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What should I do about this Car?

  • should I cut my loses and Run away!

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1967 Chevrolet Caprice
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the beginning of my first B-body restore. I have a load of questions that I suspect over the next few months Ill be asking from this community.

Im 32 and have always been good to cars. being poor helped me learn how to take car and restore beaters that no one wanted. I have worked my Bottom off buying and trading junk farm trucks and mechanics specials and slowly grinded out to get this car. I looked into several different cars. but I have always enjoyed the big full bodies so much that a caprice seemed perfect. for starters .. I have never really been a fan of the impalas. or chevy for that matter. I am a ford guy and I enjoy the modular engines we had thru the turn of the 21st.. I am very confident in fuel injection systems and Abs Disc brakes so Im actually taking a leap and landed on Drums and a carburetor. I have also never had to really worry about rust repairs either so bare with me if my questions on said topics are silly or well covered. I will appreciate any and all comments and suggestions and Ill retain any information you might offer me in learning about these things as I restore this car.

I have a 2 car garage smashed full of Tools from years of work with modern cars and trucks. I also have access to a full machine show and business accounts for parts and




Story on the car.
The gentleman that sold me the car did me a huge favor by way of sales price. He knew i wanted it and that i was prepared to restore it. He could have asked much more but he agreed to my offer. His aunt bought the car new and drove it til she passed 80's . he stored it inside his business until 2005. his son repaired the brakes sprayed epoxy seal on the rust and then gave it back to his father because "it smokes to much" it has sat in this mans drive since then and he provided build sheets , original warranty with stamped name plate of his aunts name who he shares last names with. and every service receipt the car has had until she passed. each inspection oilchange and random part change is documented. Im not sure if the papers with the car will help me in restoring it or in adding to value of the car but perhaps you might know better than me. the car has only been titled twice. once to his aunt when purchased and once to his son in 2005 same names . according to the receipts for state inspections his aunt got the car up to 48,000 miles and about 5,000 miles have been added since she passed away in the 80's

1967 caprice four doors two pillars 327 small Journal block. 2 speed powerglide 53,000 miles

I will start by planning out this restoration and would appreciate any thoughts on what you might see that needs to be addressed or done.
as far as i can tell every part is with this car.
trim for the windshield and back window are in the car and in good shape. trim on one of the quarters is in the car and in good shape. and the headliner is gone. but a brand new headliner is in the car folded up and in great shape.


Questions I pose at the moment.
1) do all these papers and the story matter?
2) as i plan for this car what are some things i may not realize need to be addressed or decided on as far as planning for any car goes.. someone with several cars completed may know what I mean by this. whats someone most people over look.
3) is it a better idea to plan for 100 percent factory or should i have fun and branch out with this project . giving what i have told you about the car what makes more sense to you guys ?
4)would anyone be willing to tell me what they think a car like this is worth at first glance based on your experience with these or impalas . I have an idea of what i thought it is worth sitting like this and I know what i payed for it but i would love to hear from anyone who knows what they are talking about/ looking at.. ?


after gassing the cylinders and turning her over hundreds of times for a few days by hand. I gassed it up and started it right up. tested the brakes (no brakes):p and the trans shifted into 2nd no problem. plenty of power. the blow by is real with this one.... I couldn't help but polish up on the vinyl doors while I plan for and inspect the car.


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You won't want to hear it...but the cost of restoring it, even if you can do all the body and paint work yourself will be 5 times what it'll ever be worth finished....because it is a more-door, lowest rung on the restoration desirables ladder. A big block car would have helped value, but a plain jane 4 door 2 barrel 327 with the basic powerglide transmission has very poor value as a restoration .

i'd say clean up the body, sanding off the rust and fixing the dents, and put a cheap single stage enamel job or a semi-flat paint, maybe upgrade to front disc brakes to make it safer in modern traffic, tune it up or even do some engine upgrades if you like, 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust.....and just drive it as a beater rod.

As a four door It's not worth the cost of a full restoration.

