1969 Chevrolet Caprice Hardtop - $34,900
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The thing runs beautifully, starting easily and pulling all 4200 pounds of coupe around like it weighs 1000 pounds less than it does.

This gorgeous 1969 Chevrolet Caprice coupe is another one of those cool unicorns that get us really excited here at Harwood Motors. We tend to like full-sized cars and especially those of the "iron fist in a silk glove" variety, something we like to call “luxury muscle.” We always find it appealing to see big horsepower masquerading as a grown-up's car and all the luxury options is like having your cake and eating it, too. I should probably tell you up front that this isn't a car for guys who shop by the price guides, because they'll tell you the numbers are a little out-of-whack. On the other hand, well, just LOOK at the thing, look at the options, and look at the paperwork. For the guy who appreciates a special car rather than hungering for a bargain, this big Chevy totally nails it.

E.L. Mettler walked into Wagner Chevrolet in Baltimore on November 25, 1968 and bought a 1969 Caprice Sport Coupe loaded with more than $1600 worth of options—pretty much every single one on the list and adding almost 50% to the bottom line. He ordered so many options, in fact, that they almost ran out of room on the window sticker to list them all. Some of the more notable upgrades include A/C, power windows, power locks, disc brakes, cruise control, tilt column, hidden headlights (which were optional on the Caprice and not available on any other models), fiber-optic headlight monitors, remote trunk release, and much more. He specified Glacier Blue paint with that awesome blue brocade interior and a blue vinyl top. It was restored about four years ago and the laser-straight bodywork probably looks better today than it did in 1969. Fit and finish are excellent and aside from a few small nicks on the lower rockers from being driven, it's in fantastic shape. All the chrome was restored (because, of course, there are no repro pieces for these cars) and the stainless trim was polished and straightened. The folding headlights work properly, the doors swing closed with that big car THUD, and gaps are uniform all the way around. The only real demerit is that the rear bumper fit is slightly off, which may be able to be tweaked back into position, and there’s a small patch on the driver's A-pillar vinyl. Regardless, this big brute makes a statement.

The blue brocade cloth interior is almost entirely original save for the carpets. The funky fabric is ideal for the late-60s time period and while there are a few signs of age and use, it's remarkably well-preserved. There’s a tilt steering column that makes it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel (in fact it was called ComfortTilt) and you'll note it has both cruise control and Speed Minder so perhaps Mr. Mettler was concerned about getting a speeding ticket. Factory instrumentation is minimal so a set of aftermarket oil pressure and temperature dials were added down low to keep them mostly of out sight. The original AM radio is in the dash and powers an optional speaker on the rear deck and you'll note ultra-rare fiber-optic headlight monitors out on the front fenders and above the back seat. Woodgrained accents and some extra chrome dress up the top-of-the-line Caprice and the seat belts appear to have fresh webbing, although the original buckles were retained. The trunk is finished with correct spatter paint and we have a reproduction mat on order that will be included with the car. And it’s quite possible that's the original spare tire.

Unique to 1969, the L66 396 cubic inch V8 was designed to bridge the gap between the 350 and the thundering 427. It was all about smooth torque and apparently trailer towing was a big deal in 1969, and that’s what it was designed to do. From the factory, it was rated at 265 horsepower and 400 pounds of torque, but that was with a 2-barrel carburetor and single exhaust. This particular car has been outfitted with a 4-barrel Holley carburetor and matching intake manifold, headers, dual exhaust, and maybe an upgraded cam inside because it’s got a little bit of a lope to the idle, so I'm guessing it's a bit stronger. Aside from the flashy headers and MSD box, I suspect few people will notice the upgrades and it doesn’t change the Caprice’s easy-cruising personality. We believe this is the car's original, numbers-matching engine, although the stamping pad was wiped when the block was decked. It is date code correct, it is a correct 3955272 casting, and it has proper Hi-Perf markings, so the clues add up and these weren’t really the types of cars that were raced and abused until their engines gave up, nor were these engines highly sought by racers. The engine bay is nicely detailed with Chevy Orange paint on the block and it wears a factory single snorkel air cleaner with the right decal on the lid, making it a bit of a sleeper. You'll note the MSD ignition box on the inner fender, which rounds out the list of non-stock components and I think I'd probably remove it if this were my car to keep—it's a little too conspicuous in an otherwise correct-looking engine bay. Still, the thing runs beautifully, starting easily and pulling all 4200 pounds of coupe around like it weighs 1000 pounds less than it does.

The TH400 3-speed automatic was mandatory if you wanted an automatic with your 396, as was the 12-bolt rear end, which is full of highway-friendly 2.78 gears on a Posi limited slip. Both the transmission and rear end are original to the car, with the transmission wearing a matching partial VIN and the 69A303 code matches the Protect-O-Plate, and the rear end code FX1031B also matching the Protect-O-Plate. Power steering and power front disc brakes were—remarkably—both options in 1969, but this car has them so it's easy to drive and confident in traffic. The floors are beautifully finished and appear to be original with no cutting or patching, the suspension rides and handles like a luxury car thanks to expensive Bilstein shocks, and correct Rally wheels are fitted with brand new 235/70/15 redline radials, which are the right choice.

Documentation is EXTENSIVE. We have the original invoice and purchase agreement, original window sticker, Protect-O-Plate, shipping manifest, and other factory paperwork. We also have most of the build sheet, which is in pieces but portions are legible, including the VIN and the L66. There are many other delivery documents, brochures, and neat little piece of history from the past 52 years.

It's easy to love cars like this--the quality is tangible, the pedigree is bulletproof, and there's just something special about a big car that can run with Camaros and Chevelles. You couldn't come close to restoring this car for the asking price, even if you got the car for free, making it a whole lot of car for the money. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any car in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1969 Chevrolet Caprice Hardtop
Price: $34,900
Stock Number: 117140
Mileage: 86,165
VIN: 166479Y019195
Engine: 396 cubic inch L66 V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.78
Wheelbase: 119 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Rally wheels
Tires: 235/70/15 redline radials
Exterior Color: Glacier Blue
Interior Color: Blue cloth
Untitled Document

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