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Username Post: Worthy of being restored? (66 Caprice)        (Topic#271059)
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-24-11 03:06 PM - Post#2150704    

Hello.

A few years ago I bought a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice that was half torn apart (not the body, just the interior). I intended on fixing it up because its awesome, but rough times hit, I didn't have any money and I wasn't going to sell it.

4+ years later, its the same as it ever was. What i'm wondering is do you guys think its worth fixing up (i have no interest in restoring to original or anything, just want to drive a cool car) or should I cut my losses and find something more ready to go.

Details:

The body is actually in pretty good shape. THere is some bondo on the doors and the roof but overall its pretty rust free. The front passenger floor board is rusting out and the rear driver side wheel well has like 5% or less rust. not to bad for a 66.

the interior is 100% torn out of the car. the dash, the carpet, the door panels, all of it. I have every piece, but they are in rough shape and I have no CLUE as to whether all the electronics are working, but honestly, its not that hard to follow a diagram and fix (replace) electrial stuff especially on these old cars. at least, that's what I think at the moment LOL.

The motor is NOT a stock motor and I doubt the tranny is either but maybe. The motor is a 454 big block, rebuilt, with only 10,000 miles on it, and it starts right up and runs nice. The transmission i have no clue on. its an automatic and it doesn't look old so I doubt its stock. it leaks from one of the pipes coming out of it, I assume that is probably a rubber seal or something, but maybe it could be serious. either way, the tranny works, just has that leak.

Brakes, shocks, struts, etc, all shot and probably need replaced, but maybe the pads aren't bad and the brakes just need bled. i dont even know if they are hydraulic brakes or not LOL.

So in a nutshell, it has a good 454 big block (badass in this car if you ask me, much cooler than the stock ones. the only downside is I think I have to cut a hole for the carb because it doesn't seem to fit right haha, how cool is that?) but the interior is trashed and most of it likely needs replaced. the body is what i would consider good but i'm hardly even an amateur so what do i know.

I can take some pics of it if you all need to see it to make a better decision.

My question is, do you think its a cool enough car to be worth fixing ( money is still an issue, but i'll put money into something worth it ) or should I sell this one or part it out and get one that is already running?

Sorry for the lack of pictures and probably lack of details at the moment.

Thanks for reading!

derek of colorado

 
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leon phelps 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3377
leon phelps
Loc: Croydon Manor, PA
Reg: 06-04-05
10-24-11 04:23 PM - Post#2150726    
    In response to derekc

for what it will cost to do the interior, sell it and put the money towards a complete running car.

with the economy the way it is, cars are dirt cheap.
Metallica Fuel


 
JimKshortstep4x4 
Chevytalk Moderator & "10th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4541
JimKshortstep4x4
Loc: Muskegon, MI, USA
Reg: 03-28-02
10-24-11 04:29 PM - Post#2150728    
    In response to derekc

It sounds like the car can be put back together but it is going to require a lot of time and money to do the project.

My question would be is it a car that you will really like when you finish it?

Also, can you do most of the work?

Jim
Member 65-66 Full Size Chevrolet Club

65 Impala SS, 400sbc, Muncie M-22
66 Impala SS, 396, TH 400
69 El Camino, 350, TH 350
71 Short bed stepside 4x4, 350/TH 350
71 Snow plow, 4x4, 350, TH 350
72 GMC Shortbed, stepside, 427/TH 400


 
dadstoy 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1298
dadstoy
Age: 60
Loc: Lewisburg Ohio
Reg: 04-01-07
10-24-11 05:31 PM - Post#2150749    
    In response to JimKshortstep4x4

Find someone parting out a 66 Impala. Most of the parts interchange. Or find a parts car. Thats the cheapest way to go. Caprice only parts are hard to find and most times more expensive. I just parted a 66 Impala and sold the entire nice black bench seat interior to a guy for 200.00
Larry.

1965 Impala convertible 396
1965 Impala 9 pass wagon 283


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-25-11 06:36 AM - Post#2150942    
    In response to dadstoy

Thanks for the replies guys.

I am concerned that I could just ditch this car and get a "working" one for about what I paid for this one. The thing is, if a working car isn't worth much these days, then just imagine how much a broken car is worth... which means i'd take a huge loss on this car and probably not make enough to buy anything else. no good.

I can do most of the work by myself, except body work. I have no way (or knowledge on how) to do bondo or painting or fixing rust, etc etc.

The car is a car i'd really like when its done, however, i'm not limited to it. I'm a muscle car guy and I want the body style that the 66 caprice offers. Basically I want 2 door, hard top, with a very noticeable drop in the front and rear windshields (meaning, no fast-backs or hatch-backs). The 66 caprice clearly gives all those features as well as a HUGE backseat (but still 2 door) and a HUGE trunk. I could easily switch to a few other cars that are a similar style, but this car just looks great to me. I spent quite a few months scouring the internet to find the "perfect" body style and even 4 years later and 4 years of dragging it around with me and never being able to drive it yet, I still love the look of this car. not even corvette's look this cool although i'd love a vette LOL.

Interchanging impala parts is a definate go. In fact, the only difference between caprice parts and impala parts that I can find is the wood grain which I care nothing about. impala parts are everywhere so finding parts isn't going to be an issue.

You know, I really do like this car, maybe that is my answer.

My one problem that sits in the back of my head is this:

I've seen stock photo's of 66 caprice and restored to original photo's of 66 caprice and I have to admit, THOSE ones sort of look like a grandma's car. Is that just because they are original? my car looks nothing like that,but its missing all the chrome and insides and paint and such... is my car a grandma's car??? even with a 454 big block in it? or does it have pretty sweet potential to being a badass muscle car.

Also, as cliche' as i'm sure this is, those of you who have seen the original movie titled "The Fast and the Furious" with Vin Diesel in it, well in that movie there was that badass black charger and I really think my 66 caprice looks similar to that, only not a charger. anyway, that is what my "perfect" car would be and what I intend on making my caprice to look like, blower and everything.

What do you guys think? am I trying to turn a grandma's car into a muscle car? or am I going down a good path.

Thanks' again for any info. I'm going to try to get some pic's posted up today so you guys can at least see it and what not.

Derek of Colorado

 
wagonsouth 
Contributor
Posts: 835
wagonsouth
Age: 52
Loc: south AL
Reg: 10-25-09
10-25-11 03:35 PM - Post#2151131    
    In response to derekc

Nothing like being "spanked" by grandma's car.
Brian B.
1965 Bel Air wagon
cashmere gold over sunburst orange metallic
396, Comp Cams "small thumper"/700R4 w/2200 stall
2006 & 2012, 2013 Hot Rod power tour long hauler
2008 HHR "sunburst orange metallic"


 
100 CHEVY 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5616
100 CHEVY
Loc: Helena,Missippi,U.S.A.
Reg: 12-09-04
10-25-11 04:07 PM - Post#2151146    
    In response to derekc

Decent Caprice parts are hard to find and expensive.
Parts cars are getting harder to find too.
The thing is you have to decide whether you want to keep it or not.If you have doubts,then do something different.Many,many projects sit for years because of lost interest and can be bought cheap!
The amount of time and money to rebuild one of these cars is more than most want to commit to.
Much easier to buy one that's already done,since you will never get you time and money back.
A few pictures would help us to tell you what you're getting into.
Mike.
"You gonna leave it like that?
http://www.picturetrail.com/100chevy


 
fmolnar427 
Contributor
Posts: 550
fmolnar427
Age: 49
Loc: Ontario,Canada
Reg: 10-06-07
10-25-11 06:45 PM - Post#2151210    
    In response to 100 CHEVY

i was ready to pay 4000 for a 66 2dr caprice..

all the parts were in baskets....the body was done..

it even have the protecto plate..

the only thing that held me back was the 4g's.

at the time....that car would have been cool..

oh well..

Big,Bad,B -bodies Rule!!
66 Impala SS 327/2sp power glide
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/240425 5...


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 07:51 AM - Post#2151697    
    In response to fmolnar427

Hello all.

Here is a link to some pictures.

If you would like to see some other angles, or sections to tell me more info, please let me know.

This links to facebook, but it is a public link and wont require you to login or sign up or anything lame like that.

Please be gentle, taking pictures of this beauty made me love her again and to hear that I might be better off throwing her out and getting a new one is gonna be painful! hehehe

Thanks!!

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.266311763...

Derek of Colorado

 
helrazr3 
Member
Posts: 395

Age: 49
Loc: billerica, ma
Reg: 06-15-04
10-27-11 08:56 AM - Post#2151710    
    In response to derekc

i think its a great car to work on if that floor isn't rusted right through you can sand it down and save it. the toughest thing would be the dash you can get a new wiring harness and all the interior parts for impala anyway, if you sell it and get something else there will be problems with that car too the devil you know is better than the one you don't. just take it one step at a time.
im on a highway to hell


 
55 Shaker 
Member
Posts: 1173
55 Shaker
Age: 64
Loc: north central IL.
Reg: 03-13-06
10-27-11 09:56 AM - Post#2151733    
    In response to derekc

Has that vin number on the drivers door jamb been messed with? Looks to be pop rivited on. Shouldn't it have spot welded on? I'm not a 66 chevy guy so I don't know. But if it's been played with, I don't think I'd want to put any more money or time into that car, till I know whats going on.
The older I get, the more dangerous, I am !!!!


