Marcia’s Big Block: 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

The seller of this clean, original ’74 Caprice Classic convertible wants to talk about how it’s one of 600 such cars equipped with the 454-cubic inch V8, and I hate to derail a good conversation, but, man, all I can see when I look at this car is Marcia Brady beating her stepbrother Greg in the world’s slowest slalom in an identical car on The Brady Bunch. If you ever wanted to walk (or drive, I guess) a mile in her chunky-heeled platform mules, here’s your chance! You can find this one on eBay in Pennsylvania with a $19,995 buy-it-now.

It’s cliché by now to point out how big ’70s cars are, but if you need a refresher, then-18 year old, 5′ 3″ Maureen McCormick should provide a handy dose of perspective. Also note that the seller of this ’74 is unable to fit the entire car in any of the photographs.

In the absence of any petite blondes behind the wheel, the big V8 is the ostensible star of this car, but curiously, no pictures are provided of the engine bay. Mileage is claimed to be right around 72K, which is believable from what we can see of the car’s condition. There’s no mention of any rust (or lack thereof, for that matter), of whether all accessories, including the power front bench seen here, work, or of any maintenance that’s been done, so there are a lot of unknowns here for $20 grand. I do like the filagree on the steering wheel woodgrain—that’s fancy!

For the most part, this Caprice looks like a pretty nice unrestored example. As usual, the plastic filler panels between the body and bumpers have crumbled, but otherwise the body looks very straight. The ad text lists 20″ wheels among the car’s features, but unless it’s been converted to near-donk status since the pictures were taken, those look an awful lot like the original fifteen-inchers sitting on whitewalls that don’t quite match front to rear.

How much value does the 454 add to this car? For $20K, I’d like to know a whole lot more about its condition before clicking “Buy It Now,” and even if everything else about this car checks out perfectly, the price still seems kind of high. The chance to re-create for yourself even a moment of Marcia Brady’s charmed life, though? That’s priceless.

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Ha! 10 points for a Brady Bunch reference!

    • Nathan Avots-Smith Member

      When I saw the color, I just couldn’t help myself…

      • '59fordfan

        I was 13-car nut, in ’74 and, remember the car, vividly and said, “Mike Brady”, also, the moment I saw this boat. ‘Always, wanted one.

        Like 1
    • Mike H. Mike H

      Does anyone ever wonder why Mike Brady got a new convertible every season but Carol got stuck with the same wagon year after year?

      Also, seems that old Mike also had this same car in blue at one time. . .

      • Mike H. Mike H

        I always thought that the ‘Cuda convertible was the best one:

      • Paul Duca

        Carol got the current model Plymouth midsize wagon every season

        Like 2
  2. Bmac Bmac Member

    Reminds me of drivers training, had course set up in the school parking lot, had to use an early 70’s estate wagon got caught listening to the radio, instructor made me do it in reverse without hitting any pylons, if I failed he would add another day on the course, needless to say I did it! Thanks Dad for teaching me to drive @ age 10.
    Didn’t Mr. Brady say the parking lot was empty?
    Fun read, thanks

    • Bmac Bmac Member

      Oh, and Marcia was the only reason I watch that show

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Marcia was the only reason that every pubescent boy in America watched that show :) Although Jan was underrated.

      • LAB3

        You guys need to grow up and accept the fact we’re quite a bit older now then we where then, Alice was quite a spirited gal for her age!

  3. BronzeGiant

    If there’s ever the slightest chance Marcia Brady was in this car….I want it!!!

  4. jw454

    Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!

    • JRATT1956

      Carol, Carol, Carol, I was 18 in 1974 and always thought she was it.

      No way the car is worth the ask.

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    What ?? No SEO embroidered upholstery ??…..I’m out.

  6. Miguel

    I had one of these scissor type convertible tops. Never again.

