In 1991 I reviewed the fourth generation Caprice Classic in Jeddah Saudi Arabia
Today’s #ThrowBackThursday goes back to 1991 when I reviewed the fourth generation Chevrolet Caprice Classic in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The ‘Beached Whaled’ or ‘Soap Bar’ as it was referred to was radically different to the boxy, square-jawed previous Caprice Classic. Such a shock was it in Saudi, where the ‘Cabrice’ was a huge seller, that values of the previous car actually went up, and people started importing used cars from America.
Famously Saudis would go to the States for a holiday and pick up a couple of these and by the time they got them back and sold them, the cost of their holiday was covered.
One story goes that an elderly couple were terrified as they were chased down and pulled over by a determined Arab on the American freeway. But their fears were soon allayed when he offered them silly money for their pristine third generation Caprice Classic!
Personally I still like the old sharp-suited car, which is now firmly in the classic status and I particularly have a soft spot for the rare two-door coupe versions.
But considering that under the skin of this fourth-gen car, mechanically it was still pretty much the same car, I was surprised by how easily I was seduced by the driving charm of this gargantuan comfy cruiser – smooth, potent, easy to pilot and just extremely likeable. It really wasn’t hard to see why these were so popular in Saudi in their day.
Sadly GM never really followed these up with a truly worthy successor – the sixth gen car was based on the smaller Australian Holden Commodore – which was a more sporty drive, but didn’t quite provide the decadent feel-good factor – or a front bench seat – that the true Classic did!
A worthwhile investment if you find a good one though!