Barn Find: 1985 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon

The seller calls this 1985 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon a “barn find”. That must have been one fancy barn to have a top of the line Chevy Caprice wagon sitting in it. There is no mention of how long it was in this barn but it does have some damage from the hot Pomona, California sun. It’s listed on eBay with an ambitious and unmet opening bid of $4,499.

You can see some of the sun damaged paint here. It almost looks like that RR quarter has been touched up, or maybe that is just sun damage. Some of the soft bits could use some help, I wonder if that’s also from the sun? They mention that “all of the glass is perfect as well as the original rubber.” They say that the tires are new and if the door seals are this cracked up from the hot sun it’s a good thing that the tires were replaced. Oddly, the passenger side door seals look fine. The body panels appear to be in nice shape with no visible rust or dents to speak of other than a couple of dings, and the chrome and moldings look great.

The interior photos are mostly close-up detail shots so we don’t get an overall look-see, as they say-say.. but it does look pretty good in there apart from some cracks on the dash. I wonder if the barn had a skylight or something.. The front seat and the back seat both look great as does the cool back-back seat, which makes this one a nine-passenger wagon. but I’m guessing that a lot of the rubber bits will “need replaced”, as they say in 2017.

This is Chevy’s small-block 305 V8 with 165 hp and the seller says that “under the hood is as factory original as you’ll ever see. The car feels new. The engine runs perfectly. The car was just driven 100 miles after coming out of storage with absolutely no problems. Transmission, rearend, brakes all operate as new.” Other than some cracked and deteriorated soft pieces this looks like a very nice survivor. It may be priced a little too high judging from the lack of bids. NADA lists the high-retail value as being $2,925, what do you think this car is worth?

Fast Finds


  1. Big Al

    Probably $2500 going by the high retail. Nice wagon .

    Like 1
    • Wade Anderson

      We had a78 caprice wagon that ran great never a problem my wife claimed it was too long for reason she siddeswiped a pole in a parking garage on both sides

      Like 1
  2. RoselandPete

    I’m not a fan of the 305 in general. I had a 305 in a 77 Monte Carlo and it always hesitated when accelerating from a dead stop. I felt that the engine would die as I was pulling into traffic which always made me nervous.

    • Linda

      We have a 1984 Caprice Estate Wagon with the 305, with 143K miles and have never had a probkem. Runs great, good performance, good mileage. Maybe yours had a minor problem?

      Like 1
      • RoselandPete

        It didn’t seem minor to me. LOL I got rid of the Monte after 3 years and got an 80 Toro. Been driving FWD or 4WD ever since except for my summer cars. The Monte rear was so light it was useless during the winter. I dreaded driving in the snow.

    • Joe M

      Had a 77 Caprice, I bought from an Uncle. Had the 305, and had the same problem, once it got up to speed it flew and was like riding on air. Just hoped I didn’t have to stop too quick or turn suddenly. But otherwise a cool car, silver with a matching padded vinyl roof with red velvet interior.

      Like 1
  3. rdc

    We had the Olds version of this wagon and three kids. it was my wife’s favorite car. it just fell apart at about 100,000 miles. It felt like someone loosened every screw and bolt in it. :)

  4. XMA0891

    One of my fraternity brothers had this exact wagon – “The Petrolium Falcon”. Fantastic car! A ton of good memories in a ton(s) of steel!

  5. Howard A Member

    Clearly, California must be the only place with station wagons left on earth. At one time, (not so long ago) every family had a wagon, or you knew someone that had a wagon. They were as American as,,,as,, um, let’s see, American as, well, they were very popular. Not sure why big wagons faded, this car gets probably, the same, or better mpg than most new SUV’s, and V8 power, as diminished as it was, to boot. You know, I wonder if V8 parts are getting scarce. I can’t imagine a big call for V8 distributor caps anymore. At least there’s one person in California that has their head in the right place, price wise for this great car.

    Like 1
  6. Jeffrey Duddles

    I drove a hand-me-down sedan of this vintage (same colors too) starting in the late 90’s. It was a fine land yacht that got around 20mpg with a cushy ride. I handed it on down to a friend in need of a car in 2006 and it is still on the road.

  7. Big Mike

    Now this station wagon would be worth a look see, far more in my opinion than the Pontiac Lemans that the guy is wanting $10,000 for.
    Nice old Chevy Station Wagon, spent a lot of summers on family vacations sitting in the back seat next to my brothers playing slug bug or other road games. Dad would load it down in the back with camping gear hook up the popup and away we would go, good memories. I will use my Suburban and my 32′ camper any day now, at 54 I am getting to old to sleep on the floor or in a tent!!!!

  8. ronebee

    nice wagon

    Like 1
  9. Ken Nelson

    I owned a ’84Caprice wagon, also ’85 Caprice sedan,both had 305’s with 4bbls. That era of engine was solid,but the problem described in one comment with the engine dying is likely a faulty pull off valve. Easily replaced. Also the wagons have two-way tailgates.

  10. Jim

    The only Chevy I ever owned was a 72 Impala Cp. with a small block 400. That engine ran perfect, but I only took one 500 mile trip in it because the car was stolen from the dealer after having it one month after leaving it there for some adjustments. I was so po”ed I bought a Ford.

  11. C Carl

    California blue plate ….nice.
    Sold ….not surprised

    • Bish

      Shame- eBay shows it as ended and Unsold. Could be a nice alternative to these expensive new SUV’s all over the place.

      Like 1
      • C Carl

        Oops, misunderstood

  12. Keith

    Bad memories of these from when I was a dealership mechanic. Almost every wagon of this vintage was delivered with either an oil filter put on so tight we had to cut them off, or a quart of water in each of the tires. As a young, inexperienced mechanic, I was the one who had to dismount, wipe the water out of all the tires, and cut off the oil filters.
    I must have a different perspective then most, I can only think of a handful of American made cars from that decade that I would even consider owning, Caprice wagon is definitely not on that list.

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