Driving Project: 1966 Chevrolet Caprice

Buying a classic car only to face months (or years) of hard work before slipping behind the wheel can drive some enthusiasts away from tackling a restoration. However, vehicles like this 1966 Chevrolet Caprice offer an irresistible alternative. This classic runs and drives well, and its needs are so minor the new owner could enjoy the classic motoring experience while tackling the required work as time and circumstances allow. The Caprice is listed here on eBay in Fayetteville, North Carolina. If affordability is high on your list of requirements, a driving Chevy with a small-block under the hood for $7,500 must look tempting.

The Caprice received its own model status as the range-topping full-size Chevrolet from 1966. Our feature car is from that year, and the seller’s description that its Marina Blue paint looks good from fifteen feet is probably accurate. A close inspection reveals some cracks and marks, with evidence of minor Bondo cracking. What doesn’t show as clearly in the supplied photos is the evidence of a color change. The seller supplies this YouTube video that provides an excellent walk-around. It shows the inside of the door frames, and the paint there looks far lighter than on the exterior panels. It looks like it could be Mist Blue, although potential buyers need to check the Tag to confirm that. The seller says there is no rust or rot, with the underside rock-solid. The chrome and wire wheel covers look excellent, and the glass is flawless.

In the previously mentioned video, the seller states they believe the seat upholstery is original. I’m not convinced by that, because there’s something about the cloth insets that looks slightly wrong. I can’t put my finger on it, so I’m hoping one (or more) of our readers can enlighten me. The driver’s side of the front seat is heavily soiled in spots, and there are marks on the back seat. It is unclear whether they are bad enough to justify replacement, but I’d consult a specialist first to see if they could reduce the severity of the problem. The headliner is relatively new, as is the dash pad. A previous owner mounted a Sun Tach on the column, but since it doesn’t work, I’d probably drop it in the bin. The carpet has faded in spots, but with a new set costing around $200, fixing that won’t break the bank. The original owner ordered the car with air conditioning, but the dash houses an AM/FM radio/8-track player that the seller claims is original. However, that doesn’t gel with the included original Dealer Invoice that indicates an AM radio with an optional rear speaker. That’s a mystery some may choose to investigate.

Powering this Caprice is its numbers-matching 327ci V8 that produces 275hp. The power feeds to the rear wheels via a two-speed Powerglide transmission, with the original owner ticking power steering on the Order Form. Although it isn’t an outright muscle car, this classic’s ability to cover the ¼ mile in 17.2 seconds is respectable for a vehicle offering so much interior space for six people. The seller indicates a previous owner added a front power disc brake conversion kit and QA1 tubular front control arms and adjustable coil-over. They rebuilt the front end and installed an updated aluminum radiator to keep things cool. The Caprice runs and drives well, but the seller recommends the buyer trailer it home and performs a thorough inspection before attempting any extended journeys. That sounds like wise counsel to me. However, that YouTube video allows us to hear the engine running, and it sounds as sweet as a nut.

Some readers will instantly express disinterest in this 1966 Caprice due to its number of doors. It is undeniable that two-door models generate more interest in the classic market than their four-door siblings, but cars like this have their rightful place among potential buyers. They offer a practical alternative for enthusiasts with a growing family. Anyone who has tried maneuvering a small child into the back seat of a two-door car will confirm the activity should be an Olympic sport! That is not a hassle with this Chevy, which may help explain why eighty-one people are watching the listing. Do you think one of them will hit the BIN button, or will you beat them to the punch?

Comments

  1. Rw

    Hopefully you can adjust the coil overs enough to regain stock ride height..

    Like 2
  2. MathieuB

    Very nice Chevy for that price, if rust isn’t present underside it’s a good buy IMHO.
    Radio is clearly not a factory unit with the leds on it.
    Why go with that complete front end suspension setup if no airbags?
    I guess it’s for the disc brake upgrade but one could install spindles from 69-70 fullsize that would have fit directly.

    Like 3
    • Jack M.

      Tubular a-arms are lighter and provide better handling than the stock a-arms. They have nothing to do with air bags. If anything, most people converting to tubular a-arms will also install coil over shocks.

      Like 6
      • JoeNYWF64

        That rubber ball under the hood, next to the HEI – is that for vacuum wipers?!
        https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/qgkAAOSwGtJjYEXg/s-l1600.jpg
        I notice the lower than stock ground clearance here too.
        Can i also assume, with such suspension mods, the ride would be stiffer? (That’s usually the case with, for ex., even non dealer aftermkt struts on modern cars.) A luxury ’60s CAPRICE is the last big Chevy i would expect to see such suspension mods!
        I wonder what year autoparts stores stopped carrying BLUE, etc. aftmkt floor mats & seat covers(better fitting too), & i bet 1 reason was to prevent making older worn out cars from looking better than modern “colorless” ones – inside!
        Best to transfer the black floor mats here to some other “deserving” vehicle. 1 can find blue ones online, tho.

        Like 1
      • D.Parks

        The vacuum ball is a reservoir for the vacuum operated bleed doors used in heating and AC unit under the dash

        Like 1
      • Chunk

        You are correct, Jack M. I went with tubular A-arms and coilovers when I rebuilt the front-end of my ’79 Delta 88. The adjustability is really nice, too; the DX diesel block I yanked weighed a lot more than the supercharged smallblock I replaced it with.

  3. Cooter

    I have owned 3 of these in 2 door form, 1 convertible and grew up in the backseat of a light green 65 Impala Super Sport (neatly written on the front fenders in cursive.) Wish I had all 4 of them now. These did not come with cloth inserts or an 8 track from the factory. Makes me wonder what other BS is attached to this ride? If that is in fact a 275 HP 327 that’s a nice setup. But again needs to be investigated in depth as with the rest of the car. The price is good if all checks out.

    Like 2
    • Chuck Dickinson

      These DID come with cloth inserts. On the 4drs, cloth was your ONLY choice. Just not the cloth that’s in it now, tho’ the doors still look original. The only vinyl interiors were on coupes w/buckets and the wagons, but those use the Impala wagon seats.

      Like 2
  4. Bob C.

    And it’s gone already!

    Like 1
  5. RalphP

    My hat’s off to the buyer. He/she got a deal.

    Like 3
  6. Larry D

    Chevrolets with rear antennas were so cool!

    Like 1
  7. Bamapoppy

    My parents had a ‘66 Impala, They put those plastic covers on the seats so I hope the next owners enjoyed having brand new cloth seats to sit on as opposed to those burn-your-legs plastic covers.

  8. John Oliveri

    That’s a mid 70s Kraco in dash 8 track unit, and those seats are no way original, interesting car all the same

  9. Alex

    The person who replaced the front seat was very close to the original design. They should have the design horizontal instead of vertical on the seating and back surfaces. The color has obviously faded but I’m sure when it was done it probably matched up.

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