Only 35K Miles: 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic

The mid-size personal luxury car was the shining star of the late seventies, but there were still mid-size mainstream cars. However, they did not sell as well in the 2 door style. For a few hundred more dollars, the personal luxury cars provided more unique styling. In 1978, General Motors downsized the A-body cars and Chevrolet had the Malibu, doing away with the Chevelle name. While the 1978 Monte Carlo sold 358,191 cars with just one body style (Chevrolet actually considered it two body styles, the 2 door sport coupe, and the 2 door Landau coupe), it took three body styles in the Malibu line to slightly outsell it with 358,636 cars (the 2 door coupe, the 4 door sedan, and the 4 door station wagon). Here is a 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 2 door Landau Coupe for sale here on eBay in East Liverpool, Ohio.

If you squint just a little, the front of the Malibu greatly favors the Monte Carlo, which had a slightly different grid pattern to the grille, wrap around corner parking lights and a color-keyed bumper. This is a rust free Southern car that appears to be in great shape, including the paint job. The landau vinyl top appears to be in good condition as well. There is a factory positraction rear axle, as well as modifications that include Corvette rally wheels and brand new Mickey Thompson tires. It also has a new battery, new suspension, and bushings.

Sitting inside the vinyl bucket seat interior, you would think you were sitting in a Monte Carlo. The seat pattern is different, but you still face the same dash that any Monte Carlo driver would be looking at, with circular instrumentation. Looking at the odometer on this Malibu Classic only reveals 35,141 miles that this car has been driven. The interior shows that mileage is probably true, because it is in great condition, with no rips or tears on the vinyl seats or anywhere on the door panels, dash, and carpeting.

The 305 cubic inch V8 engine looks like it belongs on the showroom floor. The car features UMI sway bars with front and rear coil springs. The condition of this Malibu Classic is fantastic, but with that comes a price. The seller has a starting bid of $13,500. Are you willing to pay that price or more for a car in great condition that won’t require any more from you after writing the check, than finding a spot for it in your garage?


  1. don

    Wow , its nice to see one of these still around ! The New England winters here destroyed the 1978 and up RWD mid size GM cars ; the rear frame rails were notorious for severe rot . That , and the dismal 231 v6 engines many came with sent many of these to an early grave . After that the cars ended up being made into stock cars, so even the sedans and wagons got used up for the front clips . I like the whole period look of this car , from the brown paint , landau roof and rally wheels , but I don’t the car is worth what he’s asking

    Like 15
  2. Don Page

    Wow !!!!! $13,500 for the starting bid. Wonder what the reserve is. If they get that or more for it, that sure would make my all original 79 Century Turbo Coupe (two owner with 23,000 miles) really valuable.

    Like 16
  3. Bill OBrien

    where is the chilly wind?

    Like 1
  4. IkeyHeyman

    Well, once again, a low mileage claim with limited photos and no underbody photos, which would be helpful. I had an Oldsmobile with 160K miles that could have passed for 60K because I took meticulous care of it, but you could see it was a higher mileage car upon closer inspection.

    Like 6
  5. Fordfan

    No a/c and 35 k miles the door panel’s still faded
    I’m sure the headliner has also failed

    Like 2
    • William Decker Member

      NO A/C is a VERY strong selling point to some of us. We’re more interested in the performance, condition & appearance of a classic than we are a few beads of perspiration.

      Like 5
      • Bakyrdhero

        To each his/her own @Decker. I like air conditioning, I’ll bet one or two other people do also. What of it?

        Like 7
      • CJM

        Right. Who cares if an old car has A/C. 99% of the time it won’t work anyway and would cost hundreds to fix. It also adds weight, complexity and makes engine servicing harder. NO A/C is a huge PLUS in my book! I feel the Mailbu coupe is cleaner looking than the Monte, though I like them both.

        Like 4
    • Little_Cars Saul Member

      I was gonna say, those beige/tan interiors on late 70’s GM cars didn’t survive too well regardless of meticulous care by the owner. Those door panels look awful compared to the dash, which in turn bests the condition of the seats and headliner. If this was a red interior, the fading would of course be even more pronounced (regardless of mileage claim). If you took the Corvette wheels and fat tires off this Malibu it would be sub-$7500 all day.

      Like 2
  6. Bakyrdhero

    I’ve never cared for these, even when they were current. I’ll never get the smell of the 70’s vinyl/plastic out of my memory. With that said, this one looks great. The two door, buckets, console and color scheme are very appealing. I
    Also like the rally’s and fat tires. No a/c is a bummer and there is also a blue seat belt on the passenger side for one reason or another.

    Like 5
    • William Decker Member

      No a.c.- like it’s a bad thing. LMAO.

      Like 2
      • rmward194 Member

        If you lived in Phoenix, as I do, the lack of AC becomes a deal breaker.

        Like 1
    • moosie moosie

      It looks like a flash is making the black seat belt look bluish, the plastic part of the buckle especially so. It is a nice car but back when this was new people could order individual options rather then package or groups, it made life easier for the buyer but not the manufacturer, A/C would be nice but I don’t think it’d be a deal breaker for me,,,,,, there’s always Vintage A/C.

