Daily Driver: 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

In the 1970s, U.S.-made cars started going on diets. The Mustang “pony car” became the Mustang II sub-compact in 1974. The GM full-size cars shrank in 1977, followed by their intermediates in 1978. The big Chevrolets, for example, lost more than 700 lbs. in weight, making them more fuel efficient (the primary goal of the downsizing process). This ’78 Caprice Classic has only had three owners and looks good overall for its 45 years, but it’s more of a driver than a showpiece. Located in Westminster, Maryland, this Chevy was (and still may be) available here on Facebook Marketplace for $12,500. Our thanks to Tony Primo for alerting us to this find!

The Caprice debuted in the middle of 1965 in response to the success of the Ford LTD. The latter was a more luxurious version of the Galaxie 500, so it was natural the Caprice would take a similar place alongside the Impala. And since they shared the same platform and sheet metal, the Caprice was also downsized in 1977 with the Impala. As passenger and luggage space did not decline in the process, the buying public no doubt liked the changes to these “right-sized” automobiles. Chevy sold 86% more Caprices in 1977 compared to 1976.

Because there was less car to move around in 1978, a popular engine in the Caprice was Chevy’s 305 cubic inch V8 which is how the seller’s car is equipped. We’re told that the motor and its companion Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission perform as they should, and the car offers a soft and quiet ride. And it’s well-appointed, although the factory A/C will need work. You even have an 8-track tape player to listen to (if you still have any of those things).

The seller says the car looks good from 10 feet, but up close you’ll see the imperfections that would be common with an auto of this vintage. Some of the trim pieces are missing and a bit of surface rust lurks alongside the bottoms of the doors. None of this should need immediate attention, and since the interior isn’t lacking at the moment, this could be a weekend cruiser for stops at your local Cars & Coffee. Are these Chevies restorable? Of course they are, but you’d likely have far more in one than you could expect to get back out later.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. CadmanlsMember

    These are good looking cars, 305 is smoged to reduce power to to an already lack luster engine. But the lines with that rear window and all that wheel well, fit 15×8 wheels so well. This one needs the bumper fillers and maybe some help inside. Pull the 305 and drop a stout 350 or even a 406 and cruise.

    Like 8
    • BoatmanMember


      Like 4
      • jrhmobile

        I think that’s like a .060 overbore on a Chevy 400.

        Like 1
      • ACZ

        An LS stroker.

        Like 0
      • CadmanlsMember

        400 small block Chevy, .030 over, lots of grunt if assembled correctly.

        Like 1
    • Gregg Latin

      If he does a claybar paint correction and buff I will offer 2 grand otherwise 1 grand. It has rust I hate rust never buy a car with rust. The rust may not be repairable. Which means you need 2 doors. Not cheep hear in NJ if you can find I’m junkyard. I don’t buy anything online don’t trust.

      Like 0
  2. Jonathan A. Green

    My best friend in High School had a 4 door Caprice, I think the same year, this exact color. His family called it “The Flying Booger”. Good times…

    Like 9
  3. That AMC Guy

    “You even have an 8-track tape player to listen to (if you still have any of those things).”

    I have a house full of 8-track tapes! Of course how many would still work at this point is an open question…

    Like 11
    • Jon

      AMC, I also have about 30 8-tracks in cases along with a Panasonic home player hooked into my downstairs stereo, which, by the way, runs off a Realistic receiver that’s probably close to 30 years old.
      Up in the garage attic resides a K- Mart AM-FM-8 track- phonograph combo that was my Mom’s.
      Do you miss the hiss? 😁

      Like 10
      • Jonathan A. Green

        What I missed from 8 tracks was the fade out in the middle of the song, a big “Chunk!” and a fade in with a little recap of the song to continue on while it literally changed tracks…

        Like 10
      • Jon

        To Johnathan,
        Those were the later ones. The first ones you’d lose some of the song! Lol!

        Like 2
      • Bob C.

        Jonathan, I remember that on my Led Zeppelin II 8 track like it was yesterday. It was during “Ramble On”.

