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Rough Start: A Very Clean G-Body Malibu With One Teeny, Tiny, Six-Pot Hitch…

Rough Start: A Very Clean G-Body Malibu With One Teeny, Tiny, Six-Pot Hitch…

You had to hand it to GM for doing one thing right in the late 1970s: even though it was now the Malibu and not the Chevelle, the mid-size offering stayed true to the right old-school GM principals for a mid-size car: a good size, a good amount of interior room, an attractive (if not too wild) appearance, and solid engine choices for the day. The A/G-body Malibu ticks off every last box, even the engine choices. Nobody will say that any Malibu of this generation was powerful. Even the rare M-80 NASCAR-themed variant was making do with the 145 horsepower 305 cubic inch small-block…decent for the day but absolutely woeful in reality. That was the top engine, too…below that stood two V6 engines, the 200 cubic inch (3.3L) version and the 229 cubic inch (3.8L) versions. They have enough power to make the car move, and that’s just about it, really…it was the dawn of the 1980s. Nothing really had any worthwhile performance to brag about.

Thirty-odd years on, the Malibu in two-door form is one of the more sublime 1970s cars that still has popularity. The styling has held up well, the chassis has proven to be an excellent starting point for modifications, and durability has proven to be admirable so long as you don’t look at interior plastics or at the frame in Rust Belt areas. Finding a clean Malibu with a budget is still possible, too…if only just. The early G-bodies are thinning out, so finding a straight, budget-friendly one that hasn’t been roached half-to-death is becoming tricky. Which makes this green example from Texas a score. It’s unmolested, save for the well-chosen Rally wheels. It has to be a base model, because where else would you find a vent block-off plate, even in the late 1970s? The six cylinders of disappointment under the hood will run, for sure, so if you can tolerate a 0-60 run that can be measured by a calendar, do so. Spend the $3800 on the Malibu, keep it clean, and start planning for what is next. Small block, LS or turbocharged Buick six? Whatever you want, spender!

Craigslist Link: 1978 Chevrolet Malibu

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4 thoughts on “Rough Start: A Very Clean G-Body Malibu With One Teeny, Tiny, Six-Pot Hitch…


    mush better than the more door frm the other day …
    LS swap 4L80 trans currie 9 inch and have a blast

  2. Rocco B.

    Chevy used block-off plates in all models without a/c. Buddy has one in his Berlinetta Camaro which is the top luxury model.

  3. Larry

    Too bad they couldn’t build a dash that didn’t crack up. I had one that just disintegrated.

    1. jerry z

      All of the interior plastic disintetgrates! I have my share of Malibus and all of them had bad interiors. And this was back in the early 90’s!

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