Restore or Clone? 1970 Chevrolet Malibu

The 1970 Chevelle Malibu is one of the most often cloned cars as SS 396s or 454s. That may be because more than 300,000 of the Sport Coupes were built during that model year. This one is a stalled project that may or may not have been on its way to being repurposed as the engine is already not numbers matching to the car. There is some rust, and an assortment of new sheet metal comes with the project whether they’re needed or not. Located in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, this Chevy is available here on eBay where the last bid submitted was $10,000.

Second-generation Chevelles were built from 1968 to 1972 and would be some of their most popular, largely because of the muscle car movement that the third generation didn’t get to enjoy. Styling on the Chevelles was updated in 1970, giving the car a bit more of a square appearance in some places. More than half of the Chevelle population in 1970 were Malibu’s, including the Monte Carlo and El Camino which were in the same family.

Though primer gray is present everywhere you look, the cowl tag says this Chevelle left the factory in Champagne Gold. Which would explain the black vinyl top and a (mostly) black interior. We’re told the frame is solid and the floorboards are fine except for a hole under the driver’s foot. The trunk looks clean, too, although we’re told there are a couple of small holes. Extra sheet metal and other items collected over time that go with the car include a passenger-side door, windshield, both front fenders, some trim pieces, and a spare grille. The interior is currently mismatched, but the seller says more bucket sets will come with the deal.

The non-original 350 cubic inch V8 hasn’t run in two years due to a charging problem. It has an Edelbrock carburetor (4-barrel?) and a Street Dominator intake manifold from Holley. The engine is paired with a TH-350 automatic transmission (condition unknown), and you’ll get some extra springs, shocks, and a whole spare 12-bolt rear end. This Malibu was equipped with factory air conditioning, but the compressor is now MIA. If you bought this Chevy, would you restore it as is or move forward with a cloning initiative?


  1. Bick Banter

    Leave it. And do a performance build to make it better than an SS. Why try to add Chinese-made gingerbread and make it a fake SS396? Patrick Glenn Nichols will come and blow your ill-fitting and shoddily made repop emblems clean off!

    Like 1
  2. NovaTom

    Wow – $1500 used cars sure are expensive these days.

    Like 11
  3. Danny

    NovaTom, you must still be in a time warp from yester years! Hey wake up, you are looking at 52 year old cars, made from metal, that generally are all gone at this stage of life! These cars are rare to start with, and the days of getting a good old car for 1500 dollars are in the past. As I have mentioned in the past and continue to try and change the mindset of many on this site, it’s time to accept the fact, these cars have moved to a higher platform, regarding value. You do not have to like it, but you and others need to accept the truth, because these cars will never return back in price to a 1500 dollar car. Time to wake up people, the dream is over.

    Like 1
  4. 19sixty5 Member

    I see an “original” SS 454 in it’s future…

    Like 2
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’d restore what needs to be restored, while leaving alone what works just fine. I’ve always loved the 1970-71 Chevelle and, SS and Chevelle Malibu.

  6. sparkster

    I see a LS in it’s future, as well as a lot of work

  7. R.Lee

    The only reason that it is a 10k car is the net. The reach of coast to coast is upon us. And do not fault sensibility for stupidity if you decide to pay 10k.

    Knowing what it was and what it is is why I will not be taking this one home.

    Most of these cars are gone because any up powered car that got wrecked these were used as parts cars, or “made” into SS cars. Seen it happen everyday back in the 70’s and later. Not all the parts are the same but the fenders, core support, wheelhouses, doors, q panels, glass and other incidentals.

    Like the famous saying, there are more SS cars now than were built is true for a reason.

    God Bless America!

    Like 2

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