 
100 CHEVY 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5616
100 CHEVY
Loc: Helena,Missippi,U.S.A.
Reg: 12-09-04
10-27-11 09:59 AM - Post#2151736    
    In response to derekc

It's not too bad to restore.
In fact,once you begin working on one,you'll have a tendency to bond with it.
It already has what mose people want in these cars-big block,2 door,pretty good body.
They all need to be worked on!
Mike.
"You gonna leave it like that?
http://www.picturetrail.com/100chevy


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 10:07 AM - Post#2151740    
    In response to 55 Shaker

To be honest, i'm not sure. It doesn't look like its been messed with and still has red paint on it that matches the red paint around it which i'm assuming was the original color of the car.

Is there anyway I can check or can anyone else look at that photo and confirm/verify that it looks original or messed with?

I have the title for the car, but I guess those can be doctored and such.

anything else I can do to help confirm/deny this question? i assume the #'s and letters mean what type of car it is, where it was made, what color it is, obviously the motor will be wrong, right? i could verify those things couldn't I?

Thanks!

 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 10:13 AM - Post#2151741    
    In response to helrazr3

yes, the passenger side floorboard is definately experiencing serious rust issues. I believe once when i was looking at impala bob's site he sold passenger side floorboards that I could then have welded in.

that one spot is the only serious rust spot that I know of, but it is pretty bad. and apparently its still leaking (as you can tell in the pic, the metal is obviously wet) so i'm sure i'll have to drop some bucks to get that fixed, but its not a serious problem until the car is driveable.

 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 10:15 AM - Post#2151744    
    In response to 100 CHEVY

That is great news to hear!

I have already bonded with it. I've been dragging it around in trailers for 4 years now. That alone is enough to make me bond with a car hehe.

the more and more i think about it, the only thing i'd do right now, is buy a shell that had the interior and a decent body but maybe had a blown motor and tranny. cause i have those 2 things i could use.

other than that happening, which is very unlikely i'd reckon, i'm probably going to fix this one.

of course, i'm still waiting for that one poster to come on here and say "here is why this car is bad and why you should replace it" but so far nothing like that!!

thanks,
derek of colorado

 
427SS65 
"10th Year" Platinum Supporting Member & Moderator
Posts: 13208
427SS65
Age: 68
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Reg: 12-11-03
10-27-11 10:30 AM - Post#2151749    
    In response to derekc

Here's one like yours that mark hampton built. He hasn't been around for about a year! Miss him!

http://picasaweb.google.com/115385629653919682683 /...

http://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?ti...


Does that give you any inspiration?
Tom 65-70 Full Size Team Moderator

View My Photos Here

65 Impala SS Tahitian Turquoise


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 11:44 AM - Post#2151767    
    In response to 427SS65

I've seen that car many times, well, pictures

When I first bought the car I scoured the internet for every picture I could find from every angle in order to prepare to fix this car up. I was like a machine. I've seen them all and I get real exicted when I find new ones that show other things.

The car you mentioned is one of the ones I really really liked and has so far driven me to keep this car even though i've done nothing to it yet.

In fact, the search for 66 caprice on the internet is what orignially lead me to this site

i'm going to start putting it back together this weekend probably, if not sooner

 
ss3964spd 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 4037
ss3964spd
Loc: Fairfax, Va
Reg: 12-21-00
10-27-11 11:51 AM - Post#2151770    
    In response to 427SS65

The car appears to have a clutch pedal, and has the lower dash pads from a console and gauge package equipped car.

Flip the instrument panel over - does it have a tach installed in it?
Dan

If I recall correctly my memory is excellent. My ability to access it is not.


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 01:01 PM - Post#2151786    
    In response to ss3964spd

You know, I thought that was a clutch also. Just leaves me to believe that whoever put in the 454 big block, might have put in a new tranny also. It is definately an automatic on the floor, and i'm pretty sure there is no tac but i'll check when i get home and get some pics up also of the instrument panel and the floor console with its gauges also.

could it be an e-brake pedal instead of a clutch?

 
ss3964spd 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 4037
ss3964spd
Loc: Fairfax, Va
Reg: 12-21-00
10-27-11 01:16 PM - Post#2151790    
    In response to derekc

Nope, that's definitely a clutch pedal Derek. The e-brake pedal is right next to the drivers side kick panel, and the pedal pad is much smaller. It means that at aome point the car had a manual transmission in it. Hard to say if the car started life as an automatic, then had a manual, then was switched back to auto or if it started with a manual and someone changed it to an auto.
Dan

If I recall correctly my memory is excellent. My ability to access it is not.


 
aghaga 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1745

Age: 59
Loc: Altavista, Va.
Reg: 07-05-08
10-27-11 01:32 PM - Post#2151796    
    In response to ss3964spd

It looks to me like the vin tag has the proper rivits. Look on the trim tag on the firewall and see if there is a 2L stamped on it.Also look on the frame rail under the master cyl. and fender brace, if it was a factory stright drive a small vertical bracket with a slot will be located there.

