The GM B/C-Bodies of this generation have been a staple here at CC from the beginning, and we’ve spent a lot of time poring over their every little quirk. But we’ve never asked ourselves the question of which exact model (and engine/options) we’d buy if the CC Time Machine would finally function properly.
My initiation into the cult of B came early. In 1977, the tv station I worked at in LA had a deal to buy cars and trucks through GM’s fleet purchasing program. Which meant that employees, friends, and friends of friends showed up to put in their orders with one of our engineers, who was a big car nut and GM-phile. One of his friends wanted a new big car, so said engineer pored over the option lists and specced out a new white Caprice with every possible goodie in the book: 170 hp 350, THM 350, F41 suspension, and every HD part that might possibly have been of some theoretical (or real) use, as well as all of the comfort and convenience options. This friend was loaded, so money was no object.
I got to drive the resulting car when it came in (friend was out of town at the time), and it was a revelation, given what just about every limp-noodle American car was like at the time. We bombed it up into the hills and along Mulholland Drive, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. So I’d go back and repeat that experience. I’m still mulling over the color, but then I’ve always been a fan of white.
Ok; I’m ready to take your order now. It should be ready to pick up in about six weeks.
I’d buy a 1978 Chevy Caprice Classic, or my grandmother’s Impala. Hers was white with red interior. 🙂
1983 Buick Electra Estate a Wagon with 455, 1985 Parisienne Safari Wagon and 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham sedan (all of which I own today. Gary
The 1996 Buick Roadmaster Collectors Edition a Wagon featured in the B
“B” There ‘Till the End is one of my Roadmaster Estate Wagons.
I like your posts! Gary
1978 Buick Electra 225 2-door, 400 cu. in. V-8, white vinyl top over baby blue with white bucket seat interior. Had one, should never have sold it.
A stripper wagon, but with AC, circa 1985.
I was watching “Running Scared” the other day, the buddy-cop flick with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. And they were running around in this beat up non-descript Impala under cover car. A real sleeper with the beefed up police package, a car like that must’ve been virtually invisble in the mid-80’s. I’d like something like that, a dented no frills Impala, but with real sleeper potential. No graffiti on mine, though…
That reminds me of this unfortunate ’73 LeSabre that I spotted while shopping the other day. Is this C.C. Effect in reverse?
If you ever get a chance, watch To Live and Die in L.A. for some good 80s Impala action. Both it and Running Scared are great flicks for B body fans 🙂
I immediately though of this flick and its insane chase scene too!
After you watch this fun flick , make a point of finding the ‘ how this film was made ‘ documentary , it has detailed bits on the freeway chase scene , what they did was really clever .
1980 or 1981 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham, Delta 88 Royale Brougham, or LeSabre LImited. I think a 350 was still available at the time. The 301 and 307 would have been too weak.
Yes, the Bonneville Brougham with the 350 and AC would have been the ticket. Dark Gunmetal with a Burgundy interior in my case. Super Sport rims if available.
The last year for a Pontiac built 350 was 1977. For 1978-79, if you ordered a 350 in a full size Pontiac, it could have been either a Buick, Chevy, or Olds 350. That option was dropped for 1980, with the Pontiac 265 as the standard V8 and the Pontiac 301 as an option. The 265 was still the base V8 in ’81, with the Olds 307 as an option.
In 1980, the Olds 350 was still optional in the Delta 88. It was dropped from the option list in ’81. I know the Buick 350 was still an option in the Riviera for 1980, so I would think it was also available in the Lesabre.
Last Buick V8 was built in April 1980.
It didn’t occur to me that the B-Body launched just as the division specific engines were going away.
In that case, I’d go earlier and get a Bonneville with the Pontiac 400. Although an Olds with one of the larger Rockets would be tempting…
My father had a 1978 Bonneville Brougham (was it ever a brougham with the red velour pillow cushion seats) that had a 400 Poncho under the hood. Choked down to a rated 180 horsepower it still had enough torque to chirp the tires going into second gear. IIRC it even had a 2.41:1 rear axle(!).
Dad ordered the F41 suspension (or whatever Pontiac’s code for it was) yet the car was smooth as butter on the highway. Many times I would look down at the speedometer and be surprised to see it pegged at its government mandated 85mph. What a joke.
He also ordered the car without a vinyl roof and without wire wheel covers. Brougham or not those were just maintenance items that didn’t help the car go faster or handle better. But he did order the gauge package complete with a vacuum gauge.
Dad is an enthusiast with a twist. The first Pontiac he bought was 1957 Super Chief; trimmed nicer than a Chieftain but still on the shorter wheelbase (thus lighter) than the Star Chief. Of course it had Pontiac’s legendary 347 V8 and a 4-speed Hydramatic. He eschewed AC (expensive in those days and maybe Texas wasn’t as hot as it is now :-)), power steering (didn’t help the car go faster) and a few other amenities. He did however get the Wonderbar radio with dual power antennas on the rear fenders. I guess that was too cool to pass up.
Along with the 1977-79 Pontiacs my next favorite B-body of the era would be the Impala or Caprice coupe with the bent rear glass. It just looked neat.