        Like 2
    • John

      Again.. fools and their money… These were 5k to 6k loaded new . This is a USED CAR. It’s NOT a muscle car NOT a collectable or anything special. People need a reality check.
      Sorry if it hurts anyone’s feelings but go to your calm room or whatever and really think about what the foolish spending is doing to the market.

      Like 12
      • bone

        Wow, why are you even here ? Things aren’t the same price as when you buy them- have you ever heard the old saying, your new car depreciates the minute you leave the parking lot ? I agree that the price is way high, but then again, how many two door Caprices were made compared to the sedans and wagons ? its also 45 years old, how many are left ? In your opinion, a Model A Ford must be worth about $500 in any condition because that’s all they sold for new ? This is not just a “used car” – true, its used, but so is every car thats left a dealer’s lot. This is now an antique car, whether you think so or not , and your ” get off my lawn” type comments about how foolish people are is an insult to the people on this site.

        Like 16
      • Zen

        That car was probably around $12,000 when it was new. In 1980, my grandparents went o a Chevy dealer because their old Plymouth was stolen and never recovered, and we looked at Impalas and Caprices. Tilt and cruise, power windows, that was all extra.

        Like 3
      • ACZ

        John is probably accurate on the price new. It was definitely not $12K. My FIL bought a 1978 Electra Limited that I had for a company car. He paid about $7400 and it had 3,000 miles on it at the time of purchase.

        Like 0
      • Gregg

        I agree with you cars shouldn’t be so much money I don’t care if it is a rare classic muscle car. People don’t have money like that. It’s a shame. Only rich people can offord to buy any classic car or even new. It’s not right poor or middle class would be kicked off the lot. Would a shame.

        Like 0
      • Brad460Member

        These are exactly the kind of cars I do buy and collect. Muscle cars and performance cars are everywhere.

        I get more attention at shows with my nicely preserved everyday cars than the millions of mustangs, camaros,.Chevrolet, etc that are as common as mosquitos. Yes I have a camaro too, who doesnt?

        Like 2
    • Junior Samples

      I bought a my 2nd car in 1982; it had a AM/FM 8 track player with fast forward…

      Like 1
  4. Maggy

    Buddy bought one for 100 bucks like this but dark green with a tan landau from his neighbor. Needed a t chain. His had a 350 and it was a 77 It was a nice car .I had a 2 tone blue 4 door about 30 years ago with the 305.Went to Victory auto wreckers and picked up a f41 rear sway bar and got the rear lower control arm sway bar mount brackets at the local Chevy dealer.Holes were already factory drilled.Great cars.This one imo is priced way too high.I’m thinkin 5k.

    Like 11
    • Karl

      “On Green Street, in Bensenville”

      Like 1
      • Raymond

        710 E. Green in Bensonville near O’hare.

        Like 1
      • maggy

        Yup. across from the RR yards on the south side of the street . Remember the 71 Impala 4 door with the door falling off commercial. Elmhurst road turns into York road at Greene street North / South.

        Like 2
  5. Stan

    Love the caprice, impala, bel-airs 🍁 Give these beauties the cop car 🚔 upgrades, like Maggy said start w the sway bar.. add a shift kit for the trans, a snappier rear gear ⚙️ and your off cruising.

    Like 4
  6. Kenneth L Gaar

    Well..46 years and 3 owners later – the ask is twice that when New! Plus it looks old and tired when up close. I bought a 79 Monty Carlo new, had the 305 with auto, car was a beautiful ride. Was rear ended 3 years later at a light – totaled. This ride maybe 2 grand.

    Like 3
    • Bernard Jordan

      Two grand? Come on, sure it’s overpriced as-is (even in this market), but you’ll spend close to that just to replace that rear window if anything happens to it!

      Like 2
  7. Zen

    Very nice car with tilt, cruise, electric windows, nice original hubcaps and AC. Interior is well kept, and that nice wrap-around rear window, too. The 305 is kind of a dog, but could be woken up a little. It’s way overpriced, not very desirable, and I think they’ll be lucky to find a buyer at $7,000.