  7. DrinkinGasoline

    Great write-up Nathan ! Even though Jan was my girl….lol

  8. Sportriderok

    Hey, it was 1974. Every girl was Marcia, and every car was big. She could handle a Caprice because she was taught how, like the rest of us. It was called “driving “. I’m thinking this one is about 10k high, and only with a guarantee the trunk floor is actually there. I love these cars, but they have tons of issues.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      You don’t have to tell me that.:).By the time these rolled out, it felt like I was driving on a cloud compared to what I was used to. :) My first was a 39 Chevy 4 door. I still resent my Father for that, or maybe not. I’m still on the fence.

  9. Rustytech Member

    I have many memories of these BIG cars from the General. Never had a Chevy, but several Buicks and an Oldsmobile. To me it was a breeze parallel parking them cause that’s what I learned on! With today’s small cars, parking garages, and park assist it’s becoming a lost art. I sat just yesterday for several minutes whiles the guy in front of made several attempts only to pull out and try again. And he was driving a Ford Escape! It was comical, he would either drive the rear wheels up on the curb, or he would be about two feet from it, then he would pull out and start again. Good thing I was in no hurry.

    Like 1
  10. Keith

    Ha! I was actually thinking about The Brady Bunch when I saw this car. Mike Brady always had some nice convertibles on that show just like his 69 Chrysler Newport convertible from the pilot episode to his clean Caprice in the final season Great post!

    Like 1
    • Grey O'Brien

      It was a 69 Fury 3 he drove, not a Chysler. Besides the Barracuda and Caprice, he also drove a 68 Polara in the pilot

      Like 1
  11. House of Hotrods

    That was a painful watch, though it would appear that a stunt double did her driving, and Greg looks like he did some of his own. Not interested in the ragtop for sale, but what a great diversion to my work day.
    I graduated high school in 1977, so to me these cars will always be ‘the current model’, at least in my mind. Many great times spent with my dad test driving cars he had no intention of buying. And the question for me was always – Marcia or Jan? Sigh……:-)

  12. SanityFactor

    My 73…

    Like 1
    • Cliff

      I too am a product of the era and recall it fondly every time I slide behind the wheel …… my 75.

      Like 1
      • Stephen

        Me too.

        Like 1
  13. F.A.G.

    Look at the poor fit on that trunk at the right rear. It’s probably like a funnel for water. Maybe it has the highly desirable hot tub trunk option and this is how it fills.

  14. Gloin

    Carol (mom) was the best, Marcia #2, Jan #3

  15. Todd Fitch Staff

    Awesome write-up, Nathan. Love the Brady reference. I see the seller confirms the 454 but I was going to joke that maybe no pictures of the engine compartment because someone yoked out the 454, put it in a Vega, and installed the Vega’s fuel-conscious 4-banger in this beast, making the 454 more of a special model designation like the 442 except “4 Cylinders, 5 minute 0-60, and 4 wheels.”

    • Miguel

      I saw that once in a 1959 Cadillac. It was horrible but it won for best modified Cadillac at the show. There were a lot of stupid people voting, the public.

  16. Rex Kahrs Member

    In 1974, I took 9 weeks of driver’s Ed in the 4-door version of this car, with 3 classmates in the back seat, Mr. Hill riding shotgun. Imagine learning to parallel park that boat with 3 teenagers in the back! This is why to this day I am the all-time parallel parking cham-peen!

  17. Ben T. Spanner

    My Father bought a new convertible every two years and kept them four; always two at a time. The big ones were 1962 Catalina, 1966 Catalina, 1970 Old Delta 88. The 1975 Buick was a hardtop for some reason. We had a large two car garage. I now live in Southwest Florida, and these would never fit in the typical garage. I have room, but would rather have something the size of my Father’s 1964 Poniac Lemans convertible. I would not make it into a GTO clone.

    Like 1
    • Terry C.

      Thank you for that. Still looking for the right’67 LeMans convertible to finish. Everyone filled in the quarters and cloned a GTO. All to scarce today though I recently passed on a “doable” condition ’66 but it was just a bit too far off for the price.

      Like 1
  18. 86 Vette Convertible

    My Dad was always a full size car guy. I learned to drive on the pickup and tractors till Dad trusted me behind the wheel of the car – a 61 Biscayne. I was a Chevelle guy but later Dad had multiple Impala’s and a Grand Marquis before the fuel crunch started downsizing models.