1990 Chevy Caprice 9C1 cop car with the 350, preferably in civilian-looking detective trim and color.
That would be my second choice, ran into a Swedish guy driving a mint condition one in Baltimore about 4 years ago. Looked like it had just come off the production line.
This ’85 Impala 9C1 was for sale on ebay several years ago.
Maybe an ’85 Pontiac Parisienne.
Everyone here knows that, being a Proud Cannuck (Canadian), I Love the Canadian versions, such as Pontiac’s Parisienne and lower priced Laurentian!
You’re not the only one and add also the 1977-81 BelAir who was still offered in the Great White North. 🙂 http://www.productioncars.com/gallery.php?car=15730&make=Chevrolet&model=Bel
That’s an ’80 or ’81. After were rebadged Caprices for a few years, though they later would bring back real Pontiac sheetmetal, trim, seats, and inner door panels from the B-pillar back.
I’d go for a 1978-79 LeSabre Sport Coupe.
+1 hands down.
Absolutely the le sabre sport coupe for me as well!!
Excellent choice! A most satisfying car to drive, in bad weather and on a twisty road.
A big coupe that could hustle and Haul Azz when needed to do so.
My choice too….Olds 403….love those Buick chrome road wheels
Absolutely agree. This would be my choice. Second choice would be the car I already own. A Buick Electra Estate Wagon. Only I want one that doesn’t have a blown 307 like mine does!
Since I like being different, I’d buy a 77-79 Impala 2dr with the 250 six with tinted glass, AC, rear defrost, bumper rubstrips and bumper guards, full wheel covers, HR78-15 White stripe tires, quiet sound group, AM/FM mono, gauge package, front/rear floor mats, sport suspension, HD battery, HD radiator, power trunk opener, auxiliary lighting, and Custom Interior.
I’m going to include the Cadillac C-body in this and say that I would take a 1980 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Coupe with the D’elegance package. White with s tan interior.
There is a multi-divisional mix and match that represents the ideal version of these cars to me. Each represented the sportiest of the divisional offerings, which together add up to a car that would look the most modern and not at all geriatric today.
– 1977-79 Buick LeSabre coupe body, with the hardtop-like roofline and sloping C-pillar
– 1977-79 Pontiac instrument panel with full instrumentation
– Cadillac 425 V-8 / THM400, or Oldsmobile 350 V-8 / THM 350
– Chevrolet F41 suspension
– Buick road wheels or Oldsmobile Super Stock wheels
It probably would not be difficult to assemble such a car today, with a clean 1977-79 LeSabre and a collection of the other elements.
yeah, mix and match is the way to go…either an 84 Fleetwood Brougham coupé with a 500….or an 84 98 Regency coupe with a 455…or an 87 Caprice Brougham coupé with a 350TPI.
Chevy, Pontiac, or Buick, but a 2 door sedan.
For a B-body afficionado like me (early years anyway, they were allowed to soldier on way too long), this is a very tough question. Kind of like asking a parent with 4 great kids to pick his favorite…
If I had to pick just one, I’d replicate the awesome ’77 Caprice my Pop had–I loved that car! Dark Green, no vinyl top, sport wheel covers and mirrors, loaded to the gills.
But, I love all the first generation Bs, so right up there with the Caprice I’d happily have:
’78 Bonneville Brougham–really luxurious for a B-body.
’79 LeSabre Limited–upped the luxury for the limited inside that year, really nice clean styling continued outside.
’77 Delta 88 Royale-just a great family car, handsome and comfortable.
With the “aero” reskin, I’d pick as follows:
’80 Delta 88 Royale Brougham–best of the aero reskins to my eyes, still could get a 350.
’80 Bonneville Brougham–also very striking outside, really posh inside.
’80 LeSabre Limited–not as clean as before, but a uniquely Buick front end.
’82 Caprice–no need to go for an ’80 here as the big motors were already gone, so might as well go a few model years newer.
For any B, I would specify the biggest available engine and the sportiest wheels available–Pontiac Snowflakes, Olds Super Stock, Buick Road Wheels, Chevy Sport Wheel Covers. And I’d load them with options to make them really comfortable American cruisers.
It’s fun to dream…
1979 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham coupe – loaded with 5.7L, moonroof, gauges, and all the goodies but with a painted, no-vinyl roof.
+1. The snowflake wheels are a must.
Amen to that!
There is actually nothing I could add since I’d literally take ANY of them, But I guess I’ll narrow it down to the LeSabres (any year/body style) ain’t gonna be picky!
I’d pick a 1978-79 Olds Holiday 88 with the 350 and super stock wheels! I had one in 1981 and loved that car.
It would be hard to choose between a 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with the 403 V8 and handling suspension (no vinyl roof and make it that metallic green that so many of them were) or a 1978 Pontiac Bonneville with the gauge package, Pontiac 350, and whatever the handling suspension was.
Those cars could still be driven in modern traffic and keep up.
Good choice I’m surprised nobody else picked a 403 Olds yet.
If gas mileage isn’t a consideration, you could still order the Pontiac 400 in 1978.
