Chevrolet Malibu


The Chevrolet Malibu, and its partner the Chevrolet Chevelle, won millions of buyers by satisfying those who needed basic midsize-car transportation, as well as those whose need was speed. Learn about both sides of the Malibu and Chevelle in this article.

1964 Chevrolet Malibu hardtop rear view
The Chevrolet Malibu, shown here in 1964 debut form, is a Chevy
success story. See more pictures of Chevrolet Malibu and Chevelle cars.

The Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu were introduced for 1964 to fill the gap between the full-size Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala line, and the compact Chevy II and Chevrolet Corvair models.

Chevy's new intermediates were roomy and affordable and had nicely proportioned square-cut styling. Technically, Chevelle was the car line's name, with the Malibu label applied to the dressed-up versions. But even in that first year, when Chevy moved an impressive 338,160 combined total, Malibu editions outsold Chevelles more than two to one.

A big reason was Malibu's undeniably sporty flair, a spirit backed up with the hot Super Sport versions. When Chevy offered the 375-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8 in the 1965 Malibu SS, a legendary muscle car was born.

Another strength of the Chevelle/Malibu family, as you'll discover in this article, was its broad range of body styles. These included convertibles, hardtops, sedans, and four- and even two-door station wagons. This appeal was matched by an array of six- and eight-cylinder engines and a long list of available options.

Those assets carried into 1968, when the cars got curvaceous new styling, and into 1973, when convertibles disappeared in favor of a new body with adventurous "colonnade" rooflines.

When Chevy downsized its intermediates for 1978, it dropped the Chevelle name altogether and the line was known simply as Malibu though 1983. That year was the finale for this rear-wheel-drive stalwart; the similarly sized front-wheel-drive Chevrolet Celebrity, introduced for 1982, was the wave of the future.

But the Malibu nameplate proved too good to die, and the Chevrolet Malibu was once a member of the Chevy family when a new midsize car was introduced for 1997. Indeed, Malibu is alive and well today.

1983 Chevrolet Malibu four-door sport sedan side view
The Malibu name has appeared on five decades of Chevys.
This is a 1983 Malibu.

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1964 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1964 Chevelle Malibu SS
The 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle was distinguished by
nicely proportioned angles. Shown is the sporty 1964
Chevelle Malibu SS two-door hardtop.

The 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle, Chevrolet's new midsize car, boasted clean lines and appetizing proportions. On a 115-inch wheelbase, it sat squarely between the compact Chevy II and the full-size line.

Upright in style and conventional in engineering, the A-bodied 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle was closer in size and shape to the "classic" 1955-1957 Chevys -- and a response to Ford's recently introduced Fairlane. Curved side glass was one of its few special features, but a Chevelle was nearly as roomy as an Impala.

Chevelles came in two series: 300 and fancier Malibu. Sales started off strong, suggesting that Americans might be developing a taste for compromise in car size. Chevelles were billed as "a good foot shorter and a few inches narrower than the big cars."

A quartet of engine choices included 194- and 230-cubic-inch sixes (120 and 155 horsepower), a 195-horse 283-cubic-inch V-8, and a 220-horsepower version of the 283 with dual exhausts and four-barrel carburetion.

A four-speed floor-shifted gearbox could replace the usual three-speed, overdrive, or two-speed Powerglide automatic. During the model year, a 327-cubic-inch V-8 capable of turning out 250 or 300 horsepower became available.

"Everyone has a bit of swashbuckler in him," the sales catalog proclaimed -- which could be satisfied with a Super Sport version of the Malibu Sport Coupe or convertible. Priced at $162, the SS package included front bucket seats in an all-vinyl interior, full gauges, console and big round knob for the floor shift, plus radial-pattern wheel covers borrowed from the Impala SS.

In SS form, the usual beltline trim strip was deleted for a cleaner bodyside look. Nearly half of Malibu coupes and convertibles were equipped as Super Sports -- 76,860 in all -- representing more than a fourth of total Chevelle output. A heavy-duty suspension added less than five dollars.

The El Camino car-pickup returned after an absence of several years, but now as part of the Chevelle line. El Camino Customs even included bucket seats and a console, as on the SS.

Anxious to fill the gap between the full-size Chevys and the compact Chevy II and Corvair, Chevrolet introduced the intermediate-size Chevelle for 1964. The car was offered in two series, 300 and Malibu. From the start, the Chevelle was distinguished by its perfectly proportioned design that seemed "right" from every angle.

Wheelbase was 115 inches, five inches longer than that of the Chevy II and four inches shorter than the full-size cars.

With the Chevelle's introduction, Chevy now offered 43 models in five distinct car lines. The top-level Chevelle was the Malibu SS, which came standard with an all-vinyl interior, center console with Powerglide or four-speed manual transmissions, bucket seats, functional dash gauges, and SS emblems on the door panels and glovebox.

Available V-8s included a 220-horsepower 283, 250-horsepower 327, and (after mid-year) a 300-horsepower variant of the 327.

Other '64 Chevelle models included the Malibu SS convertible, Series 300 4-door Sedan, and Series 300 4-door wagon.

1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS convertible
The 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle included
this Malibu SS convertible model.

1964 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle 300 2,250-3,270$2,231-$2,67468,300 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu2,850-3,365$2,340-$2,852149,000 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu SS2,875-3,145$2,538-$2,85776,860

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle front view
The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle line introduced
the rare Chevelle Malibu SS 396 pictured here.
Only 201 of these muscle cars were built.

The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle got a mild but crisp facelift for its second year on the market. A new vee-shaped grille and larger taillights were highlights. Bodies were 2.7 inches longer and 1.3 inches lower. Wheelbases remained at 115 inches. A restyled instrument panel had deeper shrouds to eliminate windshield reflections.

Four 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle series went on sale: 300, 300 DeLuxe, Malibu, and Malibu SS, with Malibu the top seller at 152,200 cars. Engine choices started with a Hi-Thrift 120-horsepower 194-cubic-inch six, stepping up to a 140-horsepower 230-cubic-inch six, a 195-horsepower Turbo-Fire 283 V-8, and a trio of 327-cubic-inch V-8s (250, 300, or 350 horsepower).

A new fully synchronized three-speed column-shift transmission became available, but many Chevelles had Powerglide or a four-speed manual gearbox instead.

Super Sport coupes and convertibles wore less brightwork than in '64 and came with any powertrain. Their interiors held front bucket seats in new textured vinyl, a console, and round gauges in a bright metal panel. The new grille with SS treatment and black accents helped lead the trend toward black accents in sport-oriented cars.

Rarest of the 101,577 SS Chevelles issued in '65 was the SS 396, with crossed-flag emblems on its fenders and a new 375-horsepower 396-cubic-inch "porcupine" V-8 underhood. No wonder only 201 were built, because that Z16 package added an eye-popping $1,501 to the car's price.

Changes to Chevelle were slight for 1965, but the model year did produce a genuine rarity: a Malibu SS 396 (V-8) created to pro-mote 1966 models. With a four-speed and 375 horsepower, the SS 396 was a beast; only 201 were built. Included among the year's other Chevelles was the Malibu SS convertible: this one has a 195-horse 283 with automatic.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS convertible rear view
The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle included this Malibu SS convertible
powered by a 195-horsepower 283-cubic-inch V-8.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle 300
2,870-3,320
$2,156-$2,67473,200 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu2,930-3,355$2,250-$2,755152,200
Chevelle Malibu SS
2,980-3,210$2,539-$2,858101,577

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu wagon
The 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle line included
this handsome Malibu wagon.

The 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle got a major restyling that included smooth contours, a broad new grille and bumper treatment, and curved side windows. A hardtop-styled Sport Sedan joined the Malibu series, while Sport Coupes flaunted a new roofline with a dramatically recessed, "tunneled" rear window.

Of the several 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle models, only cars with the 396-cubic-inch V-8 could be Super Sports this season, adopting the 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 designation.

SS 396 coupes and convertibles used Malibu bodies with reinforced frames and revised front suspension: higher-rate springs, recalibrated shocks, and thicker front stabilizer bar. They also had simulated hood scoops, red-stripe tires, and bright trim moldings. All SS transmissions were floor-shifted.

A total of 72,300 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 cars were built, versus 241,600 regular Malibus (which came in five body styles). The 396-cubic-inch V-8 could be ordered with 325 or 360 horsepower, but fewer than a hundred cars got a 375-horsepower version. "It isn't extravagant, imported, or fattening," explained one ad for the SS 396; it's "a machine for the guy who'd rather drive than fly."

The more-basic Chevelles continued in 300, 300 Deluxe, and Malibu trim. Available engines were a 327-cubic-inch V-8 instead of either of the sixes, or the mid-level option, a 220-horsepower 283-cubic-inch V-8. Judicious attention to the options list could add a tachometer, mag-style wheel covers, and sintered-metallic brakes.

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle 3002,895-3,350 $2,156-$2,68166,200 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu2,935-3,375$2,352-$2,766241,600 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu SS3,375-3,470$2,776-$2,98472,300

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible
The 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle looked longer and leaner
thanks to some styling tweaks. The series included
this Chevelle SS 396 convertible model.

The 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu models got some styling tweaks that resulted in a longer, more straightforward appearance. Large taillamps went into a new rear end with standard backup lights. Otherwise, visible change was modest.

"What you'll see inside," claimed the sales brochure for the 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu, "will probably bring on a severe compulsion to go driving." Front disc brakes were available on all models, and a new dual master cylinder brake system incorporated a warning light.

Super Sport versions had an exclusive grille design, bright wheel well moldings, gray-toned rocker moldings, and a domed hood with dummy air intake slots. The 375-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8 officially departed from the options list, but 612 were built anyway.

The step-up engine in the Super Sport 396 dropped from 360 to 350 horsepower, while the base V-8 stuck with 325 horsepower. About 63,000 Super Sports were produced.

"Quick-Size" SS 396 Sport Coupes and convertibles were promoted as "the car for the Driving Man." Malibus added family-focused luxury to the mix and the 300 series emphasized value.

Choosing a Chevelle wasn't so easy. In addition to engines, buyers selected from no less than six transmissions: two three-speeds, four-speed, overdrive, and two automatics. Options included Superlift air shock absorbers, Strato-ease headrests, and special instrumentation.

Although Chevy's big news for 1967 was the introduction of the Camaro, Chevelle offered a more traditional sort of sportiness. Models in-cluded the SS convertible and SS 2-door Hardtop. The manual-shift feature of the Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was touted in advertising.

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 2-door hardtop
The 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle line
included this SS 396 two-door hardtop.

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built

300

2,935-3,360$2,221-$2,72551,000 (approx.)
Malibu2,980-3,390$2,400-$2,801227,800 (approx.)
Concours3,270-3,405$2,827-$2,93327,300
Super Sport3,415-3,485$2,825-$3,033 63,000

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396, front view
The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle series included the
top-of-the-line SS 396, which came equipped
with a 396 cubic-inch V-8 engine.

The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models got an all-new body for a distinctly sculpted appearance.

Sleek and low, with tapered front fenders and a rounded beltline, the midsize 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu adopted a long-hood/short-deck profile with a high rear-quarter "kick-up."

While all 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models rode a 115-inch wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles), the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu coupes and convertibles now rode a sporty 112-inch wheelbase. The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu sedans and wagons turned to a 116-inch span. Tread width grew an inch front and rear.

Hardtop coupes flaunted a semi-fastback, flowing roofline, a trend in midsize coupes of the late 1960s.

Top-trim models (including the SS 396 and new luxury Concours) featured GM's new Hide-A-Way wiper system, in which the windshield wiper blades were concealed beneath a panel except when in use. Lesser Chevelles would get that change later.

Competition was growing in the muscle-car field, so Chevrolet made its Super Sport (SS 396 coupe and convertible) a series on its own, largely devoid of trim except for moldings along the rocker panels. SS 396 insignias stood at the center of the grille and below the decklid molding.

Chevrolet issued 60,499 SS 396 hardtops but only 2,286 convertibles. Black-accented Super Sports rode F70x14 red-stripe tires and carried a standard 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch Turbo-Jet V-8 engine below the special twin-domed hood. For even greater zest, a 350-horsepower 396 could be substituted.

An SS 396, the sales brochure exclaimed, "makes you wish for tougher twists and turns to challenge its any-kind-of-road hugging stability." The SS 396 Sport Coupe started at $2,899 -- or $236 more than a comparable Malibu with its 307-cubic-inch V-8. All-vinyl bucket seats and a console were optional.

The new Concours Sport Sedan focused on luxury, with "splendid interior appointments," special sound insulation, and a deep-padded instrument panel with simulated woodgrain. Regular Chevelle engines started with a 140-horsepower Turbo-Thrift six or the new 200-horsepower Turbo-Fire 307 V-8, but stretched to a 325-horsepower rendition of the 327-cubic-inch V-8.

As the mid-size monsters called muscle cars gained in popularity as the Sixties wore on, Chevelle made a point not to be left out of the high-horsepower fun. Top dog in the Chevelle line was the SS 396, a handsome, well-proportioned car that cut loose with a 396-cubic-inch V-8 good for a blistering 375 horsepower.

The Concours Sport Sedan had an all-vinyl interior, a simulated woodgrain dash, and color-keyed interiors. Malibu gained a new Sport Sedan body style this year. The Concours Estate Wagon was one of four distinct Chevelle wagon models.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
3003,020-3,545$2,341-$2,841 55,800 (approx.)
Malibu3,070-3,575$2,524-$2,951266,300 (approx.)
Concours3,450-3,580$2,978-$3,083NA
SS 396
3,550-3,570 $2,899-$3,10262,785

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible, front view
The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series included this
convertible model, which boasts SS 396 muscle car equipment.

The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu lineup continued to attract the eye of muscle-car fans as well as families who didn't really need the extra bulk of a big Chevy.

Immodestly billed as "America's most popular mid-size car," the Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu showed only minor changes for 1969, led by more rounded front-end styling. A single chrome bar connected quad headlights, and a slotted bumper held the parking lights. Taillight lenses were larger and more vertical, flowing into the quarter panels.

Front vent windows began their trek to the dust bin now that Astro Ventilation was sending outside air into several Chevelle models, including the Malibu and 300 Deluxe Sport Coupes. New round instrument pods replaced the former linear layout.

The Chevrolet Chevelle lineup slimmed down to two series: 300 Deluxe and Malibu. No longer a series of its own, the SS 396 turned into a $347.60 option package for any two-door model. That meant not just a convertible or hardtop Sport Coupe, but even the pillared coupe in the lower-rent 300 Deluxe series.

The Super Sport group included a 265- or 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8 beneath a double-domed hood, along with a black-out grille displaying an SS emblem, black rear panel, and red-stripe tires on chrome sport wheels.

More potent editions of the 396 engine also made the options list, developing 350 or 375 horsepower. A few hundred Chevelles even managed to acquire a 427-cubic-inch V-8, ordinarily installed only in full-size models.

Chevelle station wagons came in three levels: Concours, Nomad, and Greenbrier -- the last a badge formerly used on the boxy Corvair van. A new dual-action tailgate operated either in the traditional manner or as a panel-type door. Wagons stretched 208 inches overall versus only 197 inches for coupes.

Chevelle options included headlight washers, power windows and locks, and a rear defroster.

