1981 Chevrolet Caprice Reviews

1981 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 5.0L V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 5.0L V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired193000 miles
Most recent distance219000 miles
Previous carVolvo 740

Summary:

Old, yet reliable and cheap to fix

Faults:

Wrong carburetor when I received the car. Replaced it with one I got at a junkyard.

Exhaust fell off at the 200,000 mile mark. It had been replaced by the previous owner and was hung incorrectly. Replaced with an exhaust off a 1990 caprice from the junkyard.

Wiper motor went at the 195,000 mile mark. Replaced with part from junkyard.

Various small problems ranging from cracked dash to small oil leak/burn.

General Comments:

All in all, I miss this car more than any other car I've owned. I wasn't quick or flashy, but it handled well, had the greatest steering I've ever encountered, and was cheap to fix.

Unfortunately, due to its large engine, and its preference for 89 octane fuel, the running costs were too high for me to keep up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2004

1981 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Olds 350 V8 w/4 barrel from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Olds 350 V8 w/4 barrel Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired188000 miles
Most recent distance192000 miles

Summary:

Inexpensive comfort, reliability, and power

Faults:

Transmission replaced due to previous driver misuse.

350 diesel replaced due to previous driver misuse.

Starter replaced for added reliability, but it was an unnecessary replacement.

Entire braking system replaced, brakes went out at 190,000 miles.

Diesel fan clutch went out at 192,000 miles.

Tail pipe fell off on a bump.

Various storage and care related problems such as a cracked dash.

General Comments:

This car is a boat, but with the 350 in it, it has quite a bit of power. Very good acceleration, probably due to the huge amount of torque (~330lbs/ft with the Olds) and the rear drive configuration.

Incredible room, it's very comfortable. Seats anywhere from four to ten.

Classic trim package makes the car look very nice, honestly. A lot of tasteful chrome and beautiful wheels make the rather bland base body style look like a completely different car.

This car is a lot of fun to drive, with sunroof and a good size v8. This car would be great for any high schooler who wants inexpensive power coupled with a fun cruising car.

Car makes me want to just take it slow and cruise around at 25, all the while knowing that if a V6 Mustang/Firebird/Camaro comes up next to me at a stop light, I've got him beat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2001

13th Oct 2001, 16:42

I have an 81 Caprice Classic wagon ex diesel. Now powered by a 350 Olds backed by a th400 I put in a month ago. I got the car for free, I couldn't pass the deal knowing that the 350 only had 1500k. But tranny was original and was shot, but I was still up for it.

The interior is cherry and exterior needs paint and other things.

I love the car, it's got more guts then you would expect. It does some street racing and chasing, it's beat every pimped Honda it's been up against. The only thing that is thumbs down about the car is its slow acceleration, but once it's going it hauls.

The Caprice has almost cost me no money in parts. The th400 came from a junked 77 Olds, it works great, the fuel filter came from the 77 Olds and the radiator came from another junked Pontiac Bonnevile ex diesel. All those parts were free.

The only thing that cost was filling the tranny and tuning up the 350. Gas is expensive, it's a guzzler. I like the fact that it has no fuel emmissions at all for its year.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 2 reviews