15k Mile Survivor? 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle

The Chevy Chevelle’s that were built between 1973-77 are part of the Colonnade generation of General Motors’ intermediates. This design eliminated the pillarless hardtops of earlier models, creating something of a cocoon for the cars’ occupants. We’re told this beautiful example from 1976 is a two-owner automobile that only has 15,000 miles on the odometer. Available here on craigslist for $16,500, this Chevy currently calls Los Angeles, California home. Hats off to Pat L. for another of his finds.

GM entered the mid-size car market in 1964 and the Chevelle was Chevrolet’s entry. With full-size cars getting bigger and compacts coming online, a void had been created. Ironically, the ’64-65 Chevelles were approximately the same size as the Tri Five Chevies of the 1950s. Total Chevrolet production for 1976 was 2.1 million cars, of which 333,000 were Chevelles. We’re guessing the seller’s car is the Malibu Classic coupe which saw 82,000 copies produced.

The seller’s vehicle is likely to have a story and I wish we knew what it was. After all, the first owner likely decided that it should be preserved and driven little, and the second owner must have had the same philosophy. 15,000 miles spread out over 45 years is just 3-400 miles per year. The body and paint (which might be Burnt Orange) look good, although the photos provided don’t do the car any justice. There are no noticeable dents, dings, or rust, while the right front fender looks discolored, but that could be the lighting (or lack thereof).

We’re told everything is original, right down to the wheels, yet those look like aftermarket additions to me. There’s a V8 under the hood and I’m guessing it’s a 350 paired with a Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. The interior looks equally good, including Chevrolet’s swivel buckets seats. The seller’s asking price is above what the online price guides estimate, but the condition of the car should be worth a premium.


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  1. Gary

    I have always loved this design. With that said, I seriously question 15K miles. 115K, maybe. Well cared for to be sure, but a garage kept and annual waxing goes a long way in keeping things bright and shiny. Before I paid this premium price, I would have to see it in person. Oh yeah, the wheels? After market for sure. Standard Chevy styled wheels are beautiful, why not go with that? Of course, might have come with full wheel covers, they can be nice too, depends what they are. Today, repo factory wheels are reasonably priced, why not go that route?

    Like 8
    • mike

      Needs a set of Cragers lol I too seriously doubt the low mileage. And again way over priced.

      Like 3
  2. Calipag

    I’m shocked and happy that this was not turned into a low rider! This body style is very popular in that area of expertise.

    Like 4
  3. Blyndgesser

    I think that’s Light Buckskin Metallic, not Burnt Orange.

    Like 6
  4. KC John

    I don’t know guys. I’m looking at the underhood finishes. I’m leaning towards actual miles. Of course it needs an in person to verify but that would change the value discussion for me. Again, if actual miles. And I hate the wheels.

    Like 9
  5. local_sheriff

    There’s a major difference between a regular Malibu and the Malibu Classic for ’76 and ’77 in that the Classic has a unique quad headlights front. IMHO it’s one of the very few examples when a rectangular lamps face looks better than with round.

    One may argue seller is optimistic on his asking but as a result of very little love for decades, finding a 2door Colonnade which isn’t rusted away, wearing good looking paint not to mention an interior without rips is not very easy. This one is without doubt among the better specimens left and if I were in the market for one I’d definately throw seller an offer – 15k/115k miles or not

    Like 5
  6. Iowa Farmer KM

    In ’77 I owned a ’74 almost exactly the same including color. The only differences were I had stock wheels w/caps and white vinyl interior. I totaled it due to profound stupidity involving alcohol. No damage before. After, the good parts were trunk lid, rear bumper and back seat. Had I been smart at that time I’d be 44 years sober instead of 24 years as of yesterday.

    Like 26
    • Gary

      24 years sober is great, you should be proud of yourself. My kid sister is 30 years sober this year. I wish more people in this country would admit they have a problem and act accordingly. Far too many people get not only a DUI, but then do it again…and again, and again. People love to make excuses, but far too often do not blame on themselves. It is also a problem of public policy not being harsh enough, but that is a different topic for another time. Good for you, and keep up the good work! I admire you.

      Like 17
    • timothy r herrod

      You are not alone there my friend but i have to add that 44 years ago you werent quite ready to quit just yet and 24 years ago you were, keep up the good work

      Like 15
    • Robert Eddins

      Dear Iowa Farmer,
      I give you kudos for sobriety. I wish my son could break the bond. I fear my son will die from it soon.
      You did great man, I congratulate you.

      Like 7
      • Gary

        Got to be hard to see someone you love hurting themselves. Here in the Midwest, the biggest problems I can see is the tavern leagues who buy off legislatures to make the drunk driving laws too weak. (I live in Minnesota, but in Wisconsin it is truly bad, I am afraid to even drive there some days) If we had what they do in Scandinavia (5 years your first DUI in prison), people would soon learn that drinking behind the wheel is pretty stupid. They still can drink and hurt themselves otherwise, but at least they and we are safer on the road. Hope your son sees the light soon, and hope a tragedy doesn’t bring that about.

