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Chevrolet Caprice


1996 Chevrolet Caprice

1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
The 1996 Chevrolet Caprice brought down
the curtain on the Caprice nameplate.

The 1996 Chevrolet Caprice was the 30th anniversary of the flagship sedan, and sadly, its final appearance. Originally the name of an option package for the 1965 Chevrolet Impala, the Caprice became its own model the following year, and continued to serve Chevy well through three decades.

Chevrolet dropped the Impala nameplate after 1985, leaving the Caprice moniker to grace the company's full-size rear-drive cars. After being treated to a redesign in 1991 that brought sleek new sheetmetal, a driver-side air bag, and anti-lock brakes, the Caprice was updated each year to keep up with industry trends.

It gained a larger 5.7-liter V-8 option in '92, revised rear styling in '93, a passenger air bag along with a more-powerful 5.7-liter V-8 in '94 (and later that year, the Impala SS derivative), and a more modern "dogleg" rear roof pillar treatment in '95.

By that time, however, sales had trailed off, and one of Caprice's two assembly plants had been closed down. The remaining plant, in Arlington, Texas, continued to produce the big rear-drivers at a rate of around 100,000 per year.

But Chevrolet decided the line would be better utilized to build full-size pickup trucks -- which were hot sellers -- and the decision was made to abandon the Caprice, mainstay of law-enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Predictably, Caprice's final edition was a virtual rerun of the year before. A single trim level was offered in sedan and wagon versions, both carrying a 200-horsepower 4.3-liter V-8 as standard, offering a 260-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8 as an option. With that, Chevrolet wrote the final chapter of the large, rear-drive, body-on-frame story that had been the cornerstone of its long history.

1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon
Also bidding a fond farewell in 1996 was
the Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon.

1986 Chevrolet Caprice Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Caprice

4,061-4,473

$19,905-$22,405

NA

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