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    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

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    solo79
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    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:22 pm

    Finally got another one!!! This is going to be my new project. A quick little back story. When I was 16, my dad bought me a 79 Chevy Caprice Classic 2-door for my first car and gave 750.00 for it in 1994. I drove/babied that car, and eventually turned it into a lowrider show car around 1999-2002 and won tons of awards with it. I have over 70 trophies from that car. It was shown in lowrider magazine a couple times and was named "Solo79." Unfortunately, due to financial circumstances in 2004, I was forced to sell it and hated every minute of it. I was the third owner of it and since 2004, it's had 14 owners and now resides somewhere in Detroit, Mi. I tried to buy it back in the last 2 years with no luck so I gave up on it and decided to buy another one. Here are some pictures of my former car. I know the lowriding hobby isn't for everyone and some frown upon it, but it's what I like to do and they way I do it, doesn't tear up the car since I'm an "easy on the equipment kind of guy." Anywhere here are the pics of my first car:













    Also, right before I sold it in 2004, it was featured on WWE Smackdown and Eddie Gurerro drove it out to the ring (when he was alive, he would drive lowriders out to the ring to face his opponent. That was a special night for me that I will never forget:





    So, that was my former car. I have a lot of memories with that one. In the next post, I'll post the pictures of the new '79 Caprice I just bought and brought home today.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:35 pm

    Holy Cow! dude you went all out on that one, pretty cool if you ask me. Im not too fond of the lowriders like many others, but it doesnt matter what I or anyone else thinks, its your car, your taste, its what makes us all different and interesting. But man that car has got a great story, too bad you couldnt get that one back. Sad to say, but as soon as that thing hit Detroit its gone. Im from Flint MI, and grew up in Flint, Detroit and Ann Arbor, so i know what goes down there lol, but I live in Charlotte NC now. But that car has beautiful blue paint, and that interior is something else! What car did those bucket seats come out of? Anyways thanks for posting.


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:42 pm

    So, it begins again and I'm really excited to finally have another one. It definitely needs a lot of work, but so did my first car. While my first car wasn't wrecked, it still looked pretty awful when I got it, but just like with that one, a little time and money and I will do it again, but this time, this one will be even nicer.

















    Ok, so here is the extent of the damage. It's not too bad really, it's just really hard to find parts for these cars now, but no matter how long it takes, I will find them.





    That front bumper has GOT TO GO!! The previous owner put that one because he couldn't find a correct one and it doesn't even look right at all. I needs a fender, headlight housing, headlight bezel, corner bezel and corner light. All in good time though.



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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:50 pm

    I picked this one up for $900.00 off craigslist just 15 miles from me and had no idea it was around since these cars have all but disappeared or have become race cars around here. This is a big racing town. My neighbor 2-doors down spotted this on my trailer and came down the street to try and buy it. I said nope, no race car death for this one...sorry.lol So many of them have went to that fate, so I saved this one. I think it's a good deal as it's pretty solid with just a few rust issues and all the interior is there although some of it will need replacing as far as the plastics. The previous owner started replacing some of the rear plastics and door panels with black trim and I'm not sure why the dash is black, but the cap is burgundy (maybe he replaced the whole dash?) I'm pretty sure it's a factory burgundy car, but anyway once I figure out my color scheme, it will all match. NO crush velvet this time. I'm doing something more "modern" and simple retaining mostly factory looks. I'm not sure on color scheme yet, but I've got some ideas. I'll be posting updates and progress as I go in this thread and I can't wait to get started!! First up, remove the dog house, pull the 350 and rebuild it because it has a low-end bad knock. Then, I need to find another 350 turbo transmission since this car has no transmission at all as the previous seller sold it separately. No biggie, 350 turbos are everywhere.

