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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to look at a malibu this weekend. It will be my first chevelle and I hope this one works out. It has the 307 engine and all original. What are some things to look for? It has 1 rust spot that rusted through where the vinyl top meets the body.

Would it be worth more to make it original or to SS clone it but with a 350? i am doing this on a budget but the guy is asking $4500 and it has not been cranked in 3 years but feel mechanical wise I am good. Also it has a vinyl top and I am scared of what it could be like underneath it. Is there a way to feel if it is junk underneath it?

I am very excited and will keep posted as what I find.

Thanks for your help.
 

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You are correct. Pay particular attention to the vinyl top. I have pulled them off in the past and found huge holes in the metal. You would be looking for soft spots or lumpy areas usually in the back around the glass, along the drip rail, the front glass and on the sides near the chrome. Rust in these areas can be particularly challenging to repair.

As with all Chevelles, check out the trunk and the floor pans not that they can’t be fixed but it will give you an idea of the scope of the project.

The fact that it is still a 307 and all original makes it a great candidate for restoration. Make it what you like. If you want an all original Malibu then you have a great car for that. If an SS Clone or something in between makes you happy then that’s the way to go.
 

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Hello Harris. I agree with Dan. Also check the cowl area for any signs of rust.
The fact that it is a 307 malibu and original is very good. It will not be a hugely valuable car no matter what you do to it. Therefore you should do what you will be happy with. Just keep all the original stuff if you change it.

I like cars that are original. If I found an original malibu, I would buy it and keep it that way. There are very few of them remaining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. I do know it needs a trunk pan and the guy said there is bubling under the vinyl in some spots. I dont want to sink a lot of money into but I do want a nice looking car and I do want it to be a muscle car. I just dont want to spend more on the 350 than I do the car plus have tons of body work. We will see, I am going to get a visual on it Saturday.

Do you all think $4500 is steep for a car with rust holes and an engine that has not been cranked in 2-3 years? I really want it but I want to be realistic with my budget. Which is ???? heck i dont know yet. But for what I want it will be high I'm sure and the wife will not be happy haha!!
 

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Bubbling under the vinyl.... not good at all. You wont have any idea how bad it is until you pull it off and of course that won't happen till you own it. Replacing sections of a roof can be a major project and not something for the inexperienced.

As for the price, if its all there and not a basket case, $4500 is fair. Just be ready to spend some money on the roof. That is unless you or a buddy has some experience cutting and welding.

Let us know if you bring her home.
 

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Most of the time, when a car has rust issues, it will cost more in the long-run than a car that was solid and cost more in the beginning.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I do know it needs a trunk pan and the guy said there is bubling under the vinyl in some spots. I dont want to sink a lot of money into but I do want a nice looking car and I do want it to be a muscle car. I just dont want to spend more on the 350 than I do the car plus have tons of body work. We will see, I am going to get a visual on it Saturday.

Do you all think $4500 is steep for a car with rust holes and an engine that has not been cranked in 2-3 years? I really want it but I want to be realistic with my budget. Which is ???? heck i dont know yet. But for what I want it will be high I'm sure and the wife will not be happy haha!!
If it needs a trunk pan then check the rear quarters down low also, chances are they are also rusted out in a few places. Also check the rear package tray in the corners by looking in the trunk and looking up in the corners. The most expensive part of repairing these cars is rust issues. Most cars with vinly tops that I have seen have a lot of damage under the top. If the head liner is loose try to look up under it. You might want to find one with less rust, it will cost you more then you think to repair.
Ray
 
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