Chevy Enthusiast via Hooniverse: An Alternative; The 1994 – 96 Caprice Wagon


If you had a chance to read the article on the 1994 to 1996 Impala SS Buyers Guide, good. These cars have an almost cult like following within the collector car community. Asking prices have remained steady, with unmolested and original vehicles actually increasing in value sharply. There is an alternative to this “Corvette” of four-door sedans, and that would be the Caprice Wagon – Just ask any true fan of Hooniverse.


In 1955 Chevrolet introduced the breathtaking Chevrolet Nomad, and by 1957 it was offered with Fuel-Injection. These “Wagons” turned up the styling bar to “11” and forever put to rest the notion that a wagon could be anything but a pedestrian driving appliance. The Nomad had it all: Performance, style, and cargo room. In 1964, Chevrolet offered a two-door Chevelle Wagon, and it was available with most of the performance hardware of the Chevelle SS, without the nameplate. By the early 70’s, these faux-wood beasts could be equipped with high-performance 350, 400, or 454 power.

During the 1991 model year, the long anticipated redesign of the GM full sized, rear-wheel-drive, sedans and station wagons made their debut. The previous version was marketed by all GM divisions, and were largely unchanged since their 1977 introduction. Originally, only Chevrolet was going to offer the wagon, but a slightly stretched model was offered by both Buick and Oldsmobile. There was nothing muscular about these cars, and the Chevy version only offered a 5.0L V-8 that produced 170 HP, and only 255 Lb-Ft of Torque, which was barely adequate to power these leviathans with anything approaching authority.
However, for 1993, these cars received a needed and long awaited heart transplant in the form of a derivative of the Corvette LT-1 taking up room in the engine compartment. This engine put out over 260 HP, and 330 Lb-Ft of Torque. Car & Driver Magazine took one out on the drag strip at that time and recorded a 7.8 time doing 0-60. Quarter mile times were 15.6 seconds, with a trap time of 90 MPH. These sound slow compared to today, but remember, these were wagons that approached 5,000 pounds.

These wagons were discontinues in 1996 at the same time the Impala SS, and Buick Roadmasters were. Station Wagons on a whole are one of the hottest segments within the collectible cars market, and the Caprice Wagon, Buick Roadmaster Wagon, and to a lesser extent, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Wagon are leading the way. Think of these as latter day Chevy Nomads with big power in a refined package. They will never be confused with an SUV, and really stand out in the sea of sameness. It signifies an end to a glorious past of American cars.
Read the entire article on the Impala SS and the alternative purchase, the Caprice Wagon here.

0 Comments

  1. There's a '91-'92 Olds Custom Cruiser in slightly rough shape parked in a driveway a couple blocks from where I live. Only around 12,000 in total were built, and they're pretty rare on the street nowadays. Unfortunately, the model didn't live long enough to get the hot V8. It was kind of a solitary orphan because, unlike Buick and Chevy, Olds didn't have a sedan counterpart to the wagon.

  2. There's an '88-'91 LTD Crown Vic wagon that comes through the recycling center. Aside from the rake-like aftermarket antennas mounted to the rear bumper, it's essentially stock and in great shape. It's light blue with woodgrain, and I want it desperately for its utility and the aftermarket available for the 302.

  3. my dad sold his '94 caprice sedan (well.. technically traded it for a '91 SHO and a VW) and i have lusted after the wagon versions (mainly the roadmaster & olds custom cruiser… but also the caprice wagon) since…. my younger brother has a '95 caprice with the 9C1 package… and it makes me want one that much more… i've driven it a number of times and that torque cannot be matched (in the same "age group")… (mom's 2nd yr. hemi-magnum doesn't do as well as it should (although it's still fun as hell) )
    i've come across a couple of roadmaster sedans for sale over the years… but they were torn to sh!t or way out of a reasonable price range (even when shown the cash in hand)…………. so that sucks…
    i dream of a vista cruiser… next up (wagon-wise) is a custom-cruiser/roadmaster with the middle seat skylight….
    ((*side note.. i grew up in 80's station wagons.. mostly in the rear-facing back-back… putting on puppet shows for those who followed behind us…. i want my kids to have the same experience…. and i want the peace that the 8 foot space between driver and rear end provides…))

  4. There's one just like the title pic just down the street from my house that I've never seen move since we moved into the neighborhood 9 years ago. It must move occasionally because it has good rubber and current tags, and is always clean. Guy always waves to me when I drive by, obviously because he knows my love of Wagons. Thanks UDMan, for inspiring me to actually stop and talk to a guy that lives about ten houses away.

  5. If I had the time/money/space/etc. I'd find the nicest 1991 or '92 Custom Cruiser I could (preferably a TBI 305-powered one), drop in a GMPP eRod LS3/4L60E, a beefier rear end, beefier brakes, 9C1 suspension, and leave the exterior pretty much stock, including the wheels (okay, maybe I'd throw on a set of "15 Olds SS IIs).
    Oh, the fun I would have toying with punks who think their Honda/Mustang/Brah Truck is the shizz…

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