80’s Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance in triple burgundy (whatever GM would have called that or a similar color) with velour seats. Don’t really care about the engine as long as it’s not an HT4100.
I also wouldn’t kick an early 80s Buick Electra Park Avenue or Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham out of my garage either, similarly appointed.
The Chevy photos threw my head into thinking this was Limited (pun intended) To “B” bodies, I amend my list to ALL of the “C”s I had both Buick and Cadillac versions, And would love to have an 80-84 Ninety-Eight to complete the hat trick!
Pontiac Parisienne, loaded, dark burgundy.
My aunt had a beautiful 1984 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 2 door fairly loaded up with options bought new by her. It was dark maroon (probably Firemist paint) with red interior. As a little kid I thought it was an amazing car, especially after riding around in Tempos and Escorts most of the time. Even then, I didnt see how a Cadillac could be any better than that. She promptly told me they weren’t (she knew all about the HT 4100 and wanted no part of it). She loved the car although she did complain about the carb being very tempermental. One day she took me to look at toys at L.A. Joe’s department store (local Wal-Mart equivelant). When she shut the motor off it started to diesel and she cussed her son because he drove it the day before and she knew he put cheap gas in it when she told him not to. She kept it into late 90’s and still talks about it to this day. For me that car started a lifelong facination with Oldsmobile and I wanted to be successful when I grew up so I could own one too. Unfortunately by the time that happened Oldsmobile was gone.
I would love a brand new Olds just like that one only with Olds super stock wheels instead of the wire wheel covers hers had. An Olds 350 would be nice too instead of the 307 but it was long gone by then.
You can make the case that an early ’80s Oldsmobile 98 (or Buick Electra) was a more reliable answer to the Cadillac!
Yeah, after the 6L they put some pretty crappy and weak engines even in the big Broughams. The Olds 307 was at least reliable if not very powerful.
+1 the story has a sad ending tho. She drives a Lexus now 🙁
That’s pretty much the closest thing to an Olds 98 or Electra available today.
I wouldn’t kick a Lexus out of my driveway, especially an ES or LS.
I would pick same 1987 as have now, only would make a dealer to order it with police 350v8, HD everything and 3.42 rear end. And 3 points rear seat belts 🙂
Nice car, congrats.
Thanks. I have a quite a good story how I acquired the car. The car in fact, founds me. Its around 7-8 years now, I just sold my 3rd gen camaro and asked a friend over the internet forum if he is considering to sell his Caprice. Very soon after, I got a email from the total stranger offering me his car. One more week, and the car was mine 🙂
Well, I’ll be.
My ’87 Caprice is identical to yours in every way, right down to the black steelies.
For short period of time, my friend had a very similar car, Pontiac Parisienne which looks very similar to mine. We took few pictures when had a chance, and there are some of them, since its B-body article.
Fantastic pictures !
How’s the classic US car landscape in CZ ? Many owners, specialists, shows, etc. ?
Nice pair of B-bodies. My family owned an ’86 Parisienne, but I wish it would have had the two-tone paint like the pictured car.
I still have the wire wheel covers on the shelf in garage, but hate the noise and rattle they makes. So black steelies is my solution 🙂
Johannes, the us scene in CZ is very active, I would say more then in Germany. Beside the crowd of late muscle cars and pickup trucks, we have a lot of cars from 50-70s with a lot of shows running. To get a feeling, this article is about one of the biggest events with +500cars comming, even from abroad.
The most popular segments of US vehicles:
– the tailfins from the fifties;
– pony- and muscle cars from the sixties;
– land yachts from the seventies;
– the more recent pickups.
The best (IMO) classic US car show we have here is every first sunday of september, in the south of my country. Hundreds of classic US cars from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany show up.
An impression of last year’s show:
“C” bodies included extra sound insulation to make up for this! (Ok, I just made that up, LOL)
1986. Last year for sealed beam headlights.
1977-79 Chevrolet Caprice Classic with the 350 V8 and F41 suspension package or a 1977-79 Oldsmobile 98 2 door with the 350 Rocket V8, I always thought the 1977-79 cars have the best powertrain’s.
Just got rejected and have been unused to that happening since I quit being single.
Hate reading about the B body. Had a 77 Impala wagon that was a truck in station wagon clothes. Without a doubt I should still have that of all the cars I have cycled through. 350/350 drive train.
If I could go back and buy new I suppose I would buy it a couple years later so I could have the 305/700r4 setup. It delivered about 20 mpg compared to my 13. It would probably have to be a caprice as I think Impalas stopped with mine for a few years.
1977-78 Bonneville Brougham coupe, 400, Rally II wheels (T/A Snowflakes never looked right on the big cars) F41 (or whatever Pontiac called it) suspension and the Valencia striped interior.
My first car was a ’78 Brougham w/400. That car had a bit of scoot to it!
I was going to mention the Valencia boldly-striped velour, which I have never seen outside of a brochure or dealer ordering guide. It was available on the ’77 Bonneville Brougham (in brown/tan). For ’78, the Valencia option was moved to the standard Bonneville which received the previous year’s Brougham interior (the ’78 Brougham got new crushed-velour button-tufted loose-cushion seats more worthy of the Brougham name than the restrained ’77 design). You could now have your Valencia stripes in red as well as brown/tan. IIRC the Valencia trim was discontinued in ’79 in favor of a new design that I recall being some sort of starburst pattern.
When I was a kid a young attorney and his family living at the end of our street had one. Two-tone tan (roof and hood) and brown (rest of the car), Rally IIs, no landau top and the brown/tan striped interior. Never saw another one like it.
Every so often that Bonneville shared a driveway with a silver Citroen SM. It would be parked at the lawyer’s house for a few weeks at a time without ever moving, disappear for a few months and then sit next to the Bonneville for a few more weeks.
Found some pics online of the ’78 red Valencia interior. Wow is this garish! It looks much better and certainly more sedate in beige/brown IMO. (more here: http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/threads/1978-bonneville-with-red-valencia-interior.34239/ )
Couldn’t find the custom upholstery choice that replaced the stripes online
My eyes hurt.
That reminds me that back in 70 Ford offered a seat trim called Blazer Stripe that I’ve also never seen outside the brochure. And I’ve looked at hundreds of 70 Mavericks over the years.
’78 Riviera LXXV anniversary edition w/403 or an ’85 LeSabre Collector Edition with a V8…307 was it?
I can’t play the game of speccing it to the nth degree, but an early 80s Delta 88 sedan or Buick Electra Estate Wagon.
Easy call Paul!
77-79 Caprice 4dr with F41, V8, A/C as as little else possible
2nd place–2 dr version of above
Honorable mention: 77-79 Delta 88 2-dr with 350 (from any division)
Olds Custom Cruiser 77-79 as long as it has the 350, and no wood grain sides.
I wouldn’t say no to any Chevy,Buick or Pontiac with the same stipulations.
Having had the late 70s RWD Electra 225 and late 80s RWD Cadillac Brougham, I’d go for the car that in my view combines the best of both of them:
’77 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. 425, THM 400, the rear footrests from the predecessor model, and the one-year only taillights.
A ’78 or ’79 Cadillac Le Cabriolet convertible conversion by Hess & Eisenhardt Co., medium gunmetal metallic, dark red interior, black top, fitted with the rocker panel trim from the Fleetwood Brougham.
1980 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Coupe d’Elegance
I’ll take an ’89 Caprice Brougham LS with the fuel-injected 305, and velour seats.
There’s a pretty incredible looking low miles 1977 Buick LeSabre with a 403 for sale on Hemings… Wish I had $7,800!
’78 Bonneville Brougham for me, dark blue on blue. 400 Pontiac if possible, but I’d take the Olds 403.
I know that from 1977-79, the Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac B-bodies along with the Olds/Buick C-bodies equipped with California emissions used either the Olds 350 or 403 V8s or the Buick V6. The Buick and Pontiac V8s couldn’t meet California Air Resources Board regulations.
1990 5.7L TBI 9C1 Caprice or 1978 LeSabre Sport Coupe (3.8L Turbo or Buick 350). 1978 Delta 88 coupe with the 403. Can’t decide……
1989 Caprice with Fuel Injected 350 V8. Midnight Blue metallic with matching Blue crushed velour interior. Automatic, Power Windows, Door Lock & Mirrors, Cruise Control, AM/FM radio with cassette deck, Air Conditioning and 5 of my best friends to go cruising with.
So many choices!! I think I could settle for this one, though!! 🙂
That was a sweet ride. With the 403 Rocket it would be epic.
1978 Pontiac Grand Safari with the 165 hp Chevy 350 and, of course, loaded to the gills. Though, I must admit, a 77′ Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance with the fuel injected 425 would be equally tempting.
My pick would be an optioned-out ’80 Buick Park Avenue sedan, which had IIRC a one-year-only plush pillowy seat design and was the last year they used the excellent brushed silver gauges, burgandy or maybe dark blue interior. I also like the ’78 Park Avenue with its over-the-top interior, possibly as a coupe (the ’77-’79 B/C coupes had distinct rooflines from the sedans; this doesn’t appear to be the case after the ’80 facelift when they became 2-door sedans).
I’m also fond of the ’81 Bonneville Brougham (again loaded with burgandy velour interior), or maybe the Bonneville coupe with the rare high-back bucket seats and center console (which was from the mid-sized Pontiacs like the Grand Prix). The Pontiac dashboard (which vies with Buick’s as my favorite) didn’t survive after the ’81 models, but got slightly better looking each year until then.
I’m not up on which were the best engines and transmissions, but lets just pick the best one whatever that may be.
We could play this same game with the ’78-’87 A/G bodies – I have some definite favorites amongst those….
Yeah!, The Buick dash with the silver gauges! My favorite panel of all the 77-90 B/Cs!
I had a 1980 Buick Electra Limited from 2003 to 2005. 4.1 V6 with a still good THM 200c transmission. A thunderstorm and a falling tree branch took the roof out. Paid $300 for it and got $107 running it across the scales. I took the drivetrain out and it’s currently sitting in the shed. I need to find something to put it in. It was a quiet smooth riding car, no doubt about that.
