The Chevrolet Malibu came about as a trimmed down version of the classic Chevy Chevelles. They were produced from 1964 to 1983 in various forms, mostly to be affordable cars. The four door models 1978 to 1983 did not have moveable windows in the two rear doors in order to reduce productions costs. These very trimmed down models were used extensively by NASCAR, but with design changes in the 80’s the car became too boxy and was phased out of use.
Today, these first generation Malibus, made from 1964 to 1967, are often best known around car customization circles. They were offered as convertibles, and many of these today have been preserved, repainted given new bigger and more stylish wheels with low profile tires, big speaker systems, and even hydraulic lift systems to raise them up and down on command.
The second generation of Malibus, made from 1968 to 1972, are much more a part of the muscle car community. They feature options of all the things you might expect from an American muscle car, big, easy to upgrade engines, hatchbacks and rear wheel drive, though you could still get one of these with four doors. The Malibu became so popular that in 1970, only the Malibu and the Chevelle SS was offered from the Chevelle family.
However, the third generation proved to be more of a transition year than an improvement for the Malibu. Through 1973 to 1977 the Malibu again became the entry-level base model of Chevelle. These big, 1970s style models featured an odd two by two head light arrangement, and are not remembered for being especially attractive.
Before it’s re-release in 1997, the fourth generation was the final production of Malibus. As it had been the best selling of the Chevelle family, the Malibu completely replace the Chevelle nameplate for this final generation. These cars were downsized, to be more economical, much like modern cars produced today. However, the outright appearance is truly nothing like the current model of Malibu available.
Unlike the passed history of Chevelle generations with numerous body style availabilities, these were only offered in three body styles, a 2 door coupe, a 4 door sedan and a 5 door station wagon. The four door sedan model was often used by police forces around the country. There was no Super Sport available for these Malibus. Only the El Camino from the original Chevelle family offered an SS edition.
Driving one of these vintage or late model Malibus today can be tough because of the lack of modern qualities. They lack simple storage space and cup holders.The solution to these problems are simple and inexpensive with these products. And for collectors out there, these upgrades can be specially ordered to come in a color to match the interior or exterior of your beloved Chevy Malibu, and can be removed and replaced at any time. These products are designed to fit perfectly into a Malibu’s interior.
Available center consoles and other upgrades:
* 1978-88 Chevelle/Malibu Dashboard Plug & Chug Drink Holder