1973 Chevrolet Caprice Reviews

1973 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 400 ci 6.6L 2 bbl Carb. from North America

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 400 ci 6.6L 2 bbl Carb. Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired63000 miles
Most recent distance65800 miles

Summary:

Very reliable excellent car / HUGE / lots of space / GREAT

Faults:

After the first 2 weeks of driving my Chevy Caprice, the driver's door ratchet assembly went and I am using the passenger door to drive it. It's not too great when I take girls on dates in it. I usually drop them off then go park it, then after the movie or whatever we did, I'd pick her up at the door. In a way it's kind of interesting.

General Comments:

This car is AWESOME, I will never trade it for anything. It's like driving in your living room.

The car handles like a boat, cornering is nonexistent with this steamer, but you'll never find that with the new plastic bubbles we drive today.

As far as the body goes, no rust whatsoever. This thing is built to last for sure. You know the car was built right when it hurts like hell when you hit your shin on the bumper.

The interior is indestructible and very comfortable. You can recline only the passenger seat, but it is very comfortable.

A/C in this car is the coldest I have ever experienced in a car.

The instrument panel is ergonomically set, with the climate controls on the left of the steering wheel and the radio on the right. As the driver, I can easily reach everything.

This car has the largest trunk I have ever seen. With the full spare and the jack in it, you still have room for a few bodies.

Overall, I would say this car is very reliable, comfortable, and enjoyable to drive.

The only low point of owning a car like this is the cost of gas. The owner's manual recommends 91 octane and I always put 93 in it. I figure I get about 9 mpg city and 14 highway, these models were built before overdrive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2007

11th Oct 2007, 16:45

If it's a 1971-1972 Chevrolet model, all these engines had a lowered compression ratio (8.5 to 9:1) to accommodate the upcoming federally-mandated use of lower-octane unleaded fuel. So there would be absolutely no reason to use premium gasoline (which has a "pump" rating of 93 in the US) in these engines. The only reason that you'd need 93 octane fuel in any engine would be with a compression ratio of about 10 or higher, which was not found stock in any Chevrolet engine of 1971 upwards (until very recently).

The reason for the confusion is the way that octane has been rated, and this created quite a bureaucratic mess. Up until about 1973, octane was rated according to the old "research" octane number. After about 1973, octane was rated by averaging the research octane number with the motor octane number, and this is the method still in use. Current premium fuel rated at 93 octane would have an "old" octane rating of 98. So the old octane rating of 91 would come in somewhere about 86-87 on today's pumps.

So what I'm saying, in short, is that it should be perfectly acceptable to use regular unleaded in any 1971-1972 Chevrolet. However, in the unlikely event that you have detonation with that grade of gasoline, switch to 89 octane.

Wow, that octane snafu just won't go away, after all these years! Congratulations for the royal screw up, bureaucrats!

25th Jul 2013, 01:11

I have 71 Caprice with the 400 engine and 2 barrel carb. Love it, tons of power, nice V8 rumble, gets looks everywhere it goes.

Only problem is it stalls once in a while, either at idle or under heavy acceleration. Wondering what the problem is, tired fuel pump, or carb tuneup/tuning required?

Wondering if anyone has any helpful advice? Was thinking of just installing an Edelbrock 4 barrel carb, but maybe it could be fixed easy, I don't know.

25th Jul 2013, 08:01

I had one of these. Ultimate salesman car with a great ride for long distances. Ran fantastic and large trunk to carry products. Gas was cheap then. I also liked our Crown Vics later, driving up to 200 miles daily. Very reliable cars like these were a must, and were our office on wheels.

26th Jul 2013, 12:22

Brought the car to my garage today and got the stalling fixed. Turns out a rubber gasket in the accelerator pump was worn out. A $15 dollar part and $20 of labor. I love how cheap and easy these old cars are to fix! No computers or sensors or overcomplicated systems.

I agree these cars are great on the highway. I have also owned 80's Caprices and Crown Victorias, and they are some of the finest cars ever made.

Same luxury and comfort as a Town Car or Cadillac for less money.

Made in Detroit with a V-8 under the hood and RWD is the only way to go!

26th Jul 2013, 15:57

All very nice about the office on wheels and all that, but doesn't help with the stalling issue...

1973 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 400 6.6 liter 2Bbl from North America

Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 400 6.6 liter 2Bbl Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired68880 miles
Most recent distance70438 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

This car is as safe as being in a Sherman tank

Faults:

Heater hoses & lower radiator hose needed to be replaced after 30 years.

Replaced upper radiator hose.

Replaced valve cover gasket.

Bought 4 new tires for the car's Christmas Gift 2002.

General Comments:

This car has more power than I have ever experienced. I have never owned a big block Caprice before, and the power between my 83 Caprice & this Caprice is like night & day.

The one thing I really like about the instrument panel on this car, the a/c is on the left of the steering wheel and radio is on the right. All within reaching distance. You do not have to reach way over to the center of the dash to change the dial on the radio. Wish they would put it back, they had a good thing there.

For such a big car 221.9", this car handles smoothly, can weave in and out of traffic with ease. You could steer this car with one finger on the steering wheel.

This car's only flaw is, it like to drink gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2003

23rd Apr 2004, 08:02

In reference to big blocks, the 400 C.I. Chev engine was a small block, not a big block.

9th Aug 2004, 10:43

No, the 400c.i. is a "big block." 400c.i. and over are big block engines. The person above was correct. I mean how is 400c.i.s small? The biggest production engine was 505, so how is 400 small?

1973 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 400 CI 2BBL from North America

Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 400 CI 2BBL Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired30710 miles
Most recent distance30870 miles
Previous carChevrolet Monza

Summary:

Great street cruiser

Faults:

The only thing wrong I can find is I am replacing my original radiator tomorrow with a new one!! The car is in excellent shape for an original '73, also replacing new valve cover gaskets (have chrome edelbrock).

General Comments:

This is one of the best cars ever made. Years ago I had a '75 Impala with a 350 4bbl and it was awesome until the frame went!! I am a die hard Chevy fan and will always be!!! 73couch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd April, 2001

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews