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1973 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

I have found one at a used car lot with just 42,000 miles on it, all the paper work is with it and such from the owner. It’s in very good condition from what I can see. They are asking $6800 on it, which seems to be a bit much. What are the things I should look for on this car with this much age and such.

“What are the things I should look for on this car with this much age and such.”

Pretty much everything needs to be thoroughly checked out. This going to be a hobby car? Do you plan to do the work?

nothing needs to be done, it runs and sounds and drives nice, original owner traded it in at this place. no rust at all, engine sounds nice.

If you plan on using this vehicle as a daily driver, and only E10 gasoline is available, I wouldn’t pay that much for it.

I owned a 72 Impala when E10 came out in Minnesota in 1992 and when that’s all that was available. I rebuilt the carburator and/or replaced the fuel pump every 9-12 months because the E10 destroyed the rubber, brass, and plastic components in the fuel system.

So if non-oxy gasoline isn’t available to use in the car, you’ll be doing the same thing.


You still need a mechanic to carefully look it over to make sure there’s no hidden rust or rust on the frame, that the engine is in good shape, fluids are clean, etc. Any manitenance records available?

everything, the former owner kept all paperwork, it’s in a box in the trunk.

Please let us know your mechanical abilities, and your intended use for the car.

I know where to put the gas and how to drive it, outside of that zippo. I am looking at it as a car to drive around town. I like old big cars with lots or room as my large butt needs a bigger car and this one just intriqued me.

I would think then that box would contain reciepts from the previous owners repairs. Tester I do realize this E10 damage thing is on your “too do” list but…

OR perhaps the car has not been driven since 1980 or so (never had E10 put in it)

OP any reason they are asking so much for the car? the bottom on these cars fell out long ago.

You’ll need to find a mechanic that can do the (frequent) required maintenance for you, particularly tune ups. Most can’t. It will break down, so I wouldn’t depend on it for your daily driver.

We are talking points ignition…This is a high-maintenance car…The price?? It’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it…

My friend had a 1970 Impala (very similar) when I was younger. At the time, the car was 14 years old. It was smooth, comfortable, and got decent mileage for a V8. He had very little trouble with it other than replacing the points, exhaust system, and fuel line freeze-up. It was pretty much as reliable as most modern cars. Of course a 1973 is a lot older now, and will not likely be as reliable as it was when it was much newer. Plus, cars of that era just weren’t rustproofed nearly as well as modern cars. If you drive it in salt at all, don’t expect it to be rust-free for very long.

1973 was not a vintage year for the American automobile industry. Newly enacted government standards meant that the engines had to be detuned. While the emissions decreased from 1972 and earlier model years, the gasoline consumption increased. Manufacturers had not gone to fuel injection nor equipped their cars with catalytic converters. These cars used gasoline and didn’t have the power of cars built later.
If you are determined to buy this car, by all means have a mechanic put it on a lift and check for rust.

Don’t get it. It’s too old. The mileage is great, but cars wear out just sitting around too. In fact, they can wear out faster if they’re only driven on short trips every week or so, which is probably what happened here.

Plus, once a car gets more than 20 years old it’s not a bad idea to update it, because finding parts gets more expensive and depending on the model, more difficult.

Sounds a bit high priced for a Caprice Classic, low miles or not. A 2 DR HT or factory big block option could make it worth that much but a 4 DR Granny Sedan is not a terribly desireable car; especially with 1973 being the year that emissions really started strangling them.

On the plus side these cars are cheap and easy to maintain and set up properly they do pretty well on fuel mileage all things considered. I’ve owned several full size Chevys of this vintage with the 350/4 BBL engines and got them to tick off about 20-21 MPG on the highway.

How about a newer sled, like a Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, etc? Modern car, good room, you’ll find plenty for $6,800 or less, new as 2002.

The 70 and 72 were nothing alike, I borrowed a friend’s 70 and loved it. I gor 21 mpg in mixed driving and it was soothe and good handling (for that time) so I bought a one owner 72 . Worst mistake of my life I got 12 mpg on the road (after a tune up) The car was sluggish,ponderous and limp. To change a tire I had to have a block of wood under the bumper jack and still could barely get the tire off the ground. I had to replace the dist. cap every year and I was using the best parts I could get.When it snowed the snow would blow under the hood and make the car stall so every snowstorm I had to take the air cleaner off and drive with a big screwdriver holding the choke open.
My first and LAST chevy.

If I wanted a hobby car I’d offer $1200 and negotiate to < $1800.

Price is set, the car lot says there is no wiggle room on price.

Then walk away, the price is too high. This is not a special car, just a nice survivor. And any used car lot that says ‘there is no wiggle room’ is lying, pure and simple.