    Like 7
  8. Ivan

    From 350 to a 454 4BBL would work for me with a.c., tilt and cruise control as well besides being fully equipped, loaded and powered.

    Like 2
  9. Ivan

    From 350 to a 454 4BBL would work for me with a.c., tilt and cruise control as well besides being fully equipped, loaded and powered.

    If I were to buy a Caprice Classic 78 it would be a special edition
    package. It would be a Convertible with Leather interior all through out the entire ride with Cassette Deck with 4 to 6 speakers and 2 sets of mag wheels 🛞 with 2” inch white wall all season tires.

    Like 1
    • karl

      It would have to be a special edition in 1978 , they stopped making convertibles in 1976

      Like 7
  10. AndyinMA

    Put an LS in it! First time I ever said that, I guess I have crossed over to the dark side.

    Like 4
  11. Old greybeard

    Nice car, like the 2 door. Pity not a F41. Note the fuel economy gauge!
    Don’t see many despite a zillion made. The Arabs bought most and the cash for clunkers got the rest.
    Price s 2x value imhop

    Like 2
  12. CCFisher

    Now that’s more like it!

    Like 1
  13. Karl

    “Economy Gauge”, AND. “Comfotron” Climate Control not jus A/C.

    Like 2
  14. Scrapyard John

    My grandmother had one like this. Same color, same color interior, but I believe it had a vinyl top if i recall correctly. I can remember flopping around on that velvety green back seat back in the day before anyone really thought you should actually wear a seatbelt.

    Like 1
  15. jwzg

    All y’all talking about an engine swap…

    just flip the air cleaner lid over. It’s worth 20 hp, doncha know?

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      That only works in Alabama.

      Like 2
    • 64 Bonneville

      jwxg if you take the whitewalls off it goes 10 m.p.h. faster (lol)

      Like 2
  16. 64 Bonneville

    Actually I prefer the 2 door over the 4 door. There was a guy a few years back (2017) had one in a charcoal gray color, slight rake shaved, running a 72 454 in it. blackwalls and Crager S/S wheels, looked sharp. This one with the 305 non-working Comfortron A/C, worn out paint, is closer to about $6000 than the ask. However, a seller can put any ridiculous price on their whatever and when it doesn’t sell, wake up and smell the coffee. Being as it’s in Maryland, I would be looking for rust, too.

    Like 2
  17. Mike B

    305? Looks like the larger 4 barrel air cleaner that would have come on a 350 in first years of this body style. And yes, as a teen, I did flip the lid over on Dad’s car… any opportunity I got.

    Like 2
    • Michael B

      I did the same on my dads 1972 Buick Electra. He used to yell at me on the phone after i was back in college. I can still hear it…” Dammit Michael, its not a race car put it back next time!” Also Michael B

      Like 2
  18. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    Pretty tasty Box, I must say! 👍🤓

    Like 2
  19. Dave

    I had a 77 caprice classic. Firethorne. Red with the landau vinyl top. Loved that car. Still miss it

    Like 2
  20. K. R. V.

    An older cousin of mine who drove one of these at work as a salesman, that added over 200,000 miles in just a few years. Was offered to buy it for peanuts and did. Then I helped him completely strip the entire drivetrain out, including the rear end. Then added the drivetrain of a 1995 Impala SS, that had been completely vandalized by kids not know what they were doing. So I was able to buy that from an insurance company and use what he could in the Caprice. What he ended up with was one of the coolest sleepers around. With a built LT1, 4 speed automatic and 4:10 posi.

    Like 1
  21. SteveG

    That back window is the same as the Monte Carlo “Aero Coupe”
    GM (if my memory serves) wanted to give the Monte Carlo an aerodynamic edge in NASCAR.

    the aero glass is relatively rare. Replacing it runs anywhere from a $1000 used to
    $2500 for factory fresh.

    This would be a great project for someone who wants something different. Which I hope includes a much stouter drivetrain!

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      The Pontiac and Monte rear glasses are not interchangeable. They are actually different parts.

      Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds