Throughout its life, the Caprice was the most expensive and luxurious model in the Chevrolet full-size car range, which during its lifetime also included the Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala. Its exit without replacement after the 1996 model year would leave the Ford Crown Victoria, and its cousins the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, as the only traditional full-size American sedans.
The Caprice began life in mid-1965 as a luxury trim package for the Impala four-door hardtop sedan, in response to the successful Ford LTD series. This included a stiffer suspension, higher-grade cloth and vinyl seat and door trim (as well as thicker, higher-grade carpeting), walnut trim on the dashboard and door panels, pull straps on the doors, extra convenience lights, special full wheel covers and an optional vinyl top. The name for the Chevrolet Caprice was coined by Bob Lund (Chevrolet's General Sales Manager) after a classy restaurant he frequented in New York City. However, some say the Caprice was named after Caprice Chapman, daughter of auto executive and influential Indy-car official James P. Chapman.