Grandma’s 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon

We’ve seen plenty of finds that the seller claims was owned by a Grandma, but they don’t clarify who’s Grandma owned it. Well, this one was owned by the seller’s own Grandmother. After inheriting this family wagon, they moved it to their front yard where it’s been parked for the past few years. Being an Arizona car means that it’s suffered from the desert heat, but looks quite solid. You can find this Caprice here on eBay in Scottsdale, Arizona with an opening bid of $500.

Between being driven by a Grandma and being in the desert, this Caprice looks to be rust free. The interior looks to have suffered the worst from the heat. Had it stayed in the garage for the past few years, it would probably still be in as nice of shape as the outside. It’s usable as is, but restoring the interior would make it much more comfortable to drive.

We don’t get a great view of the engine. This should be the 307 cui Oldsmobile V8 with about 140 horsepower. The seller states that they were able to get it started by pouring fuel into the carb but that it won’t stay running. Flushing the fuel system and installing a new fuel pump and fuel lines should get it up and running again.

This Wagon looks pretty good on the passenger’s side, but once you move around to the other side you see that their Grandmother must have backed into something. The driver’s door has suffered most of the damage, but there is going to be plenty of bodywork to be done to make it a nice looking car all the way around. If you can find a new driver’s door, it would fix the majority of the damage. So, with all the issues it has, would you put it back to original or upgrade it with a 350 V8?

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Comments

  1. Kevin

    IDK why, but I’ve always wanted to strap a turbo (or two) onto a 307 Olds.

    Just for giggles to see what it’d do.

    4
  2. SC/RAMBLER

    Josh, I wonder why you think a Caprice would have an Oldsmobile 307v8,don’t recall Oldsmobile having a 307,I could be wrong, but this is most likely a Chevy 350 with a two barrel carb. With proper repairs made could be a nice cheap car.

    • Kevin

      Nope, it’s a 307 (or an Olds at least). The oil fill and thermostat cover give it away.
      The 307 was GMs goto V8 for passenger cars in that era.

      7
      • Mark

        I agree with Kevin 100%! The olds 307 was used in various GM full size when the chevy 305 or chevy 350 wasn’t used during the 1980’s!

        1
    • Alain

      Olds did a lot of cars with the 307. It was marketed as a 5.0. Like Ford and their 5.0 (closer to a 4.9). You can also tell it is an Oldsmobile engine by where the distributor is located. Chevys were in the front and Oldsmobiles were in the back.

      • Andre

        SBC distributors are also in the back..

        11
  3. Jack M.

    Why go to the trouble of changing the engine mounts to put a 350 Chevy in it? Drop a 403 Oldsmobile right where the 307 is and have 320 ft/lbs of torque to move this wagon down the road.

    10
    • Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

      I didn’t even think about that Jack! That would be brilliant!

      1
  4. Troy s

    Stupid question, but for one reason I thought GM had switched to at least throttle body fuel injection by this time. Guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention back then. Still carbureted in ’88?
    One thing’s for certain, that’s a mess of wires and hoses hiding that engine. Rest of the car is okay by me.

    1
    • Jetfire88

      GM RWD full-size wagons used Olds 307 V8 and Q-Jet carbs thru ’90, which was the end of the Olds 307/350/403/455 V8 architecture. Except for the Cad Seville, there was never an injected Olds V8.

      ’91-’96 RWD continued with this same chassis (which started in ’77) with 305/350 TBI Chev V8 in ’91-’93 and ’94-’96 used Chev LT1.

      Chev trucks and FWD cars used TBI starting in the late 80’s.

      5
      • Troy s

        Thanks for the heads up! Yeah, my ’87 Chevy half ton had the TBI 350, first year of that set up in the trucks, oddly enough in the last year of that body style..strong running reliable engine too.
        That engine would have worked well in a big wagon like this, in the very least it would have cleaned up the engine compartment a bit.
        Thanks again.

        1
  5. Dan in Tx

    Yikes! That car should be named “Two Face”!