    Notice it's sitting high in the front? It had 24s on it.lol It's got spring blocks in the front (thank god they didn't body lift it), and air shocks in the back all which is getting removed. So there you have it!
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:57 pm

    GM B-Body Forum wrote:Holy Cow! dude you went all out on that one, pretty cool if you ask me. Im not too fond of the lowriders like many others, but it doesnt matter what I or anyone else thinks, its your car, your taste, its what makes us all different and interesting. But man that car has got a great story, too bad you couldnt get that one back. Sad to say, but as soon as that thing hit Detroit its gone. Im from Flint MI, and grew up in Flint, Detroit and Ann Arbor, so i know what goes down there lol, but I live in Charlotte NC now. But that car has beautiful blue paint, and that interior is something else! What car did those bucket seats come out of? Anyways thanks for posting.
    Thanks very much man!! Those buckets came out of an 80s cutlass. I chose them because they were tall and "fit the car well" also, they had these huge chrome plastic sides on them and they just looked great once they were all covered to match the interior. I'm going to do buckets in the new car too, but probably different ones this time. I've got so many ideas, but I'm in no rush on this one. It's definitely getting a full vinyl top again as I just love how that looks! I've got to find the small termination trim that goes on each side between the back glass and quarter glass since this car doesn't have it which I'm sure is going to be next to impossible to find those little pieces.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  kartmaster on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:17 pm

    Pretty cool. Not my thing, but I can appreciate the work that went into the first one. Hope you enjoy the second one just as much.

    Look forward to seeing the progress! Good luck!


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:43 pm

    Today, I got a few things removed from the front to inspect the damage closer.  Sorry, no pics, it started raining.  I removed the front grille, headlight bezels, headlights, and corner marker lights/bezels. I forgot how much of a pain it is to remove the corner surrounds with that one sneaky screw coming through the bottom which requires removal of the bumper filler to get to.  I also removed the headlight retainer trim rings and I had to drill out almost every screw as they were toast.  On my last car, I shaved the hood ornament.  This time around, I thought maybe I'll just put an Impala header on it, but I've never noticed before, but the Caprice header is all one piece with the headlight/grille opening, so that's out.  I'll never find that whole front piece.  Mine is damaged pretty badly in the passenger corner under the headlight and corner bezel.  Once screw location on both the headlight surround and corner bezel are completely gone along with some other pieces of fiberglass.  I may have to re-fiberglass the piece to repair it and make new screw mounting locations which shouldn't be too difficult since after all it's fiberglass.

    The front fender is definitely toast.  The side damage isn't too bad and cold probably be fixed, but the front edge is folded so badly around and twisted that I don't see that being easy to fix.

    Some other things I found which I expected.  In the trunk on each side in the lower wells behind the lower rocker trim there are sizable rust holes that will have to be patched.  I can see the back side of the trim with a flashlight.  Under the rear seat bottom on the driver's side is a "rust through" about 1" x 1" where the back window has been leaking for who knows how long.  I knocked all the rust out, so now there's a hole.  Same can be said for the passenger floor pan which I'll have to replace a lot of directly under the front seat.

    After washing the car, it leaks like a sieve.  Water goes over the top of the doors (the weatherstripping is bad shape), back window leaks, trunk leaks, and driver's side quarter window leaks.  The driver's side quarter window has some extra silicone around the trim.  Looks like I'll be removing all of the window trims and re-sealing all of the glass.  Nothing new to me, I've done it before.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:02 pm

    ooo man sounds like you got some work ahead of you, but yeah that car definitely had red interior, someone replaced it with the rare black interior, they should have done a complete swap. I personally like the black interior. you never see any of them with it. And that bumper looks likes its from an 87 and later caprice or impala, def doesnt look right with that huge gap in the grille. All in all you got yourself a nice solid car, and i wish i could help you more with finding parts. Just keep an eye out for ebay i guess, and i will too. you can get 80-90 parts all day, theyre killing us with the 77-79s lol


