Recently Refurbished: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

This 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu has a lot of positive attributes, so if you are looking for a practical classic that you can drive and enjoy immediately, then it is a car that is worth a serious look. Of course, if you fancy doing a bit of tinkering, this Malibu is happy to accommodate you on that score as well. It is located in Niles, Michigan, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $9,000 for this Chevy classic. I really need to say a big thank you to Barn Finder local_sheriff for spotting this great Malibu for us.

Externally, there really isn’t a lot to be critical of with the Malibu. The owner states that the Malibu has been recently refurbished, which would explain why it all looks so good. I suspect that this has been a pretty thorough job because components such as the bumpers and glass look a lot cleaner and fresher than I would expect to see on a 53-year-old car. The Marina Blue paint has a wonderful shine to it, while there are no obvious signs of any rust problems. The owner makes no mention of any problems in this area, so this may well be a solid and clean piece of machinery. Apart from the previously mentioned bumpers, the remaining external trim and chrome also present exceptionally well.

This is as close as we get to a look at the engine, but what we can see would seem to present extremely well. If you were hoping for a V8, then you might be a bit disappointed. Before you write this one off though, you need to be aware that the 230ci 6-cylinder engine that resides under the hood has been given a bit of a tickle along. It has been bored .040″ and fitted with a “step-up” COMP Cam, Clifford Performance aluminum intake, a 2-barrel Weber carburetor, headers, and a custom dual exhaust. This combination has only covered 2,300 miles since the work was completed, and the owner claims that it doesn’t sound or perform like a mere 6-cylinder engine. The only disappointment for me is the fact that the transmission is a Powerglide, but at least it is the aluminum version. The rest of the mechanical components have also come in for some attention, with the Malibu receiving rebuilds to both the front end and brakes, while it has also been treated to new springs, new shocks, and a new steering box. The owner claims that he would have no hesitation in driving the car anywhere.

For me, the low point of the Malibu has to be the interior, which doesn’t present to anywhere near the same standard as the rest of the car. It is serviceable as it is, but this is the area that I had in mind when I referred earlier to the opportunity for a bit of tinkering. The rear seat and door trims look okay, but when compared to the rest of the car, the interior just looks generally tired. The owner also admits that the headliner will require replacement. I did a bit of searching around, and although an interior trim kit for a sedan is harder to locate than for any other Malibu variant, they can be found with a bit of searching. I located one that included a headliner and full carpet set for just over $1,000. I can’t help but feel that fitting this would finish the car off nicely, and would do justice to the rest of the work that has been performed.

A 1966 Chevelle Malibu in the configuration that this car is doesn’t represent the most desirable or the most exciting classic that is available in the market today. However, for someone who is looking for a truly practical classic, especially an enthusiast with a young family, it appears that this is a car with a lot to commend it. There is no reason why it couldn’t be driven and enjoyed as it is, but whipping the interior into shape would make for a rewarding Winter project. The car would then feel really crisp and fresh when it emerged in the warmer weather for a touch of enjoyable weekend cruising.

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Comments

  1. David

    I like what has been done so far. The fact that a person could take most any car produced in the 60’s and add your own personal improvements to it even the tickling of a straight six is so much harder and expensive in today’s world.
    This car reminds me of my first car; four door, 2 speed auto, blue paint, I like it. I would own it and enjoy it. Nice car.

    Like 9
    • Mark Dalton

      I love it

  2. dirtyharry

    Someone is going to get a nice, fun and practical car without taking a second mortgage. I think it would be interesting with a 4 speed swap, keeping the six in place. This model has decent looks, even with 4 doors.

    Like 9
    • gaspumpchas

      yea dirtyharry, a t-5 5 speed would bolt right up to the six. Would still need a good inspection to make sure its not a mud queen. if its real, you couldnt get this one to this level for nine grand! Good luck to the new owner.
      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 3
  3. Matt Murray

    I’m a mopar guy but my brothers were chevy guy hardcore so I can enjoy them.
    My first wheels up was in a 67 chevelle but I always liked the 66 more….this is a way cool more door and in my opinion a very nice 60s ride that a working family man can afford and also drive with there head up at a cruise night.
    Would stick out and get more attention then the ss396 parked beside it at that cruise

    Like 6
  4. TimM

    A 4 door cruiser with good fuel economy and some style!! Would be great for the weekend trip with the family!! The kind of car that four people fit comfortably and not with the luggage cause it’s in the trunk!! In fact you don’t even have to see it in the back window!!