Wow, That’s sad, At least it was around that long. 🙁
Yeah I was going to fix it. In fact one month later I went to the Impound Auction and actually got a running driving 83 LeSabre wagon for $75 for the windshield since that was the only really broken part. However it’s hard to just junk out a running driving car you get for $75 so i used it instead for a couple of months. Sold the LeSabre to someone my wife knew for $100. So I made a little profit. Hindsight is 20/20, I should have kept both of ’em!
Black 1985 Buick LeSabre Collector’s Edition four door sedan
White with wood 1990 Buick Estate Wagon
I’d Definitely go for that 85 LeSabre Collectors Edition. (could mine have the above mentioned silver gauges?, If we have time machine technology, Why not?) 🙂
I *think* the ’77-’80 silver gauges could be retrofitted into the later models that had black from the factory – only possible exception was that huge analog clock on the passenger side, not sure if that was still offered in the mid-’80s or if they used the thinner digital clock exclusively. You could of course change the whole panel it was set in, but again the woodgrains sometimes changed.
Yeah, The clock too would have to be part. And it HAS to be analog! In thinking of it, I’d be OK with variation of wood grain, if the “instrument” side and “clock” side match, if the “radio” section (and rest of “wood” trim) were slightly different, Maybe that would say “Custom” – Of course, I could be just weird!
Have you priced factory clocks on Ebay lately? Egads, when did they become so valuable. I was wanting one for my 74 Impala and cheapest I could find was $150 with shipping. I’ll just stick with my wristwatch and cell phone!
I’d buy a 1979 two-tone grey coupe with grey velour interior, 350 engine, 40/60 bench seat, f42 suspension, climatronic and moon roof….
For me the 1977 Delta Pace Car is the only answer.
I like the way you think!
1980-1981 Pontiac Catalina (as seen as Capt. Frank Furillo’s ride during the first season of ‘Hill Street Blues’). Same light metallic blue, dog-dish hubcaps, and (hopefully) police package…
1977-79 Caprice coupe – I always loved the bent-glass rear window.
1977 Caprice sedan, optional custom two tone paint (light blue over dark blue), and the following:
Gauge package with trip odometer
Positraction rear axle
Twin remote control sport mirrors
Special custom interior package
Rear window defogger
Intermittent windshield wipers
AM/FM stereo radio
Power door locks
Body side moldings
Power trunk opener
I learned to drive in a ’77 Caprice with the base suspension………nice car, but the handling was too sloppy for my taste. I’ve always wanted to drive one equipped with the F41 suspension.
I bought a used 1979 Caprice Classic in 1985……Two tone black and silver…..58,000 miles…..traded it in at 89,000 miles on a used S10 Blazer in early 1990 ….If I had it to do over again, I would have kept the Caprice another 5 years at least…….
The black and silver two tone of that era Chevy was always my favorite… Just stunning. A little red pinstriping and a red valor interior… Oh yeah.
If I recall correctly, my 79 did have the red pinstriping dividing the silver midsection from the black body…..Interior was either black or a dark dark gray.
Yeah, that combination of Black over Silver with the red accents was beautiful on that car. I seem to recall that when they changed the body in 1980 to the ‘state cop car look’, they reversed the colors and made it silver on the top and black on the sides. While this looked nice, I really liked it the other way around. If I were to customize one to my tastes, I’d have the 1980 and up body, with the 1978/79 black over silver paint. That would be cool. Although I think the 2 door looked better in your year than the later model.
I like the ’81-85 Caprice front styling; I’ll take that on a wagon sans woodgrain with a 350/350.
Hard to say….maybe I should pick a favorite from each make:
Early Electra sedan with the upright nose/grille
Late 98 sedan
Bonneville sedan with the turn signals between the headlights……1981?
Late Caprice sedan with the Cadillac looking roof….was this called the “LS”?
Any Grand Safari, Custom Cruiser, Estate Wagon or Caprice Estate as long as it has wood.
You said as long as it has wood!………Runs for cover
I’d go back in time and never sell my 77 Impala 2 door aero coupe with 350/350 and the f41 suspension (rebuilt with poly bushings by yours truly) Now I have an 87 caprice 4 door 305 which almost fills the hole in my heart, almost…
easy pick! late 80’s buick estate wagon, dark blue, with a full load.
I’m a diehard ’77-’79 Delta 88 Royale fan. So if I were somehow transported back in time to buy one, anything with a 350 or 403 and a bold color combination (and NO vinyl top) like a Carmine Red with a Dark Carmine Red accent would be just fine. A bonus would be the F41 performance suspension.
And, as it is now Easter in most of the western world, I must offer my official greeting to Herr Professor Doktor Niedermayer: “Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!”
Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.
First Choice-1977-79 Impala 2 door with the 9C1 package and every option (yes you could get 9C1 in a 2-door)
Second Choice 1977-79 LeSabre Sport Coupe, all boxes checked
Third Choice 1977-80 Parisienne or Bonneville 2 door with buckets, console, snowflakes
and every option.
Wild card- A 1977 of 78 Catalina Enforcer police package with a 400. Equipped like this. Note the AM-FM radio. Pretty ritzy for a cop car at the time.
