NOTE: Today’s guest post is by Mark Davidson, another ex-Cantankerous Coot commenter whom has migrated over to RG. He is a fellow Broughamophile and some of his other cars include an ’88 Olds Custom Cruiser and a 1959 Super 88. Please give him a warm welcome! -TK
So good evening. Would you like for me to tell you a story over cocktails?
I’ll start out with this. The next block over from the Avenue of the misfit toys where I live, a friend of mine sold a house and behind that house was a ’65 turquoise color Corvair, a ’65 Mercury Monterey breezeway, a Mercedes of sorts and a ’76 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon.
I knew him when he had that wagon on the road and it was gorgeous. As a matter of fact, I would drive by his house in my 1988 Oldsmobile, which I just bought back last September, and do a side-by-side comparison in the middle of the street. I was so envious of Woodie’s wagon.
Fast forward about a year, Woodie fell on ill health and sold his house to someone who I quickly befriended. I knew those cars were still behind the house and they had to go. I called Woodie on the phone and asked him if he would like to sell the car.
He said make me your offer and don’t be afraid to insult me. I called my husband and told him about my adventures for for the day. You never know what happens over here on the Avenue of the misfit toys! I told him I was going to offer $800 and my partner Todd said that’s not insulting enough. So I called Woodie back and offered him $500 for the car.
He brought the title and the keys over an hour later. The next day we had to get that car out of there. I knew it ran at one time and when I took the possum out of the battery compartment, put a little bit of gas in her and a fresh battery, she started right up.
I had to pump up the tires and I drove her around to the front of my house and detailed the hell out of her. The next few pictures will show you that moment.
I got the wagon licensed and insured. I was so excited to have my wagon in the garage next to the new one. As you can see in the next few pictures.
So excited that I decided to put it on an international station wagon forum. I got a message from some dude in Adelaide Australia.
He said he wanted to buy my car. Of course, Internet and halfway around the world and some dude wants to put money in my bank account.
Well it turns out to be true. His name was Mike and he flew from Adelaide Australia with his business partner and his son bought my car, sight unseen.
They stuck around Saint Pete for a while while we got the car road ready to travel to Los Angeles and be put on a container ship.
The gang sent photographs along the way but that was many iPads ago and I don’t know where those pictures are.
And that’s the story of the ’76 Caprice Estate Wagon purchased for $500. It was a nine passenger wagon with every single possible accessory. Power everything. It was a 400 engine and it had 128,000 miles on it when I bought it.
It ran like a dream. I know Mike was so excited because he was looking for a car exactly like this for years. I’ve followed it a few times in that station wagon forum.
After selling the station wagon to the Australians, I ended up purchasing an ’85 El Dorado, the ’66 Corvair and the ’85 Shelby Charger, which I still have in my garage today. All of them. It was a good deal!
I learned to drive in a ’74 version of that car, only without the 3rd row seats and with the 350. That was the car in which I made Dallas to Houston (245 miles) in less than three hours one time.
But god, those things were HUGE!
Glad you were able to save the wagon. Seeing the wraparound back window next to the more formal 88 might make you guess it was the newer.
Deal of the century! Did the clamshell tailgate work properly? Such a cool feature on the 71-76 wagons.
We had a 1973 Caprice Estate Wagon that had the same external color scheme, and was beige on the inside. But – ours had a 454! That was one of the cars in which I learned to drive. When I thought I was far enough away from the house, I’d stop and flip over the air cleaner cover, allowing that 4-bbl Rochester to breathe. Then I’d hit the gas and listen to beautiful big-block sounds. Unfortunately, I never was quite far enough from the house, so I’d get caught. Over and over…
*VERY* glad you saved it and that someone who really cherishes it has it now .
I miss those old Land Barges, working hard (the movie studios used them as cast movers) or full of happy screaming children cris crossing the U.S. of A. decades ago .
I had a $150 1968 Chrysler full size wagon in the mid 1970’s, it was robust and smooth , plenty of room too darn big for my taste ~ I replaced the noisy U-Joint and sold it on for $350 .
Most of all I think I miss my near cherry 1962 Ford Ranch wagon with 289 V8, it wasn’t fancy but it was a truly great car .
In 1976, a Caprice Estate Wagon was my dream car.
Good on you for saving it.
Yes Sir! Took my road test in that exact beast. The draggin wagon as my friends would call it.
Would love to find one of my own one day.