One Owner: 1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Coupe

This 1984 Caprice Classic is a one owner vehicle that looks like it has been owned by a fairly fastidious person. The overall condition of the car is fairly impressive, and I need to thank Barn Finder Pat L for referring this beauty to us. If this is a car that ticks a lot of boxes for you, then you will find it located in Westbury, New York, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. It might not be a highly desirable classic right now, but at an asking price of $2,950, it does look like it might represent a pretty affordable entry-level vehicle into the classic car scene.

At first glance, the Caprice looks quite nice, but there are some aesthetic issues which will need to be addressed. The first of these is rust. While the owner does state that the car is free of rust, I can see some beginning to form on the passenger side quarter, just behind the rear wheel. I also noticed that the filler panels are missing on both sides between the quarter panels and the rear bumper, while there is also a noticeable dent in the passenger side door. Leaving those few flaws aside, the rest of the Caprice does look clean, and it is nice to see that the original wire hubcaps have managed to survive for more than 30-years without appreciable damage.

Survey the magnificence which is a brown 1980s interior! Brown trim was very much a staple of car interiors through the 1970s and 1980s, and many people can be put off by it today. Let me tell you as a person who has owned a number of cars from this era with brown upholstery, it is a joy to keep clean. This one looks like it is in good condition, and it is another one of the indications that this is a car that has been well cared for. There really isn’t a lot to fault here, and even the faux wood-grain on the dash has survived quite well. For your comfort and convenience, the Caprice comes equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power seats, cruise control, and the original factory AM/FM radio/cassette player.

Opening the hood of the Caprice reveals an engine bay that appears to be very clean and tidy. Lurking there is the 305ci V8 engine, which is hooked to a 4-speed automatic transmission. While the Caprice is no high-performance car, that 4-speed transmission did provide measurable improvements in fuel consumption over an identical car fitted with the 3-speed transmission. The owner says that the car runs well and that it rides and drives beautifully. It has also only recently had a service, so it looks like it’s going to be a case of climbing aboard and driving away.

As a general rule, buying a car from a person who has owned it for an extended period can provide a degree of confidence for the new owner. Buying a one owner car is better still because meeting that owner can provide quite an insight into the character of that person, and how they are likely to have treated that car during its life. That is what this Caprice represents, and while it isn’t perfect, it does look to be a solid car that could potentially provide many years of enjoyable motoring. It is ready to be driven and enjoyed right now, and after all, isn’t that what classic car ownership is all about?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    This has Donk written all over it. The price is very reasonable for a 2 door in this condition.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  2. Skorzeny

    Adam, wheel covers, not hubcaps. I would rather have a 4 door. Then LS and a 5 speed with chassis upgrades and 4 wheel disc brakes.

    Like 1
  3. John M.

    2 door Caprices of this vintage are fairly rear beasts and with the $2,950 asking price, this one will go to it’s next home soon enough.

    Like 7
  4. Bob C.

    My dad had a 1985 coupe. He drove it for eleven years and I truly believe it was his all time favorite car.

    Like 4
  5. ChevyTruckGuy

    I love this Caprice!! I’ve always been a huge fan of GM B-Body cars. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up in the ‘hood somewhere, wearing wagon wheels and fitted with a ridiculous audio system. I’d fix the cosmetic issues, maintain it, and enjoy it. No LS Swap! Classic GM big car cruising.

    Like 8
  6. Ken Carney

    Last one I saw was last summer on the
    paper route we had then. That same owner had a spotless ’72 Caprice 2-door
    HT that I’d drool over every time we passed the guy’s house. In fact, my niece
    took great delight in calling it out to me
    just to watch my reaction as we drove by.
    The car I saw was in pretty fair shape for
    the shape it was in. Looked like all it needed was a good cosmetic restoration
    to put it right again. Boy, I hope one of our readers out there snaps this car up
    before it gets donked. That to me is a
    waste of a wonderful car.

