Chevrolet’s new Australian-built Caprice PPV killed the field at the Michigan State Police trials for 2011 models, winning 0-60, 0-100 and top-speed comparisons, the braking competition and turning in the fastest average lap time. Dodge’s Charger nipped at the Caprice’s heels, but the day belonged to Holden. As predicted [unofficial results including Ford’s Taurus-based cruiser available at Jalopnik].

Blowout Picture 594 Picture 592

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Busted! Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-busted-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-busted-edition/#comments Tue, 13 Jul 2010 17:40:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=360793 First of all, start burning that front fascia into your memory. Chevy’s new Caprice PPV is somehow even less distinctive than a Crown Vic, giving cops something of an edge until speed demons start recognizing it as an unmarked police cruiser rather than a strangely-modded G8. Speaking of which, GM still refuses to build a […]

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First of all, start burning that front fascia into your memory. Chevy’s new Caprice PPV is somehow even less distinctive than a Crown Vic, giving cops something of an edge until speed demons start recognizing it as an unmarked police cruiser rather than a strangely-modded G8. Speaking of which, GM still refuses to build a civilian Caprice, despite previewing what it might look like with this “Detective Duty” version of the new police whip. Because the only thing worse than getting a speeding ticket is getting a speeding ticket from an officer driving an inexpensive, V8-powered, RWD car that you can’t even purchase.

[UPDATE: carenvy.ca cites a “very, very reliable source” as confirming that the Caprice will in fact be sold to civilians in North America. We remain highly skeptical of this claim, and we will follow up on it].

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Ask the Best And Brightest: B-Body or Panther? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/06/ask-the-best-and-brightest-b-body-or-panther/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/06/ask-the-best-and-brightest-b-body-or-panther/#comments Fri, 18 Jun 2010 04:28:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=359048 The comments on yesterday’s review of the Caprice Classic Estate reminded me how fundamentally deep the Ford-vs-Chevy rivalry is among American auto enthusiasts. Even in the modern era, when both iconic brands are on the run from Toyota, Hyundai, and (soon) the Chinese, there’s still time to catch one’s breath and take a swing at […]

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The comments on yesterday’s review of the Caprice Classic Estate reminded me how fundamentally deep the Ford-vs-Chevy rivalry is among American auto enthusiasts. Even in the modern era, when both iconic brands are on the run from Toyota, Hyundai, and (soon) the Chinese, there’s still time to catch one’s breath and take a swing at the other guy.

So. The “Panther” platform is scheduled for termination within the next year or so. The General Motors B-body departed nearly a decade and a half ago. There will likely never be another American car of the size and proportions of those two. Which was your favorite? My thoughts, and a link to a credible source, after the jump.

I’ve owned both the B-body and the Panther personally, and I expect to own another Panther within the year. My feelings on the topic can be expressed as follows:

  • GM was always the leader, until they weren’t. The 1977 B-Body not only beat the Panther to market by a solid year, it was a much better car. It was roomier, quieter, better-made, better-looking, and never suffered from the God-forsaken Variable Venturi Carburetor. The redesigned Caprice beat the aero Crown Vic to market again and offered the LT1 against the tepid early “mod motor”. Only GM’s decision to gradually quit the market let Ford take over the police and taxi markets. Until they left the field, they were in front.
  • The Panther has suffered from persistent safety questions. Cops seem to keep dying in Crown Vics, with a reported “more then 30″ dying from fuel tank explosions. There have also been allegations of brake failure or simply inadequate braking performance.
  • If you want a newer car, you have no choice. I’d love to have another Bubble or Roadmaster, but if I want a sub-50,000-mile car in like-new condition, my next Town Car is only an eBay click away.

The folks at Texas Interceptors give the nod to the Crown Vic. While noting the many superior qualities of the Caprice, the reliability of the Crown Vic seems to carry the day. Of course, they could be wrong. What say you?

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Lutz: Impala Will Be An Epsilon II http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/lutz-malibu-will-be-an-epsilon-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/lutz-malibu-will-be-an-epsilon-ii/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:32:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=335662 Enthusiasts have been adamant that GM’s decision to sell a police-only version of its RWD global Lumina platform (Holden Statesman) creates a fantastic opportunity for GM to return the Impala to its RWD roots. Such a decision would seem to make sense from a business perspective as well, adding civilian sales volume to what otherwise […]

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Or not...

Enthusiasts have been adamant that GM’s decision to sell a police-only version of its RWD global Lumina platform (Holden Statesman) creates a fantastic opportunity for GM to return the Impala to its RWD roots. Such a decision would seem to make sense from a business perspective as well, adding civilian sales volume to what otherwise would be a fleet-only platform. No such luck though. Bob Lutz tells Inside Line that the forthcoming Impala replacement (due in 2014) will be based on GM’s global FWD midsized architecture (Epsilon II). The rationale for this decision appears to be fuel efficiency: Lutz mentions the need to compete with the Ford Taurus’s efficiency achievements as a factor in the decision. By going FWD, GM also hopes to be able to shoehorn the two-mode hybrid system from the discontinued Vueick CUV into a future Impala. In addition to forgoing an opportunity to leverage the Caprice police special architecture, this decision also adds to GM’s epic midsize FWD sedan bloat. From the Malibu to the Buick LaCrosse and Regal, from Impala to the Cadillac XTS “flagship,” GM’s default decision seems to be to base all of its sedans on a single platform, making pricing and content differentiation an ongoing challenge to its product strategy. Vive le sameness!

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