11k Original Miles: 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

It is almost an inevitability that when a solid and clean Chevelle Malibu appears on the market, that it will generate plenty of interest amongst potential buyers. Well, that has certainly been the case with this 1971 Malibu. Since being listed for sale, it has not only attracted a total of 39 bids, but there are also 110 people who are watching the listing for this beauty. Of course, the fact that it has minimal rust and a genuine 11,000 miles on the clock will certainly have helped its cause. The Chevelle is located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has been really strong on this classic, and now that it has reached $15,000, the reserve has been met.

The paint on the Mulsanne Blue Malibu is largely original. It has received a touch-up on the front section of the passenger-side door, but the rest of it is believed to be untouched. Rust is limited to a few spots around the bottom corners of the rear window, which is both pretty minimal, and also isn’t unusual. The floors look rock-solid, as does the trunk pan. All of the lower body extremities are as clean as a whistle, and the paint itself still has a nice shine to it. In addition, the chrome and trim appear to be flawless, while the glass appears to be free of any defects. The Rally wheels are a nice touch, and these are also in good condition.

The interior of the Malibu presents nearly as well as the exterior, with only some marks and fading on the carpet to betray the car’s age. There is a small seam separation in the headliner, but this is something that should be repairable. The rest of the interior is in exceptional condition, and it is hard to believe that anyone has ever sat in the rear seat. In fact, the upholstery on the seats, door trims, and the rear trims look to be really nice. The reality is that there is nothing that requires urgent attention, so the Malibu could be used and enjoyed immediately. The vehicle hasn’t been loaded up with optional extras, but a push-button AM radio and a tilt wheel are nice touches.

For those of you who were hoping to spot a V8 under the hood of the Chevelle, I have some disappointing news for you. What we find is a 250ci 6-cylinder engine, a 2-speed Powerglide transmission, and power steering. As a combination, this was the least potent in the Malibu armory in 1971. A ¼ mile ET of 21.1 seconds from the 145hp six is not something that is going to set the pulse racing. However, the owner claims that the vehicle has a genuine 11,523 miles on the odometer, and it appears that he holds evidence to verify this. That could potentially leave the next owner facing a choice between leaving well-enough alone or dropping something more potent under the hood. In the car’s defense, the owner says that it runs and drives like new. With so many V8 Malibus gracing our roads today, maybe retaining the six could be a point of difference. What do you think?

There is no doubt that this 1971 Chevelle Malibu is a tidy and solid vehicle, and that even in six-cylinder form, it is a desirable car. The jury is out on whether it should be left as it is, or whether the drivetrain should receive a bit of a boost. One thing that I can be sure of is that we will have plenty of readers who will be able to put forward sound arguments for both cases. So it will not only be interesting to read these but to see whether any of our readers are interested in bidding on this beauty.

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  1. Howard A Member

    Nice find, but $15 grand? Really? For a 6 cylinder Chevelle that clearly has 111K. Interiors can be kept clean, but the underside photos kill it everytime. Simply flabbergasted, a car like this is bringing this kind of money.

    • Jack M.

      Unfortunately Howard you can’t go down to your local Chevrolet dealer and order a new ‘70-72 Chevelle. As long as everyone is reliving their high school fantasies, the sky is the limit on these. Check back next year when this car has a 454 and black SS stripes on it.

  2. Daleone3

    Whoever buys this is going to have to write some checks. The bottom corners of the rear glass are just the tip of the iceberg. Once you poke at this this will turn in to a major repair, not to mention all the water that has been weeping in to the trunk. Like Jack M said, they ain’t making them no more so someone will buy it to fill that memory from 1971. Probably be fine if you just drive it and enjoy it but I would not go within ten feet of that with a grinder unless you want it to drop a ton of weight. Mileage….maybe BUT only if they have every bit of paper on it and it can be substantiated via registrations, maintenance, etc.

    • Ron G

      I had a ’72. Those bottom corners of the rear glass were the first spots to go. Next was the trunk floor as the water leaked from above and the salty CT roads worked from below. I was so disappointed.

  3. Greg T.

    11k miles, My Eye! A very nice driver but I agree with Howard regarding skepticism on the mileage. Still a very nice driver with alot of potential.

  4. jerry z

    Supply and demand, basic economics. I would never pay that price but a NJ car with that little rust, saves a lot of money on body work.

  5. Bob C.

    A 307 or 350 would be much more desirable. But don’t be too quick to knock the six banger. My 72 Lemans had the same engine and transmission, and believe it or not, it topped out at 100 mph. It didn’t really get much better fuel economy than my buddy’s 69 Chevelle with a 350 and TH350.