    I love those land yachts, they had a ride unequaled a that time.

    Like 1
  19. Muz

    Anyone else notice the E-Type Jag and what I think is a Fiat 125 in the “empty” parking lot?

  20. Joseph

    I learned in a 68 Chrysler Newport and still love the land yachts. I daily drive a 2006 Lincoln Town Car and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Float on!!

    Like 1
  21. Greg Member

    Hilarious reference that brings back very Brady memories! As for the car, does anyone know if there were actual ones made with the 454? Or is it a 455 with the life sucked out of it! I had a 71 Pontiac Grandville convertible while in high school in the 1980’s. Perfect for 8+ friends to go to the drive-ins and get smashed! It had a 455 before all the power was choked off. Avocado green, white top and interior. Loved that car.

    • Miguel

      Chevy’s engine was the 454, not the 455.

      Like 1
      • jackthemailman

        He’s talkin’ about a Pony-ack Grandville, Miggy.

  22. Jubjub

    Kinda along on the steep price of admission. I had a ’75 Caprice convertible and it was surprisingly maneuverable for its size. Fun car.

  23. PAPERBKWRITER

    I had a new ’75 Caprice Classic with the 400 cu. Beautiful but so heavy it was slower than a school bus and burned gas like it was free…IMO At 20k this seller is dreaming.

    • JRATT1956

      I owned a 1978 Olds Delta 88 in 1981 with the 350, great highway cruiser. You could fill up for less than $20 and go 375 miles on the highway. City mileage for any V8 then was 10 mpg or less. I agree this will be a no sale at asking price.

  24. Chuck hills

    I have loved the 74 Caprice convertible from day one.from the first day I saw this beautiful rag top on the show room floor.I grew up driving these big cars they just float down the road .I was just in 8 th grade when this fine automobile was rolling off the assembly line the 454 is the choice power plant for the car they did have a 455 for the 75 and 76. The Brady bunch erea had a Plymouth sponsor at first the GM took the sponsorship.Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • George

      they did not use a 455 in a Caprice.

  25. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    I love that old Chevy Convertible, but I think the Seller has it priced as if somewhere in its history, Maureen McCormick used to own it.

    Please forgive me, but Jan Brady behind those glasses was smokin hot. I graduated high school in ’78 and this show and Gilligan’s Island were tops for me in TV shows when I was a teenager. Magazines, well that’s a different story.

    Sherwood Schwartz, the creator and producer of the Brady Bunch ruled the show and set with an iron fist so he most likely chose the cars and colors. Interestingly, none of the child actors received any residuals when the show went into syndication, only the adult actors Florence Henderson, Ann B Davis and Mike Reed’s Estate did.

    Interesting facts: Bunchhttp://mentalfloss.com/article/64454/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-brady-bunch

    The series Gilligan’s Island was by the same Creator and Producer. The actors and actresses on Gilligan’s Island never received any residuals beyond the first four reruns of each episode. That is except for Dawn Wells, whose husband/agent at the time believed that if the show was a hit Dawn would not benefit from receiving such a limited residual option. Believing the show would flop, the CBS executives humored Dawn and her husband and put a clause in her contract giving her long-term residuals should the show ever syndicate (reach 100 episodes) and she has made millions since it did.

  26. John b

    Neat to see the blue liscence plate…we havent been issued that one in PA in almost 20 years

  27. Bill Owens BillO Staff

    For that price I would think the bumper fillers would be replaced and the car cleaned up and detailed.

  28. Dt 1

    Marsha Marsha Marsha where are you now

  29. Steve hagebusch

    A buddy of mine just bought a 76 caprice 2 dr “glass house”……documented 13k miles and stole it for $3k mint car cranberry metallic red white half top white int……..i absolutely adore the car……even tho it is a chevy an im a pontiac guy……its still a beautiful ride……hes always scared to take it out of the garage and enjoy it tho……understandable being as much of a cream puff as it is…..

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