396 V8! 1967 Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon

Chevy brought out the Caprice in mid-1965 in response to Ford’s upscale new LTD. Just as the LTD had been based on the Galaxie 500, the Caprice was born from the popular Impala. The Caprice would become a series of its own in 1966 and be a part of the Chevy line-up for years to come. This 1967 Caprice has an interesting pairing of a station wagon with the 396 Turbo-Jet V8. Perhaps the original owner wanted a muscle car and settled for a wagon to placate the family. Whatever the case, this one is offered by a dealer in Ontario, California and is available here on Aussiespecuscaravans. The asking price along with other information will require interested parties to reach out directly to the dealer.

The first generation of the Caprice would run between 1965-70. Along with the rest of the full-size Chevrolets, Caprices were re-skinned for 1967, having their bodies “smoothed out” and the front grille wrapping around the fenders. Coupe and hardtop production were about 124,500 units for 1967. We don’t know the number of wagons built as they were all lumped together. Virtually any Chevy engine could be had in a Caprice (except for six-cylinders), including that L35 396 that put out 325 hp with a 4-barrel carburetor. With its woodgrain side paneling, the Caprice wagon could surprise a few folks from a stop-light run.

Without contacting the dealer about this car, we’ll have to go by just the photos to offer a critique. Aussie Spec US Caravans is a company that “makes quality American manufactured products more affordable to folks down under.” So, while this ’67 appears destined to end up in Australia, I suppose anyone with the money can buy it. Their web site talks a lot about caravans, i.e. mobile homes and trailers. The crème-colored paint on this Caprice looks very nice with no signs of rust. Perhaps a little crust here and there when up a lift, but as the Aussies would say “no worries!” There are a couple of minor dings in the chrome trim and the genuine imitation woodgrain panels look to have held up.

We don’t know the exact mileage of this car, although the odometer reflects just 23,000, but it apparently was used to haul a boat or some other pleasure craft as a tow hitch was added. The interior is in acceptable condition, but the carpeting looks worn and the front seat back looks to have been sunburned. If the material is still soft, perhaps the seats could be dyed and look new again. And there is a small tear in the rear seat that should be repaired.

The engine compartment is clean and has a piece of extra equipment that looks like part of the California smog controls. The air conditioning compressor looks shinier than the rest of the apparatus under the hood, so perhaps it’s been replaced. Or not. This looks like a solid wagon that only needs a little cosmetic TLC. Oddly, it doesn’t have a luggage rack on the top which was somewhat common on these 1960s people haulers. Hagerty says that top dollar for one of these wagons is likely $26,000 and I would think the 396 could be an incentive to go higher. If it runs as good as it looks, someone “down under” may be in for a treat!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Fred W

    1960’s car buyer would have never ordered a wagon with any thought of drag racing. The 396 was there for one reason only – towing! Wagons were the scourge of the high school parking lot.

    Like 26
    • Steve R

      That’s right. My mom drove a string of big block powered wagons that towed a travel trailer across the western United States for a couple of weeks every summer and a few weekends in the spring and fall. They were heavy and didn’t have performance gearing, they were slugs off the line. They did their job well, most eventually became engine donors, that’s the only real link they have to actual performance cars.

      Steve R

      Like 18
    • CCFisher

      Some drag racers preferred wagons because their extra weight over the rear axle made for better launches. Depending on weight classes and such, a wagon could have a real advantage on the drag strip.

      Like 9
      • Steve R

        That is true. However, very few, probably only a handful were ordered with that in mind. The vast majority of wagons that wound up as “race cars” were built/converted at a later date. The fact is, wagons were utilitarian in nature, as delivered, the big block served a purpose other than seat of the pants performance. I have several friends that race or have raced wagons, Not one of them retained any of their factory running gear.

        Steve R

        Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      Except maybe for the 2 door ’55-57 Nomad Wagons & maybe even the 2 door Pinto Cruising Wagon of the late ’70s.
      A young driver showing off his or her kewl car has all but disappeared today – what students drive or even have a license today?! & what affordable TWO doors are avail now, let alone good looking ones? Just shaking my head repeatedly left to right & back.

