SS Alternative? 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 4-Speed Malibu

Who would have thought, back in 1967, that a Chevelle SS396 would have people going gaga, 50 plus years after the fact, and willing to plunk down an obscene amount of cash for a snippet of the past? They are hot, no doubt about it, so hot that they are often cloned, honestly or dishonestly, and still trade for unnaturally high prices. Today, we’re going to notch it down a bit and take a look at the SS’s lesser brother, performance-wise, but the bread and butter of the ’67 Chevelle line-up, the Malibu. This 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu is located in Oregon, Ohio and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $24,100, two bids tendered so far.

Most ’67 Malibus were powered by entry-level engines working their way quietly through a two-speed automatic transmission but things could be spiced up a bit if a prospective buyer so desired. There were a pair of 327 CI engines available for ’67, one at 275 HP and the other, a watered-down L79, good for 325, the same rating as the entry-level SS396. The L79’s are not common, I encountered a few back in the early-’70s while working at a Chevy dealership but they seemed to show up more often in the Nova. In more recent times, I can only recall seeing a few at car shows. The 275 HP variant was much more common, and like the L79, they were also available with a four-speed manual transmission too.

This 80K mile example, according to the seller, had its original 327 CI engine until May 2019. My guess is that it was a 275 HP version as this car is equipped with a ten-bolt differential and the 325 HP version would have been in possession of the sturdier twelve-bolt. There is a 350 CI crate engine under the hood now and the seller lists an extensive number of performance-enhancing features that have been added. As to how this Malibu performs, the seller claims, “The engine really runs and sounds good. It’s not too quiet and not too loud. It’s just right“. The surprising item is the four-speed manual transmission. While this Chevy could have been so equipped, right off of the assembly line, it wasn’t. This Chevy originally harbored a Powerglide automatic transmission but it has undergone a four-speed manual transmission conversion.

Back in the ’80s, this Malibu was repainted in its original shade of Grenada Gold. The lacquer finish is starting to “check” in places and as you can see from this image, there appears to be some rust/Bondo that is starting to let go in the passenger rocker panel. The car still presents very well, it looks great but there may be other underlying areas of problems just below the surface -this is a ’60s GM “A” body after all and they will rust when moderate conditions are right. The black vinyl top looks perfect and there is no sign of rust starting to rear its ugly head from under the edges as it frequently does with the passage of time. Nice to see are the first year Chevrolet Rally wheels with 1967- only “flat cap” centers. The lettering on the center caps advertises this Malibu as a disc brake-equipped car – a very worthwhile option.

Inside, with the exception of the carpet, is the original black vinyl, bench seat interior. The seller advises that there are no upholstery rips or tears and it is an original environment other than the addition of auxiliary gauges and a tachometer. Of note is the steering column – it appears to be a proper manual transmission column and not the automatic transmission version with a yanked out stalk. The seller states that the floor pans are solid and the underside images offer up the proof.

A ’67 Malibu that is this nice is still going to be expensive, not SS396 expensive, but I have tracked a few recently and they have really surprised me value-wise. This Malibu is a nice alternative to the SS, it bears the same lines, appearance, and attitude but is less frequently encountered than its more muscular brother. It also seems that with the focus on muscle car originality and correctness, a Malibu like this gives the owner a bit more flexibility in terms of improvements and personal direction don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Stephen Miklos

    Wow.. this is nice Malibu. Done right. The price is right for this GM. They said it’s a crate 350 which started out at 300hp. Now add the updates to it maybe 330 to 350 hp. And being a 4 speed and steering column done right. Can’t go wrong here. Good luck to the new owner. It’s makes a nice Christmas present 🎁🐻🇺🇲

    Like 11
    • Kenny K.

      Had one. but 12 bolt & L79 350 hp muncie22 rev. lockout. The LT-1 had 370 h.p. but I don’t know if it was an option then. Those SS Chevelles were no comp. for that Malibu. That paint in the back on mine was black. Was wondering a significance there?

      Like 1
      • Kevin Kendall

        I’ve heard most of the black rear panel cars were built in Atlanta 🤔Not sure if that’s the case or not

      • 454RAT Member

        The L79 in 67 and 68 Chevelles was rated at 325 horse. The M22 did not come in any 67 Chevelles. They only came in 12, 1966 Chevelles. If your car came new with an M22, it was most likely added by the dealer. The LT1 was a 350 engine and it was not offered in the Chevelle until the1969 model year. The source for my comments is the Chevelle and El Camino ID Model Codes book. I don’t mean to offend or argue. You had the car, so you know. I owned a 70 Chevelle over 45 years and it is hard to remember some things back that far. You are right on how they run. An L79 is a very hard cat to clean after. A 67 L79 car today, is a big dollar car. Don’t you wish you still had it!

      • ACZ

        It’s interesting. So many people are quick to say they had an M22. Anyone that has experienced having one in a car knows you might as well throw the radio away. They noisy as hell but strong as hell. Not for a driver.

