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12 Year Sleep: 1979 Caprice Classic Survivor

1979 Chevrolet Caprice

A ’79 Caprice may not be anything to get excited about, but what about one with low-mileage that is in really good condition? This one is claimed to have been never been driven in the snow. There are no chips in the paint or glass and only one small ding. The car has been parked inside for the past 12 year, but the owner recently passed away so the car is now on the market. It’s located in Troy, New York and is listed here on eBay with the option to place a bid or buy it now for $6k.

Caprice Carpet

That does seem like a lot of money for one of these, but it’s an affordable way to travel back in time if you have some memories with a Caprice. The whole car could use a good cleaning after sitting so long, but I don’t see any reason not to believe the odometer reading which is pegged at 33k. There were only five digits on older cars though, so the only way to determine if it is correct is through documentation. Oil change receipts and the like can be used to track the mileage over the years, but even then it’s no guarantee.

Shiny Paint

The paint and interior do look very good for an unrestored car with over 100k miles though. It used to be a common occurrence to find clean low-mileage classics like this stashed away in older folk’s garages. This one is going to need some work before it’ll be roadworthy again, but it shouldn’t take much to get that 305 V8 humming again. This car may not be a high dollar collector car, but it’s in good enough shape that it deserves to be preserved by someone who appreciates her!


  1. DrinkinGasoline

    Even with the emissions restrictions on the 305, it’s still a far better offering than the Olds 50k mile 307 and worth the risk. My ’79 225 was a terrific ride.

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  2. Chebby

    Come on fellas, do you even read your own site? You’ve featured this thing THREE TIMES already this year. (January, May, today)

    I bought one like this for 500 bucks in 1992 and maybe I’d pay $2k in today prices, but it’s a driver car. A good one, I will admit. Maybe the guy should clean it and service it instead of raising his asking price, but what do I know.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed Chebby…Clean it up inside and out and do some 3k mile maintenance. Take the time to actually detail the exterior and interior and clean up the engine compartment without applying any dressings. Air up the tires to proper pressure. When I go look at a car, I want to know that if I climb in it for a test drive, I’m not going to contract some sort of contact disease…crabs can pole-vault if old used toothpicks are left laying around !

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Oops, with so many finds and quite a few writers, it’s bound to happen occasionally. We will work on that though. Thanks guys.

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      • Mike

        I think you all do a good job, if the people complain about a car getting shown a couple or even 3 times a year then tell them to go else where. I like your website, and even bought a car from St Louis that was shown on your site (Thanks by the way).

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  3. MH

    I was thinking the same thing!!!

    Let’s find some new cars that aren’t on ebay. Doesn’t anyone have any good barn find stories with pictures? I wish I did.

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  4. Hector

    I like the 2 door version of this.

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  5. Hoos Member

    My father bought one of these new in ’77(I think, the first year for this body) That summer, we took a trip to Disney Florida from Pa. with one of his friends and his son. Two adults, two teenage boys and an 8 year old girl. At times, it seemed a little tight, but that was more about our ages and less about the car. It had a great ride from what I remember. I wouldn’t mind having one to relive a few memories, but the price seems a little high for what it is, and I’m fresh out of garage space.

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  6. 68 custom

    doomed to become a Donk!

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Good Grief….I hope not. I don’t think I can take another
      “Pimp of the Year” ride…

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  7. grant

    Again with the “affordable entry to the collector car world” except this isn’t a collector car. So it’s 6 GRAND for a neglected grannie car with a ton of deferred maintenance. I just don’t get it.

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  8. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Honestly, why would a site like this even feature this car ONCE??

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    • Hoos Member

      I’m glad they do. It will never have the cache of a ’69 Camaro or a ’32 Duesenberg, but not too many people can afford them. Cars like this will never command big money, and parts are plentiful. A nice car to get started with, IMHO.

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  9. Angrymike

    At (supposedly) 33,000 miles its due for a camshaft change from the start, I remember the cams on these wearing out at around 50,000, from 77 thru 80, I seem to remember Chevy saying they mistakenly used a soft metal on the cams, but it was all hearsay. But when I was working in a Sunoco back in the early 80’s, we had a bunch of these 305’s @ 350’s with bad cams at an early age……

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  10. RoughDiamond

    My parents had a track record of owning Chevrolets starting with a ’70 model Caprice two door with the 350 four barrel engine. What a great car! Then they bought a ’75 Impala two door which was a decent car, but fell way short in all aspects compared to the ’70 Caprice. Hoping they’d learned their lesson about where GM quality was at the time, but obviously not having done so, they bought this year model in a two door. Not only was it a piece of crap being way under powered, but the interior started falling apart starting with the driver’s door pull promptly coming out when getting in the car and attempting to close to door.

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  11. Mike

    I had one of these in a 2 door, the 305 was known for bad camshafts, but they were easy to replace if you knew what you were doing. The one I bought out of a garage in Desloge with 67K on it. The lady that owned it said it was her late husbands car and she did not like it so she went out and bought her another one she liked. Well a few years passed and he passed away so she just parked it. I learned about the car through a yard sale she had and was talking to my Wife about a riding lawn mower for sell, I went over later that night to look at the mower and there sat the Caprice, covered with bed sheets. I asked about it and bought it for $1000.00 (never did look at that mower if remember right), I offered her a little more for it, but she would not take it. Inside the car was a notebook with every record of service written in it, I was able to see all of the license renew forms in the glove box, so I knew the mileage was correct. Cleaned it up put new tires on it replaced brakes flushed out the fuel system and away it went. It smoked for about a month after that until I had run a few hundred miles on it, and today the Niece is driving it and it still a good looking car. The only problem was the door hinges, those 2 door GM car of the era, had weak hinge pins and would wear out and cause the door to drag bad.

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  12. daniel wright

    We had one of these that we bought new. It did require a camshaft replacement early on. It also came with the metric transmission. Which also required replacement early in the cars life. My sister ended up getting it as a first car and the poor thing survived nearly five years of her driving it. I don’t think she changed the oil the whole time.

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  13. Caprice lover

    Hey guys,

    My dream since I was childe is to have Chevy Caprice 1979 (don’t ask why caprice :). I really would like to have an original one like this. Could you please guide me to the right place where I can find a similar one ? I want to buy it and ship it to my country.

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