        Like 6
      • Iowa Farmer KM

        Thanks Robert,
        It was long overdue but the last time I was caught drunk driving I was on my third attempt finding home from town. I had gotten lost so followed the lit up sky above town to try again. That third time the city cop, who I knew, pulled me over 2 miles west on US highway 18 at 3 AM. I stopped right there in the westbound lane. He opened my door and I fell out onto the highway. Sitting there, I put my hands up, together for the cuffs and said, “Stan, I’m drunk, take me to jail”. I blew .36. On the way to jail I recall telling him how badly I needed to quit, over and over. Our county jail was full so he took me to the next county’s jail. The county attorney strongly suggested sentence of 15 days plus 28 days treatment, which I got. Jail sucked. Hard mattress and stuck in there with idiot dopers with no hope of carrying on a good conversation. Treatment was in the tiny town of Woodstock, MN and I was very lucky to have been sent there as it’s a spiritual program. IMHO, I couldn’t have gotten and maintained sobriety without God. After a year without my license and mandatory 12 Step meetings a few times a week AND having to have a driver for everything I went and re-took the driving test and got my license back. I had been thinking about it for the entire year that I was going to track down the county attorney and thank him for sending me, on the county’s dime, to treatment. And so I did. His jaw hit the floor while I tearfully thanked him. He said it was the first time in 20 some years as county attorney he was thanked. Let me clarify, my first alcohol was at 14 years old, Grain Belt beer after baling hay. I threw it up. 26 years of getting drunk often, 10 DUI’s, super high insurance, ignition interlocks, busted up cars and lots of jail time with wife beaters, drunks and dopers. My drink of choice was whiskey. My highest blow was .42, the judge said I should be dead. That time I woke up in a South Dakota ditch with a stop sign lying on my hood. That was DUI #5. It’s so easy to get carried away by alcohol. I never did drugs, having tried hash in the Navy and pot later. Total instant loss of control with that crap. Sorry this is so long but I needed to say it. I’ve never had the urge to drink again after that last time July 27th, 1997 in Canton, SD. My REAL life began at age 40 and I’ve savored every day since. Praying for your son.

        Like 6
      • Gary

        KM, thank you for your detailed post. Maybe it will inspire someone who reads it to make the same change in their own life. I am glad that you, as did my sister, struggle and kept struggling to get through to a better life. It takes so much courage to do that, and to keep doing it Take care my friend.

        Like 3
  7. Dave

    Never did like this style. Clean car, but ugly.

    Like 3
  8. Brock S

    It’s cool but it needs slammed and super charged

    Like 1
  9. Brock S

    It’s cool but it needs slammed and supercharged

  10. Motorcityman Member

    According to the map its in VEGAS, Not L.A.

  11. Steve Brown

    My dad bought a brand new 1976 Malibu Classic for my mom. Metallic blue with a white vinyl top and white seats. Full bench in the front, I believe. 350 V8 and an automatic. It was a nice car for the time and we owned it a long time as I remember. I don’t have a vivid memory on why we got rid of it, but I am pretty sure my dad traded it for a Cordoba in 1980 or so. For a family with three boys we had a few large 2 door cars in our lives. lol.

    Like 3
  12. Terry J

    Had one about that nice back around circa 1984. Super nice riding car. I lost it in a very bizarre 5 m.p.h accident. Was at the tire shop and backed up looking over my right shoulder, swinging that direction. Forgot about a metal post off my left front fender. Just clipped it with the drivers corner of the bumper, but it pulled the bumper out of it’s “low speed crash” cylinder. That caused it to pivot on the passenger piston and thus caved in the passenger fender. What a disaster. Insurance Co. totaled it. :-( Terry J

    Like 3
  13. Sam Shive

    I had a 77 Malibu Classic Wagon, 350 / 4 Barrel, Dam Tank, Wouldn’t get out of it’s own way. But Like I said, It was a tank. Some of these had a 305 in them and that made it even worse. It has the little side window in the back which IMHO looks a hell of a lot better than the BIG one. I wish him luck on the money side of it But once a SLUG ALWAYS A SLUG.

    Like 1
  14. bikefixr

    My ’74 was the exact same color. Puppy-shit-brown. Not pretty. Mine was a 454 4bbl, 4sp dual exh with a 10-bolt posi and swivel buckets. Handled like a pig compared to my ’73 Monte Carlo. But I do like these, especially with the S3 nose. Drop it 3 inches, room for 275’s all around, tighten up the suspension and have fun.

    Like 2
  15. Abi

    Yet another seller of a 5 digit odometer car that would ask you to believe without any proof that the miles are original.

  16. Barry

    I do wonder if we talk about cars here or alcoholism! Seems very strange!

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