History of the 1966-1970 Chevrolet Caprice
First offered as a sport sedan option in 1965, the Caprice became its own luxury series in 1966, with a host of accessories. Similar to the Impala in four-door hardtop and six- and nine-passenger station wagons, the two-door hardtop had its own formal roofline.
The Caprice line was aimed at Ford’s LTD, and 181,000 Caprices were sold in 1966, excluding station wagons. Engines ranged from 283-cid, 327-cid, and 396-cid V-8s, with a 390-hp 427-cid option at the top.
Along with the rest of the full-size Chevrolet line, Caprices were completely re-skinned for 1967, with bodies being smoothed out, the grille wrapping around the front fenders, a pinch added to the “coke bottle” rear fender line, and a smoother flowing roofline. As before, the two-door hardtop Caprice had a unique formal roof, shared with no other model. Caprice hardtop and coupe production totaled 124,500 for 1967.
The 1968 Caprice was stretched two inches and wore a new grille, offering the option of hidden headlights. The covered headlights are a rare option to find now, as few buyers plunked down the extra $82. The rear bumper was redesigned as a huge single beam with integrated taillights, which made for expensive rear-end repairs. Caprices remained V-8 powered, though the new base engine was a bigger 307-cid unit.
The Caprice was redesigned again in 1969, with a loop front bumper being the prominent new feature, but the cars retained the chrome beam with inset lights at the rear. The sides of the car were sculptured around the wheel wells. Engines ranged from the 327-cid V-8 to 427-cid big block.
The 1970 model year was the last variation of the 1966 Caprice body style, and the new 1971 models would be vastly different and substantially larger. The 1970 models can be recognized by fenders capped over the headlights and a return to a simple front bumper.