Chevy's midsize production rose this year, with Malibus far more popular than their less-costly mates. Fewer than seven percent of Malibus had a six-cylinder engine, while more than 86,000 got an SS 396 option.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible with SS 396 package
This two-door 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible
featured the SS 396 package.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Nomad
3,390-3,600$2,668-$2,800NA
300 Deluxe
3,035-3,230$2,458-$2,61142,000
Greenbrier3,445-3,740$2,779-$3,02045,900
Malibu
3,095-3,340$2,567-$2,889367,100
Concours 3,545-3,755$2,931-$3,266 NA

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Sport Sedan, front view
The 1970 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Sedan
shows off that year's new, squared-off styling.

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu line was tilted more heavily than ever in favor of Malibu models. In fact, the only model offered to start the model year were Malibus.

The 1970 Chevrolet Malibu came in a variety of versions: Sport Coupe, Sport Sedan, convertible, and four-door sedan -- along with a pair of Super Sport upgrades. Later in the model year came a basic 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, essentially a revival of the former 300 Deluxe; it was offered only as a Sport Coupe and sedan.

Engine choices ranged from the standard 155-horsepower six-cylinder and 200-horsepower 307-cubic-inch V-8, to a pair of 350 V-8s and a 330-horsepower 400. New options included power door locks and a stalk-mounted wiper control.

Sheetmetal revisions gave the bodies a more squared-up stance, and interiors were redesigned, too. Both SS 396 and SS 454 option packages were available for either the Sport Coupe or convertible. Of the 354,855 Chevelles issued this year, 53,599 had an SS option and 3,733 had the 454-cubic-inch V-8.

An SS 396 Chevelle included a 350-horsepower Turbo-Jet "396" V-8, special suspension, "power dome" hood, black-accented grille, resilient rear-bumper insert, and wide-oval tires on sport wheels. Though a 375-horsepower upgrade was available, few were sold -- primarily because the added cost brought the total too close to the "ultimate" Chevelle, the SS 454.

As the designation implied, underhood lay a 454-cubic-inch V-8, offering 360 horsepower in standard form but a whopping 450 horses in solid-lifter, high-compression, LS-6 guise.

The latter made a Chevelle one of the quickest muscle cars ever built. "You can make our tough one even tougher," the brochure explained, by adding Cowl Induction to either SS model. Step on the gas, and a scoop opened "to shoot an extra breath of cool air into the engine air intake....like second wind to a distance runner." Functional hood lock pins completed the SS package.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle with SS 396 package
The 1970 Chevelle Super Sport was one of the top muscle cars
of the day, especially when fitted with the LS-6 454-cubic-inch V-8.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle
3,142-3,312$2,585-$2,710354,855
Malibu
3,197-3,409$2,685-$3,00957,332
Station Wagon
3,615-3,880$2,835-$3,455NA

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu, front view
The 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle series included the popular Malibu model.
The car's restyled front end featured single headlights.

The 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu family came in quite a variety of models: hardtop coupe or sedan, pillared sedan, station wagons, and a convertible.

The 1971 Chevrolet Malibu was counted as a series within the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle model line, while Chevelle also offered four station wagons in Nomad, Greenbrier, Concours, and elegant Concours Estate trim.

The 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu got fresh front-end styling that included large Power-Beam single-unit headlights, a reworked grille and bumper, and integral park/signal/marker lights. New dual round taillights were integral with the back bumper.

The 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 got a blacked-out variant of the new curved grille and a domed hood with lock pins. Its 454-cubic-inch V-8 engine could deliver either 365 or 425 horsepower depending on the buyer's pocketbook.

Performance-minded shoppers with thinner wallets could choose an SS 350 with a 245-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V-8 under the hood -- and the option of a 270-horsepower upgrade. Even the seemingly utilitarian El Camino car-pickup could be ordered with an SS option.

Other Chevelles might have a "396" (which actually measured 402 cubic inches) with 300 horsepower in place of the standard 250-cubic-inch six or 307-cubic-inch V-8.

Because SS models suffered heavy insurance surcharges, Chevrolet decided to issue a new "Heavy Chevy" at midyear. It looked like a muscle car, but was available with any V-8 engine except the 454, which was exclusive to SS models.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, rear view
The 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS was the most desirable of the
1971 Chevelles, and eventually became a coveted collectible.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle and Malibu
3,166-3,450$2,677-$3,260293,267
Chevelle Wagon
3,632-3,944$2,997-$3,62642,301

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  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Hardtop Coupe, front view
Single-unit front parking/side marker lamps were new
for the 1972 Chevrolet Chevell and Malibu.
This Malibu hardtop coupe was the best-selling model.

The 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu series had wide enough appeal to qualify as America's second-best-selling car.

Base versions of the 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu series were again called Chevelles and included a four-model wagon series. Upscale versions were Malibus and were the home to the convertible models.

More than 24,000 Malibu Sport Sedans were built, with a standard 307-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 130 (net) horsepower. With that V-8, a Malibu Sport Coupe, the top seller by far in the 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu series, started at $2,923. The six-cylinder version ran $90 less.

Chevelles sold in California could not get the 307 V-8 but carried a 350-cubic-inch engine instead. Through the 1970s, California cars often had different powertrains than those marketed in states with less-stringent emissions regulations.

