Best Find Ever? 1979 Chevy Caprice

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The seller claims that this 1979 Chevy Caprice here on eBay may be his best barn/garage find yet. I find this statement curious, as I wouldn’t often think of such a car as being an earth-jarring discovery; then again, people may think my idea of finding an old BMW in the shed to be downright boring. No matter what, with just 33,000 original miles, this Caprice is a survivor and there’s already a fair amount of bidding activity. The reserve remains unmet but there’s plenty of time left in the auction. 

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The scenario that left this Caprice in its untouched state is not uncommon: the mother passed away and the daughter inherits the car; then, it sits on jackstands for 15 years in the garage. I’m actually surprised the owners had the foresight to get it up off the ground. Despite being in an area known for long winters in upstate New York, the Caprice is said to remain in rust-free condition with a sole dimple to the rear chrome trim its biggest cosmetic fault. Although I’m sure a good cleaning may reveal a bit more about its cosmetic condition, it does look pretty solid from this side of the monitor.

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The interior certainly hasn’t suffered, with the blue carpeting still in good shape. I can’t see how the dash pad and seating surfaces look due to the seller’s limited photos, but I’d assume they remain in excellent shape with the low mileage taken into consideration. I wonder how many people actually drive the vehicles left to them in an inheritance. Certainly, if I were to receive a Porsche 944 or even a malaise-era Corvette, I would drive the doors off of it. A pillowy, wallowing Caprice? I might take it out once in a while, but I wouldn’t be racing to the garage.

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The mileage here looks more like 31,448 than the 33K reportedly on the clock. Strange, because it clearly hasn’t been driven lately! No matter the desirability factor, it still has to be exciting to get the call that there’s a grandma-driven car sitting on jackstands in a local garage. Almost anything that can legitimately be considered a survivor is interesting to me, but I do wonder where the bidding will end up on this Caprice. Is it too new to be considered a classic, or desirable even in its preserved state? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. PaulG

    This was on here some time ago, January to be exact. Nothing remarkable then or now.

    • Rando

      ok, I THOUGHT I had seen this one before. Still for sale, eh? And sure enough, when I scroll to bottom, there it is.

  2. geezerglide85

    Certainly a rare find. These were really nice solid cars, many were used for police cars and taxis. About 20 years ago I bought a ’78 impala 2dr, the one with round back window.
    60k on the clock, zero rust, and the owner who had a body shop even did a respray for me and removed the vinyl top. All for $1500 bucks. I put a set of Vette rally wheels on it, was a sharp looking car and the old R-12 air cond. would put frost on the inside of windows. But with the air on and a 305ci it couldn’t get out of its own way. I tried to give it to my son when he was in h.s. but he didn’t want a gas guzzler, so I sold it we had too many cars at the time

  3. jimbosidecar

    This car reminded me of an old friend and my mentor who had the same car same color, same interior. Came from the same area of the state too. It was the only non sporting car I ever liked.

  4. GeeBee

    The 305 may have been the biggest drawback these cars had. Not only gutless, but not all that thrifty, or durable, either.

  5. Brakeservo

    Early bidding long before the end of the auction is a pretty good sign the seller has enlisted the help of his friends and neighbors . . .

  6. Joe

    “Best Find Ever” meaning ripped away from the daughter for a song. And of course no investment–no gas in the tank–no car wash–no pinetree on the rear view mirror—-NADA—-before flipping ASAP on ebay for a great ROI. What a great public service he provides to us! Welcome to car buying on the internet in 2016. I’ll take 2 more–please sir!

  7. nessy

    I think you guys already had this car on here just a few months ago right? Did you miss something? Either way, it’s a nice car in a nice color and I like seeing it again….Maybe you will post it again in a few more months….Haha.

  8. Gerry

    Personally I would much prefer a great old Chevy low miles barn find than any BMW !

    • Roselandpete

      I wouldn’t give an old–or new–BMW a second look.

  9. scott

    There seems to be a lot more wear on that drivers side carpet than 33,000 actual miles would indicate. I had one once while in college and after about a year of normal driving it blew the head gasket. And let’s not discuss the droopy headliner. Another $600 down the drain!

  10. Alan (Michigan)

    Those toggle switches in front of the driver’s left knee are definitely not standard issue GM. I wonder what grandma had installed, that required switchable power?

    Agree with comments about the 305. Former GF had one in a Camaro when new, also a ’79. Low performance, fuel inefficient.

  11. JW454

    Would it be too much to ask to take the U-Haul blankets off the darn thing and take a good picture of it? Guess so… I guess it preserves the mystery.

  12. George

    My father had a 78. The worst car he ever owned.

  13. Harry Loyd

    Not a car that I would buy. But why wouldn’t you get out of the garage and take better photos? Clean it up. Lazy man.

  14. Bill

    Bought a black over maroon 79 2 door with the 305 about 20 years ago in TX with 41k on it for $900. Really nice/clean looking car, but after driving it for about 5,000 miles I was pretty sure I’d paid too much for it (totally gutless!!). Sold it (back then) in AutoTrader for $900 to a guy in upstate NY who had one just like it new but it rusted away and he wanted another for “old times sake”. He actually flew to Dallas and drove it home. Where this is bid to is probably what its worth ($1,200) in today’s market.

  15. charlie Member

    Uncle had one, bought new, when he was 76, his “last car’, drove it till he was 95, 60,000 miles, bought gas only once between Nov and March of his 95th and the car’s 19th year, he died, sold it for $300, no rust but paint was worn, was on the road for 5 more years. Not a big power car, but would do 75 all day on the Interstates, room for 6, about 20 mpg day in and day out, 25 on the Interstates.

  16. Peter R

    why even feature trhis more than boring sedan – nothing collectible about it – now about that BMW – can I show you my ’91 M5 with 80k miles on it? came from Japan and now eligible for sale in the USA – car is currently in Toronto – expensive but worth it!!

    • Jeff Staff

      Peter, most folks know me around here as the resident BMW freak. Send us the details if it’s for sale. Thanks.

  17. John Holt

    a classic? NOT,,, certainly a low point in gm history
    carbureted with a ton of vacuum lines, and no re-sale value,
    good for a demolition derby car

  18. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    My parents had this exact car. What an underpowered boat with cheap interior hardware that kept breaking.

  19. Glen

    I’m thinking 305’s of that era had camshaft problems, am I right about that? Certainly not a car to get excited about, but it does look to be in good condition.

  20. TC

    I had a ’79 2dr Caprice w/350 4bbl Two tone (maroon over silver) had 10 bolt rear and I put 15″ Pontiac mags. Loved it! Had it from ’88-’92

  21. jaymes

    I see hydraulic switches in one picture, why didn’t they take the whole cover off? staged fake barn find (

  22. Reginald Bruce

    @Glen
    Many GM V8s — but mostly 305s — of that era had camshaft lobe wearing issues. This was a factory camshaft manufacturing defect from new and it usually occurred early in the engine’s life cycle so most were fixed under warranty. If this car was one with a bad camshaft from the factory I’m guessing it’s long since been replaced.
    RB.

  23. Tony B.

    My High School car was a Caprice Wagon. Oooooo if that car could talk!! :)

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