Greg, in 1966 we purchased a Chevrolet Caprice station wagon. It was a dealer demo and had 3,000 miles on it and a window sticker a little over $4,000. I paid about $3,500 for it, and it is a six-passenger model.

Q: Greg, in 1966 we purchased a Chevrolet Caprice station wagon. It was a dealer demo and had 3,000 miles on it and a window sticker a little over $4,000. I paid about $3,500 for it, and it is a six-passenger model.


Our Caprice wagon came equipped with Chevy's new 396-cubic inch V8 with 325 horsepower, a Turbo 400 automatic transmission, factory AC, limited slip differential, all the powers, top carrier, rear defroster and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.


We used it as a family car and raised our four sons and transported several troops of Boy Scouts in it on a regular basis. Our station wagon was repainted in 1976, and we began showing our wagon in 1978 at the Starbird Car Show in Kansas City, along with other car shows. We also drive in parades and small shows near Pittsburg, Kan.


We are interested in your opinion - how much you feel it is worth, the rarity of the 396 and how many were made. We also have a sales brochure of the Chevy wagon in the same color as ours, Sandal Wood Tan. Thanks much for your help. Roy Weston, Pittsburg, Kan.


A: Roy, Chevy built a total of 185,500 station wagons in 1966. Of the total, 18,100 were six-cylinder models, while 167,400 were V8 powered wagons. All Caprice wagons were V8 powered and came with simulated wood on the sides (the first Woody Chevy released since 1954). As for nailing down the exact production, your body plate can help identify what number your car is, but Chevy did not release any official numbers for a Caprice Classic 396 wagon. If I were to guess, I'd say 19,000 might be a good number.


Overall, you and your family are sitting on one beautiful wagon, which is escalating in price as the years go by. That 396 is the exact same motor that powered the popular 1966 Chevelle SS 396, where near 80,000 were sold to muscle car enthusiasts. However, since the Caprice line all came with V8 engines under the hood, be it convertible, coupe, sedan or wagon, I'd opine that the 396 is the rare one of the bunch, as Caprice wagon consumers had several small blocks to choose from, including several 283 and a 327 engines. There was also a 427 in 390 and 425 horse versions available, but I can't find any factory Caprice wagons that came with this powerhouse as a four-speed was standard.


As for price, NADA agrees that the 396 is the rare engine, and adds 35 percent to the value. Currently, NADA lists your car as an average retail of $12,960 to a high retail of $27,000. Remember, these are price estimates, but looking at your pictures, I'd say yours is indeed of the "high-retail" price. That's not bad for a car that you bought for $3,500 back in 1966. Good luck with your 396 Caprice Classic Wagon. It's a beauty.


Greg Zyla writes weekly for GateHouse Media and welcomes reader questions on classic cars and auto nostalgia at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.