After having a run of bad luck on various small cars we owned and costing us a fortune to fix, along with payments my hubby had finally had enough and decided to go back to basics. This is when a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Classic showed up in the driveway in original condition. He loved that no one had touched the body, and yes, it showed! My heart dropped and I sighed. Had it really come to this?
But he didn’t care, he was fed up with the computers and expensive parts we were having to deal with in our other cars. Our last small car was too twitchy, if you even hit a clump of dirt in the road you would spin out, never mind driving it in the nasty Ontario winters. You had to hang on tight and grit your teeth.
Cars are very expensive to keep and to run and we were done with that. We moved in town where we could walk everywhere, so only take this car out when we need the trunk or to go out of town. Our last house was in the countryside and we needed keep two cars on the road. This way we only keep one.Credit: Diane Palmer
Back to Old School Cars for Us
So, we decided no more car payments, no leases, and no high insurance premiums, just something older and stable. I was not quite expecting this car! I learned how to drive on a car this size when I was a kid, but back then the parking spaces were designed for larger cars. Was not sure about this car and instantly disliked the look of it. I felt we were going backwards. I was surprised it was still running after 23 years.
Since we mostly work from home, commuting was not going to be an issue, but simply going out and about brought some stares. It gets about the same gas mileage as a pickup truck and has massive trunk space. I did notice other cars stay away from us when out on the highways.
I think if it was a little better looking I wouldn’t be quite so embarrassed as right now it is the original body complete with rusty patches and a couple of dents here and there.
As the winter approached I was nervous. It had been a long time since I had driven a rear wheel drive car and never thought I would again. I had learned how to drive a standard transmission small car and that usually helped me with the snowy roads.
We installed 4 large winter tires on this Caprice and hoped for the best. Our neighbours looked at it with a frown, and since we were new to the neighbourhood I am not sure they knew how to take us, as they were all driving new cars. One neighbour asked if we actually were planning on driving that thing with a look of distaste. But hubby loved this chevy and had all kinds of visions for it.
She Went Where No Other Cars Would Dare To Go!
But back in February we had a nasty winter storm that dumped a lot of snow, and the city crews could barely keep up. Our street was not getting cleared and as a few cars tried to navigate or basically float down the snowy road they got into trouble spinning the wheels and basically not going anywhere.
So, out came our car that we named “Josephine” and she made it down the street. There is a little rise at the end of our street and if you get stuck there then you are not leaving as we live on a cul de sac. But she made it, with her size and weight it felt like we were driving a tank.
I had to admit I was impressed. It took me a long time to get used to Josephine as it feels like there is a lot of trunk behind me that I have to watch for when parking, it is harder to navigate in the city, but out on the open road, she can really go.Credit: Diane Palmer
I am Warming Up to the Old Chevy - Josephine
So, I think we will keep her. I have warmed up to her now. I would like to see her fixed up a bit. I do get stares out on the road. I know the caprice was used by Policemen at one time and I had an officer stop and comment on it once how he missed it.
I get kids wanting me to sell it so they can “soup it up” and I quietly say no.
It passed its safety certificate and the emission test so it’s good to go, although it did get a lot of stares at the mechanic shop when being certified. My mother thinks it looks like a “get away car” for bank robbers, and that we may get constantly pulled over. She is not impressed.
You could easily get a speeding ticket so you do have to watch it with this “305 8 cylinder car”.
It reminds me of a couch on wheels with the older upholstery bench comfy seats, and is a great car at the drive-in. I am sure it was luxury in its day.Credit: Diane Palmer
You Can Get Cheap Parts for the Caprice
Parts are cheap for this car, compared to our other cars, we replaced an entire windshield wiper assembly and motor for under 100 dollars, and it is nice having no car payment and cheap insurance so with a paint job and a bit of work, she could be brought back to original and I think we will keep her. There is plenty of life left in this old chevy.
My hubby found all kinds of toys for this car online including new flooring and more. So, not sure how it will turn out, but car buffs fix these up to show off at car shows and trailer them around.
We simply drive this Caprice Classic the way it was supposed to be driven as a daily driver on the open road.