The Chevrolet Malibu, shown here in 1964 debut form, is a Chevy
success story. See more pictures of Chevrolet Malibu and Chevelle cars.
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.
The Malibu name has appeared on five decades of Chevys.
This is a 1983 Malibu.
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