Parked In The ’90s: 1965 Chevrolet Malibu SS Convertible

Having spent the majority of its life in either Nevada or California, it is no real surprise to learn that this 1965 Malibu SS Convertible is a rust-free vehicle that is ripe for restoration. The car has been parked since the 1990s, but the owner feels that it won’t take a lot of work to get the car back up and running once again. If you feel like you’re up to that challenge, then you will find the Malibu located in Reno, Nevada, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $7,950, and the reserve has been met. It seems that there are a few people who are keen on this one because there are currently 148 people who are watching the listing.

The Malibu started life finished in Crocus Yellow, but at some point in time, a previous owner has treated it to a repaint in Madeira Maroon. While this new color isn’t bad, I do think that the Malibu would look much nicer returned to its original shade. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, there are a few minor dents and dings to attend to. The worst of these would appear to be in the leading edge of the passenger side front fender, although it really isn’t that bad. The soft-top is pretty shredded, so a replacement will need to be sourced. Some of the exterior trim is showing signs of damage, but this shouldn’t be a big problem. Included with the car is a full set of new wheel arch moldings, along with a nice grille, and a few other pieces of trim. I haven’t mentioned rust, and that’s for a good reason. It would appear that with this car it isn’t a problem. There is some surface corrosion present in the trunk, but that is about it. This would appear to be one solid old classic.

Great news. This is a numbers-matching car, and this is a fact that is going to have a significant positive impact on the future value of this car. What you get in this case is a 283ci V8 engine, and a 2-speed Powerglide automatic. The car hasn’t run since it was parked in the 1990s, and while the owner did install the battery to ensure that all of the electrical items function as they should (and they do), he has made no attempt to fire the 283 back into life. That probably isn’t a bad thing, because I would want to give everything a pretty thorough check before I hit the key for the first time. With 195hp on tap from a healthy engine, the Malibu should potentially provide reasonable performance, although this will be blunted to a certain extent by the Powerglide transmission. Still, the combination should result in a pretty relaxed top-down cruiser.

The interior of the Malibu looks pretty sad at first glance, but it isn’t actually that bad. The covers on the front seats aren’t original, and given the fact that the one on the driver’s seat is damaged anyway, it would pay to replace them both. The backings of the door trims are slightly warped, but I have seen worse than these given a dose of steam on the back, and they can then be returned to a flat state once again. The dash pad is good, and I think that the rest of the dash would be transformed by a good clean. The rest of the interior trim and the rear seat look to be in great condition under their layer of dust. The faded carpet won’t be a problem, because a new carpet set is included with the car. The big-ticket item when it comes to restoration cost is going to be replacing the console, which appears to be damaged beyond repair. However, a quick search turned up reproduction consoles for around the $500 mark, while I had no trouble locating an immaculate second-hand one for $200. With that in mind, it would seem that returning the interior to its former glory is likely to take more time than money.

We’ve seen plenty of great project cars here at Barn Finds, and this Malibu SS Convertible really looks like it’s a good one. It would seem to be one of those cars where the majority of the restoration tasks could be tackled by a competent person in a home workshop. Even if the next owner decided to bite the bullet and have the majority of the restoration work performed by a professional, it should be well worth the effort. To put that into context, take a look around at present and try to find a nice 283-equipped SS Convertible for under $40,000. You can find them, but they are the exception, rather than the rule. With that thought in mind, that would seem to make this car a project that would be well worth tackling.

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Never did like the ’65 grill as much as I liked the ’64 but I still like this car. It would make a great project and looks like lots of fun to take down the road. Clean it up and detail it would be the most of what you would have to do appearance wise. No doubt there will be some issues to clear up with the driveline and brakes. Yes the interior has a few issues but I’ve seen a lot worse. The 283/2spd works just fine. My dad had two El Caminos with that same combination and they served him well.

    Like 9
    • Moparman Member

      @geomechs I’m the exact opposite, I thought that the changes to the car from 64 to 65 improved its’ looks all around, including the grille, and the tailights. Different strokes…… :-) GLWTS!!

      Like 4
  2. Bob McK Member

    Nice find! This one is worth restoring. I always wanted one when I was a kid.

    Like 3
  3. Jim in FL

    Yes, as a teen in the 80’s I had a friend who inherited a white 65 from his grandmother. Hers had the same motor combination. It was no highway bandit with the powerglide but was perfect for hauling around four to six cross country runners with the top down.

    When he got the car, the top hadn’t been down in years. My dad begged him to wait a week or so and he would teach us how to rebuild the top cylinders. You can’t tell that to a teen, and the top became manual when all the seals went on the hydraulics.

    Bidding will likely take this one out of reach. But a nice simple convertible would be a refreshing car to enjoy. Good luck to the next owner.

    Like 6
  4. Will Fox

    Someone’s going to acquire one sweet, solid Malibu SS. You can’t expect to find a Z16 obviously, but I for one would be VERY happy bringing this back to showroom stock, just for my own enjoyment on sunny days. Since repro. parts are plentiful for these, I’d also be inclined to give it a white interior vs. the black. Since the reserve’s already been met at less than $8K, the price seems right too. Good luck to the new owner!!

    Like 6
  5. PaulG

    Nice honest looking car, surprised the seller didn’t spend about a day getting it up and running, makes one wonder. Especially since it’s sitting outside a shop with a lift…
    Looks like the re-paint is closer to Regal Red than Madera Maroon

    Like 6
  6. Bob C.

    A friend of mine had one of these a few years back. Ironically the same color scheme as well. It was in need of extensive restoration, but he drove and enjoyed it for what it was worth. His wife called it the crappy convertible.

    Like 3
  7. RoggueInLA

    February 1973, fresh out of Navy boot camp in San Diego, saw a ’64 Malibu SS convertible sitting in the front corner of a used car lot in Ontario Ca. New blue paint and new white top, blue interior, buckets, console, 283/PG, manual top. Looked gorgeous sitting in the sun. $675 out the door. After signing the papers, the salesman said “It’s easier to get rid of the clap than a convertible in Southern California!”.

    Drove it from CA to FL, back to CA. Had it for several years before I foolishly sold it to a guy who wrecked it soon after. Last I saw of it was the rear half, with the top halfway raised, sitting in a junkyard in Hanford CA.

    One of the few cars I’ve always regretted not keeping.

    Like 7
  8. RogueInLA

    February 1973, fresh out of Navy boot camp in San Diego, saw a ’64 Malibu SS convertible sitting in the front corner of a used car lot in Ontario Ca. New blue paint and new white top, blue interior, buckets, console, 283/PG, manual top. Looked gorgeous sitting in the sun. $675 out the door. After signing the papers, the salesman said “It’s easier to get rid of the clap than a convertible in Southern California!”.

    Drove it from CA to FL, back to CA. Had it for several years before I foolishly sold it to a guy who wrecked it soon after. Last I saw of it was the rear half, with the top halfway raised, sitting in a junkyard in Hanford CA.

    One of the few cars I’ve always regretted not keeping.

    Like 3
    • Boatman Member

      You can say that again, Rogue!

      Like 2
  9. Del

    Good find

    Like 2
  10. TimM

    Love this one!!! Might just have to get in on it!!

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