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:45 pm

    GM B-Body Forum wrote:ooo man sounds like you got some work ahead of you, but yeah that car definitely had red interior, someone replaced it with the rare black interior, they should have done a complete swap. I personally like the black interior. you never see any of them with it. And that bumper looks likes its from an 87 and later caprice or impala, def doesnt look right with that huge gap in the grille. All in all you got yourself a nice solid car, and i wish i could help you more with finding parts. Just keep an eye out for ebay i guess, and i will too. you can get 80-90 parts all day, theyre killing us with the 77-79s lol
    They are killing us on price too! I spied a NICE set of NOS taillight bezels on there that I would LOVE to have, but 200.00 is a lot of money. Rear license plate bracket...150.00 and it isn't even NOS. The sad thing is, if you can find one of these cars in a pull-apart, you will pay an 1/8th of what people on Ebay charge, but these cars don't show up in yards often anymore. There are now 4 yards around me that I've dealt with for years. They have my cell # so that if they get any 82-92 Camaro/Firebird, I get a call (I have two Firebirds also) and now they know to call me the instant they get a 77-79 Caprice or Impala. Hopefully there will be one soon.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:57 pm

    I know i hate that, they always ask too much on ebay. Maybe i should be put on a call list for my local pull a parts, sounds like a good idea.


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:06 pm

    I'm bidding on a nice re-chromed front bumper on ebay and I'm hoping I win it. We'll see. Hopefully, I can find a re-chromed rear one in the future too. I also went ahead and ordered the headlight surrounds from Classic Industries. Can't beat that price for new ones, so I had to go ahead and jump on that while they last. I just wish they had the corner bezels and I'd be set. If the screw holes don't line up perfectly, oh well...I'll make it work and no one will be the wiser and judging by the pictures they should look fantastic. I'll be sure and post some photos when I get stuff and if this rain ever stops.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:47 pm

    Nice, I bought those headlamp bezels from classic industries in late 2011, they still are the same price, and dont worry about the screws holes, i had to fight with mine a little bit, but they fit and look great. It would be nice to get those side marker bezels, now those i actually need. Id also like a new set of side markers all the way around, ive seen some nos ones for like 100 bucks each, and though i dont usually like getting raped for parts lol, i might have to buy them once i see some more for sale. I think we should all get together and talk to classic industries to make them start making more 77-79 parts, ill even let my car be a test dummy to get exact replicas.


    Last edited by GM B-Body Forum on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:11 pm

    I won the bumper!! Here is a couple of pictures from the auction:





    Now, since this is just the chrome face, I'm wondering if the inside part and mount from the bumper that's on my car will bolt into this one since it's from a later car. If not, I guess I'm going to have to find that too or modify! I never thought about that until I was looking at the other bumper today. Hopefully there's no difference.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:44 pm

    Awesome bro!! very nice, now here comes the task of getting the turn signals, the grille inserts, bumper guard strip, and i feel like the inner mounting piece will be different since this one is the "straight across" bumper, and the turn signals are different and ofcourse the grille inserts. But im sure theres a way to modify, if theres a will theres a way! I seen a set of grille inserts on ebay a month or two ago for a 79, but they wanted alot (like usual)


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:49 pm

    Progress today with pics!!



    Here is the damage to the header/headlight panel:





    I noticed something too. When I took off the front bumper, the only thing holding the chrome face was the bolts on the very bottom. There was nothing holding the top of the inner mount to the chrome and no provisions for it which I thought was odd. The only bolts around the top were holding on the plastic black molding. So, if that's the case, I think I can make the inner mount work on the 79 bumper, but we'll see. Yea, woe is me tracking down turn signal housings and grilles for it for a reasonable price, but all in good time. Also the front bumper filler on the passenger side although a little warped, is not torn, so I think I'll be able to re-use it by heating it a little to get it's shape back. It was actually pretty easy to bend back into it's original shape for the most part, but still needs a little finessing.

    Next up will be removal of the complete dog house, track down a passenger fender, and remove the engine.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:44 am

    For NOS parts, try here - http://www.jrschevyparts.com/1977-89_parts.htm
    I looked real fast and saw a few parts you could use.

    Did you ever think about going all-in and doing an independent rear suspension setup?
    Jaguar rear ends are pretty easy to do.......


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:12 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:For NOS parts, try here - http://www.jrschevyparts.com/1977-89_parts.htm
    I looked real fast and saw a few parts you could use.

