Junkyard Find: 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic LS Brougham
For better than three decades, Chevrolet sold Americans full-sized sedans with angular lines and — in most cases— V8 engines. Beginning in 1959 (or even earlier, depending on how strict you are about the definition of “angular”), a big rear-drive Chevy box sedan was the most mainstream American motor vehicle… and that came to an end in 1990, after which the Caprice got a new cetacean body on the old 1977-vintage chassis.
These late Box Caprices have become very tough to find in junkyards, so I decided to document this picked-over example in Colorado before they’re all gone forever.
Junkyard Find: 1967 Chevrolet Impala Sedan
During the middle 1960s, the Chevrolet full-sized sedan was the most mainstream car in North America. The pinnacle for sales numbers came in 1965, with way more than a million new big Chevrolets sold, but 1967 saw 1,127,700 Biscaynes, Bel Airs, Impalas, and Caprices leave the showrooms (if you include wagons in the count, and of course you should).
Of all these full-sized Chevy cars in 1967, by far the most common was the Impala four-door post sedan, and that’s we’ve got for today’s Junkyard Find.
QOTD: Cross Country Cruiser?
There are some Q-Ships which are designed to simply eat up the miles. Despite the proliferation of cheap(er) airline tickets, there is definitely a group of people who would rather drive to their cross-country destination than get in a metal sky tube with a hundred other humans. Fair enough.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: select a machine for our fictional friend so they can drive themselves from New York to L.A. in comfort. It can be a brand new vehicle, but that stipulation is not a necessity. You’ll see why after the jump.
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.
Junkyard Find: 1977 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Coupe
Piston Slap: B-Bodies Shall Master the Road Once More!
Sheriff Resurrects 20-year-old LT1-powered Chevrolet Caprice
An Illinois sheriff knows a barn find when he sees one.
According to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stadler spotted an old parade Chevrolet Caprice with 4,000 miles gathering dust in a shed and decided to bring it back into service.
The 20-year-old, LT1-powered police cruiser — which sports none of the modern police cruiser amenities including USB ports, massive touchscreen or even traction control — was pressed into service when Stadler’s Impala was retired.
“I could see the diamond in the rough,” Stadler told the newspaper. “Your non-car person would look at this thing and think, ‘Why would I want this 20-year-old thing covered in dirt?’ Where I was, ‘I really want to clean this thing up.’”
Junkyard Find: 1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, Rabid 49ers Fan Edition
Like art cars, vehicles that have been turned into team-color-painted, sticker-bedecked sports-team fanmobiles tend to spend their lives just one minor mechanical problem away from that final tow-truck ride. This “whale” Caprice was, we can assume, the life of the tailgate party at freezing-ass Candlestick Park and maybe that new stadium that’s nowhere near San Francisco.
Junkyard Find: 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
The third-gen Chevy Caprice, made for the 1977 through 1990 model years, was the last of the traditional box Caprices. Those of us who came of driving age during the Late Malaise Era came to fear the rear-view-mirror sight of the grille of this car, the early Panther Ford LTD, and the Dodge Diplomat, due to their popularity among police departments in the 1980s. You don’t see many box Caprices these days, but enough were made that they appear in self-service wrecking yards now and then. Here’s a very governmental-looking example I saw in Denver a couple months ago.
Turbos Beat Displacement In Police Testing
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.
Junkyard Find: Bubble Caprice, Gucci Edition
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.
Vellum Venom Vignette: The Next Iconic American Sedan?
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?
Junkyard Find: 1969 Chevrolet Impala
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.
Down On The Mile High Street: 1967 Chevrolet Impala
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?
Sometimes We Pay The Price For Looking Cool
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.