Most of them had no radio at all back then, let alone FM.
Which would you Pontiac would you prefer though? A US model with one of the BOP engines, or a Parisienne with a Chev engine? Personally, I always favoured the SBC, but Olds V8’s have always treated me well.
In high school a buddy had a mint ’77 Impala coule in silver with a maroon vinyl top and maroon interior. Nice. For myself, I’ll take a 9C1 Impala or Caprice from that era, or a ’78-’79 Le Sabre Sport Coupe – with the road wheels, naturally.
I’m in Europe, these are worth nothing here and yet (even with fuel prices as they are) do not make sense as an investment OR everyday car; standard they are not very quick or (even with the police suspension) posses good handling. So financially it makes no sense. But if i were to come to some money, a late Caprice with 350 modified for power and to run on LPG / 5 or 6sp manual box / rear Jaguar XJ suspension and Hotchkis bits to uprate the front / interior from a later Jaguar would do me.
But it still would make no sense.
But some were built with the 6cyl engine in Belgium. Saw one in a local Banger race pits 15 years ago. Lendham & Hartman sold a few from their London base in the 70s.
Perhaps one of the most reliable cars made. Canadas Lemon Guide
said ” No extended warranty required”. The only other US made car that they said the same thing about was the Fox body MUstang!.
Oh, they did sell here in Austria with the diesel 5.7 as well but would you want one?
We had this ’77 LeSabre in the 80’s-early 90’s when I was in HS & College. I’d take another just like it, but with Power Windows, Locks, Cruise & a radio with more than one speaker.
Here is my 1980 caprice 2 door. It’s got the 305 in it. It’s a fun car and been good to me.
Which one would be the best for a cross-country drive?
I have a 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale which has been in the family since new. Fully loaded with a 350 (code R for Rocket) V8.
It’s always nice to have the family truckster stay in the family. I have my mom’s 74 Montego that’s also been in the family since new. At least there are no surprises concerning previous owner care.
1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’ Elegance in Crater Lake Blue Met.
Bullet-proof drivetrain and real Cadillac style.
For this and so many others… thanks Bill Mitchell.
I would want a 1985 Buick LeSabre like this. (source: http://momentcar.com/buick/1985/buick-lesabre/)
It’d be a tough call. For me it’d be one of two choices:
1977 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 2-door, LM1 350, TH350, F41 suspension, posi and all other HD mechanicals. I’d want my car fairly low option, I’d be fine with standard interior, and I can live without most of the power accessories. Definitely no brougham options.
1989-90 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1, L05 350, TH700-R4 (4L60), 3.42 posi. Again keep it simple in the interior and no vinyl top or brougham options.
I like the last model year cars of the B Body design.
The 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham in full black and tufted champagne interior is my favorite sedan while the 1985 Pontiac Safari Wagon and the 1966 Caprice Wagon are my favorite early B Body Wagons.
Of course, my 1996 Buick Roadmaster Limited Wagon which was featured in the Curbside Classic Last of the B Bodies last May is the best B Body vehicle ever made.
My hope is that GM will reinvent itself and make these great cars again!
This Roadnaster Wagon is 20 years young and will look great and run forever!
I’d like a 98 coupe with a 403 or a Sedan de Ville with the 368.
We had a lot of these in my family, and this picture at the top bothers me because it shows the shoulder belts from the ceiling when they always fastened to the B pillar on this model.
I think I’d love having wire wheels or caprice wheels instead of these on mine, full car is few pics up too. I figured out a good way though to polish it with rib injuries, bring the car up to me. 🙂 love the car but it’s a magnet for trouble especially in the cities. I don’t know much about the 2door ones though, I’ve had 3 others that were 4door(1impala,2caprice.) So this has been fun seeing. And my back window is the concave one. Living in Minnesota you come to realize why they stopped making concave, its really hard to scrap the back glass. Does anybody know if the concave glass was in any other yr caprice or make? Mine is a 1980.
1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Holiday Coupe (but without those body-coloured wheel covers).
Finally found a proper pic of the Holiday Coupe; just hate those body-coloured wheel covers. They offered a very nice set of chrome wheels (not the Super Stock) as an option that looked much nicer.
77-79 Caprice 2 dr slick top two tone blue 350 v-8. these early caprices had nice short nap fabric, beautiful grilles and dashes and alot more character and better interiors than the ’80 and beyond caprice IMHO.
Oohgeeze, I’ve wasted a lot of time pondering exactly that question. Since we’re in dreamy-dream land and the terms and conditions of the day don’t apply, mine’s a ’79 Caprice Classic 4-door sedan, utterly loaded with every heavy-duty, comfort, and convenience option, no vinyl roof, ordered from outside the US with the export equipment group (larger/folding sideview mirrors, taillamps with amber turn signals as shown here and here, real headlamps, no emission controls to speak of, etc), the EFI 350 engine (Seville), and the TH350 transmission. Two-tone metallic medium/dark red or medium/dark green. And with a ’78 grille installed.