Chevelles wore single-unit parking/side marker lights on their front fenders, outside of a revised twin-bar grille. All Malibus had concealed wipers. Super Sport equipment could now be ordered with any V-8 engine, including the base 307-cubic-inch version.

Powertrain options in­cluded the 175-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V-8 and 240-horsepower 402-cubic-inch (still known as a 396), as well as a 454 that managed to eke out 270 horsepower under the net rating system.

Chevelle wagons measured 10 inches shorter than full-size wagons and weighed about half a ton less, but sold much slower. Americans obviously still liked their big cars. Model-year output totaled 49,352 Chevelles and 290,008 Malibus -- plus 54,335 station wagons.

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Hardtop Sedan
The 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle series included
this Malibu hardtop sedan model.

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle
3,172-3,438$2,636-$3,187339,360
Station Wagon
3,605-3,943$2,926-$3,53854,335

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  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Colonnade Coupe
The 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series introduced new
"Colonnade" styling, as seen on this Malibu Colonnade Coupe.

The 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu series featured General Motors' all-new midsize -car "Colonnade" styling.

With a semi-fastback roofline that employed arched door frames and a large rear-quarter window the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models looked considerably different from prior versions, and the long-lived pillarless hardtop coupe body style was gone.

Wheelbases were unchanged at 112 inches for two-door models and 116 inches for four-doors. But bodies were five inches longer and an inch wider. In addition to the new roofline, front and rear ends looked markedly different this year. Every 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu came with front disc brakes.

New top-of-the-line Laguna coupes and sedans were added above the Malibu versions and helped move Chevelle marketing upscale. Lagunas had a body-colored urethane plastic front end incorporating a chrome-plated die-cast grille that held round parking lights.

The Laguna was created to compete with other GM A-body intermediates, including the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Pontiac LeMans -- and also to rival Ford's Gran Torino. Two Laguna station wagons became available: a base model and a Laguna Estate.

A Super Sport coupe remained available, but convertibles departed from the Chevelle line. Shoppers could even get an SS station wagon this year -- with the option of a 454-cubic-inch V-8 engine, no less -- but the mix of sport and utilitarian wagon virtues would last only a single season.

As before, the top SS engine was a 454-cubic-inch V-8, developing 245 horsepower. Regular Chevelles had a standard 250-cubic-inch six or 115-horsepower 307-cubic-inch V-8, but the Laguna carried a 145-horsepower 350-cubic-inch engine with a two-barrel carburetor. That engine and a 175-horsepower step-up version also were available in other Chevelles.

Consumers continued to snap up Chevelles: 327,631 of them in the 1973 model year, plus 59,108 station wagons. The Malibu versions of the Chevelle continued to sell best by a wide margin, but the costlier Laguna coupe and sedan made a respectable showing, with 56,036 going to customers.

Super Sport options went on 28,647 Chevelles, of which 2500 held the big 454-cubic-inch engine -- the last of their breed, as it turned out.

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Colonnade Coupe
The new styling on the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
Colonnade Coupe gave the car a semi-fastback roofline
with "formed-in" middle roof pillars.


1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle
3,423-3,678 $2,719-$3,203 327,631
Station Wagon
3,849-4,189 $3,106-$3,795 59,108

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  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1974 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1974 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3
The 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle series included this
Laguna Type S-3 model, which featured opera windows,
swivel bucket seats, and two-toning.

The 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu series saw some lineup changes. The hallowed Chevelle Super Sport was finally dropped, but a new Laguna Type S-3 sport/luxury coupe served as the SS replacement.

The Laguna name had debuted on the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle coupe and sedan, but the stylish 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3c ame only as a Colonnade coupe. Lagunas featured a "soft" urethane front end that resisted cracks, dents, and scratches, and was supported by hydraulic cylinders.

Front occupants rode in swivel bucket seats, and the driver faced a six-dial instrument cluster. Narrow opera windows could be covered with horizontal ribs for a few dollars extra. Production of the Laguna S-3 totaled 15,792 cars, with prices starting at $3,723 -- but with plenty of options to send the bottom line past $5,000.

Except for the Laguna, all 1974 Chevrolet Chevelles -- coupe, sedan, and station wagon -- were known as Malibus. A new upscale line was named Malibu Classic and was offered in those three body styles. Classics had classier interiors, extra body trim, and a stand-up hood ornament above a special grille.

Base engine was a 250-cubic-inch six, but Chevelles might have any of four V-8s: 145-horsepower 350-cubic-inch, 160-horsepower 350 (with four-barrel carburetion), 180-horsepower 400, or the big-block 454 rated at 235 horses.

All Lagunas had V-8 engines, as well as firmer shocks/springs, a front stabilizer bar, and fat HR70x15 tires on Rally wheels.

1974 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3
The 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3
combined sportiness and luxury.

1974 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle
3,573-3,951$3,049-$3,800265,943
Station Wagon
4,191-4,315$3,701-$4,42444,108

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  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1975 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1975 Chevrolet Chevelle Classic Coupe front view
New styling touches marked the 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle line.
This Malibu Classic coupe featured opera windows,
standup hood ornament, and lots of chrome trim.

The 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle lineup consisted entirely of Chevrolet Malibu-badged models, and all were marked by fresh front and rear styling.

