Pick of the Day: 1977 Chevrolet Caprice, downsized in both scale and price

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

(Editor’s note: This being the traditional deadline week for filing federal income taxes — yes, we realize that deadline has been extended this year because of the pandemic — we’re focusing the Pick of the Day selections to vehicles being advertised for sale for four figures. The thought is that you might be getting enough of a refund to buy one of these cars, or after paying Uncle Sam, you might have enough left over to consider one of our suggestions.)

A whole lotta car for the money is an apt description for the Pick of the Day, a 1977 Chevrolet Caprice Classic that looks decent and is priced for less than $5,000.

In 1977, the Caprice was at the leading edge of General Motors’ downsizing of its biggest cars, prompted by fuel-mileage concerns and the rising popularity of small vehicles from Japan.  Large barges were going out of style, and GM wanted to be part of the new scheme of things.

caprice

This “downsized” Caprice still seems mighty big by today’s standards, and its conservative styling pegs it as more of a solid-citizen daily driver than a collector car.

Yet in 1977, Motor Trend magazine declared the shortened Caprice as Car of the Year, notes the Alsip, Illinois, dealer advertising the Caprice on ClassicCars.com.  The reasons, the magazine said, was the sedan’s “Understated Elegance” and because it was “The most car you can get for your dollar.”

I’d say offhand that this Caprice still fits those descriptions, looking good for a 43-year-old, although the seller includes no information about the car’s condition or history, or even whether it runs.  Presumably, it does.

The ad does provide a short list of equipment and features, including a 305cid V8 with automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, air conditioning, AM/FM cassette audio, rear-window defogger and whitewall tires with correct Caprice hubcaps.

The color is Light Buckskin, though no word whether paint is factory, with a buckskin interior. The mileage showing in a photo of the 5-digit odometer is 75,577, although no word in the ad as to whether the mileage shown is accurate.

Hopefully, this car is as nice mechanically as its body and interior appears to be.  The Caprice has the look of a well-maintained and carefully preserved survivor, although one would need to see it up close to make that judgment.

caprice

If so, at the asking price of $4,900, it certainly would be something akin to “The most car you can get for your dollar.”

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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