1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 4-door 5.7 Liter 4-bbl V8 (350) from North America


More faithful than an old fashioned wife


Besides normal maintenance, one catlytic convertor.

Rear brake cylinders and lines twice.

Front brake lines.

Front brake rotors several times.

Master cylinder.

Drivers seat (from being worn out from use).

2 paint jobs.

Front windshield (from years of wind, sand, rain snow, and hail erosion).

Rear differential.

All transmission and differential seals.

Rear and front main seals (front main replaced along with a timing chain).

Two timing chains, one at 321,000 miles (broken) and one at 567,000 miles (preventative maintenance).

2 head gaskets at 463,000 miles.

Manifold gasket at 403,000.

Valve cover gaskets several times.

Several oil pan gaskets.

Oil pan (wrecked from hitting a beaver in Ontario)

All 4 ball joints twice.

Tie rod and tie rod ends twice.

Heater core at 478,000.

Wiper motor at 510,000.

A/C compressor.

A/C recharged several times.

2 alternators.

Dimmer switch at 663,000.

Horns at 335,000.

That's all I can think of, off hand...

General Comments:

For anyone who says American cars aren't dependable, eat this. The mileage is no joke. For 20 years I traveled around the Midwest selling vacuum cleaners, me and Cherry (my red '78 Chevy). After 23 years over 700,000 miles of nearly trouble free driving, Chevy and this car deserve a standing ovation.

This car was never and still is not pampered or severely abused. The only pampering I gave it was its rustproofing and 2 paint jobs, and now I'm looking at #3. All I've ever done is changed the oil every 3000-5000 miles on highway trips, changed the tranny fluid every 60,000 and kept tires on it. It doesn't really use much oil anyway, I've never had to add between changes.

Gets near 20 MPG on the highway at 70 MPH. The motor and tranny are still original, There's still a bit of Chevy Orange paint showing on the engine block, under all that grease and grime.

The only time I've been stranded, except for snow or mud, was near Ft Dodge, IA when my timing chain went out one time. And there was the one time I skidded of a bank one icy March Morning in MN, nose first right into the Des Moines River. Cherry was buried over her hood in ice, water, and mud for nearly 7 hours until a tow truck could get to me. We took her to a garage, gave her a bath, and let her dry overnight. When I started her the next morning, she spit and sputtered at first, puking some slime and ash you wouldn't believe out the exhaust, and after a few minutes, was running like new and ready to go again.

This car doesn't have On-Star, GPS, ABS, and all that other computerized jazz. But it does have something many modern cars don't R_E_L_I_A_B_I_L_I_T_Y. Her only options are an AM/FM stereo radio (which I finally upgraded to something more modern), power drivers seat, power locks, split bench seat, rear defogger, engine block heater, A/C, and the 350 V8.

Thank you for 23 years Chevy, maybe she'll go 1,000,000 miles yet!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2001

14th Jun 2001, 11:54

That's one awesome Caprice, they are great cars, as are all Chevys. My dad had a 1986 Chevy pickup with a full dumping bed, and she went through a lot of towing a payload tortures. Even with all the strain, the motor went through 400,000 grueling miles until the head cracked! Cherry sounds like quite a car.