  6. Classic Steel

    Rusty and letting rain in trunk around windows are dogged in rust. To be honest surprising it didn’t get taken to shop to weld some metal in years back.

    Its a six banger not the big block and just woweee its mad money spent…. awaiting for the crash on classic prices…

    Don’t expect a big ROI after 15 grand on paint and body repair 👀💰

  7. art

    Daleone3 is spot on. I had a lifetime in California 70 GTO that had less rust around the rear window that this Malibu, BUT when I took out the rear package shelf trim…bang.
    Major rust to the shelf and C pillar inner structure. Getting into the trunk and looking up into that C pillar area with a light was eye opening! Severe metal deterioration. That is an area that can only be accessed by removing the C pillar and quarter panel, not easy nor for the faint of heart.
    There was zero rust anywhere else on my car and my floor pans and trunk were cleaner than this Malibu. This rust damage was hidden. The buyer, if not knowledgeable about GM “A” body cars, will be in for a $urprise.

  8. Duaney Member

    This car could have easily racked up 110,000 in the first few years and then parked.

  9. 433jeff

    For this kinda cash , and its going to be someones rebody, but now the dynacorn isnt all that ridiculous, im going the old familar route with my , bone with title. But if i had the money to do it right, go dynacorn and be set, Some guy said the mustang dynacorn was put together better than Henry ever did. In 1981 I bought a numbers match 396 4 speed red black car for 375$ but thats an old story

  10. Steve

    11,000 miles. That’s the funniest thing I heard all day.

  11. Del

    Nice car.

    Max 6 grand

    But if you need it for your big block fixations, then 15 it is

    • Steve R

      You are way off at $6,000. That might be what you are willing to pay, but the market has moved way beyond that.

      Steve R

      • Daleone3

        Couldn’t agree more Steve R. There really is no “market” at this point. It comes down to what is someone willing to pay for a car and two door 70’s cars are about the only affordable option for entry in to the hobby. Whether it is driven as is or hot rodded really doesn’t matter. Someone will buy it and maybe love it or maybe find out the hard way that a “little rust” is never the case and go broke trying to get ahead of it. I may be selling my C10 at some point. The price I will put on it will be not based on Mecum or BJ but more so on what I think someone would pay for it, a realistic price that gets me interested buyers but all it really takes is one guy.

  12. dave

    Cant we just get the tag off the ate up red ’71 listed here and do some magic? Maybe the rat motor while we’re at it?

    • Bob S

      Dave, I commented in the other 71 saying deal of the week, only $10k for a vin tag, now only $15k for this, add another 30-40 large for the build, (conservatively), and you’ll have one bad to the bone $25k ride!!

  13. RG in PDX

    This was my fifth grade teacher’s car (well, not this one, but one just like it). I wonder what Miss Hood is driving these days?

  14. Tom Kolde

    I had a 72 Malibu that had 42,000 on it when I bought it in 1978 for $2000. It was mint green w/ a white top. Had a 307 in it. I found some bucket seats, a console out of a 70 442, and put a HP 327 in it & painted it lazer green. Put a sunroof in it & a landau black vinyl top…..that car was sharp AND fast. Mickey Thompson deep dish polished mags. 70’s on the front & 50’s on the back & that car would smoke those big fat tires.

  15. Troy s

    The kind of Chevelle that was the basis for numerous builds, from mild street machine to quarter mile terror all the way to local stock car racing, well, it seemed that way anyways.
    People were making cracks about eight grand for a Falcon posted yesterday, I hope they feel the same way about fifteen grand for a sleepy six Chevelle. Hardy Har har.

  16. SMDA

    Gotta agree, Dynacom all the way. If you are going to spend the money for a car to build yourself, keep and enjoy, do it right and make what you want. It is a more purist way in this hobby anyway. Just because something is original doesn’t make it a good idea for the hobbyist, just for the stupid investor. ROI? who cares, by then many of us will be dead anyway. Cars are for fun and to drive, not to make money. Making money on them has put a damper on the hobby for far too many of us.

  17. JC

    This isn’t the first time this cars been “sold”… and the bids jumped from 12,301 to the 15k reserve just like that… seems odd.

  18. Bill T

    Reminds me so much of my 1st car, back in 1980: my dad’s 1st brand new car originally……1970Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, the same typical GM A body rear glass rust out eventually developed. Otherwise, a great Chev! I do believe I need another one. Ha Ha Ha😁

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