Cheap Driver: 1972 Chevrolet Malibu

There’s no better image in my mind of a muscle car than the ’70-’72 Chevelles. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment and that’s why halfway decent examples from those years usually command a premium price. Whether its a real SS or not, one of these in decent condition will typically generate a lot of interest. This 1972 Chevrolet Malibu, found here on Craigslist and submitted by reader Pat L., will definitely generate some interest, especially for the asking price.

It’s not uncommon to find these cars pretty well thrashed and ratted out, but one look at this interior and it appears to be in pretty good shape. At a minimum, it looks like it would be a nice driver quality interior. It’s listed as a “good driving old car” and the seller has no intentions of making it more than it is. While being a good driver, the seller’s claim that it’s no show car is evidenced by the price tag.

The listing gives no mention of the cubic inches so your guess is as good as mine with this small block. The seller claims that the Chevelle is relatively rust free but that there is body filler in the rear quarters. It’s highly likely that a lot of needed work will be found hiding under that older paint job. This would actually be a decent platform for a restomod or to possibly even clone a Super Sport.

I could see this car going either way – just buy and drive as is or do the needed repairs, lay down a coat of Cranberry Red, and drop a big block in it like it was meant to have. So, given the chance to have some fun with this car, what would you do? For just $7,800, is that a reasonable price to pick it up?

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Comments

  1. Hoos Hoos Member

    Nice car for what it is. The turn signals are from a ’71.

    10
    • Craig

      Yes I was about to post the same thing!

      4
  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    I don’t think I have ever seen an engine in a Chevy painted blue before. Wow, a “1 of 1” car!

    Seller appears to be up-front about what the car is though. Vintage driver. OK.

    7
    • Shawn Fox Firth

      Blue Chevy engines are Corporate from the mid ’70s till they went black .

      11
    • 68custom

      Blue is the smogged out kiss of death when it comes to chevy motors. No good ever came from a corporate SBC. I kinda like the car otherwise and even a blue SBC can be rebuilt to perform well!

      2
    • v

      1976 chevy truck engines were blue if im not mistaken.

  3. Ken Member

    Chevelles may be your best image of a muscle car, but to me there’s no more cliched car in the hobby. Everyone and his mother has one. Why not dare to be different?

    And why would anyone want a fake SS?

    18
    • Chris Clark Chris Staff

      Ken, many of us like certain cars simply for sentimental reasons. My reason just happens to be that my mother actually had one, just as you’ve pointed out. That may very well be the reason that I’m an enthusiast today. Just because this car is cliche to you (and many others, I know) doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t hold a deeper significance to someone like me. This style of Chevelle actually happens to mean something to me specifically. That doesn’t mean that I’m not daring to be different.

      I’m not necessarily a fan of a fake SS but I can definitely see why someone would want one. An enthusiast may like the looks of an SS and not have the financial means to attain a real one. This shouldn’t be a barrier for someone just wanting to have a little fun, as long as their truthful about it. I respect your opinion, I just happen to have my own thoughtful opinion as well. Thanks for commenting on my post!

      47
      • Neal.

        That’s the sweetest online rebuttal of all time.
        I appreciate your point of view and your tone.

        Ps-I’m a kindergarten teacher. Keep up the good work.

        20
      • Dave

        In ham radio there are those who search for antique radios. Maybe it was one that Dad or Grandpap had. When they find one, forgotten for many years in a corner of a basement or barn, it becomes a labor of love to restore it. Why bother? Memories. Every radio in my collection has a memory attached to it.

        I was at a car show in Columbus maybe 30 years ago when I spotted a red 1948 Ford F-1. I began to cry, remembering how my maternal grandparents would drive it when they visited us. Our dog, Lady, would hear the truck and run down the road to meet them. They’d stop, pick her up, and bring her home.

        GeGe died in 1967, when I was 11. BaBa died in 1975. Every time I see one of those old Fords I remember them.

        Memories.

        10
      • Ken Member

        I never said you shouldn’t have whatever car you want for whatever reason. I’d simply like to know why anyone would want a fake car. As I said downthread, I’d like to have a GS Stage 1, but I would never attempt to construct a clone from a stock Skylark. A fake car is a fraud, whether you’re honest about it or not. I am a purist, and I respect authenticity. If I see a fake SS at a car show, I’m going to pass it by on my way to the real ones.

