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Discussion Starter #1
I have an original 67 Malibu with a 327. I am having it lightly restored but I'm having a dilemma and need some advice. Should I rebuild the 327 and keep original, or should I just replace it with a 396 and convert it to a SS? I would prefer a SS, but would I really regret losing an original?
 

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Ralph67

I have a 66 396 SS Clone that I have been working on for about a year. I do not have the 396 in due to $$ but that is the only issue I have with owning a clone/tribute car or what ever they call it these days. If you can spring for the 396 go for the SS conversion don't think you will regret the change. I would save all the original stuff just in case.
 

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I would keep it original. My reasons are as follows. I think a properly done clone is more effort than its worth unless you just really enjoy putting the money and time into the car. I also think that as many of the non SS cars are made into clones that the original non SS cars will become scarcer.
 

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My 66 will never be a clone.... I think I would feel like I was driving a fake... when I look at other people's clones, I dont think that way... but I guess I just dont want one....
(no offense intended to any clone builder... to each their own!)
 

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You should equip/build the car for YOUR purposes. If you want a fun car to drive for years, think about modernizing the running gear. If you want a seldom driven museum piece, then restore it as original, which is a difficult undertaking. IMO, a 67 body style, badged as an SS or not, with updated mechanicals is "worth" more than a stock 327 Malibu or SS remake, unless there is something really unique about YOUR particular vehicle. It seems that most people on this forum are upgrading their Chevelles for better performance and looks. The 283, 2-speed powerglide, drum brake setup in my SS was nothing special and a real bore!!!! Now I have something fun to drive (I kept all the removed parts).
 

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138car said:
I would keep it original. My reasons are as follows. I think a properly done clone is more effort than its worth unless you just really enjoy putting the money and time into the car. I also think that as many of the non SS cars are made into clones that the original non SS cars will become scarcer.
Even IF original, Non-SS cars became scarcer, an SS (or SS-clone) will still most likely be worth more... Its desirability, not rarity...

Sure, a nice original Malibu (IN NICE SHAPE) can bring quite a bit, but in general, it will NOT be worth what a nice clone would bring... IF you were worried about value... IF you are solely worried about the value, sell it as is... The cost of the resto will likely cost more that you will get out of it anyway...

That Malibu would also have to have some nice "factory" options (maybe an L79, buckets/console, 4-speed, disc brakes) to make it worth leaving as a Malibu...


A properly done clone will only cost more to get the HD and SS pieces (12-bolt, SS hood, etc)... Everything else, Buckets/console/etc were available on Malibus too, and bench seats were available on SS cars (even with Auto-on-column)...
So to make a "correct" clone (or at least one that would fool 99+% of the public), the restoration costs will NOT be that much higher...



Ralph67 said:
I would prefer a SS, but would I really regret losing an original?
Its YOUR car, do what makes YOU happy... It might be different IF your were cutting up a desireable car, but converting a Malibu to an SS is not going to lose any value.

Does you car have near-perfect original paint and interior? Low mileage (like 25K)? Something rare? Or is it just a solid old car? Unless its a time-capsule/cream-puff, I say make it the car you want...

I'd much rather see a nice SS (even a clone) over a "basic" plain old Malibu... Keep the 327 in the corner of the garage (and the stock hood, etc), and everything could someday be converted back to a Malibu, if desired...
 

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allengator said:
My 66 will never be a clone.... I think I would feel like I was driving a fake... when I look at other people's clones, I dont think that way... but I guess I just dont want one....
(no offense intended to any clone builder... to each their own!)

No offense taken...

Nice car Allengator...

"to each there own", exactly... To me, a clone is really no different that adding certain wheels, or chroming out the engine... I am talking about "cloning" and not really an attempt to completely build a 100% concours correct "recreation" (with docs and restampings, etc)...