  2. doone

    The front bench is a different color, probability high that it came from the bone yard to replace a worn out one. The only disgusting part of the interior along with the front carpets. Otherwise a desirable speciman

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Interiors out west take a real beating, due to the sun. The supply of these cars dried up in the wrecking yards 20 years ago. However, inexpensive upholstery shops have always thrived in Southern California.

      Steve R

      Like 6
      • doone

        But who would recover in stained, puke green?

        Like 2
      • doone

        And now that I have looked closer the steering wheel doesn’t look correct nor does the heater switch look correct for A/C from the factory although the compressor does. Something doesn’t add up in there

        Like 2
      • ACZ

        Absolutely right, Steve. Same thing here in the SE. Older tan vinyl interiors tend to turn green after long term high UV exposure.

        Like 1
    • John L.

      donne, I had a 67 Impala, steering wheel and climate controls are correct for this car.

      Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      California sunburn has taken its toll on the seats, perhaps more than once. The interior is/was gold, and neither the front nor rear are the “original” color. The front looks to have been re-done at one time, and the rear has faded to blah on the top, while the skirting is still ‘gold’.

      Like 3
  3. ROBERT WILSON

    My brother bought a 1966 chevrolet impala wagon with a 427 425 hp 4 speed new and bought it for drag racing. My brother and I had a 1966 chevrolet nhra national record holding 220 hp 283. Most of my race cars were wagons. They were very popular drag racing cars.

    Like 8
  4. Mnguy

    I bought a new ’68 Chevy Suburban with this drivetrain. Used it mostly as the family truckster and did some towing too. 10 mpg empty or fully loaded. I also drag raced it a few times. LOL

    Like 5
  5. Brian McGahey

    Wagons could take good engine/drivelines into a different class. So you would always be up against similar Caprice (or whaever).
    Old days.

    Like 1
  6. local_sheriff

    I’ve asked this question before as to me it seems there are way more ’65, not to mention ’66 fullsize Chevs available while ’67s of any body styles rarely pop up. They were made in similar #s so anyone have any idea as to why survival rate of the ’67 seems to be lower? Did they have quality issues the preceding Chevs didn’t or have they simply been regarded as less desirable and consequently not been preserved?

    A ’67 Chev longroof in this condition with the Caprice package and the associated ‘homely’ firewood panels is at least in my world a very nice ride. As for the color diff in front bench and arm rest pads I’d guess they at some point have been re-covered with some ‘close enough’ upholstery material. I have the same issue with my ’64 Safari (also a Cali car) in that the reupholstered areas are way more ‘gold’ than the OE surfaces and I’ve found it to be a true PITA to find a perfect match…

    Like 4
  7. Steve Clinton

    I have a thing now for 50s and 60s wagons. Is it because they are no longer made?

    I’d be interested in what they are asking for this, but no way would I deal with a seller who refuses to post the price. You can keep it, bud!

    Like 5
  8. Joe C

    The contact paper woodgrain has got to go… The 67 had a darker woodgrain… There’s more to understand about this wagon but good luck

    Like 8
    • AZVanMan

      Yeah looks like they did a poor job installing it, also.

      Like 5
  9. 1-MAC

    Convinced my father to get a 396 dual exhaust 68 CAprice wagon even had hide-a-way headlights . It was plenty strong. He traded it for a 72 Olds Custom Cruiser with a 455. He said my Caprice was a lot faster than the Olds. Wish I had the foresite to keep it.

    Like 2
  10. Timmyt

    To answer local sheriff’s question,it’s the people of mexican descent, anything 67 to them is like anything 69 to americans,they are super attracted to any 67

    Like 1
  11. Greg Goodwin

    That high on price, huh???

  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Donne, and the rest if you…….. I believe the seats are original to the car. Gold interiors, gold vinyl when it fades turns to a green hue. Seen it many times

    Like 2
  13. chrlsful

    full size? I’d take the same equp ina down sized model.
    Nice w/the fake grain & white tho~

  14. Joe

    Oh. My. Goodness….

  15. Arthell64 Member

    I always thought it was odd Chevrolet did a one year only round pod dash in the 67 impala.

    Like 1

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