    Like 5
  5. Mr. Bond

    A good friend of mine picked up the identical car for $100 in 1979, needing a front wheel bearing. He went through it, polished it up, and drove it daily until the mid-1990’s. Still looked good and ran really well when he sold it. That 230 is a good engine, just not a rocket in stock form.

    Like 3
  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This is a nice car that can get you into the hobby without breaking the bank. I like the performance upgrades that will get a lot of looks with the hood up at your local cruise in. While the interior will need to be freshened up to compliment the clean exterior, that’s something that can be done in your garage, even if you’re not that handy. YouTube probably has a tutorial on recovering seats and various other interior repairs. It’s helped me out more than once. The only thing I would change is the wheels. I’d be inclined to go with factory-style steelies and a nice set of period correct full wheel covers. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing; it’s a great vintage ride for the price.

    Like 6
  7. Troy s

    Even with four doors it has a good looking stance to it. The interior is what it is, functional not pretty, and those shiny wheels will draw much attention. I figure lots of questions and answers will face the new owner whether at shows or out for coffee over the 6 banger.

    Like 4
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. Very nice. Who says that a car has to have 2 doors to be fun to drive? Or have a V8 engine? The only thing I don’t like is the aftermarket gauges underneath the dash on the left side. :)

      Like 2
  8. Jack M.

    All the money that the seller put into that puny little 230, they probably would have got equally as much power out of a stock 250. Not really up on my six bangers, but would a 292 fit with a cowl induction hood?

    Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      There’s a fella called Tom Lowe running the 12bolt.com site who some 10years back built his ’65 Elky equipped with a 292. Due to his custom made turbo injection setup it cleared a regular hood. No idea whether the cowl induction hood would help as I6s have offset carb(s)…

      Like 2
      • Jack M.

        Thanks, I had a lot of readers jump all over me in the past saying that the 292 was too tall for use in cars!

        Like 1
  9. Rj

    The perfect car for a mild 396, 700R4/4L60E, and 12 bolt. Coco leather bucket seat interior and a very factory “looking” console running all the way back. I wouldn’t mind rear cup holders built into the seat or in a fold down armrest. Tighten up the suspension and add some beefy swaybars. This could be built into an OutDamnStanding road tripper that could be showed off in any town USA on most Saturdays or Sundays.

    Like 2
  10. Joe

    Everyone knows that if you get into a six cylinder four door car, you’ll die.

    Like 10
    • David Ulrey

      Joe: Love your comment. Instant chuckle. :)

      Like 3
      • Joe

        Glad I could help!

        Like 1
  11. Ken Cwrney

    Kudos to the owner for taking this car in a
    different direction. Anyone can stuff a rat
    motor under the hood and call it done, but this gentleman went old school and
    built a really nice car out of what was available to him. And as for the interior,
    I know a couple of upholsterers who could finish that job in very short order.
    The end result was a really nice car that
    anyone would be proud to own. If I wasn”t facing heart surgery, I’d be looking
    for a way to make it mine. Good luck to
    the seller, you have a really good product
    there.

    Like 3
  12. jimmy the orphan

    Ah, a 66′ Quattro Port. Nice. There’s nothing wrong with the 6cyl. Price seems right. Fix the inside, ready to go. Later………………..JIMMY

    Like 2
  13. Bob S

    Don’t get me wrong, 2 door muscle cars are nice, owned a few myself, but the majority of the cars we saw on the roadways were these every man bread and butter mobiles. You just don’t see them anymore. I’d pass by ten 2 door Chevelles at a car show to check this out. Clean up the interior, and enjoy immensely!!

    Like 4
  14. nlpnt

    First car I ever rode in, coming home from the maternity ward was a tired old ’66 Chevelle sedan. Maroon instead of blue, rusty (terminally so by the time my memory kicks in) and no Cragars but otherwise like this.

    But still – a good one is up to $9k even with the Four-Door Discount? Wow.

  15. Stevieg

    Old lady in my neighborhood had a 1966 Malibu sport sedan (no post). Red with black vinyl top & black vinyl bench seat interior. Straight 6 & powerglide. Sharp old car, had cold air (I assume, windows were up, even in the summer). I drooled at that car like a St. Bernard.

    Like 1

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