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57k-Mile Woody Wagon: 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Estate

A phenomenon called the minivan took the world by storm back in 1984, and it’s hard to believe that time period in automotive history has been almost four decades ago now.  These became so popular that it didn’t take other manufacturers long to follow in Chrysler’s footsteps and come up with a version they could call their own, but with the interest so high in these new people movers one result that was sort of a downer is the demand for traditional station wagons began to drop.  However, in 1987 the market was still pretty good and Chevrolet was continuing to produce a handsome traveler called the Caprice Estate such as the one here on eBay, so if you’ve been longing for the days of a woody wagon this one’s probably worth a look.  The 3-seater is located in Lakewood, Washington, with the no-reserve auction only up to $2,425 so far.

Chevy continued to make a full-size, rear-wheel drive station wagon for almost another 10 years, but by that time interest in the SUV market was also steadily increasing and the last hurrah was the 1996 model, although it’s pretty cool with all the choices customers had by the mid-nineties that they managed to hang on even this long.

The seller says his Caprice Estate is 100% original and was originally purchased by a lady who drove it up until she passed away, and that it’s been in the same family since new but hasn’t been on the road a lot since she’s been gone.  The body is stated to be in beautiful condition and that’s still the original paint outside, which does have a few blemishes but looks decent for the amount of time it’s weathered the elements.  The faux-wood side trim shows a few peels and the plastic filler between the front bumper and grille is missing entirely, but there’s no rust anywhere and overall the exterior appears pretty good.

I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely the interior has held up, not quite perfect but being in such a well-preserved condition seems to be a good indicator that the mileage claim of 57,000 is likely correct.  This one seems to have plenty of creature comforts too, with power windows, door locks, and a factory AM/FM radio with a cassette deck, plus that third seat in the back that allows passengers to watch their lives go by in the opposite direction from the others.

The seller says a 350 V8 engine can be found under the hood that’s never been rebuilt, but with this kind of low mileage, the motor’s probably not needed an overhaul yet if it’s been properly maintained.  We also get to see a photo from the underside, which seems to show a few dabbles of surface rust here and there but things down below appear structurally solid.  I’m guessing more bidding is in the near future for this 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Estate, but if things don’t get too far out of hand somebody may end up getting a good deal here.  What are your thoughts on this one?


  1. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Nice looking wagon. The interior have to be careful with your drinks. It will stain easily. The drivetrain is a good one. But that front bumper looks out of wack. Like the right side was push in then left side came out a bit. It’s worth the price who ever gets it.Good luck!! 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 4
  2. JEFF S.

    The car is missing a piece of plastic trim that goes behind the bumper, looks stupid without it. Good luck finding that piece. I had one of these back in the late 90s, it had an electric carb POS, lucky to get 10 mpg. Blew a head gasket, fixed it, but car never ran right after. I would not take it if it were free.

    Like 2
    • oilngas

      Only those who didn’t understand the Quadrajet called it a POS. Compared to the computer control carbs offered by the others, the CCC Quadrajet was the most dependable, easiest to diagnose, repair, rebuild and adjust. Pre-CCC also a great carb. Small primaries, bucket sized secondaries. Genius.

      Like 17
      • Boatman Member

        Is that why GM flat rate was four hours to rebuild one?

        Like 1
      • oilngas

        Is that a complaint? If it was found a rebuild was required 4 hours was gravy. Most failures were the TPS with a dead spot.

        Like 3
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      Toss the Electronic Feedback Carburetor into the nearest scrap metal bin, and add either an aftermarket Throttle Body Injection (TBI) system, or for a little more money, a Tuned Port Injection (TPI) fuel injection system from any one of a half-dozen manufacturers (Atomic, Edelbrock or Holley are the “Big Three”, but there are other makes, including Borla, the exhaust people).

      Like 5
  3. CCFisher

    A 350 under the hood? Not in 1987. The only engine used in the 1987 Caprice wagons was the 305.

    Like 6
    • Robert Proulx

      And this one is the olds 307

      Like 5
      • Jwzg

        Good eye!

        Like 2
    • Car Carl

      My 1987 caprice (junk) had the 307 Oldsmobile engine. That was the only good thing about it. It has a one year only dangerous power brake system that could crush a mechanic’s hand and was none to fail. That is why they had a recall. Most intelligent mechanics converted it to a 1986 or 1988 power brake system. I sold it. No comparison to the Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser with the Olds 350 V-8.

      Don’t buy it!!

      Like 0
  4. Zen

    Yes, a 305 only. Nice looking wagon, I hope it finds a good home.

    Like 2
  5. Stan

    One problem with these was some owners never drove em hard whatsoever… needed to take em out to the hwy and hammer the gas ⛽️ pedal. Floor it grandps 👴 🏁

    Like 6
  6. Joe Padavano

    The engine in the photo is a 307 Olds. It is not a Chevy motor. The 307s were factory installed in the Chevy B-body wagons (I have a 1986 with the same drivetrain). Per the ebay ad, the VIN on this car is 1G1BN81Y8HX140936. That “Y” in the eighth position confirms that the car was born with the Olds 307.

    Like 4
  7. Mason

    Don’t know the complaints about reliability. but I had a few mid 80’s Olds 98 w/ 307 & they all ran 200K + w/ orig carbs /didn’t burn a drop of oil.
    NYC TAXI back then uses Crown Vic or Chevy Caprice/Impala & they ran up to 400- 500,000 miles.before it retires !

    Like 5
    • Joe Padavano

      The problem with the 307 Olds motors is that few people knew how to properly adjust the computer-controlled Qjet system when it was new, and today nearly no one does. People lack the skills and patience to actually read and follow the procedure in the Chassis Service Manual. When you do, the run just fine.

      Like 8
      • Mason

        Absolutely correct. I go swap meets purchase GM factory service manuals on body/chassis/electrical/mechanical. these days if you see them in swaps, they go for anywhere $2.00 – 5.00 cause there’s no demand for them. also if they don’t clean the choke often that leads to running rough & they blame the motor.

        Like 2
  8. George Mattar

    That’s a boat anchor Olds 307 in the photo. I know. We had an 87 Caprice 30 years ago when we had 3 kids under 6 years old. Car never broke down, but it burned so much oil, GM gave me a new short block. Great car otherwise.

    Like 1

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