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1979 Chevy Malibu: Leave it Alone!


This 1979 Chevy Malibu here on craigslist is an estate-sale find with only 20,000 original miles. If you’re a fan of these cars in their original form, I’d hurry up and grab this one before the seller goes through with his plans to modify every inch of the thing. He lists the many Monte Carlo SS parts he has acquired to improve the handling, looks and aerodynamics, but his parting shot is how a clean example like this would be a great platform for an engine swap. I’m sure all of these modifications would enhance the car in some way (and I might go so far as to add the steering box, sway bars and Positraction rear end), but otherwise, can’t we just enjoy a survivor for what it is? There are plenty of beater examples out there to clean up and modify.


  1. Dave Wright


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  2. anthony

    Dont screw with the outside of the car! But as much as I like an original car that one would never have a stock power train if it was mine. These make great street machines. Just because the A/G body GM cars are the best platform ever by any company. Can be made to handle like its glued to the road or put as much power as you can spend into it.

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      Wow that’s quite a statement!

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      • SoCal Car Guy

        …and totally, factually unsupportable.

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  3. motorrad

    Stock these things are dead slow. Back in high school a buddy had one and we called it the Malipooch, as in dog.

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  4. A.J.

    I’m not sure about that mileage without more supporting documentation.

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  5. PaulieB

    A friend of mine had one.. nothing but trouble.. unmodified of course. One day he was on a busy highway and heard a thump then saw his left rear wheel pass him on the road.. not fun.

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  6. John

    What a beautiful old car. I hope someone saves it.

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  7. RoughDiamond

    Looks like it was drilled and had the Ziebart treatment. A deal breaker for me right there. If that car has 20K miles on it, it must have been driven winters too. My guess is whatever rust you see there’s more lurking. I love the ads that insinuate only selling due to needing to fund a business, but oh by the way if you have a blah blah blah we might trade.

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    • Jeff Staff

      I have had the same thought. “I have no money, my wife is going to leave me, kids are hungry, business is going up in flames, but if you have a boat with trailer let’s talk.”

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  8. Mike

    I say leave it alone and drive it as is. My Wife had one of these that her Dad had bought brand new then gave it to her to drive it her Senior and to college for 4 years. We had it for a few years after we got married, and it was always a good car.
    But once the twins were born, it was time to get a four door, we traded it in for a bigger car, sometime she wished we had kept it, but back then we did need 2 cars and my truck plus my work truck.

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  9. pontiactivist

    I love these. They make great street strip cars. Take mods well. I have the Pontiac wagon version of this. Was an anemic v-6 when I got it. Now is a stroked out Pontiac LeMonster. I can see this with a nasty small block and a 4 speed and set of old cragers. But that’s just my vision.

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  10. gunningbar

    I had a wagon of this…. always admired the clean lines of this car.

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    I had a silver 1980 Chevy Malibu sport coupe with the factory special wheel rims, Bucket seats, Automatic tranny shifter in center floor console. The problem was it had the 3.8 l. v-6 engine. It was a low mileage car but there was always parts going bad from the radiator, water pump, carburetor etc.

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  12. Vankelford lee

    Cool gem of a car i had one got it at a steal , musta been the last of the great
    Bargains I’ve seen since early 90s.

    Like 1

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