41K Original Miles: 1986 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon

When it comes to estate wagons, America does it better than most. And I say that as someone who drives a European wagon and loves it dearly – but when it comes to the 1980s, you can’t touch GM and Ford’s long-roof offerings for the style and space they offered. This 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic station wagon is a gorgeous low mileage example still wearing its California blue plates and protective coverings on the rear-facing third-row floorboard. The brown paint is straight out of the 80s and still presents quite well, along with the wire-look hubcaps. Otherwise known as Chestnut Brown Metallic, the seller reports no rust and no dings, and that a bevy of original paperwork is included with the sale. Find it here on eBay with a $9,100 Buy-It-Now.

There’s also the option to make a best offer, which makes this big-bodied Caprice even more compelling. The bodywork does appear to be laser-straight, and the chrome adornments gleam like new. The first photo showed some general haziness to the hood paint, but it doesn’t appear to be a consistent problem looking down the sides. The glass is crystal clear and crack-free, and the Caprice’s often vulnerable bumper covers have been resprayed in the past. Since that’s a common problem area, it seems to show the kind of care and attention you want to see when buying an older vehicle. The seller notes the Caprice is optioned with cornering lights, body side moldings, door edge guards, chrome rook rack, and polished rocker moldings.

No leather to be found inside, but that’s OK since the fabric still appears to be in great shape. Leather would make this comfortable survivor even more desirable, but in the meantime, dirt and stain-free cloth is fine by us. The usability of these wagons is always so impressive, with storage cubbies, hidden jump seats, and acres of space for lugging luggage, car parts, groceries, and sporting equipment, along with six occupants. While I get that the modern SUV is the new take on this idea, I would love to live in a world where there were just as many wagon options as there are crossovers. The seller notes the wagon comes with power steering, cruise control, power brakes, power windows, power seats, power locks, air conditioning, and tinted glass.

The 5.0L V8 is said to run well and looks impeccably detailed underhood. The seller does note that a heater hose has been re-routed, but doesn’t elaborate as to why. There are no other major areas of concern under the hood, although the seller doesn’t elaborate as to its maintenance history. With this level of preservation and the original dealer plate frames still attached – not to mention only 41,000 miles – one would assume issues have been minimal and that the Caprice has been kept up mechanically to the same degree its cosmetics were loved. These classic station wagons may not handle very well, and thrive on isolating the driver from the road – but for logging endless miles on the interstate, the comfort and space are hard to beat.


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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    On the well-worn topic of the precipitously dwindling pool of old car enthusiasts (Howard, I’m looking at you), the proof will be in the pudding if some “young” guy steps up to buy this car. I can tell you this not-yet-ready-to-cash-in-his-chips old car guy couldn’t give 2 shits for this wagon, especially at this price. (Now I’m sounding like Howard, sorry).

    But lets’ say there is a guy(or gal) that was born in say…1976, and by ’86 Dad had the financial where-with-all to a buy a brand new ’86 Chevy wagon. That kid remembers all the good childhood times in that old brown turd, and now at age 44 he wants to re-live those times, with his kids.

    Well, I don’t see that happening, and Howard is right again. Dang.

    Like 10
    • MrF

      “The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.” Class dismissed.

  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    In my opinion, this looks like a great buy. What’s not to like about this Chevrolet Caprice? The original condition is outstanding, it’s loaded with options and it’s a low-mileage survivor. Apart from a driver’s seat that looks a little worn and soiled, the interior looks amazing. The only thing that strikes me as a little odd is that the mileage is at exactly 41,000 and a tenth. Yeah, it’s brown but check out that shiny roof rack! Vintage wagons are pretty hot right now and this 35 year-old Caprice wagon offers classic wagon looks and it seems to need nothing. All the new owner needs to do is to get in and turn the key. I’ll wager that it won’t be long before it’s snapped up.

    Like 11
  3. Steve Clinton

    At $9,100, this won’t last long. (I’d buy it if I had the room, the cash, and my better half’s permission.)

    Like 6
  4. Mark P

    Looks like the heater core is looped back on itself. Possibly the hose going to it is looped right back to what should be the return from the heater core. Maybe the core rotted from the coolant mostly just sitting in it for 35 years.

    Like 9
  5. mike

    140 hp 307 Oldsmobile Carburetor V8 engine towing almost 2 tons of car. eye eye eye!.

    Like 3
    • Bob C.

      I noticed that oil filler spout in front too. A lot of these wagons came with the Olds 307. The 305 had 10 to 15 more horses.

      Like 3
  6. angliagt angliagt Member

    This is one of those cars that white wall tires would
    improve the looks of.Too bad it doesn’t have a 350.

    Like 2
  7. Ken Carney

    305 you say? Nice doggie. Haven’t ever
    seen one that didn’t bust a crankshaft.
    That’s because they were all hollow ground instead of pressed steel. Found out about that when a friend of mine
    offered me a ’77 Pontiac Bonneville sedan with a 305 V-8 with 20K original
    miles dirt cheap and that was the reason–the crank snapped in 3 places.
    Of course I passed and have been soured on them ever since.

    Like 1
    • Chunk Plepgeat

      My teenage self beat the everliving piss out of a ’79 Caprice Classic for 100,000 miles and while I did kill a transmission, the engine ran like a top the whole time.

  8. Geoff

    I had almost this exact car as my work vehicle for a couple of years. The hunt and peck transmission was really annoying. The tranny finally tanked and the county garage swapped in a transmission from a wrecked Sheriffs patrol car. Wow, what a difference. Loved it after that.

  9. William

    41K? Not sure on that. An old repaint too? No matter, someone’s grandma died and this went to an estate sale and bought on the cheap. Gotta’ start doing that, of course, I am old enough to be the corpse at many a funeral, so might be testing fate if I start going to estate sales. As far as some 44 year old wanting this, not a chance at 9100. Maybe 2100 or less. If it was a sporty car that he lusted after when in high school, maybe, but for the kind of guy this sentimental, 9100 is too dear a price. He would give that money to a homeless puppy shelter or some nice Nigerian Prince who told him his people are starving.

    Like 2
  10. BC

    The rough condition of the carpet in the driver’s floor area and the worn/dirty driver’s seat back belie the mileage claim.

    Like 1
  11. Roy Blankenship

    The color is the perfect start for a three color camo paint job. All you need is tan and olive in spray bombs and a piece of cardboard with a jagged cut on it. I did a VW camper like that in the late 70’s….

  12. Maestro1 Member

    Somebody jump on this wagon. You won’t regret it.

  13. Chuck Dickinson

    My thoughts exactly. “Re-routed” probably means “by-passed”, and replacing the heater core in one of these w/AC is not a 30 minute repair!

  14. Mark

    My brother in law bought one of these, from the looks of it when he showed me it I thought it had only 118,000…… but he told me it was actually 318,000 one owner with that Olds 307 with the spout in front like this wagon. He did have to put a new timing chain and get in at 335,000 (was the original one). Lots of miles left on the brown beauty even if it has 141,000, but the price I feel is a tad high though.

    Like 1
  15. chrlsful

    Let’s bring out the 10 yr earlier Malibu classic waggy (Chevelle) for better looks’n style (even if only observing ‘grill’)

  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $9.100.

    • Steve Clinton

      And well worth it! (Keep an eye open for it to be flipped in a month or two.)

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