Chevrolet Caprice Classic 9C1 Police Car Junkyard Gem

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Chevrolet Caprice Classic 9C1 Police Car Junkyard Gem

We saw a junkified Ford P71 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in Colorado last month, so it’s only fair that we take a look at the P71’s only serious rear-wheel-drive competition during the 1990s: the Chevrolet 9C1 Caprice Classic. Here’s a final-year-of-production ex-police Caprice, spotted in an Arizona self-service wrecking yard.

The base engine in the civilian 1996 Caprice was the 200-horse 4.3-liter V8, but we will speak no further of an engine good only for chasing perps in Toyota Tercel EZs. 9C1 Caprices got the mighty 5.7-liter LT1 V8, rated at 260 horsepower.

The digital odometer means we can’t say how many miles are on this car, but you know they’re all hard miles, involving much curb-jumping and idling for hours in 120° desert air.

As recently as 15 years ago, every single police-car spotlight would be grabbed out of cars in self-service yards like this one, but few want to install these very useful accessories in their daily drivers these days.

The “Whale” Caprice wasn’t a huge civilian sales success, with your typical big-Detroit-sedan purchaser preferring the Mercury Grand Marquis or even the many members of the Chrysler LH family. The New York Times all but wrote GM’s obituary when it appeared.

It was more powerful than the P71 Crown Victoria, though, with just as much space for police equipment, paperwork and bodily-fluids-leaking back-seat passengers, and police departments didn’t mind the car’s bulbous appearance.

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