Might just be my opinion, as i used to buy those in the late 1980's for $500-700 or even less and part them out for the engine, trans, and what body parts would also fit 2 door and scrap the rest....I wouldn't pay more than $2k the way it sits today just for a beater driver.

Probably be worth a good bit more with hotrod stuff done to it.....because it isn't a Super Sport 2-door or even regular 2 door keeping it bone stock doesn't have any desirability.
 

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1967 Chevrolet Caprice
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You won't want to hear it...but the cost of restoring it, even if you can do all the body and paint work yourself will be 5 times what it'll ever be worth finished....because it is a more-door, lowest rung on the restoration desirables ladder. A big block car would have helped value, but a plain jane 4 door 2 barrel 327 with the basic powerglide transmission has very poor value as a restoration .

i'd say clean up the body, sanding off the rust and fixing the desnt, and puut a cheap single stage enamel job or a semi-flat painr, maybe upgrade to front disc brakes to make it safer in modern traffic, tune it up or even do some engine upgrades if you like, 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust.....and just drive it as a beater rod.

As a four door It's not worth the cost of a full restoration.

might just be my opinion, as i used to buy those in the late 1980's for $500-700 or even less and part thenmout ofr the engine, trans, and what body parts would also fit 2 door and scrap the rest....I wouldn't pay more than $2k the way it sits today just for a beater driver.
I payed $500 for it. Someone put a four barrel on it and The body work doesn’t bother me much . The only thing I’ll have to pay for is the machining since the machine shop I have access to is a fabrication shop at the wood mill I work at we have a magnaflux we use for the chip heads but I can’t clean the block bore it or plain it at work for free. .. as far as rust goes that’s not just on a quarter panel. I have no rust on the frame and some rust rot on the back window.
The interior is in great shape aside from a headliner. Which I have and the seats are old and lumpy. Can you expand soon the 5x the cost to restore .. what is it that would cost so much ?
I plan on doing everything but the machining my self

I’m definitely leaning towards the beater rod idea. The car was green and someone coated it with epoxy primer at some point

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I’m just not understanding the extreme cost of restoring. I’m not really in it for a resale if that helps. I would like the experience more than anything

thank you I appreciate the feedback
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People have differing ideas of restored---I see guys spending $2000 to get their frames cleaned and powdercoated, then you have all the suspension parts, plus the cost of new wear parts there like ball joints and bushings, bearings, etc.
Chrome work is crazy expensive now, if you can find anyone to do it.
A nice interior restoration back to stock is $3000 minimum.
Wiring.
Brakes.
Engine.
Trans.
Then the paint job. In my area, most shops won't do all-over so on old cars, they only do insurance work. Specialty shops charge a minimum of $5,000 for a nice paint job. Corvette restoration guys are paying $15,000 for nice paint jobs and waiting years to get it done.
A shined up driver is nothing like a restored car, a restored car is like new, in every detail.
 

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Start with what you would like to sell the car for then work backwards.

You got a good price on it out the gate. So your far ahead.

I would look at selling that for $5500 after driving it for 2 years.

I would grab a air cleaner to pan 350/383 mated to th350 or th400 off of marketplace for $800-$1000.

Have a shpp install the headliner and clean the interior for $1000.

Driveshaft and odds and ends for another $1000 as stuff will add up fast.

Then let the next guy do the rest trying to trade up for something closer to fully restored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You won't want to hear it...but the cost of restoring it, even if you can do all the body and paint work yourself will be 5 times what it'll ever be worth finished....because it is a more-door, lowest rung on the restoration desirables ladder. A big block car would have helped value, but a plain jane 4 door 2 barrel 327 with the basic powerglide transmission has very poor value as a restoration .

i'd say clean up the body, sanding off the rust and fixing the desnt, and puut a cheap single stage enamel job or a semi-flat painr, maybe upgrade to front disc brakes to make it safer in modern traffic, tune it up or even do some engine upgrades if you like, 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust.....and just drive it as a beater rod.