        2
      • v

        im with you. why not a little personality to your machine. there are enough plush originals. i think its time we see some individualized grocery getters to see how the regular cars were 5 to 10 years down the road. i think these type cars are an untapped market place where im sure theres plenty of money to be made. and if they were shown there would be a turnout like one never seen before in the car show industry. this way everyone has something to belong to of days gone by. im tired of seeing plush originals that are so nice they would have never came out of the factory that way. i say we get together and have a show of barn finds that can only be pushed, pulled, or dragged to the car show. can you just imagine the turnout of all us deplorables that are just looking to belong.

        3
      • Chris Clark Chris Staff

        Neal, thank you! It seems that our world can always use a little more civility, especially in the comments sections with those that we don’t know. Thanks for being that example and for your work as an educator!

        2
      • Chris Clark Chris Staff

        Ken, I’m glad that you are a purist and hold authenticity in such high regard. I’d like to know your perspective as a purist on using paint materials like modern urethanes on vehicles that would have had originally had varnish or nitrocellulose lacquer. Or what about vehicles that now have safety glass that wouldn’t have had it from the factory? At what point does a vehicle lose its originality or authenticity with restoration? As a professional in this field, these questions come up from time to time and it’s always an interesting discussion. I’d be grateful to know your perspective. Thank you!

        3
    • Derald Rine

      Where do you live that everyone has one? Who cares if they want to copy an ss? I have a 71 i put my own time into for my 1st build and it turned out so cool. It is nostalgic for me. I live in a big city and do not see but a couple at shows and they are all different because they look good no matter what people do to them.

      14
      • Ken Member

        If you want an SS clone, fine, go nuts. I never said you couldn’t do it; I merely asked why anyone would want to. I’m a purist who respects authenticity. I’d love to have a Stage 1, but I’m not going to grab some little old lady’s bone stock Skylark and turn it into something it’s not.

        2
      • Ken Member

        “Where do you live that everyone has one?”

        I live in the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington. Chevelles are everywhere. If you’re assuming I meant SS cars, you should reread my original comment. I did not specify “SS” when I said “Everyone and his mother has one.”

    • Fordguy1972

      I have to agree with Ken. I’ve seen quite a few Chevelles here in Southern New England and most of them are red with black stripes. It’s overdone and makes you wonder if they came in any other color. Don’t get me wrong, this generation of Chevelle is a beautiful, desirable musclecar and I can certainly see the appeal in wanting one. I’d love to have one but I’m brand loyal; a Torino from the same era would be my choice.

      I’d want to check out this one carefully for rust underneath and for the rust repair that’s been done. If rust isn’t a huge issue than the price seems fair. For me, the apparent later era engine and the taxi cab color are drawbacks but one could change all that with hard work and a checkbook.

      5
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        They sold a LOT of plain-jane 2-door Chevelles, so when it comes to bringing one back to life, it seems that most people go the SS clone route.

    • Concinnity

      “And why would anyone want a fake SS?”

      Specially in ‘mid life crisis red’ , at least if you do a clone, do a clone in another color, like the color on it already.

      1
  4. Jason

    I think that engines an early 80s 305

    2
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Put a set of duals with glasspacks on ‘er and cruise. I like the funky color, or a trip to MAACO wouldn’t break you. Good luck to the new owner.

    Cheers
    gpc

    10
  6. Blyndgesser

    There’s a lot of filler in the driver’s door. A whole lot.

    1
    • Don Diego

      I looked at the same pics as you. What/how did I miss the bondo ? What was the clue ?

      1
  7. Dan

    It has a non SS dash…so I dont think its an SS. On the passenger side fender is a Malibu 350 badge so it may not be the original motor in it now….but thats a pretty big clue as to what it came with originally. Overall a nice car for the money.

  8. Miguel

    Do you guys know if one of these came with a straight 6 from the factory, is there anything on the chassis I would need to replace to fit a V8?

    1
  9. Maverick

    Nice driver and the price is right. If it was close to my house I would jump on it. There getting harder to find.

    6
    • Fred W

      Hmmmm- only about an hour from me! But so rural they will have a hard time getting prospects to drive there.

  10. stillrunners

    Is it gone yet ?

  11. Rick M.

    That’s a DD that will turn heads whether you like the style or not. If that’s a 305 running clean as the rest of the car presents, I’d let it be until it dies. Might outlive me. If you like, a 250 six would fit right in without pulling the 350TH, that’s why Chevrolet became THE favorite, period, back in that time.

    7
  12. Derald Rine

    Nice car for the price. I paid 5700 for mine with a trashed interior and lots of rust. Turned it into a beauty with mostly my own labor. If someone wants the ss look good for them, who cares unless you are buying it?

