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Chevrolet Caprice


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My 1990 Chevy was the best that I have ever owned. No computer problems, ran like a top until the day that I sold it. The 1989 twin that I sold last year had the same performance. Even had a kid come up to me yesterday wanting to know if I still had it. He was very disappointed to hear the news. Seems they are still popular with the younger set. They may add those tractor trailer wheels onto their rides, but they still appreciate the styling and confort of a large car.

Wayne

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So, what is it with these? The design did not seem to change for almost 20 years! I found this reel: YouTube - 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Sales Training Video seems like a dinosaur in comparison with the cars during that time.

Not sure what your point is. The B-body sheet metal was the same from 1977-1990 (though the front sheet metal underwent a significant redesign in 1980). The chassis and suspension was unchanged from 1977-1996. The BOP versions were very similar in those years, in fact the station wagon versions (like my 84 Olds Custom Cruiser) use exactly the same sheetmetal as the Chevy from the firewall back. The sedans used different sheetmetal, but the wagons were identical. Frankly, the chassis and suspension actually descended from the 1973-77 GM A-body intermediates (Malibu et al). This was GM's downsizing period. The 73-77 chassis is actually little changed from those first introduced with the 1964 A-body intermediates. Of course, as Wayne points, out, these cars worked well for their purpose, so why change?

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Hello 1948Lincoln, I was selling new Chevys in 1989-90 and those cars were indeed dated compared to other contemporary cars. But they rode and drove great and were very popular. Our General Manager always drove a loaded Caprice and he could have driven whatever he wanted.

When the new 1991 Caprice came out in summer 1990 they were a major flop and I had people come in to snap up the last of the old style while they were still available.

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The Caprice and Cadillac Brougham were supposed to be dropped in 1985-6 when their BOP stablemates were, except for 2 problems. Chevy really did not have an adequate replacement for the Caprice and people kept buying it. And Cadillac did have a replacement, but many of their buyers did not like the little fwd car, and kept buying the Brougham.

So the two were basically unchanged until 1990-2 because they were supposed to be dropped each year, so no point in major design changes. When it became apparent that customers did want these cars, GM did redesign the sheetmetal to make them more aerodynamic.

That was not well received. Most of the buyers were older, traditional, set in their ways, and did not like the new aero look. I also worked at a Chevy dealer in 1990-91, and old timers refused to trade in their boxy Caprices or snapped up the few remaining new ones. They also complained that "it looks like the rear is jacked up". GM cut out the rear wheel wells on later models to reduce that illusion. Since the cars did not sell as well as expected, they were dropped in favor of producing SUV's at that plant. Which were really taking off at that time.

Lincoln had better luck with the 1990 Town Car, which managed to combine the aero and boxy look in one package. The 1998 and foward now gets compaints as being too aeroegg and Marquis-like.

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Well, I meant compared to other Chevys. Thinking back I guess that includes such gems as the Beretta/Corsica which were the top selling car in America the month I got there, June of 1989. Hard to believe now (and for a very short time).......

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As compared to, say, the Crown Vic? :rolleyes:

As compared to a Ford Taurus which was the new look at the time. The Crown Vic and Grand Marquis were held over the same way and for the same reasons as the Caprice and Cadillac Brougham. They were supposed to have been dropped with the introduction of the Taurus and Sable.

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And no one has addressed that the Caprice was the vehicle of choice for police departments.

That too. As well as taxis. And Crown Vics were used even more for police and taxi service. And the Brougham and Town Car for limo and hearse builders.

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It is interesting that the Caprice/Impala was considered out of date when new in the late 80's, but look at them now.

If you had your choice between a 1989 Caprice or 1989 Beretta or Cavalier, there would be no choice. The Beretta and Cavalier cars are almost throw away cars compared to the larger Caprice.

Proof that a large, well built, good riding dependable car will outlive a cheaply made smaller car.

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If I could find a loaded Caprice Classic with low mileage I'd buy it in a New York Minute for a daily driver.

For all the reasons stated prior, also 'cause it's a good looking sedan design, and parts are plentiful.

They're handsome in navy blue, burgundy, and seeing one without 22" rims would be a real treat. :)

There's just something about them...

TG

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Some of the younger crowd refers to their Caprice/Impala as a "Donk". This apparently came about because someone thought that the Impala emblem portrayed a donkey - thus, a "Donk". These Donks are usually adorned with garish paint jobs, all manner of chrome gee-gaws, and wheels that are big enough for a Conestoga wagon. Check Google images for "Donk" and you'll see some fine examples. :rolleyes:

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I'll tell you, we had a '74 Impala Sport Coupe (four actual windows that rolled down!) and traded in on a new '77 Impala Coupe. I preferred the '77 in most every way. It was quieter, had a 'tighter' ride, and had soft vinyl door panels from top to bottom. I think the styling has held up very well. The downsides? People had trans problems with the THM they used in the 305 V8 (but not in the 350), and in several years in salty areas, the rear frame rusted out. We experienced neither of these things with our 305 model. Boy, could I enjoy a cherry '77 Caprice coupe with 350, the plastic, scooped-out pseudo wire wheelcovers, and F41 suspension! Trouble is, nice stock ones are very hard to find.

