September 30, 2016 was the 40th anniversary of GM downsizing its big cars. It reminds us of a Caprice Classic we found streetside that was still big enough to be a home.
Looking back, it’s quaint that a car with this footprint could have been considered less than full sized. Without being forced to improve gas mileage, American carmakers might have kept growing their flagships to levels of morbid obesity.
This Caprice is another California blue-plate special, where it likely is wearing the same plates it was first assigned, so rust is non-existent. That lack of degradation, along with wide bench seats front and back, makes this Caprice Classic an effective crash pad for its owner.
The lack of exterior decay is more than made up for with a front seat that is worn beyond measure.
Looks like the driver’s door caught something big when it was opened.
Fine grille tines underline the Cadillac aspirations of Chevy‘s top model. Base price for this Caprice Classic sedan – we’ll guess that it has the 305-cu. in. V8 engine – was $5,357, which would be just under $21K in today’s dollars.
Dual remote mirrors were $45, or $175 in today’s dollars. Imagine having to pay that to get an adjustable passenger-side mirror on a car today.
Long and narrow tail lights accented the Caprice’s width. Anything to make this smaller car seem big.
The hood’s length is accented by the lines tracing the raised center section…
…and the close-coupled headlights are jammed against the signal light to further open up the grille.
This Caprice continues to work hard for its owner. Sometimes you need something big and sturdy to get you through tough times, and this smaller biggie was still doing it.