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Thread: '79 Caprice!

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    '79 Caprice!

    This video is a pretty fun traipse down memory lane - for those old enoughto remember!

    Note the pop-off wire wheel covers;
    The "fastback" rear glass;
    The lack of power equipment;
    The 85 mph federal speedo;
    The "Body by Fisher" plaque;

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=r8N2uv3mC7M

    Sky blue used to be a popular color, too!

  2. #2
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    My dad had a '77 Caprice company car, he accidentally ordered it with the "handling" suspension option when he was trying to get the trailer-towing package instead. I can't remember the option code, my memory keeps saying "Y-49" but I know that's the color code for a yellow Honda CRX...

    At any rate, with the suspension upgrade, that was a Caprice that thought it was a Camaro.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    My dad had a '77 Caprice company car, he accidentally ordered it with the "handling" suspension option when he was trying to get the trailer-towing package instead. I can't remember the option code, my memory keeps saying "Y-49" but I know that's the color code for a yellow Honda CRX...

    At any rate, with the suspension upgrade, that was a Caprice that thought it was a Camaro.
    I don't doubt it - both cars were pretty similar, suspension wise! (Stamped steel a-arms/coils and tube shocks up front; live axle/leaf spring rear - etc.)

    Add a larger front/rear stabilizer bar, better shocks and higher-rate springs/leafs (the essentials of the Z-28's handling package) and - viola!


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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Nice Car!

    I remember through most of the 1970s that Chevy would put fastback or distinctive roof-lines/rear windows on the two door Caprices and Impalas. My parents had a 1972 2-door Caprice which I learned how to drive in, it had a concave rear window with a very stylish roof-line.

    Concerning the 1979 Caprice, I knew a guy in high school who was driving another guy (from my high school) parents' car back from Ocean City with 4 people in the car (and luggage) when he was clocked going around 110 mph by a cops radar gun on one of those straight flat country roads. The 1979 Caprice was loaded with options and it did have the LM1 - 4bbl 170 horsepower 350 - which was the same 350 used in the Camaro Z28 that year. The guy was lucky this was before points transfered from state to state and the cop only ticketed him and did not throw him in the pokey. He just paid the $300.00 ticket when it came in the mail, and his parents never knew he was clocked at 110 mph.

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    This video is a pretty fun traipse down memory lane - for those old enoughto remember!


    The "Body by Fisher" plaque;

    Now that was a real prestige symbol....I first really noticed it on my cousins (New in 1966) Chev Impala.
    I think my uncles 56 Bel Air had it but I never noticed it because of the farm ud all over it. ;D
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    This video is a pretty fun traipse down memory lane - for those old enoughto remember!

    Note the pop-off wire wheel covers;
    The "fastback" rear glass;
    The lack of power equipment;
    The 85 mph federal speedo;
    The "Body by Fisher" plaque;

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=r8N2uv3mC7M

    Sky blue used to be a popular color, too!
    I'm gonna look at the video, but I have to correct you on the 85 mph speedo. The 85 mph rule was FMVSS 127. It was implemented for the 1980 model year and was repealed for the 1983 model year thanks to the Reagan administration. I think that was discussed in Car and Driver magazine, although I forgot about the issue.

    Beginning in 1975, automakers began dialing their speedometers back from 120 mph to 100 mph on most of their cars. In 1977, the first 80 or 85 mph speedometers began rearing their ugly heads on the T-Bird and on GM's full sized and intermediate sized cars. Chrysler didn't start putting 85 mph on their cars until they absolutely had to do so. (they did voluntarily dial some of the numbers back in 1975 or so as well.)

    I would never wax nostalgic about that dirt swill 85 mph junk that the government shoved down our throats. It was awful, pure awful.

    Never mind the performance killing smog junk that we had to put up with as well....

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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Swamprat,

    So true, the government sure mandated a lot ridiculous stuff over the years. How about those late 1980s to early 1990s seatbelts? The neck chokers was what I used to call them. These were the seatbelts that when you entered into the front seats, the belts wrapped around you or they electronically came towards you when you closed the door. I hated those things.

    Or how about the third high mounted brake light mandated for all new cars for the 1986 and later model years. This light is often called the "Dole" light since Elizabeth Dole was DOT secretary when it was mandated and one of her pet projects. Her husband is so dumb he can't speak in more than 3 word sentences, yet his wife and he mandate this crap on us like we are all idiots.

  8. #8
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    This video is a pretty fun traipse down memory lane - for those old enoughto remember!


    The "Body by Fisher" plaque;

    Now that was a real prestige symbol....I first really noticed it on my cousins (New in 1966) Chev Impala.
    I think my uncles 56 Bel Air had it but I never noticed it because of the farm ud all over it. ;D
    Prestige symbol? It was seen on every US GM product, including the lowliest Corvairs, Vegas, and Chevettes.

  9. #9
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    So true, the government sure mandated a lot ridiculous stuff over the years. How about those late 1980s to early 1990s seatbelts? The neck chokers was what I used to call them. These were the seatbelts that when you entered into the front seats, the belts wrapped around you or they electronically came towards you when you closed the door. I hated those things.
    Fortunately, the so-called "full size" cars had a standard seat belt.

    Or how about the third high mounted brake light mandated for all new cars for the 1986 and later model years. This light is often called the "Dole" light since Elizabeth Dole was DOT secretary when it was mandated and one of her pet projects.
    I dislike them as they make seeing past the car in front much more difficult in bad weather conditions. The Chrysler cars had such in the forties, and I had the same complaint.


