This 1988 Caprice Proves That Alternative Hot Rods Can Be Cool

With the price of “collectible” cars skyrocketing, many enthusiasts are finding alternative models in which to build a hot rod. Case in point, Micah Sheveloff’s four-door Caprice. What’s not to like? It’s got a V8, looks great, has an awesome ride, and can carry a family of five quite comfortably.

“Initially, I fell in love with the ‘New Chevrolet’ in the summer of 1976,” says Micah. “I eventually decided to buy one and create an unconventional restomod version of this 1988 Caprice. It’s fitted with RP 9C1 (police package), and this B-body was available from the model years 1977 through 1990. Like most projects, there is a story and a journey that accompanies the car.”

Before and after shots show a dramatic difference any hot rodder can be proud of.

In 1996, Micah was the proprietor of a stereo installation company in Connecticut. “One day, Alpine came to me with the very first aftermarket GPS navigation system,” he states. “I realized that I needed a demo car and bought this from the town of Fairfield. The car had about 90,000 miles on it, and I was amazed at how well it stays flat through corners. It had a busted 700R4 transmission and a silly final drive ratio designed for pursuit.”

Micah took the car to a local body shop and had the guys remove the trim from the car. “We used a slightly modified version of the original color, to which I added a touch of silver and some metallic fleck,” Micah affirms. “They had a to address plenty of parking-lot dings, but the team working on the car were all hot rod guys and they did an excellent job. There are many layers of clear over the paint, and people still comment about it, and it’s been more than 20 years since it was applied.”

Automotive Restorations in Stratford, Connecticut did the mechanical work, which includes removing the engine and cleaning and refurbishing the frame. The car now has a Chevrolet Performance Fast Burn 385 crate engine with a Holley 750cfm carburetor. Rated at 385 horsepower and 385 lb/ft of torque, the Fast Burn 385 uses a forged-steel crankshaft, hypereutectic pistons, and a hydraulic-roller camshaft. Behind that is a rebuilt 700R4 with a manual lockup, custom driveshaft, Moser Engineering 9-inch rear with 3.73 gears, and Wilwood brakes.

Caprice

Micah says the 18-inch American Racing Wheels really set off the car’s appearance. We have to agree.

“Inside, I installed a Dakota Digital cluster with an integrated tachometer, no bolt-on tach for this car,” quips Micah. “Given my profession, I did build a music system in the car, but my approach to car stereos is very different than most. My system is invisible and was built for musical accuracy, not for sheer volume and thump. I kept and restored the factory bucket seats because they are so unique. Finally, I replaced the rubber flooring that comes with the 9C1 package with carpet.”

While many hold off buying a cool cruiser until they can find a ride that fits the popular perception of cool, Micah has chosen to build his own version of cool with an alternative ride that not many consider. Well done, Micah, well done.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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