As a four door It's not worth the cost of a full restoration.

might just be my opinion, as i used to buy those in the late 1980's for $500-700 or even less and part thenmout ofr the engine, trans, and what body parts would also fit 2 door and scrap the rest....I wouldn't pay more than $2k the way it sits today just for a beater driver.

Probably be worth a good bit more with hotrod stuff done to it.....because it isn't a Super Sport 2-door or even regular 2 door keeping it bone stock doesn't have any desirability.
People have differing ideas of restored---I see guys spending $2000 to get their frames cleaned and powdercoated, then you have all the suspension parts, plus the cost of new wear parts there like ball joints and bushings, bearings, etc.
Chrome work is crazy expensive now, if you can find anyone to do it.
A nice interior restoration back to stock is $3000 minimum.
Wiring.
Brakes.
Engine.
Trans.
Then the paint job. In my area, most shops won't do all-over so on old cars, they only do insurance work. Specialty shops charge a minimum of $5,000 for a nice paint job. Corvette restoration guys are paying $15,000 for nice paint jobs and waiting years to get it done.
A shined up driver is nothing like a restored car, a restored car is like new, in every detail.
I can understand that. I have a fram stand that rotates and if I was talked into another motor. I would prefer doing my body work from the stand anyway. I imagine the aluminum trim will be pretty easy to work out and buff I have a small anvil and tools for that and the bumpers will just get like a 4mm chrome plate.
People have differing ideas of restored---I see guys spending $2000 to get their frames cleaned and powdercoated, then you have all the suspension parts, plus the cost of new wear parts there like ball joints and bushings, bearings, etc.
Chrome work is crazy expensive now, if you can find anyone to do it.
A nice interior restoration back to stock is $3000 minimum.
Wiring.
Brakes.
Engine.
Trans.
Then the paint job. In my area, most shops won't do all-over so on old cars, they only do insurance work. Specialty shops charge a minimum of $5,000 for a nice paint job. Corvette restoration guys are paying $15,000 for nice paint jobs and waiting years to get it done.
A shined up driver is nothing like a restored car, a restored car is like new, in every detail.
yeah i guess i can understand the difference in replacing everything on the car to call it "new"
thats not my plan ..

i plan on cleaning it up well when i pull the motor . i have a rotisserie and would prefer to do my body work on that anyway. i cant imagine powder coating the frame but spraying it wont be hard while its sitting there.
the "chrome" on the car is just the bumpers and its down to steel in a few spots so id probably use them as cores hopefully. but the aluminum trim is just in need of some anvil work and buffing and the chromed drip rail and window trim chrome is still solid and thick enough to buff out no pitting and no dents .. i can spray the car my self and have always wanted to try a single stage .. the interior is not to bad .. the doors are perfect for 53 years old and the dash has zero cracks and looks amazing .. the gauges have some rust inside but im sure i can get into the cluster and clean them up at some point
but surly i could consider this a restoration project even if i didnt want to fully restore the car..or should I change the title to say "shined up driver" ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Start with what you would like to sell the car for then work backwards.

You got a good price on it out the gate. So your far ahead.

I would look at selling that for $5500 after driving it for 2 years.

I would grab a air cleaner to pan 350/383 mated to th350 or th400 off of marketplace for $800-$1000.

Have a shpp install the headliner and clean the interior for $1000.

Driveshaft and odds and ends for another $1000 as stuff will add up fast.

Then let the next guy do the rest trying to trade up for something closer to fully restored.
i dont plan on selling it ... haha not that everyone doesnt feel that way at some point...
but things like the headliner... ive always wanted to do a bowed headliner so im not paying anyone to do any of the work.. like a said if i owned a machine shop i wouldnt need to pay for the pressure test :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You won't want to hear it...but the cost of restoring it, even if you can do all the body and paint work yourself will be 5 times what it'll ever be worth finished....because it is a more-door, lowest rung on the restoration desirables ladder. A big block car would have helped value, but a plain jane 4 door 2 barrel 327 with the basic powerglide transmission has very poor value as a restoration .

i'd say clean up the body, sanding off the rust and fixing the desnt, and puut a cheap single stage enamel job or a semi-flat painr, maybe upgrade to front disc brakes to make it safer in modern traffic, tune it up or even do some engine upgrades if you like, 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust.....and just drive it as a beater rod.

