Rock Solid Restorer: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

More often than not, it seems that the Chevelle Malibu tends to fall into two very separate camps. You either find immaculately restored vehicles or ones that will require some pretty major work to return them to their former glory. This Malibu Sport Coupe doesn’t fit in either camp, as the restoration work required to make it shine actually appears to be quite minor. This is reflected in bidding on the vehicle. At the time of writing, seven fairly determined bidders have pushed the price to $12,600, and it isn’t surprising that the reserve has not been met. Located in Vacaville, California, you will find the Malibu listed for sale here on eBay.

Rust in the Malibu is extremely limited. There is a small area present at the bottom of the windshield, but the owner has the replacement steel for that. Otherwise, the frame, floors, rockers, and quarter panels are said to be clean and solid The only other thing that I can see is this potential spot near the rear window, and that seems to be about it. The Lemonwood Yellow paint is also looking a bit tired and worn, but the panels all look straight and true.

The owner says that this particular Malibu was a special order, and came from the factory fitted with a 327ci V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. The owner doesn’t specifically state that the engine and transmission are numbers-matching, but he does say that the car runs and drives. I have to say that for an unrestored vehicle of this age, the engine bay looks quite clean, and it’s nice to see no tell-tale signs of oil leaks or radiator coolant stains anywhere.

The interior is another area of the Malibu that looks very promising. The photos aren’t the greatest, but the upholstered surfaces that are visible look to be in good condition, while it also looks like the dash pad might be free of cracks. The optional bucket seats and floor console are a nice find, and these also appear to be in good condition. I really wouldn’t be surprised if a decent amount of elbow grease and some good cleaners brought the interior back quite nicely.

In a sea of cars that require major restoration work, this Malibu is a refreshing change. The work that is required to return it to its best appears to be quite minor, and for someone looking for a first project car, this is a strong candidate. It has some nice and desirable options, and I suspect that bidding will ultimately be quite strong for this one. However, whoever ultimately buys this car looks like they will be landing a real beauty with the potential to increase in value and desirability with every passing year.

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  1. NotSure

    This Malibu would be fun to drive. I’m even okay with that paint color. Keep it original please.

    • Rex Fox Member

      Lots of potential with the 327 and 4 speed. That rust under the back window can be a bear. Good chance there’s rust in the trunk and rear quarters. I know from experience with a one-owner, garage kept Washington state 66. Good looking roofline, but poor water drainage.

  2. Arthell64 Member

    I have seen only one other 327 4 speed 66 chevelle in the last fifty years. I would call it a rare car.

  3. Rich

    Is that a smog pump I see? Even in the 60’s they must have had tough rules in cali!
    My 1st car was a 66 Malibu. Low key compared to this…283 powerglide. Loved it, and would love this one if I only could! Clean it up and drive it as is, I say!!

    • Rustytech

      That is a smog pump. California was always about 5 to 7 years ahead of the FED when it came to smog rules. It’s quite a shame since that’s where most of the clean restorable bodies come from. Fortunately where I live we have no smog testing. This looks like a nice start.

  4. Jim

    Nice 1966 Malibu Chevelle 👍

  5. Eric G

    Could be an L-79 car

    • Steve R

      You couldn’t get an L-79 in a 1966 Chevelle, you could in 65, 67 and 68, but for some reason not 66.

      Steve R


    My second car was a 66 Malibu convertible, 327 4 speed bench seat. No ps no pb, just a radio and a heater. It did have a reverb unit in the trunk. Oh one other option was the triple horn, which sounded like a Cadillac horn. Mine was the 275 hp version, and then it had headers, a z28 aluminum intake, and a bit too much carb in a Holley 780
    I wouldn’t call this car rare, they made over 400,000 66 Chevelles, in every conceivable configuration, but it is a beautiful car
    It is definitely a California car, with that smog pump, they got them first, then the rest of the nation, 67 and later.
    I raced mine at the local drag strip, just made one pass, beat the guy in the other lane and trophied for it. Still have the trophy, wish I had the car. If this one were a ragtop… well you know what I would be doing.

