This 1968 Caprice sat in a barn for 30-years before it was rescued by Barry Lutz of Yacolt, Washington. “It only has 111-thousand original miles on it,” Joe said, “but it was rotten to the core.” A three-decade stay in an old barn might sound like paradise for an old Chevy like this, but if the floor is dirt and the roof is old, you’re not getting much protection from the moisture that eats away at the old steel.
Barry found this in the barn with the original 327 cubic-inch small-block Chevrolet engine and drove it around with the old small-block turbo-fire V8 for a little while. It didn’t take long before the little 300-horsepower small-block felt slow and it was time for an upgrade.
The new engine is a 500 cubic-inch big-block Chevy that Barry built back in 2015. “I usually run with an 871-blower motor too,” Barry explained, “But that scares the wife so we put the tunnel-ram back on to bring it down a bit.” Now that’s something we don’t hear all that often, putting a tunnel ram on to bring it down.
The 500 cubic-incher is fueled by a set of twin 780cfm Holley double pumper carburetors. The engine is followed by the factory turbo-400 automatic transmission with a 4000 stall converter and the factory 10-bolt 2.73:1 geared rearend.
The color scheme is something that Barry just sort of came up with on the fly, but it looks great on the car. The two-toned blue and silver is reminiscent of the time during the ‘90s when custom paint like this was the in thing to do. We think that it still holds up as a style and we really like what Barry did with the car. After all, the first thing we saw was the color.
The interior is all original except the seat covers. While there was a lot of rust in the car, the durable old vinyl was spared and the interior remains in decent original condition. The seats of cars in this vintage often have to be recovered because unlike door panels, headliners, and package trays, the seats have weight and movement placed on them. We’ve seen flawless original seats burst at the seams after the first use in decades because the seams dry rot and lose their strength.
Other enhancements Barry has made to the car are the MSD electronic ignition, Auto Meter instruments, and some chrome dress-up work under the hood. Overall it’s a really nice car that’s great for cruising, but when he throws that blower on the big-block, it’s also good for a day at the track. “It’s all old school,” Barry explained, “This is what a daily driver looks like.”
We love Barry’s Caprice, and we’d love to see what you folks are driving out there. If you love it, odds are good that we will too, so shoot us an email with a couple pictures and a little information on your ride, you might just see it here as one of our Street Features.