Parked For 38 Years: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Convertible

Some storage environments can be better than others, but the barn that this 1966 Chevelle Malibu Convertible has spent the past 38-years in must have been close to perfect. That would explain why it has remained so clean and solid for all of those years, and why it will actually take very little work to get this classic back on the road once again. It isn’t completely original, but the changes that have been made offer the promise of some fairly enjoyable Summer motoring. The Malibu is located in Sanford, Maine, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $11,650, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

It isn’t clear just why the Malibu was originally parked, and it becomes all the more intriguing when you consider that approximately 20-years-ago the vehicle was sent out for a repaint in its original Mist Blue, and was then promptly placed back into storage. The paint has survived quite well, although there are a ding and a scrape on the rear quarter panel. This isn’t severe, and given the fact that the car has been squirreled away since the repaint, a good panel-shop should be able to match the color with no real problems. All of the exterior trim is present, although some of it isn’t currently attached to the vehicle. The owner also describes the condition of some of the pieces as being average, so it might be that refurbishment or replacement of these items could be on the cards. Rust is not an issue that the next owner will have to fret about. There was a small spot in the trunk that has been repaired, but that is the only rust to be found anywhere. It also appears that it has never been an issue, with the rockers and rear quarter panels all being original. The floors and frame are solid, with little more than a light coating of surface corrosion on the underside. The inside of the floors have been stripped and freshly coated, so there’s no work to do there. The wheels come from a Corvette, and they suit the Malibu very nicely. A new Convertible top will need to go on the shopping list, but the bows are present and are said to work as they should.

The owner is pretty candid about the state of the interior, and it will need some work. The Malibu was originally fitted with a bench seat, but both the front and rear seats were missing when he purchased the vehicle. He sourced a set of seats including buckets for the front, but if these are to be retained, then they will require new foam and covers. The front seats aren’t bolted down simply because the owner didn’t want to drill the floor at this point. He felt that the next owner might want to find an original bench seat instead, which would make the holes and braces unnecessary. The rest of the trim will require restoration, although a new dash cap has just been fitted. The shifter has broken at some point but has been patched-up to allow the car to be driven around the yard. Included in the sale are a replacement column and a good shifter, so that will solve that problem. Although, as you will see, there might be an alternative available for the buyer to consider.

The Chevelle is not a numbers-matching car, but that might not necessarily be bad news. A 283ci V8 originally occupied the engine bay, but this was pulled in around 1976, and a 327 of 1969-vintage was slotted into its place. Backing that 327 is a 3-speed manual transmission. Reviving the Convertible after it was removed from the barn included replacing the carburetor, cleaning the fuel tank, performing a full service, repairing the brakes, checking and repairing the electrical system as necessary, and wrapping a new set of tires around those Corvette wheels. The result is a car that now runs and drives well. There are a few items that will need attention before the Malibu could be considered to be 100% roadworthy. The dual exhaust is looking a bit like Swiss cheese, so this will need to be replaced. The tail-lights also don’t function, but this is due to the actual globe fittings deteriorating beyond repair. Address those two issues and this baby will be ready to hit the road once again. I previously mentioned an alternative to repairing the broken shifter, and the alternative will tempt a few people. The owner has a 4-speed Muncie transmission in his possession and would be willing to sell that as a separate item to the buyer of the Chevelle. This could be slotted in place of the 3-speed, rendering the column shifter redundant. It is certainly an alternative that might be worth serious consideration.

It appears that it isn’t going to cost a huge amount of time or money to return this 1966 Malibu Convertible to a high level of presentation, and even less to return it to a roadworthy state in the short-term. It is a striking looking classic, and from a personal perspective, I would love to know its backstory. To remove a car from storage after 18-yers, treat it to a repaint, and then promptly place it back into storage, does seem to be quite intriguing. I can’t help but think that there is a bit of a story in that. Regardless, this is a classic that would seem to promise some pretty enjoyable motoring for its next owner, and I’ll be quite glad to see it returned to the road once again.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Back in the day, looked at a leftover 66 convertible when I was shopping for a car. Thing was it was a 283 powerglide, and I wanted a manual.
    This one is in incredible shape for it’s age if it’s truly as represented. I’d park it in my garage (if I had space).

  2. Big Len

    This color, even when dirty, looks clean. Love it.

    3
    • Scuderia

      so true, i have a ’64 silver/blue vette that I’ve only washed a dozen times in the 20 years I’ve owned it. never looks dirty.

      6
  3. TimM

    Really a lot of potential here being it’s a manual and the body looks solid and clean!!!

    1
  4. 19sixty5 Member

    This looks like a great project, depending on the admission price! Looks like a 66 LeMans/GTO rear seat, fronts are from a 67, not sure of what they are out of, don’t recall the pattern. A 5 or 6 speed conversion would really be sweet for this car, would make a great cruiser!

    1
  5. Al Gates

    This is so stunning. Our first car was the Coupe version of same color, split seats. Only diff, I installed a smaller diameter steering wheel(manual steering). It was a thing a beauty, until I got into a head on accident….

  6. Al Gates

    This is so stunning. Our first car was the Coupe version of same color, split seats. Only diff, I installed a smaller diameter steering wheel(manual steering). It was a thing a beauty, until I got into a head on accident….I put baby moons on the wheels…..

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