69 Caprice Convertible
Okay folks, here's a mystery for you. I've been puzzled for years by this car, and now I'm going to make a concerted effort to find out the real story.
This is a car bought by my father in 82 in Tri-Cities Washington. It's a 69 convertible car, with a numbers matching 427 in it, badged as an SS car. Nothing unusual, right? Well here's the funny part; it's a convertible, and it's a Caprice. Before the age of the internet, I didn't think of anything funny about that. It was before my time, and I assumed 69 SS Caprice Convertibles were normal. But as it turns out, there was no such beast as far as I can tell.
The VIN decodes as a 69 Impala Convertible big block, but the car is Caprice in every way. Its got all of the correct badging and parts. The hide-away headlights. The interior wood trim with integrated Caprice insignias. The door panels are original Caprice. The power windows and locks. The astro ventilation. The hood mounted turn signal indicators. The electric trunk unlock. Everything. It's definitely a Caprice. I've attached a picture of the interior with the Caprice door panels (note the convertible top switch in the matching dash).
It's also definitely a factory convertible. The VIN and fender tag both decode as a 69 Impala convertible, and the original Caprice dash has the integrated hydraulic convertible switch in it.
And finally, there's nothing I've found that can prove it's not an SS. It's got all of the right parts and badging (including the steering wheel which you see in the photo). It's got a numbers matching 390HP 427. The disc brakes, sway bars, etc. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a build sheet, and I'm told 69 is a pretty easy year to fake the SS pieces. Any advice on what to look for to prove or disprove is welcome.
7 years ago this car was stolen out of my garage, and it was eventually recovered, but much of the trim and badging was not returned. At the time I got it repainted and put back together, but never to original condition. Now I'm at a point where I want to really restore the car. But I want to do it true to the origins of the car, and I don't know what those are.
So here's the question: What is this car? It's been in my family for almost 30 years, but it's still a mystery to me. I've included a picture of the VIN and fender tags. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.