As a four door It's not worth the cost of a full restoration.

might just be my opinion, as i used to buy those in the late 1980's for $500-700 or even less and part thenmout ofr the engine, trans, and what body parts would also fit 2 door and scrap the rest....I wouldn't pay more than $2k the way it sits today just for a beater driver.

Probably be worth a good bit more with hotrod stuff done to it.....because it isn't a Super Sport 2-door or even regular 2 door keeping it bone stock doesn't have any desirability.

If i were to go the rod route ... what was a better transmisson for a 327 ?
 

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The body work alone would be enough to send me running , to hand form all the rusted parts (wheel openings , inner & outer , door bottoms , inner & outer , rockers , inner & outer , windshield & rear glass openings , trunk & hood lips , cowl , pillar posts , etc ) on that car would take a tremendous amount of time for even an experienced body man , then the time to weld them in , wow ! Oh , have you priced body supplies ,& paint lately , there's a couple grand , easy The engine is a minimum $1500-$2000 in machining & labor , trans , another $500 , brakes , drums , shoes wheel cylinders , lines hoses & linings $??, shocks , ball joints , control arm bushings , tie rod ends . That factory air system restoration , heater core , radiator . Sorry man btdt , a couple of times on cars that were going to be worth big bucks done , you don't ever break even
 

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If I read your carb number right it’s original. Not an add on.
That’s a plus.
Here’s an almost gaurenteed negative.
I’ve had a 65 and 67 impala and neither one had a good frame. Looked good but you couldn’t jack up the car using a small hydraulic bottle jack anywhere on the frame from the front wheel to the back wheel. They were both soft enough to warrant just parting them out. Was a shame as the rest was solid and rust free.
Spend some time checking the frame. You might be surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I read your carb number right it’s original. Not an add on.
That’s a plus.
Here’s an almost gaurenteed negative.
I’ve had a 65 and 67 impala and neither one had a good frame. Looked good but you couldn’t jack up the car using a small hydraulic bottle jack anywhere on the frame from the front wheel to the back wheel. They were both soft enough to warrant just parting them out. Was a shame as the rest was solid and rust free.
Spend some time checking the frame. You might be surprised.

will do. do you recall any of the worst spots on your 2 impalas ? and what plant they were built in by any chance , also where they were driven .

ive lifted the car twice and found non but im definitely not anywhere near being intimate with the car yet. maybe 10 hours total working on it. mostly cleaning up and taking notes. ive driven the car to the gas station to test the shifting and brakes. locked it up at 60 and she slide true and took to the wheel very well.

when you parted them out do you recall the condition of your pillars ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The body work alone would be enough to send me running , to hand form all the rusted parts (wheel openings , inner & outer , door bottoms , inner & outer , rockers , inner & outer , windshield & rear glass openings , trunk & hood lips , cowl , pillar posts , etc ) on that car would take a tremendous amount of time for even an experienced body man , then the time to weld them in , wow ! Oh , have you priced body supplies ,& paint lately , there's a couple grand , easy The engine is a minimum $1500-$2000 in machining & labor , trans , another $500 , brakes , drums , shoes wheel cylinders , lines hoses & linings $??, shocks , ball joints , control arm bushings , tie rod ends . That factory air system restoration , heater core , radiator . Sorry man btdt , a couple of times on cars that were going to be worth big bucks done , you don't ever break even
i have only 2 small spots on the doors and 4 quarter panels to reconstruct. the frame has no rust. the rocker has some blisters but nothing major the trunk lid rotted a little under its trim but its honestly not that much work. and to machine this 327 the shop i use will charge about 600 for the block , heads , rods and crank.. not 2000 trans is gonna be about 500 if it needs work at all again im not flipping this car for money ..
 