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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Swamprat,

    So true, the government sure mandated a lot ridiculous stuff over the years. How about those late 1980s to early 1990s seatbelts? The neck chokers was what I used to call them. These were the seatbelts that when you entered into the front seats, the belts wrapped around you or they electronically came towards you when you closed the door. I hated those things.

    Or how about the third high mounted brake light mandated for all new cars for the 1986 and later model years. This light is often called the "Dole" light since Elizabeth Dole was DOT secretary when it was mandated and one of her pet projects. Her husband is so dumb he can't speak in more than 3 word sentences, yet his wife and he mandate this crap on us like we are all idiots.
    Those seatbelts were godawful.

    The third brake light bulbs are all burned out on my Saturn. I have not attempted to repair them as it would require removing trim from teh inside of the car that is attached with plastic clips. I fear having an annoying rattle after this problem is fixed.

  11. #11
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Nice Car!

    I remember through most of the 1970s that Chevy would put fastback or distinctive roof-lines/rear windows on the two door Caprices and Impalas. My parents had a 1972 2-door Caprice which I learned how to drive in, it had a concave rear window with a very stylish roof-line.

    Concerning the 1979 Caprice, I knew a guy in high school who was driving another guy (from my high school) parents' car back from Ocean City with 4 people in the car (and luggage) when he was clocked going around 110 mph by a cops radar gun on one of those straight flat country roads. The 1979 Caprice was loaded with options and it did have the LM1 - 4bbl 170 horsepower 350 - which was the same 350 used in the Camaro Z28 that year. The guy was lucky this was before points transfered from state to state and the cop only ticketed him and did not throw him in the pokey. He just paid the $300.00 ticket when it came in the mail, and his parents never knew he was clocked at 110 mph.
    Growing up, my parents owned a 1978 Cadillac Seville with the 180 HP EFI 350V8. I remember driving it and of course burying the 85 mph needle on it. I remember keeping the car mashed to the floor for about 4 miles down the highway. In 1983, there was still enough open road to get a slug like that car going fast. I would estimate the top speed of the Seville as being around 115 mph, maybe 120, but probably 115.

    Both the Caprice and the Seville were designed by Bill Mitchell, the designer who brought us the Mako Shark Stingray and the 1964 Rivera. The sheer GM rooflines are thanks to Mitchell.

    Both the Seville and the Caprice had anemic accleration, but the Caprice was a very well built car that could last forever if enough parts were replaced...


  12. #12
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Growing up, my parents owned a 1978 Cadillac Seville with the 180 HP EFI 350V8.





    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    That's a beautiful picture. Thanks.

    I wish that my dad had kept his original. He wanted to put a two tone paint job and a RR grill on it, which he did. He had no clue!!

    The Seville was one of GM's best styled automobiles. I wish it had the engine to match its looks.

  14. #14
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    It's just a Nova in drag

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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    swamprat,

    Thanks for sharing. Brings back good memories. Actually 170 - 180 horsepower was not bad in these cars since they also had a lot of low end torque. As a comparison by 1982 the Chevy Caprice's best motor was a 145 horsepower (240 lbs/ft torque) 4bbl (LG4) 305 V8.

    I love those first series Sevilles. When I was a kid in grade school, my parents carpooled with neighbors down the street, their kid also went to my school. They owned brand new Sevilles (2 at a time, and would trade them in every 2 years), so every morning going to school I got a ride in a brand new first series Seville for a few years) . It was like a limosine ride to school. The leather seats were so comfortable. I used to like to watch the digital mpg display screen. Do you remember this device?

    Mase,

    Is that your Seville? Wow that's a beautiful car. It's a keeper.


    misterdecibel,

    By the time Cadillac got done with the original series Seville, it was about as close to a Nova as a Trans Am was. They changed the body panels, suspension, ride quality, and added every imaginable luxury and technological option imaginable. The Seville was a home run, however Cadillac pissed it away slowly - first with the FWD 1980 Seville and it's sawed off back, and then with the compact sized 1985 Seville with a big car price. Fortunately Cadillac realized their mistake and in 1992 released a bigger and beautifully sculpted 1992 Seville which was a big hit among the consumers reviving some of its former glory.


    Dennis,

    Good point about the high mounted brake lights hampering visibility during bad weather conditions.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Is that your Seville? Wow that's a beautiful car. It's a keeper.
    Nope. Found that photo on the internet somewheres.

    Here's my car.

    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Another beauty, I like those XJ6 Jags. Great luxury cars, fantastic ride, and plenty of power from the straight six. A former co-worker of mine owned one just like that (as I recall it was the same color too), it was fun car to ride in. Love all the wood in those cars.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Another beauty, I like those XJ6 Jags. Great luxury cars, fantastic ride, and plenty of power from the straight six. A former co-worker of mine owned one just like that (as I recall it was the same color too), it was fun car to ride in. Love all the wood in those cars.
    Yup. Real wood in the dash and console. This car was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Got it from a Little Old Lady In Pasadena. Well, Culver City, actually. 37,000 actual miles on it, original owner, full maintenance records, clean as a whistle. Garaged all its life, never any mechanical washes, always hand washed and waxed. It has 51k miles now, but doesn't get driven a lot - just enough to keep the seals from drying out. Tank of gas lasts a month, which is good cause it likes premium gas, which is running around $3.39 this week.
    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

  19. #19
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Does it have a catch net for all the parts falling off?

  20. #20
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: '79 Caprice!

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Does it have a catch net for all the parts falling off?
    Yes, but... .

    A Jaguar looks better on jackstands than most cars look on the road

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