Original Survivor: 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic

The owner of this 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic is a man of few words, so it is really a case of carefully examining the photos that he supplies to see what story they tell. They would seem to tell the story of a generally clean survivor that is waiting for someone to treat it to a dose of good old TLC. I really have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder local_sheriff for spotting the Malibu for us. It is located in Questa, New Mexico, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $4,500, so take a look and see what you think.

Generally speaking, the Malibu appears to be a clean and tidy car. The Light Blue Metallic paint has a nice shine to it, and there are no signs of any rust issues. The most obvious section of body damage is this ding on the car’s left rear corner. The right-hand-side of the deckled also appears to be out of alignment, and it actually looks like something is bent there. I’ve also been examining this photo long and hard to try to determine what is going on with the paint just below the trunk lock. I can’t tell whether there is a reflection in the paint, a flaw in the photo or something is odd with the paint. Beyond that, the Malibu looks to be very straight and clean.

The interior is showing its share of wear and tear, but for a car of this vintage, it actually isn’t that bad. The next owner will probably want to freshen it up a bit, because the cover on the front seat has a lot of wear on the cloth, while the vinyl edging sports some rips. The passenger side door trim is also split, but it’s hard to see the state of the dash. However, the boxed speakers sitting on the rear floor suggest that there is probably an aftermarket stereo fitted to the car. The rear seat and trim look like they might be in quite good condition, while what we can see of the carpet shows some promise. Given the fact that the Classic was the range-topping offering from the Malibu range in 1977, the cloth seats come as no surprise. It would be interesting to know exactly what other options are fitted to the car. Given the fact that it is from New Mexico, you would hope that it does feature air conditioning. Beyond that, it is hard to be sure of anything given the fact that the owner of the Malibu limits his description to a grand total of eleven words.

The owner supplies no engine photos but does reveal that the Malibu is fitted with the largest available engine for the 1977 model year. This is the 350ci V8, which is backed by a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission. He does state that the car has 106,000 miles on its odometer, and while this is below the average expectancy for a car of this age, at least he is not making some outrageous and unrealistic claim. By 1977, the 350 in the Malibu was producing 170hp, which was quite reasonable in the context of that era. It meant that the car wasn’t a lightning performer, but it could certainly keep pace with the competition. While the owner doesn’t reveal how well the car runs and drives, he does state that the Rally wheels are wearing new tires.

In his limited description of this 1977 Malibu, the owner describes its condition as “good.” That would be a pretty fair assessment, and in reality, it doesn’t appear as though it would take a lot of work to lift the car to the next level. When you consider the vehicles that were being offered by manufacturers during the Malaise Era, the Malibu, especially when equipped with the 350ci V8, was probably one the best cars available at that point. It is a 42-year-old survivor, and if you would love nothing more than to relive a time when disco was king, and when George Lucas was blowing everyone’s minds with the first Star Wars movie, then maybe this is the car for you.


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  1. John M.

    My family had a 1975 Malibu 2 door that my late dad bought new. He traded it in for a used 1980 Cutlass sedan at a local Chevy dealer in 1982 a month before I graduated high school. He later learned that the Malibu was sold a day after the deal on the Cutlass was closed.

    Like 6
    • Bob C.

      Even in the 1980s these Colonnade cars were still hot.

      Like 5
  2. Martin r Nichols

    We have a 1976 Malibu classic the last year for the 400 small block in a Chevrolet car, Our car retains it’s original heart :)

    Like 6
  3. Troy s

    Soup the 350, make sure it’s safe and just drive it…but no Bee Gees music At All. Not a bad looking car here, considering when it was built.

    Like 4
  4. Michael

    Had a 1973 and would be the only year I’d buy this car. The bumpers kept growing on them. Most likely the heavest part of the car. By 1977 the bumpers were huge.

    Like 1
  5. Del

    Nice car. Good shape.

    Price is right

    Like 5
  6. Comet

    There can be quite a difference between a lifetime New Mexico car and a car being sold in New Mexico.

    Like 2
  7. Glenn Schwass Member

    I prefer pre-73 Chevelles but this is in wonderful shape. I hope it goes to a good home..

    Like 3
  8. George Mattar

    Easy to work on. Cheap. No rust. Buy. Change fluids, repack wheel bearings. Drive. Wax the single stage lacquer. Cheap insurance on a car this old. I worked on these new at a large Chevy dealer. Far superior to modern GM junk. And far better than an $800 a month payment.

    Like 2
  9. Steve

    There used to be one just like this in the showroom where I worked in the parts department at Verger Chevrolet back in the 70’s. It looked so modern to me. I’m thinking maybe someone tried prying the trunk lid open. Love old survivor cars like this.

    Like 2
  10. David Ulrey

    I’m seeing people think the price is fine but it really doesn’t come across as fine to me. Maybe if you live in rust country it’s a decent price. Here in Arizona it’s about a 3k car at best and only because overall it isn’t in bad condition. Certainly not mint condition but not bad condition.

    • Steven

      Yeah I was thinking the price is fine as a starting point. Start there and wind up at three. Both parties could be happy.

      Like 2
  11. Stevieg

    Nice car, but that interior is not original & already shot again. Probably 200,000 miles.
    I had a 1975 Malibu classic coupe like this, gold with black interior, oil burning inline 6 engine. Number 1 cylinder was the culprit. It would foul that plug every 30 or so miles lol. Sharp looker though. I masked off SS stripes across the hood & trunk, and spray painted them in. Most people couldn’t tell the difference. The good ol’ days lol!

    Like 1
  12. TimM

    Could be a nice daily driver for cheap!!

    Like 1

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