There's something to be said for unmodified, original cars of any kind, and if you're looking past this ultra-clean 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic, well, you're missing out on one of the great joys in this hobby: the feeling of a classic car that hasn't been altered. With just 64,231 original miles, it's affordable V8 fun with the kind of originality that attracts attention everywhere it goes.
These Malibus were very popular cars when they were new but they all seem to have been used up and thrown away; when was the last time you saw one? Repainted in original code 22 Light Blue, it looks the part of a late '70s cruiser, but the proportions are good enough to be considered sporty. This daily-driver car is clean, straight, and beautifully preserved with a great shine on the paint and sheetmetal that's never been twisted or rusty. For those of you looking to re-create the period, this car gets everything right, including the fresh razor-blade grille, the wheel arch moldings, as well as the new chrome bumpers that are in excellent shape. All the trim is in great shape, much like the finish, accentuating the graceful curve of the body that stretches from front to rear. Finished with new headlight bezels, chrome exhaust tips, and sparkling Rally sport wheels, this blue beauty really pops in person.
The light blue vinyl-and-cloth interior is surprisingly upscale-looking for the Malibu, sporting a great combination of original and refurbished components. The freshly recovered bench seats features comfortable crushed velour upholstery on the bottom and backing, adding a touch of sophistication to the Malibu's cabin. The door panels were nicely refurbished, the replaced carpets are plusher than most, which was typical of the era and if there's any place that shows wear, it's here, although a deep detail would restore its former glory. The dash has a fresh cap and is very handsome, wrapping around the driver and showing big, original gauges, with secondary controls underneath. It's equipped with factory A/C, which is always a welcomed option, along with the modern Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo that was neatly installed into the factory slot. The back seat is like new and the trunk is outfitted with its original fabric mat and a full-sized spare with jack assembly, as new.
Powering this slick blue 'Bu is the original, 305 V8 that still lives under the hood. It wasn't about huge horsepower in 1989, of course, but this nimble V8 makes nice torque and does it without completely killing fuel economy. It's smooth, competent, and if the past 41 years are any indicator, pretty darned reliable, too. It's completely stock under the hood, and aside from the usual maintenance items like belts, hoses, and tune-up parts through the years, it's 100% original. The A/C has a modern compressor, which is going to make it easy to service, and there's a dual master cylinder for the power brakes, but otherwise it is simply well maintained, not restored or upgraded. A standard TH200 3-speed automatic transmission lives behind it, and as long as you're looking around, note that it still carries its original catalytic converter, just ahead of a newer exhaust system. The shocks are newer and it may have had a brake job at some point from the looks of things, but otherwise it's very, very original, which is nice to see. Bright Rally sport wheels are factory-issued, which suit the low-key Malibu just fine and carry 225/70/15 BFGoodrich white-letter radials.
For those of you who remember these cars fondly, this is a nice find. Survivors are a lot of fun, and this one has been refurbished where it counts and is also very affordable. Call today!