A vertical grid-patterned grille and new bright trim around the headlights were highlights. Rectangular taillights sat flush with the body surface, connected by a brushed chrome panel.

Malibu Classic coupes had distinctive opera windows. Brochures said their interiors were "comfortable, but not opulent...stylish, but not gaudy," with instrument panels decorated in simulated wood. Landau coupes came with a vinyl roof, full wheel covers, whitewall tires, color-keyed body striping, and dual sport mirrors.

Engines for the 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu lineup ranged from the standard 250-cubic-inch six and 350-cubic-inch V-8 to V-8 options of 400- and 454-cubic-inch size, the last with a 235-horsepower rating. Variable-ratio power steering now was standard with V-8 models, and all 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu models rode steel-belted radial tires.

A new "Chevrolet Efficiency System" was supposed to make cars run more economically. And speedometers were now calibrated in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour.

Following its debut as a 1974 model, the sporty Laguna Type S-3 left the lineup briefly, then reappeared in January 1975. This time, it wore a rakishly slanted, urethane-covered aero-style nose and louvered opera windows, and could be ordered with a vinyl half-roof. An available Econominder package included a fuel economy gauge.

1975 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Classic Coupe, rear view
Virtually every model in the 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle line
was marketed under the Malibu badge
to take advantage of the popular name.

1975 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,642-3,908$3,402-$4,180229,939
Station Wagon
4,207-4,331$4,318-$4,89345,582
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  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1976 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3
The 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Type S-3 shows
the special grillework, sloped nose, and
louvered quarter windows exclusive to that model.

The 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu line was the last to feature the Laguna Type S-3.

In its third and final season as part of the Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu line, the 1976 Laguna Type S-3 was little changed. It again featured quarter-window louvers and a sloped, body-color urethane front end. Lagunas shared their round-gauge instrument panel with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and could be ordred with a four-spoke sport steering wheel as well as swivel front bucket seats and a center console.

Lesser 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle, Chevrolet Malibus, and Malibu Classics made do with a more conventional dashboard and a linear-readout speedometer.

Aero styling had helped make the Laguna popular with NASCAR drivers, but regular buyers failed to clamor for the sophisticated coupes. Tough good looks weren't enough to lure muscle car prospects into showrooms after V-8 engines had lost their vigor. Production of the Laguna edged up to 9,100 cars as the base price leaped to $4,621.

Midsize cars in general, on the other hand, were selling strongly, and Chevelles earned a billing as "a size whose time has come." Malibu Classics adopted a diamond-pattern grille and stacked headlights, while regular Malibus kept a single-light setup.

Three V-8s were available: a 305-cubic-inch version rated at 140 horsepower, a 165-horsepower 350-cubic-inch, and a 400-cubic-inch engine that developed 175 horses. The 454-cubic-inch V-8 was limited to full-size cars. Options included an Econominder gauge package, affirming once again that the age of muscle was long gone.

1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Classic
The 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle line included the
Chevelle Malibu Classic. The car's stacked quad headlights and
crosshatched grille contributed to its formal look.

1976 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu and Laguna
3,650-3,978$3,636-$4,640268,522
Station Wagon
4,238-4,356$4,543-$5,11464,721

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  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1977 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1977 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu front view
The 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series included this base
Malibu coupe featuring single headlights and a crosshatch grille.


The 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series was billed as "America's smart money car," in reference to their friendly prices and big-on-the inside, small-on-the-outside dimensions.

The 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series wore new grilles but had fewer engine selections, though the engines that remained gained a few horses. The lineup consisted of Malibu and Malibu Classic models in coupe, sedan, and station wagon body styles. Estate Wagons and the Laguna Type S-3 were gone, though Chevrolet continued to issue Chevelle-based El Camino car-pickups.

In standard form, Chevelles had a 250-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine or a 145-horsepower, 305-cubic-inch V-8. The sole option beyond that was a 170-horsepower, four-barrel 350-cubic-inch V-8 (this engine was standard in the Malibu Classic station wagon). No more 400-cubic-inch V-8s were available.

Malibu Classics switched to a vertical grille pattern and six-section taillights but kept their twin stacked headlights and stand-up hood ornament. Regular Malibu grilles changed little. Classics had a luxurious cloth/vinyl split-bench front seat, color-keyed steering wheel, and woodgrain-accented instrument panel.

Malibu options included a $46 Exterior Decor group, $54 tinted glass, and $33 full wheel covers. A total of 37,215 Malibu Classic Landau coupes were produced, as opposed to 73,739 regular Classic coupes and 28,793 base coupes. In four-door sedan form, too, the Malibu Classics outsold base models by a substantial margin.

1977 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu rear view
The 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu base coupe included optional
whitewall tires and full wheel covers.


1977 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,551-3,824 $3,885-$4,595 255,587
Station Wagon
4,139-4,263 $4,734-$5,208 72,629

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
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  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1978 Chevrolet Malibu

1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Landau Coupe, front view
The 1978 Chevrolet Malibu took over from the
Chevrolet Chevelle as Chevy's family of midsize cars.
This is a 1978 a Chevy Malibu Classic Landau Coupe.

