Convertible 4-Speed Barn Find: 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

I always gravitate towards ’64 & ’65 Chevrolet Chevelles (they are essentially the same car) as my first ride was a well-worn ’65 Chevelle Malibu SS purchased for the princely sum of $550. Today’s barn find is a ’64 convertible with a four-speed manual transmission. Located near Readington, New Jersey this Chevelle Malibu is for sale here on craigslist for $7,000. To get the best view of this Chevy, I’ll suggest looking closely at all of the images in the listing as they are of poor photographic quality. Thanks to FordGuy1972 for the tip!

The Malibu was the high trim level of Chevrolet’s new Chevelle intermediate when introduced in ’64. Its competitive target was Ford’s intermediate Fairlane which had been released two years earlier. While the ’64 and ’65 are very similar in appearance, the ’65 was a typical second-year redo which was really just a minor clean-up of the original design. The ‘64s were limited to 283 CI V8 engines at first but mid-year, the more potent 327 CI V8 was added to the line-up.

This subject ’64 convertible is advertised as having a 283 CI V8 engine, but which flavor, 195 or 220 HP, is not disclosed. That said, top end-wise this engine doesn’t look like a 283. The PCV connection, oil fill cap, lack of a breather tube and valve covers are wrong for a ’64 vintage engine and the carburetor appears to have a solenoid stop; a feature not prevalent until around 1971. There’s no telling what it is. Sounds like the engine is not running as the seller says he did not try to turn it over – something that I think is unusual, why wouldn’t you want to see if, or how well, it runs? That’s a red flag. What I really like is the non-console equipped four-speed manual transmission – that’s not too common. No reference regarding the transmission’s condition or operability – no surprise since the engine is non-running.

Little is said about the interior other than the floor pans “need some work.” The image(s) aren’t very clear but what is represented indicates a thorough cleaning, at least, is badly needed. The chrome-plated, plastic instrument panel is pretty well flaked away too. Note the bend in the shifter, necessitated by the needed ability to shift gears with the bench seat in the forward most position. Usually, the four-speed manual transmission was found in the Malibu SS model which in ’64 and ’65 came standard with bucket seats and a center console.

The body speaks for itself via images – yes there is rust. The seller states that the lower quarters need to be replaced but the rockers and frame are solid. These cars, convertibles, in particular, are known for rust. I have owned two hardtops and two convertibles, one pair while residing in the mid-Atlantic and the other two while living in the south. If they are in the right climate conditions, coupled with a poorly fitted convertible top, corrosion will rear its ugly head. This car will need a thorough inspection. The seller also says that some of the chrome trim is missing and might be locked in the trunk but he doesn’t have the key; imagine that. I guess this is a quick flip project; second red flag.

I’m on the fence with this one – seems like a lot of money for what it is, owing to the non-running engine of questionable provenance, the rust, and the convertible top – it looks pretty well shot in the two images that I reviewed. A Chevelle Malibu from the ‘60s always seems to have a certain cachet when it comes to value, regardless of model or condition; some are just greater than others. That said, the convertible body style and V8/four-speed combination are great assets to have. What do you think, over-priced or just right?


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  1. Gaspumpchas

    Rust everywhere including the dash…yow. Like Jim says- good inspection needed. Never saw a Malibu with a bench and 4 speed, rare or installed later?
    Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 6
    • Bob

      All Malibu’s had bench seats. The SS had buckets.

      Like 3
  2. Joe

    Run, Forrest, run!

    Like 7
  3. Classic Steel

    This is a non SS model with the center chrome pieces. The four speed shift is an add would be my guess.
    This baby is rough….

    It would of been nice to see vin and trim tags.

    I have to watch this one to see what it brings. 🤔
    I have a red 64 Malibu convertible running, new professional made top, was a family car passed to me. Runs great ..230 six with three speed and No rust-ever.. if this baby brings seven needing another 10-12 then wowsa . 😂.

    Like 8
  4. Bob

    I bought the same car a few years ago and drove it home. It had a new interior and a new top, 283 Powerglide and was rust free! I paid $11,000. The feature car is way too much! Probably worth $2500.00 tops.

    Like 8
  5. ruxvette

    “do brakes and fuel system and drive it like it is”…whaaat?
    My goodness, that is rust just waiting to pile up on the ground.

    Like 6
  6. Maverick

    Different steering column. Aftermarket shifter. .beat up.rust bucket. Run.

    Like 4
    • Jim

      Different steering column probably because that is where the shifter once was

      Like 2
  7. Evan

    No, seriously… how is it possible to take photos this bad in 2019?? I can go to Family Dollar and buy a $19 cell phone that will take pictures better than this!

    Like 9
  8. Bigbird

    Oh boy, we are talking serious replacement panels plus quarters on this one. It would take a real resto shop to do the work. The main building block in an old classic is the body/frame, everything else (parts) you can find and replace. This maybe a parts only…..

  9. Bing


  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    This car appears to have been over the butcher block several times throughout its lifetime. You might have a rolling chassis here, but the entire body looks too far gone to use. I say parts car.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  11. Del

    A parts car but not much left to part.

  12. TimM

    A New Jersey car with tons of rust and I agree with Evan how is it possible to take such bad pictures!! Is there a class for that in school called deceivers 101???? It’s was a nice ride once but you might as well expect to replace the whole back end of the car and probably the floors at least in the front!!! $7000 no way!!!

  13. Al

    Hurricane floods. I’d stay away from anything ‘Jersey’ Louisiana or Galveston. So many tens of thousands of these cars sat idle as flood waters came in. No insurance, so they let sit there 5 years on the side of their house, then resell with some ‘rust’ issues. NO thanks.

    Like 1
  14. Bob McK Member

    With a bucket full of money, this could be a real head turner again.

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