    22
  13. Kenneth Carney

    Yeah Miguel, these did come from the
    factory with a 250 CID straight 6 in them
    unless you ordered a small V-8. Not many Chevelles like this one were so
    equipped though. The only time I ever saw a 6 in a Chevelle was when the car
    was a 4-door sedan or low level wagon.
    Even if the car was equipped with a 6,
    it won’t be all that hard to convrt to a
    a V-8 of your choice. It’s as simple as
    changing the motor mounts, tranny
    mount, (crossmember) and the front
    radiator support. And to avoid any
    unwanted surprises, I’d either swap the
    axles in the rear of the 6 cylinder car
    with ones from an 8 cylinder model
    instead, or replace the whole unit instead.
    Most GM wagons had 12-bolt posi-tracs
    under them in the ’70’s so this would be
    a straight swap with little or any other
    modifications at all. Hope that helps
    you Miguel. I’ve seen this done many
    times over the years and they were all
    successful. Nice car though, wouldn’t
    change a thing.

    6
  14. Mark H

    In 1973 I bought a used ’71 like that. 307 V8, 3-speed on the column. Later on put in a 350. At some point acquired a hood like that. Drove it to about 140,000 miles then gave it to my sister’s boyfriend. When he had it my brother-in-law put in an automatic (forget why – might have been issue with 3-speed trans). This is Wisconsin, so it being a daily driver it suffered a lot of rust damage – lots of bondo to keep it looking half-way decent. At some point my brother-in-law (he was a professional mechanic) insisted it be taken off the road because the frame was deteriorating – figured that in a minor higher speed “car-in-ditch” incident the body would disintegrate, and possibly anyone in the car. He had a neighbor across the road – typical car hoarder – who took it. I drive by the guy’s place occasionally – someday I will have to stop and see if he still has what is left of it in tucked in his barn. Anyway, that is how we treated those cars back in the day – meant for everyday driving, and did whatever we could to keep driving them until they were used up.

    5
  15. Del

    Considering its a clone with non matching year lights its over priced.

    Targetmaster replacement block ?

    Some hints mabe an accident victim.

    We pretty well sliced and diced it

    1
    • Derald Rine

      Someone wants 12k for one in worse shape here in Phoenix on craigslist

  16. Dave

    There’s nothing wrong with this car that you can’t fix with a little elbow grease, a Summit Racing catalog,and a credit card.😁

    4
  17. Derald Rine

    For the critics please post a picture of your classic for all to nitpick please

    3
    • Ken Member

      I hate to inform you of this, but people are allowed to express their opinions, whether they happen to annoy you or not.

      2
      • Derald Rine

        Still waiting?

  18. Neil

    I found my barn find last April after about 9 years of it sitting in a garage. These are pretty special up here in Canada and it needs a lot of work. It may not be my GTO or dream car, and it will never tear up the road with its 350, but it’s fun to drive and something I can call my own when its finished. Any car can be somebody’s baby. “Tina” is mine. This is a picture from when I first saw it. I bought it right away.

    5
    • Derald Rine

      Awesome, I learned to drive with my moms 72 lemans

      1
    • Ken Member

      Nice car, If it were mine, the first thing on my “to-do” list would be to ditch those slotted mags.

      • Derald Rine

        Probably trash my cragars on my z28 too

        3
    • pete

      That T-37 is a lot rarer that a GTO. I would rather have a T-37 personally.

      1
  19. Derald Rine

    True, you are not allowed slotted mags

  20. v

    why not a little personality to your machine. there are enough plush originals. i think its time we see some individualized grocery getters to see how the regular cars were 5 to 10 years down the road. i think these type cars are an untapped market place where im sure theres plenty of money to be made. and if they were shown there would be a turnout like one never seen before in the car show industry. this way everyone has something to belong to of days gone by. im tired of seeing plush originals that are so nice they would have never came out of the factory that way. i say we get together and have a show of barn finds that can only be pushed, pulled, or dragged to the car show. can you just imagine the turnout of all us deplorables that are just looking to belong.

    2
  21. Dave S.

    Not a bad looking car , I’m not convinced it’s an SS and I’d want to check the frame over the rear wheels and I think there is some body filler it’s a little hard to tell from the pic. That aside if one gets to picky then to get what you want will very quickly jump in price . This would be a very nice project because just about everything you need is already sitting right there. P.S. I agree with Hoos those turn signals look 71.

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