The 1978 Chevrolet Malibu was the smaller, all-new replacement for the long-lived Chevrolet Chevelle series. General Motors was downsizing its midsize cars, and Chevy took the opportunity to switch its to the Malibu name, which had for years been the best-selling badge within the Chevelle lineup.

The 1978 Chevrolet Malibu was advertised as "a fresh new slice of apple pie." It was offered in Malibu and Malibu Classic trim. Body styles included a coupe, four-door sedan, and station wagon. All 978 Chevrolet Malibu models rode a 108-inch wheelbase in a departure from prior years, when sedans and wagons were longer.

The 1978 Chevrolet Malibus measured at least a foot shorter overall than their predecessors and weighed 500 to 1,000 pounds less. Even so, Chevrolet promised more trunk space, leg room, and head room -- helped by reduced body curvature as well as slim doors and shell-style seats. Broad glass expanses improved visibility.

Base engine for the 1978 Chevrolet Malibu wasa 200-cubic-inch (3.3-liter) V-6 that developed a modest 95 horsepower. Two upgrades could be ordered: a 231-cubic-inch V-6 developing 105 horsepower, or a 305-cubic-inch V-8 with 145 horsepower. Only station wagons could get the 170-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V-8.

Malibus sold well, with 358,636 rolling off the assembly line -- led by 102,967 Classic four-door sedans.

Among GM makes, at least, the era of bigness was fading into history, overtaken by a new age of efficiency and economy. El Camino car-pickups also adopted Malibu styling, with engine choices ranging all the way to the 350-cubic-inch V-8.

1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Landau Coupe, rear view
The 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Landau Coupe came
standardwith a vinyl half roof, pinstripes, and
Rally wheels or Sport wheel covers.

1978 Chevrolet Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,001-3,550$4,204-$4,904358,636

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
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  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1979 Chevrolet Malibu

1979 Chevrolet Malibu sedan, front view
Although changes to the 1979 Chevrolet Malibu were minor,
sales of the car, including this base sedan model, jumped nicely.

The 1979 Chevrolet Malibu got minimal changes following its debut as a redesigned "new-size" model in 1978. Alternations to the 1979 Chevrolet Malibu amounting to little more than a new divided grille and reworked taillights.

However, a "small-block" 267-cubic-inch (4.4-liter) V-8 joined the options list and slotted between the standard 3.3-liter V-6 and the optional 5.0-liter four-barrel V-8. The 1979 Chevrolet Malibu cars sold in California were subject to different exhaust-emissions regulations and offered a 3.8-liter V-6 or the four-barrel V-8.

A 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V-8, developing 170 horsepower was avaialbe only in 1979 Chevrolet Malibu wagaons and cost $465 extra. Both three- and four-speed manual transmissions had floor shifters.

The 1979 Chevrolet Malibu offered Malibu and Malibu Classic models in coupe, sedan, and station wagon form. The Classic line also included a Landau coupe. Sedans and wagons had fixed rear-door windows with swing-out vents for draft-free ventilation.

Malibu Classics got additional bright window trim and vinyl-clad body moldings. Options included a vinyl roof, special gauges, wire wheel covers, auxiliary lighting, powered rear vent windows, and a Power Skyroof.

Chevrolet literature boasted of such technical details as double-panel doors, a full-perimeter frame, and coil springs all around. Production of the 1979 Chevrolet Malibu grew to 412,147, up from 358,636 of the 1978 models.

1979 Chevrolet Malibu sedan, rear view
The 1979 Chevrolet Malibu saw changes to its grille and taillights.

1979 Chevrolet Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu2,983-3,325$4,812-$5,600412,147

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
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  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1980 Chevrolet Malibu

1980 Chevrolet Malibu coupe
Sales of the 1980 Chevrolet Malibu fell due to
competition from imports and the new Chevrolet Citation.
The 1980 Malibu series included this Malibu Coupe.

The 1980 Chevrolet Malibu started out the decade of the 1980s with few changes, though engine choices were shuffled a little.

The base V-6 for the 1980 Chevrolet Malibu displaced 229 cubic inches, up from 200 the year before. Horsepower increased from 94 to 115, enough to shave 1.5 seconds from the Malibu's 0-60-mph time -- which was still rather leisurely at around 17 seconds.

Optional again for the 1980 Chevrolet Malibu were a 267-cubic-inch V-8 with 125 horsepower and a 305 V-8, now with 155 horsepower (down five). The "hot rod" 350 with 170 horsepower offered in 1979 was dropped. A "three-on-the-tree" manual transmission was standard, but most 1980 Chevrolet Malibu cars got the optional three-speed automatic.

Optional again for 1980 Chevrolet Malibu V-8 models was the F-41 sports suspension, which made the normally soft Malibu into a fair-handling family car.

Once again, two-door coupes, four-door sedans, and five-door wagons were offered in base and Classic trim levels. Sedans were most popular, and Classics outsold base models.

Prices rose about $600 -- better than 10 percent -- for the 1980 Chevrolet Malibu. That raised the price of the most popular model, the Classic sedan, to about $6,000. Higher prices in combination with the fuel crunch and Chevy's own Citation competition, forced Malibu sales to drop: from 377,000 in 1979 to 278,000 for 1980. However, that still made Malibu a strong midsize entry.

