Third Row Seating: 1987 Chevy Caprice Wagon

It’s amazing how a set of trim rings over some steel wheels can transform a grandma wagon into a tough-looking street cruiser. This Chevy Caprice wagon spotted by Barn Finds reader Pat L. is said to be a two-owner survivor that was garaged nightly up until the seller took ownership and comes equipped with desirable features like the third row seat. It has 107,000 miles and is for sale here on craigslist with an asking price of $4,200. 

Equipped with the venerable 307 V8, this Caprice wagon wears an interesting shade of green not often seen in a sea of white, navy or beige Caprices. This model features power windows, seats and functioning A/C. The Caprice of this generation enjoyed a modest boost in horsepower to 170 b.h.p. and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Not earth shattering, but more than enough to move grandma down the road. This wagon also comes with a sliding rear window in the tailgate and strong chrome on the front and rear bumpers.

That folding third-row seat was either a feature you loved or loathed as a kid, depending on your appetite for being the entertainment of cars behind yours. The cargo area in this Caprice looks impressively clean, free from the usual stains and scuff marks associated with heavy use. While this example makes do with cloth seats, the front and rear benches at least appear to be in excellent condition if not exactly luxurious.

New-for-1987 included this woodgrain applique on the dash below the cluster, and it looks great on this example. The column shift automatic made it easier to slide across the front bench, should you be looking to squeeze in as many siblings next to grandma as possible. For $4,200, there are plenty of project cars on craigslist to choose from; but if you were able to bargain a bit on the price, it could be a fun hauler with a robust parts network and service-it-anywhere simplicity that doesn’t exist in today’s tech-laden vehicles.

Fast Finds


  1. Woodie Man

    Given how young grandmas have been getting over the last two decades, you might need a necker knob to go with that bench seat!

  2. F.A.G.

    That steering wheel looks sticky.

  3. Tony S

    Oldsmobile powered!

    • Sam

      Our family’s 77 Delta 88 had a 350 Chevy v8.

  4. KevinW

    The story mentions the fold down third seat, my mom had a ’69 Impala wagon which was about three years old when I was 12 or 13 years old. Back then, we still had a drive in movie theatre ( remember those?). My brother would load up about five friends, and I would hide under the fold down backseat and get in free. Mostly probably, just to see if he could get away with it.

  5. grant

    While it may prove to be a useful, capable hauler, I cannot envision a universe where this could be considered “fun.”

  6. tje

    About $2k too much

  7. Ken Carney

    Oh yeah!! I want this car or one like it! Used to throw newspapers sitting on the
    tailgate of my BIL’,s ’77 Impala wagon.
    I tried to buy it from him but he refused to
    sell it to me. We got 550 Sunday in it and had room for a crew of four. After he sold his, I looked around for one like it
    but had no luck. I always envisioned buying his car, adding coil over shocks and springs out back, and one honkin’
    454 V8 and beefed up T400 to replace
    the tired 305 and sutomatic. Now that
    I no longer deliver newspapers, I could
    still use this car to haul Mom’s power
    chair and all the groceries too.

  8. Snowman

    307 ci in an ’87 Caprice Wagon? Maybe so. But from memory the 4.3 V-6 was available or the 305 ci V8. I remember logging 10k on a new ’87 Monte Carlo SS with the 305 tbi. Nice car, but it was not an impressive powerplant back then. The big news I remember from Chevrolet in ’87 was that the 5.7 litre 350 cubic inch TPI was going to an available option in the IROC Camaro. (In ’86 the only choice was the 305.). The 5.7 Tuned Port Injection did hustle the IROC with more authority than the 5.0 litre of ’86.

  9. Amature

    As stated by Tony S, the 307 was an Olds engine. I had a ’84 Olds wagon with the same set up. It had a 2.02 diff. The thing was gutless and only got about 17mpg on the highway. The nice thing was it had an idle load compensator that really helped it start nice and idle smooth, even after a hot start. I wouldn’t knock the car for the engine.

  10. Jeff

    A couple of years ago I had a plain Jane Jetta wagon to sell. I went to Auto Zone and spent $19.99 on some plastic wheel covers, black spoke with a “chrome” edge. It was instantly transformed into a Jetta “sport wagon”. Stuck it in my front yard with a for sale sign and it sold in 2 hours! Buyer kept saying “I love those wheels”, LOL.

  11. Jubjub

    For that money they could at least pick up a set of 9C1 poverty caps for a finished look.

  12. Bob C.

    They did put the olds 307 in a lot of Caprice wagons from 87 to 90. I believe the reason for that was that they assembled them along with Buick Estate wagons and Olds Custom Cruisers in the same plant, therefore sharing powertrains.

  13. Luke

    Have a nice 350 300 HP ready to install with a rebuilt 700R4 sitting in my garage. better hurry if you want to beat me to it.

  14. Ken Carney

    Luke, if I had, I’d race you to it! As for the dog dish wheel
    covers, that suits me fine too. Spray on a coat of dark blue paint,
    and to me you’d have a winner. I’d choose a gray interior with dark
    blue carpeting. And while we’re at it, don’t forget the 10-speaker
    kick ass stereo system and some power ports for charging and/or
    powering tools, compressors, and other small equipment, and you’d
    have one awesome work wagon.

    • Luke

      You know how to work a good wagon Ken. These are hard to come by as they usually trashed at this late date.

  15. Utes

    @ Snowman….
    The 5.0 (in the wagon) was the Olds LV2 307. The 305 wasn’t available in the wagon in ’87. You’ll need to squint to read this!

  16. Ken Carney

    Always felt that way Luke! These cars were made to work, not be trailer queens.
    Here in Florida, you’ll pay at least 10K for
    some POS used truck when a properly equipped wagon can do the job just as well or even better than a pickup. First reason being that your cargo stays dry
    in wet weather. And with the proper
    combination of coil over shocks and stiffer leaf springs out back, a properly
    equipped wagon can haul at least 2K
    pounds inside the car or tow up to 5K
    pounds behind it. And don’t forget to
    add an HD cooling system up front to
    keep your engine cool even in 100+ degree weather. And since this will be your mobile office, don’t forget to add
    a decent stereo and power ports for your
    more modern devices. I’m saying all this
    all this because sadly, we own a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport that simply does
    not hold a candle to a large GM wagon of
    this era. Still lookin’ for the right one though!

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