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1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

GM shrank its B-Body full-sized models for the 1977 model year, including the massive-selling Chevrolet Caprice/Impala. This proved a wise move in light of certain geopolitical events a couple of years later, and the 1977-1979 full-sized Chevrolet coupes got a cool “fastback” wraparound rear glass treatment.

Here is such a car, spotted in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, front seats - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThough this car was once someone’s customized pride and joy, with metalflake green paint and aftermarket wheels, its glory days are decades in the past. After a long downward spiral, during which its interior got thoroughly mangled and faded, it ended up in the scrap-metal ecosystem.

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, headliner repair - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsMost junked General Motors cars from the 1970s and 1980s have tattered headliner cloth held in place with thumbtacks.

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, 350 engine - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsUnder the hood, a 350-cubic-inch (that’s 5.7 liters, for those of you who don’t speak freedom) V8 engine generated a depressingly small number of horses. I don’t even have the heart to look it up. Actually, chances are this is the car’s third or fourth small-block V8, since these engines get swapped the way some people change their shoes.

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, rear glass - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThis piece of glass is worth something, but the nightmare of shipping one to a buyer (who will have a 97 percent chance of being angry about some minor flaw) rules out all but the most industrious and patient parts sellers. I went back to this yard a couple of weeks after shooting these photos and the rear glass was still on the car.

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, wheel - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsTry to imagine this car when it looked cool, not the way it appears today.


GM did a big advertising blitz on the new, smaller, full-sized Chevrolets.

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