Junkyard Gem: 1979 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon

The late 1970s represent the pinnacle of wagon life in the United States, with nearly every supplier offering a minimum of one station wagon design. Nissan alone marketed 4 different Datsun wagon models here in 1979 (the F-10, 210, 510, and also 810), while Toyota dealerships had 3 that year (the Corolla, Corona, as well as Cressida). When it comes to The General, every single GM automobile division other than Cadillac offered at least two sizes of station wagon for the final year of the 1970s, as well as the Impala/Caprice was the lowest-priced full-size wagon in the entire corporate steady. Right here’s a heavily-optioned Caprice Classic wagon, faded but intact in a self-service backyard in northeastern Colorado.

Worldwide of 1979 Chevrolet station wagons, the entry-level design was the Monza Wagon. If you think it appears like a Chevy Vega, you’re right … however remember that the Vega and also Monza were based upon the very same platform (as well as the Vega name was removed after 1977). The next measure was the Malibu wagon (the Chevelle name obtained the axe after 1978 and the Chevelle’s Malibu trim level classification became the version name afterwards). On top was the king of 1979 Chevy wagons: the Impala and also its even more glamorous Mood Classic brother or sister. The price on the cheapest possible ’79 Impala wagon began at $6,109, while the three-row/10-passenger Quirk Classic detailed at $6,544 (that’s about $24,860 as well as $26,630 in 2021 bucks).

That’s a lot of wagon per buck! The Buick-badged sibling of this wagon, the Estate, set you back $6,714.

All 1979 Impala and Quirk wagons had Chevrolet small-block V8 engines as conventional devices (the cars and coupes obtained a 250-cubic-inch/4.1-liter V6 as the base engine), either a 305/5.0-liter or a 350/5.7-litre plant. This car has the 350, rated at 170 horsepower. With an aesthetic weight simply over 4,000 pounds, this wagon required each of that engine’s 270 pound-feet to obtain relocating (the Buick 350 in the Estate Wagon had 280 pound-feet but just 155 steeds).

We take features such as power home windows and cooling for granted in brand-new automobiles today, but that things expense plenty throughout the Malaise Age. The power home window configuration in this wagon cost 205 dollars (concerning $835 today), the power tailgate lock was $40 ($160 now), as well as the air conditioning held up this auto’s original buyer by 605 bones (2,460 clams in 2021).

You desire an AM/FM stereo radio for your favorite 1979 hits? That’ll be an extra 236 simoleans for your friendly Chevrolet supplier, which concerns about 960 United States smackers nowadays … and auto audio tools in the late 1970s mostly seemed like crap in spite of being so costly.

Judging by the surface area body rust and also thick layer of interior dirt, this auto sat for several years, possibly years, outdoors. Attempt to visualize these cushy split bench seats as they looked 43 years back, if you can.

It appears that this cars and truck was marketed new by Bob Reynolds in Fort Collins, which is about 30 miles to the northwest of this car’s last parking space in Greeley.

The Colorado climate is harsh on auto paint.

GM proceeded developing this generation of Caprice (including the wagon version) from 1977 all the way through 1990, so a number of generations of American youngsters grew up riding in these wagons (and also their very comparable Pontiac Bonneville, Oldsmobile Personalized Cruiser, and Buick Estate Wagon siblings). My household had a large Despair Chevy back then, okay, however it was a Sportvan Beauville. I did invest a lot of time in a 1977 Custom Cruiser throughout my early 20s, nonetheless, and I can say it was a really comfy device.