        Like 1
      • 454RAT Member

        I lied; but it was unintentional. I meant only that the 350 engine was not available in the Chevelle until 1969. The LT1 was never available in the Chevelle; only in the Camaro, Corvette, and Nova, and then, not until 1970. I stand corrected….I think.

      • Troy s

        454RAT, it was fifty years ago, so it’s okay,, but the only Nova that had the LT 1 350 was the dealer special Yenko deuce….unfortunately.

        Like 1
  2. Steve R

    The cracking bondo is a sign of bigger issues. Something like that is a red flag town owner that it’s time to sell. I wouldn’t buy it unless I had it inspected by a competent body shop. You might take a chance ona $5,000 car, not a $25,000 car.

    Steve R

    Like 18
    • Brian K.

      Good eye Steve. Ohio is right on that rust belt.

      Like 6
    • Doug F.

      Always look forward to your comments Steve R, and I usually agree, and you may be right here also but I’m also considering this is the result of a lousy repaint. I’m 62 and have been body shop working since I’m 15. GM products from the 60’s were know to crack and as we called it “crows feet” from the lacquer paint that was used. The only way to cure it was to sand it down to bare metal. Paint used to repaint it would not have done that. The visible crows feet tells me it was never prepped correctly when it was repainted and the new paint just sank back into the original paint were they never stripped it all the way down. And the rocker panel looks as though the original paint was never even sanded way down there and that is the new paint peeling right off. I bet if you peel that paint back the original paint looks almost new. The underside pictures on eBay look as though no repairs were ever made and they claim the car was garaged from new. I think the guy would do himself and everyone else a solid if he would just peel that paint off where it’s just about to fall off anyway and expose exactly what is there for all to see. If it was full of bondo my experience has been there would be bubbling as well as discoloring.

      Like 4
  3. Troy s

    I don’t know about fifty plus years ago, but the sporty mid sized Chevy has always been a favorite, SS or not. More than any of the other GM intermediates for longevity. Nice looking example here in gold and black, a great color combination. Small block fun with ample torque and a four speed transmission is sure to please,,,even if you’re a Ford guy…you can’t help yourself, smile away.

    Like 3
  4. Camaro Joe

    Steve, the car’s from Oregon, how bad can it be? Wait, that’s Oregon OHIO. That can be a problem. Steve is right, don’t spend much money on this one, let alone $24K, until you know what is under that paint and if the frame is solid. I’ve seen a 65 Chevelle frame that looked good but was full of Bondo. A welding hammer will tell you a lot. If the owner won’t let you jack it up and tap on the frame, run away fast. It’s amazing what some people will do to make a buck.

    Like 9
  5. Bill

    I have a similar car, a 66 Malibu. It’s been in Arizona all it’s life, and still had rust in the trunk (and panel behind rear window). It came from the factory with buckets, console and a 4 speed. I’ve added tilt, front disk brakes, Vintage Air, and a stereo. All new interior, Marina blue paint, a 350 crate engine and the car is a real kick to drive. I’m not in the market to sell it, but you wouldn’t get it away from me for 25K.

    Like 5
  6. Comet

    I’m guessing what’s lurking behind that rocker panel bondo is not for the faint of heart. Overall however, a well optioned nice looking car.

    Like 4
  7. V12MECH

    Steve and Joe are right on their concerns about rust belt cars, pictures are never good enough. A thorough inspection is needed . 40 years based in Cleveland and I generally stay away from these as they are usually an unpleasant surprise once stripped to what is left of the body.

    Like 1
  8. Morley Member

    My friend bought a new Malibu, not an SS but he ordered it with buckets and console, 327, 4 speed. In a moment of whimsey he added the Super Sport script and turned it into s SS Malibu. That car was around for years and created many heated arguments about it being a Malibu Super Sport.

    Like 2
    • Kevin Kendall

      Canadian version is known as a Malibu SS

      Like 1
  9. Jcs

    Possibly sold @ $24.1K with only 2 bids. Of course with eBay you never know.

  10. Plwindish

    This car brings back memories. In early 1969, I sold a ‘64 Avanti and bought a ‘67 Chevelle SS 396 in this same color combination and interior. The car had the 325 hp 396 and close ratio 4 speed. Sadly, it was stolen in St Louis one day and found the next day in East St Louis stripped of motor, trans, tires, child safety seat and trunk contents. Insurance company totaled it out.

  11. Morley Member

    No Malibu SS , It was either a Malibu or a Super Sport. Super Sports had buckets and console and the 396

    Like 1
  12. Morley Member

    Thanks Kevin, well that clears up a lot of things. I have used the GM Canada historical records and found them to be very good . Years ago your build sheet and the days line sheet would be provided. It was neat to look at the line sheets and check out the engine codes and them see the dealer odes and the VIN and try to find some interesting high horse cars. Actually found a couple , but even back then I could not afford them

    Like 1
    • Kevin Kendall

      My brother lived in Vancouver,Washington & he saw one of them & a couple of Acadias in that area

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