Are you a disappointment to your elders? Maybe it’s the car you drive. Buy today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Caprice and make a connection with the oldsters, that is if they don’t think you paid too much for it, kiddo.
Speaking of old, yesterday’s 1986 BMW 535i had been on the market for a full month before we weighed in on it. That moldering length of time, and its 61% Crack Pipe vote make it unlikely that grey market Bimmer is going to be keeping its seller... in the black.
Hey, do you know what else is black? That’s right, oil. Crude that is. Texas Tea, Middle East…. well, whatever dark beverage it is the drink over there. When it’s pumped out of the ground, crude oil is as black as the inside of a well digger’s ass. And then they do stuff to it.
Mostly they refine it, and through refining a single 42-gallon barrel of crude can yield about half its volume in gasoline and about 15% in Distillate Fuel Oil, or what we know as Diesel. There’s also about 5.4% Still Gas in a barrel, you know, for all you hillbillies making moonshine out there.
Diesel isn’t just the bane of present-day Volkswagen’s existence, at one time it vexed GM mercilessly. That was back when the company tasked Oldsmobile to build compression ignition V8s for itself and GM’s other brands.
Step into my wayback machine and let’s envision what that was.
It was a 5.7-litre V8 engine that was based on the Olds gas engine, but with a strengthened block and new heads. It was also cursed by a rushed development schedule and the General’s bean counter mentality.
That resulted in engines that proved to be less than acceptably reliable on average, owing to the insufficient head bolt count - the same 10-bolt pattern and bolts were used as the gas engine - which resulted in gasket failures, warped heads, and, in extreme cases, hydrolock due to coolant leaking into the combustion chambers.
That was only one of the engine’s dramatic oversights, which makes this 1981 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, which is powered by one of those Olds diesels, such an enigma. Oh sure, with only 30K on the clock it really hasn’t had much opportunity for the engine to shit the bed, but the potential is still there.
That only-time-will-tell mill puts out 120-bhp according to the factory, and a not unreasonable 220 lb-ft of torque. This being a Caprice and an ’81, the transmission is of course a 3-speed THM.
Very seriously, if your grandpa was what well-mannered people called eccentric, and everybody else called a crazy old coot, this would have very likely been the car he would have bought.
This one is perhaps the cleanest coot-mobile money could still buy. With only two massive doors it’s the least efficient of the Caprice line up, but it’s still going to be roomier inside than your college dorm room and probably a hell of a lot better furnished.
That interior is appointed in beige mouse fur and deep-pile carpet, and comes with a transmission hump that’s not just lovely but low enough to allow three-across seating in the front. The dash is not overburdened with gauges, offering only a wide speedo and a fuel gauge. Everything else is handled by idiot lights so make sure to remember to bring an idiot with you wherever you go. Overall, it looks pretty sweet in there.
The exterior is also nice, although it does exhibit a number of minor dings and dents. The vinyl roof looks to be in fine shape and - lord-almighty - is this car ever brown. Wire wheel covers Cleveland it up a bit, and amazingly all the plastic trim seems to be intact.
With a one-owner history, and such low miles, it’s not unexpected that the car would be in such nice shape. What is however is the description in the ad that it runs and “drives excellent.” That’s pretty amazing for an ‘80s GM diesel V8 car that hasn’t had an engine-ectomy at some point in its life.
Ah, but is this amazing and noisy survivor worth $6,500? That’s the price the Sioux Falls SD dealer has set for it, and you can either click the Buy It Now button to pay that, or, call/text Jeff and haggle over the price. I think Jeff sounds like a hard bargainer so we’ll just stick with the Buy It Now.
What do you think about this blast from the sooty past Caprice and its $6,500 price tag? Is that a smokin’ hot deal? Or, for that much would you tell this survivor to get lost?
H/T to Alex Urbanik for the hookup!
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