Some people might like the look of certain wheels or stance... Some people want a "period correct" look... Some people like the look of a clone, with the factory pieces that usually typify an SS (SS Hood, buckets, console), and the emblems that go along... It's all about PERSONAL choice...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the discussion, and I think I agree with most of the comments. I worked on this car when I was in high school and I spent $2500 of money I earned working at Taco Johns. Now that I have a better job, I'd like to have a reliable fun car to drive. For me, I think that would be a 396 SS clone. I have no intention of passing it off as anything other than a clone. I have owned the car for 25 yrs and will own it for another 25 so I'm not concerned about resale. But I'm having a hard time finding a 396, but I can get a new HO 350 for a good price. But then I don't have a SS clone with a 396 and now I don't feel like I have recreated the fun of having the car I would want. Maybe then I should just leave it as a Malibu and put a reliable 350 in it? Tough decisions.
 

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ralph, i tend to side with allengator about the feeling like a fraud thing, but it's not personal or anything. i think the clones are really cheapening the genuine cars. not in $ necessarily, but in making it look like every chevy that rolled off the line in the performace era wore SS badges. you can't hardly find a camaro without 'em. but hey, you do what will make you happy and enjoy it. finding a 396 or 402 is not hard or an expensive proposition. i bought my last one for $200 complete a couple months ago.
 

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Ralph 67
BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU GOT. SS is a model enhancement. An orginal car to me is just as interesting as an SS. or GT what ever applies. tweak the 327 there a little more affordable to drive on $3.00 a gallion gas than a 396. I should know!
just my 2 cents worth
 

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2 cents more. I looked for a year to buy a 67 SS after 30 years of not having one since high school. Price were outrageous (on a budget) and I just don't have the strength or time to restore one myself, so I found a nice SS clone, restored already.

396, mag wheels, headers, cam, the fun driving stuff, which is what I wanted it for. It looks and runs like as SS so it doesn't matter to me. At a local show or cruise night, it really doesn't matter. I suppose at World of Wheels... - well I wouldn't bring it there anyway. That's for the real show cars and the 138 should always make a difference.

Before I bought it, I really did think hard if the 138/136 would make a difference to me. Yes it does, BUT, I intend to enjoy the car I have now and not worry about all the rest. I can tinker around with stuff, wax it up and have fun.
 

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I'm building a clone 70 el camino SS. I have the 350/700R4 combo for the driveline. Like you, I have no desire to mislead anyone, I just want it to look cool and be somewhat practical. Some California SS cars came with 350's, so at least as far as the engine goes, it could be right. Another point to consider is that you can put regular SS emblems all over it without the "396." Even the hood only says "cowl induction." So unless you really want the 396 powerplant...... I currently drive a restored 80 el camino with a 350/700R4 combo and get about 18 mpg so I look forward to my daily driver 70 model doing the same. Good luck on your decision!
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If I did this correctly, you can see a couple images of my Malibu or you can see it in the showroom as 67 Malibu. As you can see, I had put a SS hood on in many years ago and it already has bucket seats, console, etc which would make the SS cloning very simple. I happy to hear that finding a 396 may not be that difficult or expensive, but since I want a daily driver the practicality of having a 350 makes sense also.

http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/showphoto.php/photo/6421
 

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just bought a 66 Malibu Conv. in April It came from the factory with 4 speed, bucket seats,console,knee knocker tack and all SS gauges. Pro tack plate and build sheet I have a 1966 396 that I was going to put in it,but I have deiced not to The 327 has 275 HP and the 396 has 325 Hp .I do like the BB but the car is just to good to change I am looking for tri power just to give it some push and I am putting dual exhaust on it
 

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Every now and then I 'toy' with the idea of selling my SS so that I may purchase a regular Malibu to which I can make modifications that I would not make on my SS.

The rear end of the 66 would look really good with the scripts removed. I would remove the "chevelle" script from the deck lid and even the strip on the back panel (between the taillights).
This gives these cars a very 'clean' look, IMO.

I also would extend the alternating black and aluminum effect that you see at the outside of the headlights (on the SS's) to the rest of the grille (vs. all black). I would probably still go with the SS in the grille because of the big block under hood if not only because it looks better.

Everything I do is to impress myself - and myself only.
 

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I forgot to add, I also appreciate the look of the Malibu's just the way they are. This will become much more the case as time progress's.
 

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Go original (but with performance mods that update the drivetrain). Aren't there enough SS clones already?
 
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