I shot this unassuming four-door Chevy Caprice at the same lot as the Ranchero Squire from the other day. Until Paul and Tom burst my bubble (thanks for the catch, guys!), I thought that I’d actually captured a pretty rare find: A 1965 Impala with Caprice Custom Sedan trim (RPO Z18) and an optional vinyl roof.
In my very quick searching online, I missed the fact that the grill was revised in ’68 and that side marker lamps were added. So, rather than this being a Significant Car, it’s really “only” an old Chevy Caprice… [ED: actually, the ’67-’68s had all-new sheet metal, and every year got a new front and rear end]
That said, the Impala / Caprice story is fascinating, and as I’m trying to catch up on this week’s CCs after tent camping in Yellowstone for a couple days, it sounds like we’ve heard a lot about it so far. As for how our subject car came to be, let’s just say that in 1965, the completely redesigned Impala was offered with a Caprice Custom Sedan option, which essentially created a luxury version of the Impala SS.
Special tufted seat upholstery was among the features of the Caprice (still present in 1968 as we see here), as well as extra wood-look trim on the dashboard and door panels.
Wide chrome sill-trim pieces, special wheel covers with Caprice logo set into a black background, and fender skirts identified a Caprice from the outside. The overall effect was very Cadillac-like.
The other trim change added Caprice badging. Based on the success of the Caprice package, Chevrolet introduced a new and separate Caprice model series the following year, which was the genesis of this vehicle.
This particular ’68 has a 327 (5.4-liter) small-block V8 and a column shifter. Can anyone tell from the interior photo if this car has a Powerglide or manual transmission?
I’m super glad I took the time to walk over and shoot this car too, even if it didn’t turn out to be something that special. I ended up learning some interesting history behind what I’ve always considered to be one of Chevy’s “ho-hum” grandma cars.