While a significant downsize from its preceding edition, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Caprice still represents what today would be considered a pretty big car. Let’s see if it comes with a pretty big price too.
The 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 we looked at last Friday had a lusty racing heritage in DTM. Unfortunately, as a rare model never officially imported here, that was an attribute that was probably lost on many. The $7,350 price tag was also a lost cause to most of you, at least based on the 80 percent No Dice loss the little Alfa suffered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 9,300 people die each day from various causes here in the U.S. For 2020, that totaled 3,383,729 souls having vanished into the ether. I sincerely hope none of you were among that number.
The thing is, when people die, they usually leave all their stuff behind. Someone—often an estate sale business—needs to deal with all those dis-possessed possessions. It’s not unexpected that, amongst all the carnival glass bowls and furniture that’s two generations out of fashion, there might also be a car or two.
Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill & Driver Kit
Comes equipped with an LED which goes on when the trigger is pulled. You’ll a clear view of whatever you are drilling or screwing with minimal shadows.
That seems to be the case with this 1985 Chevrolet Caprice Classic which the ad claims to have come from an estate sale. Unlike many cars owned by old folk who sparingly used them for occasional trips to Applebees for the early bird dinner, this Chevy seems to have had a full life. Per the instrument cluster picture in the ad, the car shows 48,584 miles on the odometer. That’s a bit misleading, though, since the odo only sports five barrels plus the tenths, so that’s really 148,584, as the seller affirms in the ad.
The car has also seen a respray at some point in its service life. That seems to be a fairly decent shoot with little overspray evident and a nice pinstripe to spruce up the sides. Above all that is a gloriously blue vinyl roof. And if that’s not fancy enough, the wheels sport both whitewall tires and faux wire full covers. Add-on stainless ventshades top each door as well.
The interior is quite nice too. It features gray button-tufted mouse fur upholstery and looks to be all original. The carpet does show some fading at the draw-over above the rocker, but otherwise seems to have been protected by the rubber mats and an off-duty life spent in the garage.
A nice feature of this generation of GM cars is the crotch-cooler vents on the undersides of the dash. Why doesn’t GM offer that anymore?
According to the ad, this Caprice gets its marching orders from a corporate 305 CID V8 and that is matched with a three-speed TH200-4R automatic. In this model year, the 305 made 165 horsepower. Chevy would bump that by five ponies for the ’87 models. As fitted, this Caprice won’t win any races but it should be fine for around town or on the open road as long as passing isn’t demanded.
The seller declares the car to be in excellent condition and the engine bay doesn’t look like anything screwball has gone on in there. The undercarriage shots show some dampness on the pan, but also what looks to be a fairly new fuel pump so it may be a bit of a mixed bag mechanically.
In fact, the whole car seems to be a bit of an enigma. It’s apparently in great shape, but not in “museum condition’ as some recent cars we’ve seen. It’s also an old car that’s not quite quirky enough to be something a hipster might drive ironically (which is probably a good thing), but not new enough to feature most modern safety and convenience features.
On the plus side, the look is traditional Chevrolet, with its simple egg crate grille up front and traditional six tail lamp treatment in the back. For a Chevy fan, that might just be enough to sway the sale. Of course, that’s only if it’s not stupid expensive.
To determine that, we’ll now need to take a gander at the Chevy’s $8,500 price tag. That gets you a clean title and that wonderful blue vinyl roof that will make everybody else at Applebee’s green with envy.
What do you think, at $8,500, is this estate-sourced Caprice worthy of a sale? Or, is that just too much to spend on a dead person’s detritus?
Harrisonburg, Virginia, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Mike P. for the hookup!
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