Save the Grandma Cars – 1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe

If you live outside the San Francisco Bay Area or certain parts of the south, you maybe haven’t noticed the numbers of cars that are being turned into scrapers (full-size American sedans with large chrome wheels) or donks (same but with a lift kit). There are a couple of things that are kind of fascinating about this trend, aside from what happens to the driving dynamics of a large old American boat: 1) this must seriously be accelerating the attrition rate of a type of car that’s no longer made; 2) why are young people suddenly attracted to driving cars designed for the very old?; 3) Why the hell is painting your car with consumer product logos like YooHoo (chocolate milk), Shrek, or KoolAid Twists ever cool? The first point is pretty evident – while those cars are not for everyone, they are a part of America’s automotive history, and it’s sad to see that diversity disappearing caused by a raised roll center, stress on wheel bearings, and the general hacking-up a car goes through. The second and third questions are really hard for an outsider to answer, but the folks performing those modifications probably can’t say why a BMW 2002 shouldn’t have 22″ wheels and a Red Vines logo on the sides, either. If you’re feeling charitable and would like to save a piece of malaise-era Americana from a miserable fate, check out this 1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe, for sale in Concord, CA for $2400.

1980 Chevrolet Caprice for sale left front

Imagine, for just $6.50 a day for one year, you could save this car from being painted with the Smurfs logo and fitted with 28″ dubs. Oh crap, it’s already halfway there! On the plus side, it appears to have fresh paint, and has been upgraded with the grill and headlights from a late-production car. If you really want a rare Caprice, seek out the 1977-79 coupe with a wrap-around rear window that has sharp creases at the corners. It’s a pretty unique feature that doesn’t appear on any other common production car.

1980 Chevrolet Caprice for sale engine

It’s not easy to see, but if you look at the exhaust manifold, there appear to be three branches, making this the 110hp Buick V6 fitted to California cars. And before you say, “pish posh, my American boats only come with a V8”, you should know the base V8 only put out 115hp in 1980! And it doesn’t get much better, because the optional 305 put out a wheezing 155hp. So you might sacrifice some torque, but you’ll gain in fuel economy.

1980 Chevrolet Caprice for sale interior

Mmmm, squishy. Any child of the late sixties or early seventies will remember seeing these on the street, perhaps in their own driveway. That interior smells of synthetic materials and that oddly sweet exhaust smell specific to malaise-era American V8s. Looks like this one was on its way to being a scraper (or a box), with the video screen and 6 1/2″ door speakers. Many more like it are out there – please act to save this one now!


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3 Responses to “Save the Grandma Cars – 1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe”

  1. Mike P Says:

    See a bunch of these turned in to donks around here, here being eastern N.C. And have wondered why as well. It must have something to do with the ease of lifting that particular chassis, along the lines of lifting an old straight axle Ford versus a newer IFS. And the graphics leave me scratching my head too.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    I saw a guy pushing a “Donk” Parisienne a while a go, with what looked like a couple thousand dollars worth of new wheels and tires. I thought to myself “now there’s a fella that has his priorities in order!

  3. Bill LIndsay Says:

    i have one that did belong do my grandmother. Love the car very much also, but do need help in finding interior parts for mine. if you can help, i need the rear side window plastic frames for both sides. i have had no success in locating theses. the sun has totally destroyed mine.

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