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From the trans mount area to the kick up was the worst.
Both were Western Canadian cars driven in snow, ice, slush. Rarely driven in salted roads.
Next time it’s in the air use a sharp punch and hammer to check for soft spots. Easier than a bottle jack.
 

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Many I parted out and scrapped in Michigan were frame rot just below the cowl/door hinge area behind the front tire, or the section were the lower rear control arm bolts into the frame.
if the front cowl corners of the frame are good, then inspect like RWENUTS said from the trans crossmember back.
One low mileage '69 4-door was even cleaner than yours, had to tightly wrap a small log chain around the passenger lower control arm and frame junction just to drive it home 15 miles after buying it for parts.
Had a '68 I was driving for a winter beater go over the expansion joint bump in a bridge and collapse by way of lower arm mount pull-out, wedging the L-60/15's into the wheel wells and stopping the car like I stood on the brakes.....got it off the bridge by rolling it with a good floor jack. Lucky I live in a small town. This was 1988 when the cars were only 20 years old.

Friend in high school took a clean '69 4 door Impala body and put it on a '76 4x4 Blazer chassis, since the Blazer was a pile or rust. Started a small trend in the local area, half a dozen guys copied him soon after, 3 of which were '75-77 Monte Carlo's an a couple of El Camino's along with a Pinto wagon on a early Bronco chassis.

You realize rotisserrie means you have to strip the car to make it light enough to go on it, right??...body off frame, all interior out, glass out, front clip off, doors off, trunk lid off....everything out.

Even the cheapest basic do-it-yourself piant spray with an actual automotive finish is going to cost you $1k to 1.5k in materials by the time you figure sandpaper, putty, bondo, primer, sealer, cleaner, thinner, and color plus reducers and hardener. About the only cheaper paint is Implement Enamel--tractor paint....but it's only going to save you a couple hundred compared to buying actual automotive stuff online from someone like TCP Global.

Sure, have fun with it if you find it solid enough, just be careful not to soak so much into it you feel you'll really lose if you do have to sell for some reason.
Clean and wire brush, etc underneath and basic Rustoleum brushed paint so it looks presentable, expect any rubber bushed location in the suspension to need new bushings because of age(dry rot despite low mileage,..ball joints and tie rod stuff should still be good if it was kept greased but will likely need new boots), deal with rust on components like brake and fuel lines, new ethanol proof fuel hoses at tank, frame junctions, fuel pump connection since the originals will soon fail with modern fuel.

Cleaned up driver quality "restification" would be a better description...."Restoration" typically means a whole lot more, making everything as good or better than when it was brand new.

A little thing, but you pic of the open drivers door, there are two rubber door bumper blocks missing....those two sets of pair holes about 3/4" apart get a rubber block with two bayonet spikes on the back pushed into the holes....prevents door rattles and over crushing the door weatherstriping.

You discover the price of rechroming, you may decide to just body color paint those bumpers modern style LOL

All that aluminum trim is bright anodized....it needs to be chemically stripped before you can work out dents, sand, and repolish them or they will come out all blotchy and cloudy. Or sand the anodizing away entirely and totally refinish all the aluminum trim to bare poished aluminum....it'll require you keep it polished after that though.
 

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Another thought....if you plan on doing any engine rebuild work, don't do the 327.....get yourself a bare 350 block and proceed to build yourself a 383 stroker. You got a big boat of a car, you need torque to get it moving and the 327 will never have that.(unless you plan to turbocharge or supercharge it)
Then sell the 327 to some idiot who still thinks the sun rises and sets with "327" and will pay you top dollar for it....and step up to some real power with the 383.
 

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Another thought....if you plan on doing any engine rebuild work, don't do the 327.....get yourself a bare 350 block and proceed to build yourself a 383 stroker. You got a big boat of a car, you need torque to get it moving and the 327 will never have that.(unless you plan to turbocharge or supercharge it)
Then sell the 327 to some idiot who still thinks the sun rises and sets with "327" and will pay you top dollar for it....and step up to some real power with the 383.
You & I know where there's a bunch of those 283-327 worshipers ....LOL
 
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