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  • 5 years later...
Guest hornet
post-107954-143143019745_thumb.jpg hi rob here new member I love the Chevy topics I own a 1990 box caprice with 62k 305 tbi/ th200r all stock accept the ac witch is 134a and a newer head unit the clear coat is starting to lift the previous owner had it painted a year or 2 before I got it :cool:

post-107954-143143019755_thumb.png

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Nice looking Chevy. After all these years, I only have one left, an '86 wagon with a 307 cu in Olds engine, the fastest "warmup motor" ever designed. The heater starts putting out heat within 1/2 a mile, good stuff for old people since our bones are hurting and the wives are not sitting as close as they used to.:confused::(

This Chevy now has 85,000 miles, but it needs some cosmetic attention. (front bumper spacer-darn plastic)

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Guest hornet

thanks when I was looking for a mid 70s to 80s car there was an add for a 73 olds cutlass witch I called the guy and made the arrangement to look at the car up in reading pa when I got there he informed me that it was sold :mad: down the road was the caprice for sale well I wasn't going to stop because it was a 4dr well the rest is history she runs well but still had my hart on that olds I may sell the caprice :confused:and get a olds

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My first car was a 1987 chevy caprice. It was a retired police car from sparks nevada. It was absolutely one of the best cars I have had. I still look for them from time to time dreaming that I would somehow replace it. I had some trouble getting it to smog once because it had a carburetor on it. I also had to put friction modifier in the rear end to keep the positraction from chattering. If I ever had the chance, I would buy another one. I would want a fuel injected version though.

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It was simple. The 77-90 GM B-bodies were very good cars as well as very good selling automobiles. Well- after they got that lousy THM200 metric transmission resolved, anyway. Some of the early 305s had soft cams and we won't mention the Diesel fiasco, but both go back to GM bean counters and engineering.

I'm on my 3rd B wagon and you could not ask for a more comfortable, reliable or better running car. The analogy to the Beretta/Corsica proves that GM was building its share of junk back then but the B platform was very good.

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They had become pretty reliable units by around 1982, then they went thru the same thing with the 2004R (overdrive 200). The finance people made HydraMatic Division build those transmissions cheap as possible until it became obvious warranty costs were eating their lunch, especially on Turbo Buicks and cars in mountainous areas.

Though I'll knock on wood- neither of the 2004R's I had gave me any problems. They'd shift weird sometimes but no failures. Though it was unnerving to mash the gas for a part-throttle downshift around 40 mph only to have it try to go into OD.

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Guest hornet
Love the video, could not get it to open on my facebook page.:(

it wont play in Facebook because its a mp4 format copy and paste the link in your internet explorer address bar on the pc hit enter :)

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it wont play in Facebook because its a mp4 format copy and paste the link in your internet explorer address bar on the pc hit enter :)

Thanks, yes I could view it, but wanted to share it with my non-car loving friends. :(

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I'd have a B body as a daily driver any time. I really liked that style and never thought it was outdated especially when new.

I had an 83 Firebird with a V6 and 200R and it too had a strange shifting issue at only about 14K miles or so during the second year of owning it. It would have really late shifts from 1st to 2nd with the A/C off and would shift normally if the A/C was on. The dealer fixed it under warranty. I recall the work order showed they totally rebuilt the transmission. It never had a bit of trouble afterward and it would shift the same with the A/C on or off.

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I have an 85 wagon I picked up to use at while at my home on Florida, perfect for my use when down here. In 85 the wagons still had the Chevy V-8 , sedans had the olds engine (woof woof). The only reason some of these cars exist is because they were taken care of and stored inside. You seldom see any of the Crown Vic's. I had an 88 Crown Vic wagon I bought new, the oil pan was rotting out in 1992. I traded that in for a Roadmaster Wagon, one of the best looking cars I ever owned, also one of the worst. It ate up 3 700 R4 transmissions

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What was it with Ford oil pans back in those late 80's, early 90's years? I had a Ford van that did the same thing, plus I know of others that had the same problem. Must have been made from recycled toyoke's. Guess that is why I have Buicks today. Drove the 96 Century to get grocery's yesterday. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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Some of the younger crowd refers to their Caprice/Impala as a "Donk". This apparently came about because someone thought that the Impala emblem portrayed a donkey - thus, a "Donk". These Donks are usually adorned with garish paint jobs, all manner of chrome gee-gaws, and wheels that are big enough for a Conestoga wagon. Check Google images for "Donk" and you'll see some fine examples. :rolleyes:

All the body styles have their own knickname. Donk as you mentioned then there is the Box and Bubble. Pretty easy to know what body styles they are refering to. Younger kids don't buy them for the styling or the comfortable ride. They buy them because they have street cred as being a gangsta car, they are cheap and you can cram 10000000 watts of stereo in the trunk.

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All the body styles have their own knickname. Donk as you mentioned then there is the Box and Bubble. Pretty easy to know what body styles they are refering to. Younger kids don't buy them for the styling or the comfortable ride. They buy them because they have street cred as being a gangsta car, they are cheap and you can cram 10000000 watts of stereo in the trunk.

I actually had one of them tell me GM named the G platform for "gangsta". Unfortunately I laughed out loud, so I'm probably on a hit list somewhere...

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