    2
  6. Sam61

    Yikes…this is the Jekyl/Hyde, two faces of Janus, Gemini twins or ying/yang car.

    Our 77 Delta 88 had a Chevy 350…big controversy…subject Chevy has an Olds 307…hmmm

    2
  7. Bob C.

    During that time they built a lot of these at the same factory along with the Olds Custom Cruiser and Buick Estate Wagon, which explains the Olds 307. Didn’t know they used dog dish hubcaps (aside from law enforcement ) in 1988. Hope it finds a good home and a little elbow grease.

    1
    • Miguel

      They didn’t. Wasn’t even an option.

  8. grant

    Not sure why anyone would want this, but to each their own. I’d do a title seach on it first though, don’t see much need for studded snow tires in Arizona.

    5
    • Alan

      My wife’s car has a set of studded snow tires. Lived in flagstaff for 20 years. Avg snowfall was about 100 inches. Not all of az is desert. I own 72 Torino wagon that also has a set of studs.

      • Miguel

        But the studded tires are on the front.

        I think they would do more good on the back.

        They look like take offs that would hold air.

  9. SC/RAMBLER

    Thanks Kevin didn’t pay that much attention to too many cars in 88 they had lost my interest for the most part, I was even working at a Chevy dealership in new and used car sales prep shows how much I paid attention, learn something new every day

    1
  10. CanuckCarGuy

    No offense to the owner, but this is in pretty rough shape. It’s only a few steps away from being a derby car at this point, and I say that as a fan of station wagons.

    8
  11. Classic Steel

    It’s the griswald family truckster after the Hub caps we’re stolen in Chi and dad jumped embankment and gave rusty his first beer (wink wink).

    It’s a box with wheels to drive between gas stations ⛽️ 👍

    I wonder if I can cut the top off and make a Camino 😏

    3
  12. Chebby Member

    This is ideal for a house painter or carpenter to load up with tools and have easy access to ladders strapped onto the roof. Some old cars are just old cars.

    7
  13. mallthus mallthus Staff

    Large, but not the largest.
    V8, but not a V8 you’d want.
    Body on frame, but neither is special.

    Hmm, it could be me, but I think the last desirable Caprice wagon was the 1976 MY.

    5
  14. Kenneth Carney

    Chebbie’s right! This would be an excellent work car for someone who
    couldn’t afford a used pickup truck.
    Here in Central Florida, a well used
    truck can set you back anywhere
    between 10 and 30K regardless of
    condition. I recently saw a dealer
    here selling an ’06 Dodge Ram 1500
    4-door with body damage worse than
    this wagon and 278K miles for $30K!
    Folks around here can’t afford to buy
    a new truck when the MSRP for a Ford
    F-150 4-door is hovering around $100K
    without options!

    The wagon you show here could be
    purpose built for $25K or less. My
    upgrades would include a 454 big block
    V-8 mated to an HD T-400 tranny, HD
    cooling and electrical systems, HD
    suspension with coil over shocks and
    thicker sway bars from an old police
    cruiser, HD steelies with HD pursuit
    tires along with cop style spotlights.
    And lest I forget a decent dual exhaust
    system that would exit just ahead of
    the rear bumper for that great sound
    with a factory look. Interior upgrades
    would include new upholstery and headliner, an 8-speaker stereo radio
    with Syrius XM satellite, power ports
    for charging you phone, laptop, or
    running power tools, and onboard
    internet service.

    All these upgrades could be done while
    you use the car every day. As for me,
    I’d have a great paper car for a fraction
    of the the price of a new or used truck.
    And she’d sure look pretty painted dark
    Blue metallic to boot!

    1
  15. David Miraglia

    Nice Chevy , not as nice as the Pontiac but a good buy if you need a workhorse.

  16. Miguel

    It looks like the car sold on Ebay but wasn’t picked up.

    It is now on Craigslist for the $500.00 sale price.

    For a good running car you can’t go wrong.

    https://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/d/1988-caprice-wagon-v8-500/6633464406.html

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