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Hi everyone, I recently found a 1973 chevelle Malibu on Facebook in my area and I really don’t know enough about these cars to know if it’s a good deal. I know 73 isn’t a very desirable year. The car has around 100k miles, rebuilt 350 engine, claims to make 400hp. Needs shocks, dash, seats, and paint. $6800 for the car. Is it worth buying and putting money in or will I never be able to come close to making my money back? I really don’t mind the paint but I would want to fix everything else. But also it’ll probably be harder to resell someday without new paint so I’m not sure.



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Welcome to TC!

Of that body style, the '73s are the most desirable, IMO. With that said, I think he's about $2500 over priced here. That interior is pretty rough & you have no idea what's sitting under that primer.

Not saying I would completely walk away here...I think it's worth a look in person. See if he's willing to deal & try to get it for a more reasonable number. $5k is probably as high as I would go.
 

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It would make a fun play toy if it were a little bit cheaper. I would not worry about resale.
 
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That's a car you buy for yourself and sink money into not worrying about making a buck. Done right, those cars can be very sharp. It can be tough to get parts for, but more and more repops are becoming available. I've been eyeing them, her in Cali and that price is about right for here if it's solid. They can be real rust buckets and that's what makes a good one tough to find. I would chisel him down, it looks rough.

Besides the typical rust-prone areas, look closely at and around the taillights and whatever we're calling that window in the rear pillar.

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I'd offer $4500 and see if he will play. I would likely top out at $5k though.

64-72 chevelles are darn near unreachable anymore for a driveable project... I would not be surprised to see the 73-77s finally take off in value in the near future.

I've always liked them when done up right (they need big wide tires to fill those rear wheel wells!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m not looking to make money or anything, but I also don’t want to end up losing a ton of money by getting myself into this.

I would love to talk him down further (sub $5k) on price, but he was actually asking $7900 at first and I got him down to $6800. I could maybe get $6500 but that’s probably it.

It’s a Southern California car as far as I know. Here in LA it’s the cheapest I can find that’s actually running. The guy says there’s no rust but I don’t really believe that. Engine and transmission are rebuilt according to him, but there’s no records.

I don’t really think the seller’s English is that great though so it’s tough to get info. Most answers are very short or just yes or no. But as far as I know everything is good except for the interior, paint, and shocks.

So I’ll probably be at least $12-15k into it for that stuff. If I could sell the car for that price or higher when the time comes that’s really all I’m hoping for. I don’t really know if people pay that type of money for this generation with over 100k on the chassis though. Of course I’d love to have one of these cars but the idea of losing thousands on top of other costs of ownership for a car like this kind of scares me to be honest haha
 

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Wait for a month at that price it isn't likely to be snapped up...Then go back with what you would offer him in Cash...get the tittle and don't look back. Not sure where you are..If were in real winter conditions It may work...where it's sunny all the time... Maybe not.
Good Luck let us know
 

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It could be a total rust bucket.
Looks like that flat black was sprayed recently to hide issues.
You need a magnet when you go look.

As for your offer, tell him you've talked to some experts that say it's worth no more than 4500, only if it's not slathered in Bondo.

That rebuilt engine is likely BS. Funny how every car for sale has one. There are more rebuilt engines in America then there are cars when it comes to FB and CL.
 

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I like it. Don't go into it as an investment. Fix it up and drive it. Don't be that guy that beats up the seller on price without even looking at it. If I were the seller, I wouldn't talk to you anymore.
 

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73-77 was a whole new body and frame. Those cars weight 500# heavier than the Chevelles they replaced. Very prone to rust, GM integrated higher amount of recycled metal into the sheet metal. Models with the Endura Front end bring decent $$$. Looking at those pics and if you intend to ultimately spend $12-15K, I'd be looking at something lot nicer to start with.
 

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If you think you want to buy it then look it over very carefully for rust. Problem with those cars is there is little aftermarket parts available. Most everything has to come from a donor car. As far as paint I’d check into a Maaco paint job. A paint job at a resto shop is $15K. So some effort on your part and $5 K at Maaco and your painted. Any interior is donor stuff. But you won’t get into. Pre 73 Chevelle at those prices.
 

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1968 Malibu sport coupe, 489 ci. 590 hp 600 tq, RV T-400 Freakshow 3200 stall, 3.73 12 bolt posi
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I'd widen your search area, IMHO you can find a nicer 73 for that kind of $$$, I had a 73 Elky and really the only thing I didn't like was the bumpers and Laguna bumpers or Enduro? front end can fix that
 

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Just make sure that the parts that are needed are available in the repro world.
 
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Do you like it? Could you see yourself driving and enjoying it? If so, and there is no rust then offer him $6,500. The market for these cars is changing. I think 73 Chevelles are going to go up in value. I personally like that car, but Im not the one looking to buy it or restore it so my opinion doesnt really matter.

Go take a look at it and take it for a drive. Look very closely at the body and examine it for rust. Look at the frame and make sure it isnt bent. If it puts a smile on your face then buy it. If not then dont.

None of us will ever get the money we put into these cars no matter what the year. They arent investments, they are money pits. But I love wrenching and hot rodding so its worth it to me. Is it worth it to you?
 

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Also that interior looks pretty decent except for the front bench seat. I would tear those out, put in some buckets, a loud exhaust, a punisher sticker on the hood and beat the heck out of it. It looks like a fun car to me honestly.
 

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Keep looking if he does not come down in price. For 12-15k You might find one in better shape. You make or lose money when buying. I have had over 35 Camaros and Chevelles since 1970 and have never lost money. I budget below value and only buy sold desirable cars and most important I do all the work myself from drivetrain, paint and interior. I have less than $30k in my 69 Chevelle SS with 54K miles. Restified back to stock. Have had for 12 years. JMO
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That's a car you buy for yourself and sink money into not worrying about making a buck. Done right, those cars can be very sharp. It can be tough to get parts for, but more and more repops are becoming available. I've been eyeing them, her in Cali and that price is about right for here if it's solid. They can be real rust buckets and that's what makes a good one tough to find. I would chisel him down, it looks rough.

Besides the typical rust-prone areas, look closely at and around the taillights and whatever we're calling that window in the rear pillar.

View attachment 730061 View attachment 730062 View attachment 730063 View attachment 730064 View attachment 730065
I fully agree with this post above^^^ IMO cars in general are a very poor investment, particularly if the one in question would require a considerable amount of time and money, (as most of these old cars do) but something like a 73 Chevelle is probably even less of a potential than a 64 thru 72 Chevelle to ever hope to actually make money on. That doesn't mean such a purchase would be wrong per se. Just not a good idea if the goal is making a profit. NOT gonna happen IMO. Do it for the love of the car, or don't do it at all.
 

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Keep looking if he does not come down in price. For 12-15k You might find one in better shape. You make or lose money when buying. I have had over 35 Camaros and Chevelles since 1970 and have never lost money. I budget below value and only buy sold desirable cars and most important I do all the work myself from drivetrain, paint and interior. I have less than $30k in my 69 Chevelle SS with 54K miles. Restified back to stock. Have had for 12 years. JMO View attachment 730084
12 years ago is a LOT different than now. I'm glad I jumped in when I did as this hobby is priced WAY out of my league now.
 

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I remember one time a guy in my area had a decent 73 malibu but he could not give it away so he started advertising it in the paper as a 72 just to get people to come look at it. boy was i mad when i got there and he admitted to doing that. The 73 and up models are clearly not compatable to or have anything in common as their predecessor models. Those 73 and up boats dont have much of a cult following either although they ride great and can take a good beating
 
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