    Did you ever think about going all-in and doing an independent rear suspension setup?
    Jaguar rear ends are pretty easy to do.......
    Hey thanks! I hadn't thought about the rear-end much, but since I have a "clean slate" car here, who knows.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:15 pm

    Well, I got my headlight bezels from Classic Industries and WOW, these are gorgeous. They are made in Taiwan, but look and feel fantastic. Haven't tried to mount them yet on the header panel (stupid rain). I guess I could bring the header panel in the house...

    I'm seriously going to contact Classic Industries and find out what it would take to have the front corner bezels reproduced. I mean, whatever company is making these headlight bezels could surely pull that off!
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:59 am

    I contacted OER about doing that about a week ago, still havent heard anything back. Maybe we need to contact that Taiwanese company, were they called DTM? I cant remember, i have my original bezels tucked away in the plastic the new ones came in, in the attic.


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:15 am

    I'll get mine out his evening and see if there is a company name on them. If they need two originals sent in, I could provide a driver's side in decent condition, but my passenger side one was completely obliterated.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  GM B-Body Forum on Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:58 pm

    wow look at this, this guy bought the hl bezels from classic industries, and is selling them for a fortune, i should contact him and say i know you got these from classic industries for 22 bucks lol http://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-Chevy-Caprice-Head-lamp-Bezels-Pair-NEW-/170950992724?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27cd792354&vxp=mtr


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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:24 pm

    GM B-Body Forum wrote:wow look at this, this guy bought the hl bezels from classic industries, and is selling them for a fortune, i should contact him and say i know you got these from classic industries for 22 bucks lol http://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-Chevy-Caprice-Head-lamp-Bezels-Pair-NEW-/170950992724?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27cd792354&vxp=mtr
    I saw that a few days ago and shook my head since I could clearly tell they were the ones from Classic Industries. I hate when people do that. Hopefully no one falls for it. Sites like this should help curb that. Classic is selling them for a great price and looking at mine again, they are beautiful!! I can't stop looking at them.lol

    Ok, so the company name is OTN Tong Yang. Here is some information I found in a quick search:
    Tong Yang Plastics Industry Company (OTN)
    Year founded: 1952
    Location on island: Tainan, in Southern Taiwan
    Products: Plastic bumpers, grilles, headlamps and fenders
    Markets: North America, Europe, Central and South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand
    Percentage of product to United States: 45 percent
    Size of facility: 240,000 square feet
    ISO-accredited: 1995
    QS-accredited: 1997
    CAPA-accredited: 1992
    Went public on Taiwan stock market: 1994
    Number of employees: 1,788


    I haven't actually been able to find a company website though with contact information. There are several other websites including a body shop website talking about them and it looks like they make all kinds of chrome plastic parts. I bet they could do the rear taillight bezels too!! I'm going to contact Classic Industries first and see what they say and then go from there.

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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  79treemaster on Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:36 am

    I wonder if Trim Parts might be interested in making some stuff. That tail light trim and the rear lenses are a hard part to find. Every reverse light I seen was either broken or cracked at the local yard when they have a car there.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:00 am

    79treemaster wrote:I wonder if Trim Parts might be interested in making some stuff.  That tail light trim and the rear lenses are a hard part to find.  Every reverse light I seen was either broken or cracked at the local yard when they have a car there.
    Luckily, both of my reverse lights on the new one I Just bought are in good shape. I shaved them on my last '79 (actually, I had custom metal panels made since filling a rectangular plastic hole would have been a nightmare). The panels on my car are a little warped, but the lenses/lights are in good shape.
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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  solo79 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:08 am

    Scored some parts!  I've got a 79 inner front bumper/brackets on the way.  Also, I had forgot there was a metal filler piece that attaches to the top of the bumper and the guy asked me if I needed it and I said YES.  So, that's coming as well.  Also, a set of quarter vinyl top trim molding pieces in good shape.  All for 170.00.  Thought that was pretty good.

    I also noticed that set of NOS taillight bezels came back on ebay. Ahhhhhhh, if only I had another 200.00.

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    Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

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