I'm getting ready to dig into my neglected Caprice, so I thought I'd give it it's own thread.
I'll go back a bit for those who don't know about this car. I originally bought the car for my birthday in 2001 at a local Pick a Part salvage yard. It was sitting in their used car lot for months with no takers and were about to yank it to send it to the crusher. I came along offered $2000 on a $3000 asking price and they accepted. They gave me the missing hood hinges, missing shifter linkage and a battery. I drove it home even though the brake master cylinder was sketchy. It would stop the car, but would slowly sink as I sat stopped.
I didn't buy this as a project car. I bought it for all it's good parts. I planned to strip off what I wanted for my Impala and part out the rest before sending the leftovers back to the salvage yard. But, when I started the four speed conversion on my Impala; I needed a second set of wheels to get around. I ended up giving the Caprice a tune up and a matching set of tires, and a new brake master cylinder. I had to get a Brake And Lamp Inspection to get it licensed/registered because it has a salvage title being bought at a salvage yard. Well, it turned out to be a decent car and I later found out it has a ton of rare options. So, I kept it together.
The manager of the salvage yard gave me some history on the car. It was an one family car. The elderly lady who originally bought the car passed away and it sat in her daughter's yard for several years unused. Some kids came along and tried to steal it, hence the missing shifter linkage and hood hinges. I'm guessing they were eyeing that big 454 under the hood. They got caught trying to tow it with the steering still locked.
Here's the option list: LS4 454 345 hp 500 ft lbs torque, TH400, dual exhaust, 12 bolt 3.08 gears non posi, Comfortron AC, power windows, pwr seat, rear defrost, front and rear light minders, front disc brakes, body side molding, front and rear over riders on the bumpers, 15X7 rallys, vinyl top, AM two speaker radio, tinted windows, and tilt wheel.
First, I'll show you some pics taken after I bought it.
These were taken after I spent two weekends polishing it up. I had bought a set of BFG T/A's because I had three different sized tires from three different brands on the car. Much better. The rallys came with the car and the center caps/trim rings were in great shape.
You can't see it in the pics, but the trunk lid has a round area that looks like a leaky brake fluid bottle was sat on the paint. Beside that mark looks to be an old cookie tin sat on the trunk for years. Neither will come out without sanding them off. The rear valance was damaged when the kids tried to rip off the car from the original owner's daughter.
I detailed the engine compartment after the tune up and replaced the stock Q Jet with a Holley 3310 750 vac sec I got from a friend. The stock snorkle air cleaner was replaced with a cheapy chromed open element type. The distributor was new when I bought the car as well as the coil. The master cylinder was already replaced and I refilled the AC system with R134 which amazingly works great.
I then put on new dual exhaust with big turbos from Summit to replaced a really crappy single exhaust that was hacked together. The left side Y pipe was 1 1/2 pipe. Billie at Kartech did a really nice job custom bending 2 1/2 pipes for me.
Here's how it sounds:
A few years ago, I heard flapping coming from the roof while tooling down the freeway. Turns out the vinyl top was coming loose.
I grabbed and gave it one good yank. Here's the results. I later scraped off all the old, hardened glue.
The car pretty much was left alone since then with me only fixing what broke. I replaced the steering box, pwr steering pump, 100 amp one wire alt, water pump. The cheap Gabriels I bought failed almost immediately. My friend, Carl, gave me his almost new Edelbrock IAS shocks for letting borrow all my tools while he rebuilt his wrecked Chevelle.
Here are pics I took last weekend as she looks now. It's been used as a beater I left at work all week while I drive company cars and needs some TLC. It's going to get it soon.
You'll notice the missing trim rings and center caps. Some one stole them while I was at work. I only have two trim rings left. The rear springs have had it and give it the ass dragger look.
The front marker light in the bumper is off the car. It was in the trunk when I bought it. The mounting tab is broken and still behind the bumper. Unless, I come up with something, I'll have to remove the bumper to get it back on. The dent in the front fender happened when I was at the movies. A big 4X4 was parked next to me and I found his axle grease in the dent.
The ding in the headlight trim on this side was there when I bought it. The scrape on the fender and the missing engine emblem was there as well.
The interior has been holding up. The dash is still uncracked. I use the windshield shades religiously. The driver's seat has the most wear. The towel covers up the worst of it. Year One and few others make new seat covers in this pattern at $650 for the front and rear. Hence the continued use of the towel. I installed a JVC stereo with CD and some decent speakers. The rest of the interior is still pretty nice except the rotted out carpet in front passenger area. I think the floor mats are original dealer stuff.
The engine is bit dirtier these days. The cheap air cleaner is rusting, but she still runs great, although tired. The left side motor mount is wasted. Look under the AC compressor for the chain holding the engine to the frame.
You can see the massive four core Harrison radiator that was near new when I bought. Someone removed the factory fan and shroud and replaced it with a fiberglass fan. It works, though I want a better one.
It appears that this car came from Missouri, where it was originally purchased sometime around 1975 from the inspection decals still on the windshield.
You guys on the east coast ever seen a trunk this clean on an old car car?