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Spotted: a 1992 original Dutch Chevrolet Caprice Classic

March 22, 2024

In some countries you can still find car wrecks along the chance of the road, but in the tidy Netherlands you very rarely see them. In this case, the car in question is also a once imposing Chevrolet Caprice Classic, a car that in itself is a rarity in Dutch traffic. So couldn’t resist stopping for photos.

Granted: really just “along the road” the car is not. We find the Chevrolet in a business park, in front of a contracting company. Coincidentally, an employee of the company is just walking outside. Photography is not a problem and he is happy to give a brief explanation between work.

Half a million on the counter

The Chevrolet Caprice Classic is original Dutch and at the time it was used directly as a cab. In its working life, the Chevy ticked away no less than half a million luxury cab miles, only to be discarded. The Caprice was then given a second life as a donor car. In fact, the contracting company has another Caprice as a shared hobby car. This former cab was used as a parts donor for the hobby Caprice for many years. Now all the usable stuff has pretty much been taken out of the car. The Caprice was always parked next to the property, but has now been put out front to be picked up soon for final disposal.

An early specimen

A license plate check provides some more details with the story. As expected, the Chevrolet Caprice Classic is no longer known to the RDW, but a license plate check at Finnik still returns results. This specimen appears to be an early one of this fourth model generation. These YX license plates, from the license plate series with the numbers in the middle, were issued in 1990. The introductory year of this Caprice.

Yet, according to Finnik, the car was not registered until 1992. Original Dutch delivered, about which more later. Furthermore, Finnik provides a pretty detailed history on the Chevrolet Caprice Classic. The car was used for business through 2003. Chances are, that’s his cab career. After that, the Chevrolet changed hands remarkably often through 2007, culminating in no less than three changes in 2006 alone. From 2007 to 2009, he was a “fleet owner. That category is apparently there too, in addition to “business” and “private” owner. In 2008, the MOT expired. In 2009, the Caprice changed hands one last time, only to be officially “scrapped” shortly thereafter. That’s probably when the contractor company bought it as a donor car. All this time, the Caprice has maintained its blue cab badges.

For yours truly, on the one hand, it is somewhat painful to see one of his favorite American cars in this condition. So on the other hand, this Chevrolet Caprice was used to its fullest potential and then kept another one driving. To be fair, there is something interesting about that decline. In case you were wondering what happens when you leave your car window open for years … see below the eco seat cover that came about naturally.

Chevrolet Caprice from square to round

The fourth-generation Chevrolet Caprice entered the market in 1990 for the 1991 model year. The square shapes and clean lines of the previous model were traded in for a completely new design with the rounded shapes of the 1990s. Only the dashboard still retained a fairly sleek design. There were two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door Station Wagon. For the sedan, the Caprice Classic and Caprice Classic Brougham were replaced by the Caprice (without additions) and Caprice Classic, respectively. The technical basis was shared with the Buick Roadmaster and Cadillac Fleetwood. The station wagon was almost identical to the Roadmaster Estate and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, with the grilles and a different skylight being the main differences between them.

Chevrolet Caprice with familiar technology

Although the ex- and interior were completely new, under the skin the new Caprice was still largely the same as its predecessor, which was basically from 1976. With that, the Caprice still had a separate chassis. The engine range was also adopted largely unchanged. At introduction, the 5.0-liter V8 was the standard engine for the sedan. Optional – and standard for the station wagon – was a 5.7-liter V8. Drive was always via a four-speed automatic to the rear wheels.

Changes for the Chevrolet Caprice

A number of model year updates took place in the following years. For example, a 4.3-liter V6 as well as a 4.3-liter V8 were added to the lineup for certain versions (replacing the 5.0-liter V8), the shape of rear fender and rear side window were changed slightly, and the car received an entirely new dashboard for the 1994 model year. Production continued through model year 1996. A successor did not materialize, as the focus then shifted to SUV models. Later, the Caprice name was used for other General Motors sedan models.

Chevrolet Caprice in the Netherlands

All model generations of the Chevrolet Caprice were also officially delivered in the Netherlands. With the latter model, though, only in one version. The Netherlands got only the somewhat more luxurious Caprice Classic and also only the sedan version. With a price tag of just over 40,000 euros converted, you literally got quite a lot of car for your money, but practical dimensions in the Netherlands are not.

We did not find original Dutch sales figures. Currently, there are still 133 examples of this fourth-generation Caprice on Dutch registration plates, of which just over a third are still imported.