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Luxe for Few Bucks: 1973 Chevy Caprice

I’ve made no secret of my love for big Chevys like the 1973 Caprice two-door offered to us via a tip from Pat L. It’s not a muscle car; it’s a luxury car. It’s not a personal luxury car, not being a Monte Carlo. It’s just a big coupe with a certain road presence that would make a good driver. If you agree, you can pick it up here on craigslist for $7800, though the ad has the word “pending” next to the price. It’s way up in Napavine, WA, if you feel like checking it out or if you and the seller come to terms on it. If you buy, you’ll need to figure out the shipping options.

The generation this car represents was offered from 1971-76. You’ll cruise with ease thanks to the as-born 400-CID V8 engine. There are a lot of miles on the clock—146,000—but if maintenance has been cared for, you should go further with this engine. Smooth shifting will come from the Turbo 350 automatic backing that up. The engine bay has received a freshening, and it looks good. As for its use, the car was driven from Washington to Arkansas—but when, we don’t know. If you’re going to repeat that journey, you’ll need to upgrade the AC system to modern standards, and make some checks as to the mechanical fitness and the strength of the cooling system, brakes and lines, and so forth.

What else is there to do? The interior, which sees the seats in perished condition. Will you find original-style seat skins? Perhaps not, which would explain why the seller suggests a “custom” upgrade in that area. The interior touch points—arm rests and the like, also need renovation to match what looks like a straight exterior. The paint is good, but there’s no word as to its originality or any claims as to the quality. They vinyl top looks OK as is, if a bit (literally) rough around the edges. And those full wheel covers—wow. No way to improve on those.

So to put it succinctly: This is a nice looking car, and for the price, all the variables have been taken in to the equation: it might need engine work at some point, it does need interior work, it’s not a muscle car but rather the luxury Caprice. If it checks out and ticks your demands boxes, this could be a drivable car which two families have owned and which now needs to be moved on to another dreamer in a different locale. That $7800? They’ll take “OBO, within reason.”


  1. rosseaux

    GM really nailed the styling with this generation of full-sized cars making them seem massive but sleek at the same time. Can you believe these were once as common on the roads as bloated SUVs are today?

    With a hardtop of this era, I’d be a little concerned about water leaks and rattles, plus those massive doors tended to sag but, overall, it’s a beautiful looking car.

    Like 7
    • Scrapyard John

      Those doors had to weigh 200 lbs each.

      Like 3
    • John Lang

      Dad bought a two door 73 Impala, green and white, 350 auto, no air,wire wheel covers (noisy) from Joe Conrad Chevrolet in Lexington KY at their grand opening. I learned to drive in it. Great memories….

      Like 7
  2. Scrapyard john

    Oh, wow. I grew up in this exact model year and body style. Ours was brown with a black vinyl top, wire wheel covers, fender skirts, and a 454. I’d love to drive it just for the nostalgia.

    The carpet was worn off of the rear transmission tunnel because that’s where I’d stand. Seatbelts weren’t used much back then. I remember buckling up on the way to church and the belt sticking. Dad had to cut me out with a pair of those arts and crafts safety scissors, which he had to borrow from the church. “Why’d you buckle that thing anyway?” I could tell he wasn’t too happy.

    Then, in high school, I remember piling 5 of us teenage dorks into the Caprice and doing one wheel burnouts for 50 feet in the parking lot. I actually dodged the campus police after they saw me do one of those infamous burnouts. The stuff of legend to a teenage punk/nerd lol.

    Yeah, I’d drive that thing. I’d be nicer to it now. And maybe WD 40 the seatbelt latch!

    Like 14
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Always liked that “reverse LT-1 hoodscoop” trunklid on these.

    Like 6
  4. Carlover


    Like 3
  5. Autoworker

    Christmas eve, back sometime in the 1980’s. My mother-in law looks outside and tells my father-in law that he’s left the dome light on in his ’73 Impala. He discovers a fully engulfed interior fire! Destroyed the car, and all of his construction tools. What does Pop do? goes out and finds an identical Impala on a used car lot. Memories.

    Like 8
  6. The Other Chris

    It says: SOLD 6/1/23

    Like 3
  7. ClassicP

    Had a 75’ Caprice they were nice as an entry level GM. I have to say what are these people thinking with these prices they’re asking. It’s a $300 car but allowing for todays inflation it’s $1700 roughly. And even then you’d have to put some bucks in it. I’ll pass

    Like 1
    • John

      Caprice, entry level lol. The Caprice was top of the line Chevrolet. If you can buy any 71-76 for under $2k you better jump on it. Take that car to California out Florida and you’ll get $10k easy.

      Like 0
      • ClassicP

        Entry level GM is what I said. That means on the GM ladder Chevrolet is your entry, then Pontiac,Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac being the top dog. I’ drove a 67’ Caprice, a 75’ caprice and then went right by Pontiac and bought a 76’ Oldsmobile Regency Coupe and there’s no better way to know you’re at 2 levels above a Chevy is to drive/ride in that Olds 98

        Like 0
  8. MGM

    My ride to work on a rainy day back in 75 involved two pieces of string to pull the wipers back and forth on an identical Chevy. Boss drove ,I the passenger we were building the 1776 Victory Center in Yorktown VA. The days of improvising. He just bought it a couple of days before.

    Like 1
  9. MGM

    What’s going on with the comments? Barn Finds mad at me?

    Like 2
  10. James B. Kauffman

    I may be in the minority, but I’d have to put the skirts on that came with this car and add white wall tires. I had a ’72 Caprice coupe in blue with a black vinyl top. It was a dependable, smooth riding car.

    Like 3
  11. JJ Gaydosh

    I had this car in high school – cut lawns in the summer and I could load my mower and all my tools in the trunk and had space left over!

    Like 0
    • ClassicP

      That’s great reminds me in 1977’ my Dad’s wall fell in front of the house. Cinder blocks galore. I had a 73’ Vega GT that used more oil than gas. We used that hatchback to move those blocks. Loaded it took it to the dump and unloaded it. Car was sitting so low in the back with all that oil smoke out the exhaust. Crazy memory

      Like 0

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