    Like 5
    • Miguel

      The last one of these I saw was in my backyard a couple of hours ago waiting for me to get back to it.

      Like 3
    • David Ulrey

      I’m with you on the 1972 thing. I absolutely LOVED the front end design on them, the rest of the car too but man that front end style! :)

  7. JOHN Member

    Perfect for a really nasty blown LS swap… widen the rear wheels and find a way to keep those wheel covers on!

    Like 1
    • Chunk

      Careful there, John – I had the EXACT same idea with Silky, my 2-door ’79 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham.

      First I replaced the diesel with a junkyard pull-out LQ4 and 4L80E transmission. The motor spun a bearing so we bored it .030 over, dropped in a good cam, and rebuilt the aluminum 317 heads for about 400 horsepower. It didn’t hook up well, so I widened the rear wheels and upgraded to 275/50-15 rear tires.

      Now Silky hooked up great, but understeered BADLY and ran out of brakes FAST. I went to 17″ wheels and added a Kore3 big-brake adapter kit that mates 2004 Corvette calipers and discs to the B-body. With the ‘go and whoa’ traction issues fixed, I noticed that the suspension was kind of… overwhelmed.

      Coil-over shocks and tubular control arms up front, and coil-over shocks with a four-link and a Moser 9″ Ford rear out back, got the suspension sorted out quite nicely. All that extra power, braking, and cornering traction with Nitto NT-450s in 255/50-17 front, 275/50-17 rear started to take a toll on the chassis, though. There was some, well, flopping in corners, and doors rattling on hard launches, and a control-arm mount tore out, and…

      And now we’re boxing, gusseting, bracing, and otherwise reinforcing the frame and suspension-mount pick-up points; building a new transmission cross-member; and tying the frame-horns to one another. It is RIGID. It’s also heavy; between the bracing, the bigger transmission, the brakes, and the rear end we’ve added a few hundred pounds to an already big and heavy car.

      Speaking of big and heavy, I’m 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds; I bet I’m close to 4400 pounds on the roll. 11 pounds per horsepower just isn’t enough, so while the body is off for the frame boxing I’m putting a 2.3 liter Magnuson TVS blower on it. 7 pounds of boost and a blower cam ought to get me to about 600 horsepower and about 7.5 pounds per horsepower; that ought to be enough.

      For a while…

      Like 4
      • Miguel

        Chunk, that sounds like a lot of work to get the car to perform and overcome the weight when it would have been easier starting with a lighter car.

        Like 2
  8. Miguel

    The ne owner claim seems odd when you see mis matched tires on it. Most long time owners keep the car in decent condition.

    The only thing this car needs, other than matching tires, is a driver.

    There is no need to change the engine or anything else.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      I’d bet money the seller isn’t the original owner. The ad isn’t written in the first person, such as “I bought this car at Robert Chevrolet” or “I’ve kept it in the garage since new”. Flippers often write/speak in a specific way. This car is technically one owner if they didn’t put the car in their name, but it’s deceptive. There are many reasons they do this, chief among them, it saves money on registration fees and taxes, it also makes them seem more trustworthy to potential buyers.

      Steve R

      Like 3
    • David Ulrey

      I’m with you on everything except one point Miguel. The 305 in general really is a good engine but during the smog ladden ones in big cars before fuel injection were to sluggish for my tastes. I have had a couple of these but 4 door ones. I haven’t had a lead foot in ages but the power from the 305 from this era, especially in a big car was… underwhelming to me. Also had a 77 with a 350 and despite the smog motor it was still decently powerful. But if you like a 305 in a car like this I will respect your opinion. Good to see you back because it seemed like you disappeared for awhile.

      Like 1
  9. Larry K

    I beat the crap out of mom’s 77 Imp. with the 305. The are decent vehicles. I’d grab it if it were closer.

  10. David radcliff

    Had an 82 coupe, same basic equipment. Not much of a car, would never buy another one new like I did this one. NEVER another coupe of ANY kind! ONE question, why does this one have an Olds shift lever?

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