F41 Performance Package: 1980 Chevrolet Malibu

The 1978 to 1983 Chevrolet Malibu isn’t viewed as one of the better performing or more highly desirable cars ever made. But if you’d want one from that time, this would be it. Found here on Craigslist in San Antonio, Texas, this one carries low miles and a high price.

The F41 was essentially a suspension package that had been tightened up for better performance. This included upgraded springs, sway bars, and even turning the front bumper into an additional cross member to create extra stiffness. Not only does this 1980 Malibu F41 sport these factory suspension upgrades but it remains in factory condition. Seeing that manual shifter only adds to the desirability of this car.

The seller claims that this Malibu was pulled from a climate-controlled setting and has been kept as a factory original time capsule. A  couple of noticeable changes from the factory may be in the aftermarket air cleaner or that rear spoiler. Even with a small block v8, the only unfortunate thing here is that this Malibu would have a hard time even getting out of its own way.

This car is claimed to be the only one known to exist in that color. The pictures seem to justify the claims of a car with less than 3,000 original miles. Yes, less than 3,000 miles! With that rare performance package, rare color, and that low of miles, you would expect a hefty price tag. So, is a nearly $30,000 asking price justified by what this car is?

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  1. Classic Steel

    Dream On ….

    Good Luck 🍀

    So never drive it and pray it will resell if you need too..

    It’s sadly the less desirable box model car
    … with a plus of manual transmission 👍

  2. Jeff

    It’s not a bad looking Malibu (especially considering the period), and would be a fun driver after a few performance mods, but that price is ridiculous. Again, rare does not equal desirable. This is maybe a $10k car.

  3. Pete

    Why the aftermarket air cleaner? Something’s not right.

  4. Cooter

    It looks to have been lowered also. Looks much better but adds another chink in the “original” armor.

  5. Rock On

    Better look again. Those white pipes at the side of the engine are aftermarket exhaust headers. Can’t be sure by viewing on my phone, but there also appears to be some chrome accessories under the hood( alternator and bracket ). This is a nice car, but more in the $12,000 to $15,000 maximum price range.

  6. CCFisher

    Air cleaner and rear spoiler are aftermarket. Interior has some discoloration inconsistent with climate-controlled storage. Of course, given quality standards of the day, it could have been built with a discolored interior. It could also be a very well cared-for 103,000 miles. Regardless, is a rare, low-mileage version of a generally-not-desirable car worth $30,000? Would an equivalent Malibu Classic be worth $35,000?

  7. Jack M.

    Click on the ad. The guys got five of them at his house! That’s hilarious.

    • Chebby Member

      Indeed, he of all people knows they’re not worth $30k

  8. Steve R

    It’s a cool and unusual car. That doesn’t equate to a nearly $30,000 value.

    Steve R

  9. Dean

    I’ve always liked these, although not with a 305. It doesn’t appear to have room for anything much larger, especially with headers.

    • Don H

      a350 is the same size as a 305 so it does have plenty of room

    • Art M.

      I had one of these that I put 454 big block in and It had long tube headers. The only clerance problem i had was that i couldn’t use tall valve covers on it. There are many of these out there with big block engines in them, so space is not an issue.

    • DC

      I had the first year (1978) and put a spare ’68 327cid in there…slid right in with dual glass packs and removed the bench for buckets! Plus other goods…sure as hell never meant it was a 30k car…lol

  10. XMA0891

    So is this a three-speed manual, or a four-speed?
    My dad had a ’79 wagon with a three-on-the-floor.
    His was the only manual I’ve ever happened-across.

    • Shane

      I had an 80 elcamino with the 229 3 speed manual. I loved the amount of tall boys i could hide from the popo behind that rear curtain!

    • Alfonso DeMagistris

      Found a 78 el camino in the bone yard about 20 years ago and pulled the 4 speed setup out of it, and put it in my 80 cutlass supreme. It was a factory Hurst shifter. I got rid of the car , but I saved the 4 speed setup. They even came with a 3 on the tree! I’ve only seen 1 Malibu wagon with that, and that was 30+ yrs ago.

      • Terry C

        My ’78 is a factory four speed 350 car. Not many around that I’ve managed to find.

  11. Wayne

    I have always like the body style of this “vintage” (correct term for this body style?) Malibu. A 327, 350, 383, or 400 small block will bolt right up and provide some go power. Don’t go crazy with the cam profile and use a fuel injection system to achieve some decent fuel economy. It could be a fun car to purchase for $10,000 and put another $5,000 into it. A late model, daily driver, hot rod that handles well.

  12. Emsea

    I think that interior is clean and correct, that’s sort of marbled brown not a solid color. Nice car. But his price seems a tad optimistic as noted by others.

  13. Pender

    My Dad had a ’79 4dr with column shift 3 spd. auto, 267 SB from new. That interior came that way. The seats had a “mottled” look to mimic leather. Very comfy seats, and same color as in pics.

  14. Will Fox

    The seller has no previous experience putting values on cars I see. They need to stick to selling Kirby vacuums.

    • Shane

      That was a great laugh!! Thank you!!

  15. Bobby

    Be hard pressed to get 10k out of it. Even with the manual trans this car isn’t anything special. Will never be a collector vehicle. Then add in the 0-60 Times around 10 seconds. Come to think of it wouldn’t pay 5k for it.

  16. Joe Mac

    Someone please let me know when he lowers his price to $8k. Thanks.