Or if it’s hold-the-pickles–hold-the-lettuce–special-orders-don’t-upset-us but only within limits and I can’t be quite that free with my optioneering, then maybe I’ll just jaunt over to Europe and pick up this export-spec Olds as-is:
Too bad Chevy didn’t offer an ‘SS’ or equivalent package for the bent window ’77-’79 Impala 2-door, with the F41 suspension, buckets, floor shift and Corvette-style slotted wheels.
BTW, Daniel, the ’79 Caprice and Impala had crappy grilles. The ’78’s looked best, good choice.
Yep. The ’77 grille was wrong (vertical emphasis…nope) and the ’79 grille was too busy with its assorted-weight grid lines. The ’78 Caprice grille was the best of the bunch. The Impala grilles of all those years (plus ’80-’85) had a much cheaper and uglier look about them than the Caprice setups, which of course was intentional.
Tough call for me on the ’77-’78 header panel with its deeper headlamp recess or the ’79 panel with its much less recessed headlamps and revised upper front contour for better aerodynamics. Either looks fine with the ’78 grille, though.
I’d look a little closer at that export model if I were you…..it’s a diesel!
Geck. Good catch. Perhaps I’d special order it “minus engine”.
Don’t know how much, but this one is for sale in Gainesville TX right now. Phone number is 940-594-0796.
THIS one might be fun…
1985 Pontiac Parisienne wagon, red on red, with Di-Noc on the sides, all the trimmings, and a Pontiac 350.
“Which 1977-1990 GM B/C-Body Would You Go Back In Time And Buy?”
Prolly none as I don’t like big cars .
That being said , I was lucky to be there when L.A.P.D. ran these in their Fleet and they were simply incredible cars , they out ran and out handled pretty much everything else except Sports Cars and Hot Rods , they’re were fucking _INDESTRUCTIBLE_ and believe me , the Boys In Blue tried , they tried daily and really hard .
I’d go for a ’77 ~ ’79 Coupe with the full HD/Police RPO package , rubber floor mats , the comfy and firm 60/40 front seat with the water/blood proof fabrics (we liked that fabric so much we bought bolts of it in various colors and re trimmed many City Vehicles with it)
Prolly in white because I spend a lot of time in the Desert .
As mentioned there were scads of really obscure options , L.A.P.D. was too cheap to buy the gauge packages and fancy radios etc. but I would .
ther , smaller Departments bought them with power windows and fancy interiors , those looked o.K. I guess but if you want a true American car , buy a CHEVROLET from back when they made good ones .
If you want luxury , that’s what the Sloan Ladder was for .
We’re phasing out and Salvaging the Panthers as fast as we can and the older Cops often ask me if I have any of these fine Chevies salted away that will be available for purchase….
I was very young at the time of these cars. However, I later on liked the 1987-1990 Chevy Caprice Classic Brougham LS model, with the full-boat load of suggested luxury styling touches. That model included a 1/2 vinyl Landau roof, coach lamps, white walls, hood ornament, and fancier interior (and more). Along with flush headlights, I thought this was quite a head-turner!
The Caprice Classic Brougham filled the void in the market when GM ended the “B/C” based Buicks and Oldsmobiles. You got a full sized RWD car that was darned near Cadillac in content without “showing” off (and paying for) a Cadillac Brougham!
1978 Buick Electra 2-door…had a white vinyl roof over baby blue with white/blue interior that I have always wished I had kept…even had the factory 8-track player. The 400 cu. in. V-8 motivated it just fine, too! My fav feature were the fender mounted fiber-optic turn signal indicators.
Such a tough choice, I could have a whole fleet of B-bodies and still want more. If I had to pick my top picks from each division, I would probably spec them out as follows:
Olds – 88 Holiday Coupe, with 403, buckets/console, gauge package, towing package, super stock wheels
Buick – LeSabre Sport Coupe, 350, towing and gauges once again, road wheels
Chevy – 77-79 Impala sedan, 350, gauges, f41, posi
Cadillac – 78-79 Fleetwood Brougham d’elegance, 425, black with dark red leather interior, loaded, color keyed wheel disks
I really don’t know which I’d pick if I could only have one. I’d like the Cadillac for the going out to dinner and road trip car, and probably the Olds for a daily driver. You really can’t go wrong with any of the gas V8 powered Bs though, especially the early 77-79 examples. GM absolutely hit a home run with these cars, and to me they’re up there as one of their greatest successes.
And honorable mention – the 90-92 Brougham d’Elegance, 350, wires, leather, painted in that midnight blue (monarch blue firemist IIRC) with matching dark blue interior. Falls out of the year range specified but really a great example of the C/D body cars, and the last of the really well adorned, elegant, chromed out and classic Cadillacs.
I think the 90-92 Brougham is qualified for this, I think the cut-off is simply because it’s the last year that the “B” retained it’s (mostly) original body. The “D” bodies of the 90s are really a 1980 update of the 1977 “C” bodies anyways!
Make mine a 1978 or ’79 Chevy Caprice coupe in Firethorn Red, that lovely deep red metallic color. I always the loved the creased rear glass. Give me the F41 suspension, and the 350 V8 if available.