  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I like it. Had a 67 283 3 speed, great car. These were great cars to own and drive. My only question is: what’s the reserve on this one?

  8. Troy s

    It’s a cool looking car overall, but those rims really give it some attitude. Would make for a fun driver without messing up to much originality.
    California sold cars were one step ahead of the rest when it came to pollution controls, and many gear heads were quick to trash all that stuff. Lots of really great cruisers and bruisers here lately.

  9. Tom Member

    Ok, this is my favorite Chevelle Body Style. Reserve not met and it is over $17K bid…….sorry but I am not sure on this one. I know, I know, if I owned it I would want someone to pay me way more money than the car is worth, I get it but this car is a 10-15K MAX…..and that is only if you are looking for one for a very specific build. Even then, not too sure.

    Next, You can buy a 66 Chevelle Malibu (not an SS) DONE and done VERY WELL for 32-38K AND LESS THAN THAT ….and you have not negotiated yet.

    Why would I pay 20K for a car that is going to need $50K, maybe $70K to get it to the level of a car that I can pay HALF that for RIGHT NOW………

    The ONLY reason you would pay more than 10K for this car is IF you wanted to very specifically build a 66 Chevelle again…. VERY specifically and needed a good solid candidate.

    WHICH the photos do not show the lower body panels or the undercarriage. The photos of this car are, what, not good? Not clear. Fuzzy. not enough.
    Sorry, unless it is a drop top and.or an SS …..go buy one…..there are some sweet ones done for $32K and 38K and that is only the first couple I clicked on.

    Pretty sure this is NOT a rare small block version. Clone it, make is a BB SS car, do it right and MAYBE one day, Maybe, you will break even after having enjoyed the car. Maybe.

  10. j liu

    Wow, this car has a Frantz auxiliary oil filter…they used to use toilet paper rolls as a medium to filter the oil. My uncle had one installed on his truck. I have not seen one since my uncle had his back in the 1970’s. Cool.

  11. PDXBryan

    What a cool car and I love the color! Get a professional to detail it for maximum effect and restore those Torq-Thrusts for a touch of bling. The 327 with 4-speed would be all the fun a sane person could use. From what I can see, this has that perfect, impossible to create, hard to find, level of patina that says it’s been used and loved.

  12. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    I like the Canadian market Beaumont better.

  13. Del

    This must be a Saginaw four speed ?

    I had a 64 Mailbu with the Saginaw . They were deadly slow.

    Any Mopar automatic of same era woul blow their doors off.

    Price way to high. More fake bidders ?


      Muncie 4speeds in 66. There was a Wide Ratio, and close ratio, which is also known as the m22 and rock crusher, if my memory serves me correctly. Mine was wide ratio, and would do 55 in first gear. Made it hard for people to drive , if they weren’t accustomed to gently slipping the clutch on starting out. 2 friends burned up my clutch. I got so I could do a clutch in an hour and a half.
      The gauges in the dash of this care ARE a rare find. Even on the SS models, so this one is surprising, especially on a non SS.

  14. Terry from Michigan

    I would stay away from this car. I bought a 66 Chevelle convertible on eBay last year and it was a “no rust car”. I have had to replace just about every body panel on the car. The guy put dynamat over all the rust and then used 10 cans of 3M rust proofing. Had bondo everywhere and the ad said rust free from British Columbia, problem was it lived it’s life in New Jersey salt. He said new interior; red and blue seats sprayed black with vinyl dye. He even lied about the top. Blue top sprayed black vinyl dye from the 90’s and advertised as new. Never buy a car on eBay unless it is down the road.

  15. Comet

    This looks like a super honest California car. There can’t too be many relatively rust free untouched early four speed Chevelle’s left. It should bring all the money.

  16. cmarv

    I love it , but not $20k worth . I’m old and remember when Malibu’s like this were $500-$800 and SS cars were $1200-$1500 . It is a sweet heart , but you can get a lot more car for a lot less money . JMO .

  17. RoughDiamond

    It’s probably a great ’66 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe. However, even being a CA car, I am surprised by where the bidding has gone with so few pictures and no pictures showing the chassis.

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