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The Chevrolet Impala was a smash hit since its introduction in 1958, eventually selling over one million units in a single year. But in 1966 it spawned a new model - the Caprice. Previously a luxury trim package on the Impala, it was now a standalone series and represented Chevrolet’s top-of-the-line full size offering. This example wears the badge well with its rust-free body, 396ci big block, air conditioning, power windows, and a distinguished look that sets it apart from the more common Impala.
This Caprice was built at the Southgate (Los Angeles) plant during the third week of January, 1966. It was then sold on February 9 by Raines Chevrolet of Sunnyvale, CA. The car remained on the west coast, spending 50 years with the same family. The underside photos really tell the story here; have you ever seen such nice original floors? The body has been repainted in its original Ermine White and received a new black vinyl top. The bumpers, trim, lenses, and emblems were all refurbished as well. Note the 15” Rally wheels were painted black to tie in with the vinyl top. The 225/75R15 tires are just a few months old.
This Impala retains its original 396ci 325hp engine. The engine plant stamp shows T0106IN which reflects a 396ci 325hp engine assembled on January 6. Note this stamping is also shown on the Protect-O-Plate. The engine has been rebuilt and fitted with an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold and 4-barrel carburetor with electric choke. The smog pump was removed while an electric fuel pump was installed. The transmission is a TH400 3-speed automatic and feeds a 12-bolt axle.
As a big block car, this one has a 4-link rear suspension with Panhard bar. There is a rear stabilizer bar as well. This Caprice is also equipped with power steering and power brakes, making it easy and comfortable for anyone to drive. There are many replacement parts throughout the brake, steering, and suspension systems. This one also comes with its original window sticker and Protect-O-Plate.
The black interior has been redone and looks fantastic. I think this is where the Caprice really outshines the Impala. The seat covers, door panels, and woodgrain trim all contribute to a more luxurious passenger compartment. Still, the bucket seats and center console maintain a sporty feel. The dash is neat and uncluttered and includes four factory gauges just ahead of the console. The horn, wipers, lights, gauges, parking brake, and power windows all work properly. Note the ignition has been modified with a security system as cars from this era are very easy to hotwire. Other updates include an aftermarket sound system and third brake light. Finally, this Caprice also has working air conditioning with modern R134a refrigerant.
The Caprice has always represented the best Chevrolet had to offer, providing a more upscale ride to the Impala crowd. Throw in big block power and a slew of desirable options and you’ve got something better still. And finally, with its limited ownership and remarkable condition, this one is very hard to beat.
- Air Conditioning
- Tinted Glass
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- AM/FM Stereo
- Power Windows
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