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars Saul Member

        That reminds me, my Dad bought a used northern Monte Carlo this model year with NO A/C. He went to a shop in town (Carl’s) to have one fitted after the fact. Man, what a convoluted mess that turned out to be — never blew cold or with enough intensity to cool passengers. My how things have changed. Nowadays I presume a Vintage Aire setup would bolt right in with little or no fuss and be far more efficient than the 1978 beast of a system.

        Like 4
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Love the color, matches far as I can tell a 74 Malibu I ordered new but I had a 350, 3 on the tree. Drove like crap till the warranty was off and did some work on the engine, picked up several mpg once the mods were done plus ran a whole lot better. Couldn’t go too far though due to emissions testing requirements.
    This one looks great from a visual stand point but I’d like to see and drive it in person first if buying. Also wonder what the reserve is on it?

    Like 3
  8. Bob

    Why would a 35,000 mile car need suspension work with new bushings???

    Like 3
  9. Bakyrdhero

    Maybe the rubber dry rotted after 41 years.

    Like 11
  10. John Oliveri

    Not a rea desirable motor, better than the V6 but still dead

    Like 2
  11. Brian Scott

    I love how vehicle marketers use the terms “Classic” and “Limited” so loosely. Usually “Classic” means it’s the legacy model (see RAM 2018 pickups) that they are selling cheaply. And as for “Limited,” it usually means the number built is limited to anyone with a 500+ FICO score.

    Like 2
    • William Decker Member

      If you’re not a comedian, you should be, Dodge pickups & 500+ credit scores. LOL

      Like 3
    • Jerry Brentnell

      I don’t know where you are but you wander in to a ram dealer up here in canada and go look a 19 ram limited window sticker and you call $78.000 cheap? and the others are just as bad!

      Like 1
  12. Wayne

    I have always liked this body style, but not thrilled with the vinyl glued to the roof. On the bad roads that we had in the Chicago area. Front suspension and steering on the factory original parts could be worn out in 30,000 miles. ( the majority of our business was company lease vehicles) These ride and handle quite nicely. If I found one this nice it would be treated to a gently warmed over LS engine. It would have more than ample power and get better fuel economy to boot. I really doubt that this is the original paint. It is just too nice.

    Like 3
  13. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    A very nerdy friend in High School bought one of these in 1979. Factory ordered, only options were automatic, power brakes, power steering, and AM radio. And cloth seats. It was brown. What a boring car. Did I say it was brown?
    My fathers uncle bought a new 1980 Malibu. So many problems, got rid of it after a year or so; traded it in on one the Fox platform Ford LTD models that was an upgraded Fairmont, remember those? No problems whatsoever.

    Like 1
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    For that price, I was expecting to scroll down and see a huge HP crate motor installed.

    Like 5
  15. Maestro1

    It’s a nice car but I would not pay that much for it.

    Like 3
  16. Ralph J Hayden

    Went to look at a 78 Malibu a dealer had advertised many years ago…that 267 V8 sounded like garbage…turned me off..

    Like 1
  17. TJ

    I lost all visual interest in GM products after 1973. Ford after 1978, and Chrysler after the 1979 Imperial. Still have a hard time finding something I visually like. I like the dependability of current vehicles, but not the looks. They now all look the same and way too much plastic.

    Like 3
  18. Mood O

    Had a neighbor in west Phoenix back in the mid 90’s that stuffed a 502 in one of these, it was quite a beast! lol
    Tan body with Brown top though…

    Like 1

    Bought a new 1 in 79,the Royal Knight “El Camino” Same thing but a longer Trunk, same center Console.I still have the window sticker.Black naturally & gold color gut.

  20. TimM

    Looks clean!!! Not to bad for the money imo!!!

  21. Stevieg Member

    Chrysler had an Imperial in 1979? TJ, show me a picture of one please.

    • Little_Cars Saul Member

      I think we are talking about the humpback, razor sharp Imperia based on the Mirada platform (??). Believe we’ve even seen a hive of them on BF in the past year or so.

  22. James Turner

    Back in the 90,s I had bought a 1 owner 1980 Malibu classic in light blue metallic color. beautiful car like his one for sale but it had the lousy 3.8 cc v-6 in it. Low mileage but there was always something breaking on the engine. good looks are only skin/ body deep. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that Lemon.

  23. TJ

    Stevieg – My mistake. 1975 Chrysler Imperial.

  24. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    I never understood why some comment that cars in the northern USA or Canada do not need A/C. Summer in Winnipeg is hot and humid. A/C is mandatory.

    Like 1
    • Bakyrdhero

      Same in New England. Seems like it’s getting hotter too. I won’t drive anything without AC that I can use six months out of the year, unless it’s a convertible, and even then I feel like a hot pocket in a microwave!

      Like 1
  25. Miguel

    If no A/C is no problem, Mexico is loaded with these cars in 2 door and 4 door variants with inline 6 cylinder engines, and they go cheap too.

    • Del

      Another 135000 mile car needing front end work 😁😂🤣

  26. Del

    Extremely nice example.

    But starting bid is about all its worth.

    Not that collectible. I would not pay more than 8 grand

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