 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-27-11 03:41 PM - Post#2151824    
    In response to aghaga

I added 7 more photos of the console, the gauges and some other stuff.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.266311763...

Thanks!
derek of colorado

ps. it doesn't appear to have a tac

 
aghaga 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1745

Age: 59
Loc: Altavista, Va.
Reg: 07-05-08
10-27-11 04:52 PM - Post#2151839    
    In response to derekc

The clutch and brake pedels are from a later model. It may have been a future wish to change over to a 4-speed since it is a factory automatic car. You need a few parts but I believe you have a very sound foundation for putting togather a nice rider.

 
ss3964spd 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 4037
ss3964spd
Loc: Fairfax, Va
Reg: 12-21-00
10-28-11 08:31 AM - Post#2152023    
    In response to aghaga

Total bummer that the right side of the gauge package housing, where it over laps the lower pad, is broken off.

Judging from the shifter and trans tunnel it does look like it's origionally a factory automatic. Further evidence is that the gauge package cluster has a vacuum gauge and the dash cluster contains the standard equipment for Caprice/Impala clock. Assuming the dash and gauge package are original to the car then you can rule out it having been a factory big block/4-speed car.
Dan

If I recall correctly my memory is excellent. My ability to access it is not.


 
fmolnar427 
Contributor
Posts: 550
fmolnar427
Age: 49
Loc: Ontario,Canada
Reg: 10-06-07
10-28-11 10:02 PM - Post#2152236    
    In response to helrazr3

that car looks pretty good to me...

it's adiamond in the rough..

big block and all.....

Big,Bad,B -bodies Rule!!
66 Impala SS 327/2sp power glide
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/240425 5...


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
10-29-11 12:28 PM - Post#2152375    
    In response to fmolnar427

I added some more photo's.

Mainly of all the parts I have for it. The only thing not shown in the photo's are the seats, which I do have and they are in... I don't know... 30% shape? They still have their original (assumed original) fabric but its all faded and obviously well used... and rusted and rotten LOL. But I don't think its something that a blanket cant cover up

I was going to start by putting the console back in, but apparently I need to remove the steering wheel in order to do that. At least that is what I think after trying to put it in today.

Now i'm going to start by taking piece by piece out of the trunk and cleaning it as best i can with soap/water then putting it back on. i'm starting with the rear tail lights.

the trim i'm not super worried about until the car is driveable.

i'm hoping if i can just get everything done except the electronics and dash and connections to the motor, then it will become a much cooler car to look at rather than a pile of work it seems to be now.

Thanks for looking!!

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.266311763...

derek of colorado

 
427SS65 
"10th Year" Platinum Supporting Member & Moderator
Posts: 13208
427SS65
Age: 68
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Reg: 12-11-03
10-29-11 03:13 PM - Post#2152421    
    In response to derekc

One good suggestion would be to wrap up the speedometer cluster in bubble wrap and remove and protect the gauges until you are ready to restore those. That thin plastic printed circuit board is very easily damaged. If yours work and not broken, it will be a lot easier if they don't get any more damaged.

Do the same thing with the console being careful not to break the gauge mounting frame or any other plastic parts on it.

Those things always add to the final cost of restoration and add a lot when it's finished.
Tom 65-70 Full Size Team Moderator

View My Photos Here

65 Impala SS Tahitian Turquoise


 
black95jimmy 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 8676
black95jimmy
Age: 63
Loc: Venice, FL
Reg: 01-05-02
10-31-11 04:56 PM - Post#2153201    
    In response to ss3964spd

82 Monte Carlo SC, 355 w/Vortec heads, roller rockers, 670 Street Avenger, Pypes true duals.
2000 Sub.5.3L 40 Gallons of gas @ $3.28/gal. bla bla bla.


 
derekc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 25

Reg: 04-14-10
11-01-11 08:25 AM - Post#2153408    
    In response to black95jimmy

that's hot.

 
70BelAirHT 
"10th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 604
70BelAirHT
Loc: Qc, next to Maine Border
Reg: 06-09-03
11-01-11 11:21 AM - Post#2153468    
    In response to derekc

Nice project! If you do it by yourself, you'll be proud once finished!
Mathieu BĂ©langer
Québec, Canada
1970 Bel Air HT 2 doors 350 (frame off resto)
1970 Caprice HT 2 doors 454
2008 Nissan Quest SE


 
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