1980 Chevrolet Malibu wagon
The 1980 Chevrolet Malibu series included this base wagon model.

1980 Chevrolet Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
2,996-3,307$5,502-$6,149278,350

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1981 Chevrolet Malibu

1981 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan
The 1981 Chevrolet Malibu, including this four-door sedan,
received a squared roofline with a semi-formal rear window.

The 1981 Chevrolet Malibu received what amounted to a "radical" styling update for a car that had changed little since its 1978 introduction: Sedans adopted a rear roofline more formal than that of their Buick and Olds siblings. Other changes were more subtle.

The 1981 Chevrolet Malibu engines mostly continued from 1980 but now wore GM's Computer Command Control (CCC) emission system. The base 229-cubic-inch V-6 made 110 horsepower (down from 115), as did the California-only 231-cubic-inch Buick V-6.

The 305-cubic-inch V-8, now with 150 horsepower, was relegated to station-wagon duty, so the sole optional engine on sedans and coupes was the 267-cubic-inch V-8 with 115 horsepower. The three-speed automatic added a lock-up torque converter to aid highway mileage.

As before, the bulk of sales consisted of sedans, with ritzier Classic versions being somewhat more popular than the base models. Station wagons and coupes were likewise more popular in dressier trim.

And despite a substantial across-the-board price increase (the most popular model, the Classic sedan, was up more than $1,000, to $6,961), sales dropped only slightly to a total of just under 242,500.

1981 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Sedan
The 1981 Chevrolet Malibu series included this Sport Sedan model.
The wire wheels shown here were a $135 option.

1981 Chevrolet Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,028-3,390$6,548-$7,142242,447

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1982 Chevrolet Malibu

1982 Chevrolet Malibu sedan
The 1982 Chevrolet Malibu, including this sedan,
featured a new front end with a crosshatch
grille pattern and quad rectangular headlights.

The 1982 Chevrolet Malibu became little more than a blip on Chevy's production charts during 1982, with the new front-drive Celebrity undoubtedly stealing some of its sales.

Model choices for the 1982 Chevrolet Malibu were trimmed from fourteen to four, which didn't help either. The base Malibus and all the coupes were dropped. That left just Classic sedans and wagons with either V-6 or V-8 power.

Nevertheless, the 1982 Chevrolet Malibu sported a new Chevrolet Caprice-like frontal appearance, with a crosshatch grille flanked by quad rectangular headlights.

Bigger news was under the hood in the form of not one but two diesel engine options. The 85-horsepower 4.3-liter (262-cubic-inch) V-6 diesel was also available in the Celebrity. The 105-horsepower 5.7-liter (350-cubic-inch) V-8 was also offered in Chevy's full-size cars.

Though mileage with the diesels was commendable, they were expensive options (the V-8 added $825 to the sedan's $8,137 base price), and both would eventually amass dismal repair records.

Gasoline-engine choices were unchanged, except Chevy's 229-cubic-inch (3.8-liter) V-6 was now standard in California-bound carsl, replacing Buick's 231-cubic-inch V-6 in the Golden State.

1982 Chevrolet Malibu wagon
The 1982 Chevrolet Malibu series included
only sedans and this wagon.

1982 Chevrolet Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,091-3,240$8,137-$8,335116,125

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1983 Chevrolet Malibu

The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Sedan
The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu was the final model year
for the rear-wheel-drive Malibu. This Malibu Sport Sedan
was available with gas and diesel engines.

The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu drew down the curtain on the Malibu as Chevrolet's rear-wheel-drive midsize car, but the nameplate would return in the late 1990s on a new sort of Malibu.

The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu marked the sixth and final year of its design generation. It again came as a sedan and wagon. They looked the same as before, though Chevy no longer applied the "Classic" prefix to their names. Chevy also dropped a few standard features, including wheel covers and some exterior moldings.

Also gone was the 4.4-liter V-8, leaving the 5.0-liter version as the only optional gas V-8. Standard engine for the 1983 Chevrolet Malibu was again Chevy's 3.8-liter V-6 with 110 horsepower, though California cars, once again, got a Buick V-6 with similar specs.

With the 4.4-liter V-8 gone, the 150-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 became optional on wagons and sedans; it was previously offered only on wagons. Continuing on the options list were the 4.3-liter V-6 diesel with 85 horsepower and the 5.7-liter V-8 diesel with 105.

In its farewell year, the Malibu was actually more popular than it was in 1982, selling just over 117,400 copies. That was only about 22,000 behind the new Celebrity, and 25,000 ahead of the beleaguered Citation.

It was almost surprising that this generation of the Malibu hung around as long as it did, what with the more-modern Chevrolet Celebrity debuting in 1982. But the Celebrity was not an instant hit, possibly because many folks still liked the simplicity and proven engineering of rear-drive cars -- not to mention the solid reputation the Malibu had gained.

They also apparently liked the Malibu name, which returned in due time as the 1997 Chevrolet Malibu.

The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu wagon
The 1983 Chevrolet Malibu series included this wagon model.

1983 Chevrolet Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Malibu
3,199-3,470$8,084-$8,442117,426

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • All Chevrolet Malibus: The Chevrolet Malibu nameplate didn't die with the 1983 model. Get the lowdown on the new-age Malibu that launched for 1997 and continues today.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.