  17. That Guy

    Hot rodders like this era of mid-size GM cars because they are pretty light and can be made to handle well and go really fast, though that’s with lots and lots of modern performance mods. I’m not sure who the buyer for this car would be. It’s too clean and rare to chop up, but it’s not much of a performance car as-is.

    • Miguel

      Hot rodders like this era of car because they are dirt cheap to buy and will take the modifications well.

      Even the rarest model of these isn’t worth very much.

      There has to be one other person that thinks this car is worth the money, and I doubt that person exists.

  18. edh

    WOW! The vaunted 267 V8.

  19. RoughDiamond

    That transmission would not hold up under any serious horsepower being put to the ground.

    • scottymac

      Did Chevy do like Ford with the toploader and ChryCo with the A833, and make an overdrive out of the Muncie? Or is this a Saginaw?

      • Alfonso DeMagistris

        Muncie was an option, I believe a m-20 or 21could be purchased

  20. Dave Mika


  21. Superdessucke

    Did that stupid wing come in the F41 pkg? I think not! I’d point that towards the nearest recycling bin straight away.

    Beyond that, and the price of course, decent car.

  22. Chebby Member

    A well-ordered car from the malaise era. Would be a fun driver for $6k.

  23. Todd

    The asking price is drunk but it’s a nice car. I used to like these for building street racers. Nice and light, cheap, full framed, and a ton of parts back then. I’d like to have another one but can get them all day in Florida clean and under $5K.

  24. CanuckCarGuy

    Sharp colour combination, and the rims shown in the Craigslist ad suit the overall look and stance… even with the spoiler, but that’s somewhat iffy. Certainly not going to tear up any asphalt, unless you’re dragging a shovel beneath it, but it would make a nice cruiser if the price was dialed back about 50%. If this was the wagon body style, it would be an awesome find.

  25. Max

    I like it as a low mile original example of G body Malibu but Not for the asking price ! If I wanted to buy I would offer 13k tops !

  26. Willte

    If the price were right, I’d pick it up in a heartbeat. Had a 78 malibu classic, loved that car, a woman hit me head on and totaled it.The square body style reminded me of 64-65 malibu and Chevy II.

  27. Matt steele

    That’s $8000 more than the 73 mach one with a 351 Cleveland listed above..I’d be embarrassed to consider asking $30,000.you can get a new mustang GT for less..thanks for the laughs

    • Bob Sanders

      You CANNOT get a new Mustang GT for under 30k

      • z28th1s

        We have a local Ford dealer that has a brand new 2018 base model Mustang GT with the 6 speed manual trans advertised for $29,900.

  28. Michael A Groves

    I had one of these for awhile. Was starting to put cash into it. One day I had to have brakes put on it, and found out at sometime the car had been hit in the rear really good. While the body had been repaired, mechanical issues had not, and with good reason. Car was rolling crocked, and brake issues persisted. Dumped it. I wouldn’t waste cash on it ether.

  29. beerme

    The only way he’ll get $30000.00 is with a gun

  30. Tom

    Looks like the seller accomplished his goal, he’s got half the people on here saying it’s a $10k-$15k car…Cha-Ching!

  31. Moepoe

    Looks like the car was bought on eBay, per the picture of documentation the seller shows. Clearly, this car has been through some significant changes with the motor, suspension and rear decklid. Looks nice, has 1980 air in the tires. But $30K? No way. This is a $10K-$12K all day long.

  32. Gary

    Barn finds comes thru once again, feeling a little down in the dumps today and I needed a good laugh.
    Thanks Barn Finds for making my day!

  33. kelly g

    My mom had a 1980 4 door with the 305 and automatic. It was a lot of fun to drive when i was 16. I thought it was pretty fast. It had a delicious kickdown when matted. Love to own one. Dad had a 79 2 door v6 which was a total dog. i remember the turn signal stalk came off in my hand making a left turn. Dad gave me hell saying the dealer mechanic said it took 700 lbs of press to install it. Nope lol.

  34. Kevin McCabe

    Does the F41 package make the car more desirable? Yes.

    Does the low miles make the car more desirable? Yes.

    Do question 1 & 2 combine to make it a $38000 car? Not for another 75 years or so.

  35. Tom

    Too bad it’s missing the exclusive F-41 badging…

  36. Rustytech

    These were nice cars, and easily modified for more power, but $30k? There were three of these for sale in my area earlier this year that wern’t Up to this quality, but were nice. I could have bought all three for what this guy wants for one. This will be on the market for awhile!

  37. Fhuket

    Bargain. 1980 in new condition. Bargain alright

  38. Jeff F Member

    Let’s face it, you are going to have to fall in love with these cars because no one can afford the 60’s. The mid 70’s have been ignored so long they have almost disappeared.

  39. George

    dead giveaway the motor has been monkeyed with after 1975 ALL chevy small blocks were painted blue, until 1983 when they switched to black. Not to mention the headers & air cleaner of course…

  40. Fiete T.

    Not even half…

  41. chad

    Dad wuz forced to take 1 of these as a company car @ that time. He wuz a family man, not young, & an attorney (different back then) so far frm a hot rodder. Every light or stop sign he’d pull away w/a lill chirp of the tires and a curse “Damn thing”. Were they high geared or what?


    This guy think’s he has $150,000 worth in Malibus at he’s garage LOL

  43. Mike W H

    I think that last pic in the ad tells the tale:
    These guys specialize in finding grandma’s church-goin’ Malibu car and tricking it out. I call BS on the whole operation.
    It’s Texas.

  44. Smith

    How did they utilize the front bumper to stiffen things up.
    Only with the F41 package.

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