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Stored 40 Years: 1966 Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevy Chevelle debuted in 1964 as an intermediate competitor to Ford’s Fairlane. Full-size cars had been getting bigger, so the Chevelle was about the same dimensions as the 1957 Chevrolet. The car got a restyle for 1966 on the existing platform and had a leaner appearance through 1967. This Malibu – the top line Chevelle offered – is said to have been off the road since the 1970s but does run. It’s also pretty rusty, too. The car is in North Hollywood, California and available here on eBay for $6,200 on a no reserve auction.

Chevrolet included the Chevelle in its sales literature for 15 years across three generations. After its launch in 1964, it quickly became one of Chevy’s most successful nameplates. The Chevelle served as the basis for the revived El Camino pickup and the personal luxury Monte Carlo in 1970. Malibu, the top of the line Chevelle model through 1972, replaced the Chevelle nameplate for the redesigned and downsized 1978 editions. Perhaps the most noticeable styling ques of the ’66-67 hardtops were their “flying buttress” roofline that tunneled into the “C” pillars. Chevy sold more than 438,000 Chevelle’s for 1966 and the Malibu 2-door hardtop with a V-8 accounted for 29% of sales or 129,000 units. Thanks, Chevelle Stuff, for a bit of history.

We’re told that that 1966 Malibu only has 58,000 miles on it because it was taken off the road in the 1970s. The reasons for that extended exile are not mentioned. Wherever this was, we’re guessing it wasn’t a water-proof location given the amount of rust that’s present. The floors, trunk, lower fenders, door seams, quarter panels and frame are full of it, especially the trunk floor which you can literally see through. Whoever buys this car is going to have to weld in a bunch of new metal. The vinyl top has cracked and mostly flaked away, but the metal underneath doesn’t look bad. The trunk lid has lost all its paint to surface rust, indicating that area of the car may have been facing outdoors.

The interior is original and almost presentable, but the upholstery is cracking in places and the carpeting is shot. The car will come with some of its history, i.e. the original window sticker, Protecto-Plate and owner’s manual. There is a 283 V-8 under the hooded paired with a Powerglide 2-speed automatic. The seller says that with new spark plugs and external gas he was able to get the engine to run, but we don’t know what else will be needed besides a new set of brakes because it won’t stop on its own.

Since this isn’t an SS model and there were so many small V-8 Malibu’s built in 1966, this car is said to be worth $7,000 in fair condition and $20,000 in Concours. With the prospects of an expensive restoration looming, this is a project for someone only into first generation Chevelle’s. When you see these cars are shows, they’re usually muscle versions. It would be refreshing to see a “regular” model like this turn up when fixed brought back from the brink.


  1. Avatar photo Arthell64

    I am surprised how much rust this California car has. I see a lot of old cars in Georgia setting outside with this much rust or worse from all of the rain and humidity. When I see a car like this on the market my first reaction is it doesn’t look to bad and I may bid. Then I remember trying to line up all the aftermarket body panels which takes a lot of patience and how much paint and interior work cost. I like 66 chevelles but the problem here is it cost about the same to restore a malibu as it does an SS.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo lc

      I think the heavy chassis scale and that set of snow tires in the truck give a nod to this car having come from somewhere other than North Hollywood. Needs a good looking over if one has to have it.

      Like 13
      • Avatar photo art

        lc is correct. This poor car ferried someone from the rust belt to the sunny skies of California. Even a coastal car would not look quite this bad and the rust would be concentrated in the roof area and upper sheet metal.
        This is a big project car.

        Like 6
      • Avatar photo Steve R

        This car has no smog pump, which lends credence to the ideas that it came from out of state.

        There was a big influx of people into California during the 1970’s and 80’s. A friend lived near a large Air Force base, airmen would bring their cars with them, then realized rust free cars were cheap and replace them. He said during the mid to late-80’s the local wrecking yards were littered with rusty muscle cars, Mustangs and Camaro’s, these cars were unsellable so they were parted out or scrapped.

        Steve R

        Like 11
  2. Avatar photo Dewey Gill

    This looks like a rust belt car, decent enough interior and a rough body, but could have spent time near the ocean, I suppose.It also could have originated somewhere else and then driven to California , then parked out of embarrassment for the rust free cars available out there. The protectoplate should disclose the original owners address, if it’s actually the one from that actual car, and not an “add on”

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      That is not the rust pattern you see on cars that have lived on the coast.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  3. Avatar photo YourSoundMan

    Bench seats should be outlawed in the two-door versions of cars like these – so parochial looking!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Lou Tripper

      Well that’s a bit of a stretch don’t you think? I’ve never, nor have I ever heard anyone equate a front bench seat with any sort of link to religion. As a matter of fact quite the contrary. A bench seat affords the driver an opportunity for “Sally” to slide on over and “run the stick” if you catch my drift!! Oh let the sinning begin!!! Lol

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo YourSoundMan

        Ever see the wooden benches an old parochial school?

        In the context of a two door sedan/coupe, that’s how out of poace a bench seat appears, lol.

        Two doors scream ‘sport’ – so do bucket seats

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Lou Tripper

        I’ve seen wood on a bench seat but never at a christian school!!

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo YourSoundMan


        No need to pick apart what I said: My point was, a bench seat looks stodgy in a car with two doors.

        Like 0

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