9C1 Police Package: 1996 Chevrolet Caprice

Sometimes, it feels like it was still the ’90s not that long, but it’s been 20 years since they ended. And that means that this 1996 Chevrolet Caprice is now 24 years old! At one time, you saw these fourth-generation Caprices or one of their badge-engineered relatives everywhere. The fact that they were the car of choice for police departments across the country might have had something to do what that! Today, they are becoming far less common as more and more find their way to the scrapyard. Reader John M bought this Police Package equipped 1996 Caprice in January and has done all the work needed to keep it on the road and away from the crusher. He’s decided to part ways with it though, so if you’d love to have this driver, you can find it here on Barn Finds Classifieds and it’s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a $3,500 asking price.

John claims that this LT1 equipped car was purchased and used by a school district in Virginia, so it was well maintained and didn’t see the kind of use that the typical 9C1 optioned cars did. He isn’t sure why a school system would have ordered a Police spec car with the 260 horsepower V8 to just let a principal and school administrators drive, but he’s glad that they did. It isn’t in perfect condition cosmetically, but it’s in great mechanical condition. And with 145k miles, it’s just barely broken in!

After getting it, John did the usual service, replacing all the fluids. He also installed new valve cover gaskets to make sure the engine isn’t leaking oil. It still needs the transmission filter replaced, which is included with the car. He also has a new water pump and a replacement fender for the driver’s side (it appears to have some damage) that need to be installed. There were two other major issues when he got the car, the dash was in poor shape and the paint was flaking off. He took care of the dash, replacing both the top and bottom pads. The paint on the other hand still needs to be fixed. Failing paint was a common issue that plagued many of these cars early in their lives, so getting color matched paint won’t be an issue. There’s no word on what happened to the fender, but hopefully swapping it is all that’s need to make things right.

This Caprice sure looks great with the blacked-out steelies, which are wearing new Cooper Cobra GT tires. One of the photos shows the car with its original wheels, but John does say if those are with it and included. Whether they are or not, this seems like a good deal for a 9C1 you can jump in and drive. With a little more work it could be a really cool future classic! So, would you hit the street in this Caprice?


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  1. 19sixty5 Member

    I had a 96 Impala SS, it was a great cruiser, tons of room, and was relatively quick. At local car shows, cops always gravitated to the car as they loved the 9C1. They said that there was zero comparison, performance wise with the Crown Vics. This car would look much better, in my opinion anyway, with the white letter tires reversed.

    Like 6
  2. DrillnFill

    Love that tire/wheel combo. $3500? Buy it and drive it like you stole it! Spend a couple thousand on paint later on and enjoy

    Like 1
  3. Poppapork

    Its gonna meet the requrements for antique plates in IL next year, i would paint it NYPD BLUE like in the 90ties with them weird V shaped roof lights

    Like 5
  4. Superdessucke

    From the late-90s through mid-00s, a lot of these cop versions served as taxi cabs in Chicago. I rode in many. It seemed to be their most common second life. It’s hard to believe how ubiquitous they were then and how very rare they are now.

    Like 3
  5. Tim

    I drove a few 1994 Chevy Caprice police package cars that were used by the department that I retired from. No bones about it, they were the fastest production police cars up until the hemi Charger. On paper anyways, I was unable to drive a police package Charger. I often wonder why Chevrolet did not offer the iron equipped LT motors prior to 1994. They would’ve owned the high speed police car market for at least five years. They were the best available, no question.

    Like 6
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I’ve always loved police interceptor cars. This has always been my favourite generation Chevy Caprice.

  7. George Mattar

    Great cars. Biggest problem is the useless Optijunk ignition. Idiots designed to be mounted under the the water pump. Duh. They leak oil especially the oil cooler line to the radiator. I have a GM NOS line in my garage. Long out of production and the China junk repo leaks. Go figure. They are hard on gas and had cheap interior. Other than that, a much better car than GM builds today. I will keep my P71 Ford 4.6. Far superior in every way.

    Like 1
  8. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    Love these 9C1s! I currently have 3 ’95s, one clean and driveable, one beater (driveable) and one parts car. Used the two driveable ones as family cars for many years, recently replaced them with my new favorite family car- a 2012 Caprice PPV. When my oldest son was in high school I let him use the beater. He must have given a few good test drives because 3 of his buddies ended up buying 95-96 9 C1s. I would come home from work to find 4 Caprice ex cop cars lined up in our yard. I think I helped a few boys become gearheads. One day I got home to find they had painted a black one’s doors white, this car had 303,000 miles on it when the boy that owned it drove it 2,000 miles round-trip to spring break in Florida, made it with no problems. That kid is now a police officer. To be young again!

    Like 4
    • Drake

      What an awesome story! Love it when young people embrace auto culture!

      Like 1
  9. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Some interior pics would have been nice to see. Probably still a good buy though.

    Like 1
  10. jerry z

    I’ve owned a few 9C1’s since 2001. Currently have a 95 9C1 sitting in my garage collecting dust and a 94 civilian Caprice on jack stands waiting for a new transmission. Finally lit a fire under my butt to start working on these cars!

    Like 1

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