QOTD: Change Is a Bad Thing?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd change is a bad thing

On the Junkyard Find post at the start of this week, conversation turned to vehicle models which resisted change from the designer’s pen (or ruler) and the engineer’s… tools. Today we talk about the good old days, and how sometimes things stay the same.

The very subject of the Junkyard Find is my example for a vehicle resistant to change: the Chevrolet Caprice Classic. Chevrolet’s third Caprice album for the full-size Malaise customer was introduced for the 1977 model year.

Originally a trim of Impala, Caprice gained independence as its own model for 1966 when it became the most expensive full-size Chevrolet. After changes every couple of years, a second generation debuted for the ’71 model year. Again, changes and revisions occurred every couple of years as the design experienced subtle reworking. Time for downsizing.

1977 saw a new, third generation model called Caprice Classic. General Motors spent a lot of money (to the tune of $600 million) developing its new downsized models. The resulting sedans were 10 inches shorter outside, but had more interior room. From here on out, things remained largely unchanged for the Caprice Classic. The three-box design was minimally revised for 1980, and there was a new 4.4-liter V8 as the base engine option (115 hp). Throttle body fuel injection for 1985 was accompanied by minimal visual changes in 1986, as Caprice Classic soldiered on in its third generation. The Eighties drew to a close, and Caprice Classic was still there. It had one final glorious and boxy year in 1990, and was replaced by the divisive whale B-body model for 1991. Caprice Classic was not for turning, or changing.

Your uh, turn. Which vehicles had the fewest changes over the longest period of time?

[Image: GM]

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8 of 79 comments
  • Whynotaztec Whynotaztec on Dec 05, 2018

    Ford C-Series had a nice run, but then again, that is a commercial truck. Dodge Power Wagon?

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Dec 05, 2018

    Lada Classic a.k.a RWD Zhiguli a.k.a. FIAT 124. Since 70s (or 60s if you consider FIAT 124") to 2010s. May be still is produced.

  • Snoproblem Snoproblem on Dec 06, 2018

    "The three-box design was minimally revised for 1980, and there was a new 4.4-liter V8 as the base engine option (115 hp)" 115 horsepower? From a V8? That still makes my brain hurt. This must be that 'malaise era' thing people write about.

    • See 3 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Dec 08, 2018

      @snoproblem The 1971 Impala with the 350 cid was rated at 245HP@4800 and torque of 165 lb/ft @4000. The 1974 Impala with the same engine was rated at 145 HP@3800 and 250 lb/ft at 2200. the rated HP for both years was 51.2. They just retuned the engine for low end grunt instead of high revving power, to reduce emissions. The later engines had more pulling power, but people really noticed the more leisurely acceleration at speed.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Dec 09, 2018

    How long was the pre-MINI Mini in production? As far as I know it was a goodly 40 years.