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39,000 Miles? 1971 Chevrolet Malibu

This 1971 Chevrolet Malibu is said to have only 39,000 original miles, and apart from the passenger door repaint obvious in this picture, is said to be wearing its original paint! It’s located in Joliet, Illinois and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is just over $9,000 as I write but there’s no reserve.

We’re not told much about the history of this car apart from that it was an Illinois car its entire life, but never driven in the snow. There are some rust spots in the lower part of the car, but to be honest they are very minor compared to similar cars I’ve seen. There’s some strange dents on the driver’s side as well, but the seller has done a good job of showing pictures of the issues throughout the auction listing. By the way, the rally wheels are replacements and the originals are not available.

The car has a bit of a rake to it; any experts out there know if that’s original or signs of suspension work? It seems a little high in back to me but it may just be the wheel/tire combination. The seller also tells us that the chrome is really nice and that the vinyl top is in perfect condition.

While this is a plainish interior, it is original, and apart from some slits in the driver’s side doesn’t look too bad, including the dashboard. And yes, those are air conditioning vents you see below the dashboard; naturally, the seller tells us the system needs work!

As it should be, the 307 small block starts and runs well. The obviously renewed brake system reflects a swap to front discs conducted a while back for safety reasons. Pretty much everything works as it should. This is one car that I’d just leave alone for a while. I wonder how the paint would buff out, and what bodywork is really necessary at those rust spots. As much as I hate to disturb original paint, I would still fix the rust and dents and treat the car to a repaint in the original color. Not sure I’d do much else those, except drive it! How about you?


  1. Art M.

    Looks to be a fairly solid car, but sporting a few battle scars it has received over the years. I would be interested if I hadn’t recently purchased a 1972 Malibu with 42K miles on it , out of Missouri that I paid $12,500.00 for. Mine is in excellent shape, these cars are hard to find unmolested these days.

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  2. Bruce

    I am currently restoring a 71 Chevelle Malibu, 402, 4spd car. Split bench front seat.. should be a fun car. I like this Malibu as it would make a great DD.

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    • 68 custom

      the rare and elusive Malibu 400? I have only seen one (a 70) in the flesh, cool find!

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  3. Scott

    Don’t worry about the flaws. It will be resto-modded in short order. Kind of a shame really.

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  4. Howard A Member

    You know, when someone says ’71 Chevelle, images of 454 wheel standing, tire burning monsters come to mind, but in reality, most of the Chevelles I saw were just like this. Pretty basic car, but delivered lots of miles. I agree, color all over the place, but a great find. Much more representative of what we drove.

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    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      this color was bad from the factory one of our customers a school teacher bought 1 of these new same colour but it had a hood ,truck lid, and doors that didn’t match the rest of the car! strange optioned car to begin with. 6 auto on the tree bucket seats, no air, or radio, dealer ordered!

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      • Chebby

        @Jerry: Sounds like one of the loss-leader cars the dealers put in the paper for a rock bottom price, so they could claim they had one that cheap. You weren’t actually supposed to buy them! LOL

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  5. JW

    Would make a nice DD, but being from that area of Illinois I would still want a PI to look for hidden rust. Even garage cars in the Chicago area rusted. 9K IMO is about tops, that rake in the rear is normal to me.

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  6. JamestownMike

    Sorry but I don’t see a 39,000 mile car!…….139,000 yes. Look at the brake pedal wear and overall condition of the car. If it was never driven in the snow, how did it get all that rust?? Maybe it was driven in the salty melted snow?? Look closely at the bottom of the doors, lower fender pockets, underside and rear quarters.

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  7. Rob'sGT

    Never driven in cold weather!!! I see snow on the ground! Do the tailpipes look to be oversprayed with paint to anyone else?

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  8. RoughDiamond

    This looks like a nice Malibu. I question the mileage too though just looking at the engine compartment. I can’t speak for others, however, the 307 engine in my ’70 Malibu 2 door was the worst GM engine I have ever had powering an automobile as it had no power and got horrible gas mileage.

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    • fordfan

      The 307 made a lot of valve train noise while stoped at a traffic light look over at the noisy car next you and sure enough 307 on the fender

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  9. Jeffro

    Is it me or is the passenger side door color a bit off?

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  10. Rustytech Member

    This is a pretty solid Chevelle, but if it wasn’t for the SS clone market it would only go for about half this price, totally restored I would expect $12 to $15k. If this is a 39,000 mile car, never driven in snow, someone needed driving lessons!

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  11. ANDY

    had same car back in 1980 , brown /white top, got t-boned , what a shame , wish i can get another one.

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