Barn Find Project: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

Chevy sold more than 300,000 Chevelle Malibu sport coupes in 1970, making it a hugely successful year. That includes some 53,600 SS396 models and another 8,800 SS454s. While the seller’s car is said to have a non-working big block under the hood, the badging on the car (or lack therefore) suggests it started out as a basic Malibu coupe. It’s been sitting inside a barn for years, but the body doesn’t look bad for the experience. Located in Montague, Massachusetts, this ’70 Chevelle is available here on craigslist for $16,995. Pat L. brings us another barn find to inspect!

The Chevelle would debut for 1964, filling a size void between the compact Chevy II/Nova and the full-size Biscayne/Bel Air/Impala. The car would sell well during its first generation, and even better in the second (1968-72). Styling changes for 1970 gave the bodies a more “coke bottle” look. Most Malibu’s were equipped with 307 and 350 small blocks. If you wanted muscle, you had to step up the Super Sport. We’re guessing this is a standard Malibu, so the big block in the car must have been a swap at some point. But the seller says its “broken” without telling us exactly what that means.

The performance elements of the car go further than the mystery motor. It also has a Muncie M20 manual transmission and a 10-bolt rear-end along with front disc brakes. The odometer reading is 75,000 and the mileage stopped there no doubt because of the motor. The only thing we know about the interior is that it has a bench seat. No photos enable us to gauge the amount of work, if any, that will be needed once you open the doors.

Body-wise, it looks straight, and the chrome and glass appear to be good. If there is any rust, we don’t see it and the seller doesn’t mention any. This Malibu appears to be wearing am amateur white paint job or primer of a similar color. Perhaps a good sanding will lead the buyer easily to new coat of paint. This car may be a decent project, but more information about the Chevy is needed. If it were a true SS, the asking price might work. But a non-running, long-stored Malibu tends to command less money.

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  1. Howard Kerr

    My “baby” sister has a 70 Malibu with the 307 that she has had since…what seems like forever. Her son had it restored for her at least 10 years ago, and now it sits in her garage while her newer cars sit outside.
    I don’t know if she has ever considered selling it, but if this example is really worth $16K her car would be worth near $30K.

    Like 4
    • paul

      or more Howard!

      Like 2
  2. David

    My goodness. The prices now. Do we all know we could have bought as many as we wanted of this style for $500 bucks in the 80’s & 90’s

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      You were lucky, when I entered the car buying world in 1981, prices of any 2 door Chevelle that wasn’t on a one way path to the wrecking was at least a $1,000, even those were beat to crap and needed plenty of attention. There were anomalies, that were cheaper, but those were non-runners with unknown problems which were few and far between.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • bone

        In the early 80s we used to find plenty of them at $200 bucks or less and use them for stock car parts , as did most other race teams.

        Like 5
    • Steve R

      Exactly, by the early-80’s the really cheap ones were junk. The days of finding decent turn key drivers for $500 were already over.

      Steve R

      Like 1
    • Rich T

      I bought my 1st Chevelle a 1972 for $800

  3. Bob C.

    Absolutely, these cars were ubiquitous, not to mention a dime a dozen in those days.

    Like 3
  4. Maverick

    The white rangers seal the deal.

  5. Maverick

    Nice interior shots along with the engine.

    Like 9
  6. Maverick

    Nice wheels.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Sarcasm will get you everywhere. LOL

      Like 3
  7. What


  8. Troy s

    With those white wheels and wonderful color it reminds me more of a street stock class local circle track racer,,,… in progress. From the eighties of course.
    It also slightly reminds me of my ’68 pos 396 Chevelle project car I bought in ’85,, still wearing 327 callouts, small drum brakes, and a washed out front end in primer grey with primer black hood. Paid 1600 bucks for that thing, they werent giving them away even then.
    Anyone really interested in this will see for themselves the interior, engine, and other broken stuff but I’d have like at least a hint of a photograph of such items.

    Like 8
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking car! My favourite Chevelle has always been the 1970 and 71 model years. I hope whoever buys this car enjoys it, restores it, restomods it, enjoys it. :)

    Like 3
  10. Will

    These sellers need to step up and have not only BETTER pictures, but more of them, interior, engine bay, undercarriage…GEEZ

  11. Steve Clinton

    Why, oh why, don’t sellers wash these cars before photographing them? Are they THAT lazy?

    Like 6
    • Ranco Racing

      It’s in a barn; it’s not running and the owner / seller did not feel like pushing it out to take pictures and then push it back in. Perhaps there is no running water in or near the barn.

      Like 2
  12. Jimmy

    It was possible to get a big block in 70-72 without the Super Sport option. You ordered the 400 v8 which was actually a 402 big block. They weren’t all that common but they would have the 400 numerals on the front fender if so equipped. I do remember a brown 72 Malibu 4 door sedan in my neighborhood when they were new that had the 402 in it.

    Like 2
  13. Steve Clinton

    From Craig’s List ad: “Big block broken”.
    Wasn’t that the name of a punk rock group in the ’80s?

    Like 3
    • Clinton

      I saw Big Block Broken open for X-Ray Spex at the LA Forum in ’85.


    I bought mine brand new for $2700. Bucket seats, 4 spd, with a 307. Drove it back abd forth from Ft Meade, Md, to Long Island. Wish I had it still.

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This car’s price reflects the Northeast no rust markup.

    Seller may have gotten his/her price because posting is now deleted.

    Like 1

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