Wow–tough choice. I’ve got it narrowed down to three possibilities–
-1979 Caprice Classic coupe with the bent glass window. 350, F41, black/silver two-tone with no vinyl roof “cap”, red interior.
-1979 LeSabre Sport coupe. 403, silver over red interior, road wheels, buckets/console.
-1988 Buick Electra Estate wagon. 307, midnight blue w/dinoc, tan interior, alloy wheels.
Outside the letter of the question, but perhaps inside the spirit, I’ll give honorable mention to the 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance. 350, Charcoal gray with burgundy leather.
1977-78 Caprice equipped as the F41/350 white one, but in navy blue. The 79’s front face is to over the top. Or, the last ones, 1988-90 police package, and still had the “fleur d’ lis” emblems.
77-78 Bonneville with Pontiac 400
77 Delta 88 Pace Car, with an Olds 403
77-78 LeSabre Sport Coupe with Buick 350 4 bbl
’77 Bonneville 2 door with the handling suspension, hands down.
When we were first married, we had a 1977 Olds Delta 88 Royale Coupe. 403/350 THM, FE3 suspension, black over lemon yellow cream (calling Tom Klockau) with a black interior. Growing up in various Fords/Mercurys, I had never driven a big car that could handle like that one. Blew. My. Mind.
We had a company car at one of my jobs that looked just like a 9C1 Impala (yes, Impala! Just like the blue ones that the Pennsylvania State Police used). But ours was a fleet special, 305/700R4 (or whatever they used in 1984). The car wasn’t fast, but it did get respect from other drivers, especially if I was moving fast through traffic. It looked just like an unmarked PA State Police car. I was never late to a press check or a marketing meeting.
As much as I love Pontiacs, and the right Bonneville would be great too, I’d want that Oldsmobile back, for more than just sentimental reasons.
My second-ever brand new car (at age 21) was a very sweet, loaded-up 1981 Caprice with a gas V8. When I began shopping for one, I called up a buddy who worked in the service department of a large Chevy dealer and asked him for his recommendations. He said avoid the diesel (I wasn’t considering that anyway) and also pass on the standard V6. He said that engine/tranny combo was meant for a lighter car (Malibu) and they were seeing a lot of unhappy V6 Caprice owners coming in with rough idle complaints and transmission problems. He said I’d be much happier with the V8 and most likely would never have a problem with it. That was good advice.
I had to wait a while for a V8 Caprice to arrive in dealer inventory at all, let alone optioned the way I wanted it, but it finally paid off and I got a sweet V8 right off the truck. It was during the gas crisis in the winter of ’80 – ’81, and they weren’t selling many B bodies at all, let alone with gas V8s (they had a waiting list for diesels). On the other hand, they were selling new Chevettes and Citations (yuck) as fast as they could, and their pre-owned lot was full of traded-in, gas-guzzling ’70s land yachts. A Caprice buyer that winter got the red carpet treatment, especially one who was trading in a two-year old VW Rabbit. Going against the tide got me a great deal.
I had that Caprice for only a couple of years due to a job change that forced me to temporarily downsize, but out of the 40-something motor vehicles I’ve owned so far, that car is still one of my favorites. I sold it while I lived in Southern California, the land where cars can live forever, so there’s a chance it still exists. However, if it’s now a lowrider or donked out like so many SoCal “box” Chevys of that era ended up, I’d rather not know about it.
I also had the privilege of spending a lot of time in brand-new 9C1 Caprice “company cars” from ’85 – ’95. Those were some great cars, especially if you weren’t paying for the gas.
From a nostalgic perspective, I’d get a ’77 LeSabre Custom Coupe like this one; my Grandpa often drove me and my sister to elementary school in a very similar one with a Pontiac 301.
Of course, then there’s my uncle’s ’77 Caprice Estate wagon in orange, or my parents’ brown ’83 LeSabre Limited Coupe…nope, I’ll stick with the ’77.
1977 Catalina Enforcer with the Z code 400 and all of the HD goodies.
1978 Olds Delta 88 with Holiday option, 403 V8, optional rear end of 3.08 with limited slip, Olds rally wheels, full power, no vinyl roof in dark blue
1978 Bonneville coupe with bucket seats, 400 V8, gauges, snow flakes and of course the suspension upgrade and larger tires
I’d pick a black ’77 Caprice Classic Coupe, F41, 350, the plastic spoked wheelcovers, no body side molding, gold pinstripe, gold Custom interior (velour), A/C, and dual sport mirrors; probably cruise control and the best factory radio.
Next, I’d pick a ’79 Bonneville coupe with buckets and console; no vinyl top, no optional striping or moldings; and whatever Pontiac called their version of F41.
I can remember the first ’77 Caprices I saw, out back at Bob Mayberry Chevrolet in Sharon, PA. One was a white Estate wagon; the other was a two-tone gray/silver coupe with bright red velour interior. Both had a small crowd of people around them. At the time, I thought no Buick or Olds could better that Chevy interior. 🙂
Here is my 1978 Chevy Caprice Classic Coupe, 24k Survivor.
All Original, 305ci Th350, and “odd” factory a/c delete car.
I’m the third owner in 40 years 🙂