“Spare vehicles”. If there was ever music to the ears of the budget-concious car shopper, it’s “spare vehicles”. When a vehicle is useful or desired, there’s always a home for it, a will to pay for it’s expenses, and so on and so forth. But when it’s fallen to spare vehicle status, you’d almost swear that the seller was looking for the first prime excuse to get it on the fastest way out of town. That means it’s a fire sale, and if you have the timing and luck, you could pay a very solid price for what normally will cost you quite a bit. Auctions are ok for this, but one bidding war can sour you on the experience. Family and friend deals are good for this too, but you only hope that someone in your family is a gearhead and you aren’t getting stuck with Uncle Stevie’s 1999 Chevrolet Malibu.
Well, we have a Malibu for you to consider, and it’s no front-drive bar of soap. Do we have to run down the reasons why a G-body Malibu is an awesome score? It’s the best of the older and newer schools of thought. The older school says body-on-frame build with a standard three-box shape and a durable drivetrain equals reliability. The newer school put an emphasis on handling (for once), trimmed the fat, and gave the Malib proportional dimensions that still feel nice and roomy inside. Then the hot rodder comes along and fixes GM’s biggest sin: weak-sauce engines. C’mon now…if you can’t make a G-body move out with a small-block Chevrolet, you aren’t trying. At all. The 305 in this car is on it’s way out the door and a spare engine goes with the deal. For $1,900, you’ve got some cash left over to have some fun with. Look up a small-block build story, keep the car looking as-is, and be grateful that you scored a very good deal.