Shelly's 73 Chevelle Malibu
For years, I've been the owner of a 73 Chevelle SS and I LOVE MY CAR! Several friends of mine notified me of another 73 Chevelle and it was going through an insurance auction. I jumped at the chance of buying another chevelle!
What I came across was a plain-jane 73 Chevelle Malibu, small block 350 car. It was involved in an accident with a dump truck, which had side-swiped it. I didn't think the damage was all that bad, looked like it was gonna need a header panel, front bumper, drivers fender and a drivers door. Nothing I don't think I couldn't handle or be able to fix.
I thought this Chevelle would make for a nice cruiser, while I use my other Chevelle SS for racing.
Caught up in the excitement of the auction, I kept bidding and probably ended up paying more then I should of. I was now the owner of another 73 Chevelle Malibu.
Guess we will have to fix it up now, otherwise it will end up as a really expensive parts-car for the SS.
I bought the car in April of 2010, and tucked it away at my brothers place as life went on, always keeping an eye open for parts. One weekend we went through the car and made a list of what we needed, what was damaged and what would need to be replaced. Again, the car sits ...
A year had gone by when my friends told me there was a 74 Chevelle Malibu for parts in a neighboring town. My friend Dave & I raced out to check it out, and we found a 74 Chevelle Malibu with a decent front clip. I bought the headlight pods, header panel, bumper, front fenders and hood for $100. SCORE!
Not sure when it was, but the car acquired the nickname 'Mellow Yellow', 'Mellow' for short. Dave has tried to change it to 'Banana Boat', Dan Klim suggest 'Yellow Barge' but I'm sticking with 'Mellow'.
The car continued to sit at my brothers till Fall of 2014, when I bring it out and start working on it. We swapped spots with Dave's Omega, parking it at my brothers and 'Mellow' in his garage, this way we could work on it over winter.
One of Daves' coworkers brought it to our attention of a 76 Chevelle Malibu was for sale just outside of the city, $400. Called up another friend, we grabbed the car trailer and headed out. We checked the car out, called up Dave to tell him what we found and $250 later ... I had another Chevelle. This Chevelle was rough, the front clip was mint and it had a decent and much needed drivers door ...
Over the winter, the 73 Chevelle was slowly being worked on. We used the headlight pods from the 74, and swapped over the fenders/inner fenders, drivers door, hood and header panel/grill from the 76 onto the 73 for now. One day I would like to find the proper front clip for 73, but this will have to do for now. Atleast the car is together and complete.
We had some issues fitting things up on the front, but working with all the pieces we had ... we got things together.
The car still has a long ways to go, being it was sold with a salvage title, I will need to have to have it inspected for body integrity and then go through a vehicle safety inspection. Before we do the vehicle inspection, we want to make sure it will pass body intregrity (which I am pretty confident on) before spending all that money on parts. It won't need much for safety, the car is in excellent shape.
Once the integrity inspection is done, we can pull the replacement parts back off the car to clean them up and paint.
As for the safety aspect, the car is pretty sound already but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
As Spring 2016 approaches, the Chevelle Malibu project was put aside as I continued to work on my Chevelle SS, building it into a full out race car. The Chevelle Malibu would once again, be stored at my brothers place. While parking the Malibu, there was a problem with the brakes. The pedal went right to the floor and there was nothing. Thankfully the emergency brake worked.
The Malibu would come to see the light of day again in July of 2017, making it's way to Daves' place and into the backyard. Aside from the brake problem, we began to do a pre-inspection on the car and see what we thought needed attention before the 'safety inspection' which was needed before being able to insurance the car.
We went through the whole brake system, looks like the 'Master Cylinder' will need to be replaced. Ordered the necessary parts to fix it. Next thing would be tires, the tires currently on the Chevelle were off the 76 Chevelle and very weather cracked. Good rollers, but not something you'd want to drive on. Pulled some spare tires out of Daves car, the street tires for his Omega & Nova where like new, so we used them. The Omega's 235/60/15 for the front and the Nova's 245/60/15 for the back, tires were like new as Daves' running his drag radials for the time being.
Finally, our friend Bruce Clark came by to help 'pre-inspect' the Chevelle and was able to arrange for us to have it inspected in the coming days. As things worked out, the shop doing the inspection was able to go through the car later that day. The Malibu passes' with FLYING COLORS!!.
Super hyper & excited, I rushed with the inspection papers to the insurance outlet where I plated the Malibu. FINALLY, 7 years later ... I am now able to drive the Chevelle Malibu.
However, the car is FAR from done. Still needing to find a proper 73 header panel, headlight pods and front bumper. Fenders and drivers door are still untouched as they needed to be for the 'Body Integrity' inspection, so we will have to pull things apart and clean them up. So the look out for parts is still on, hoping also to find another drivers door, maybe in better shape. We were able to salvage the original hood, header panel and passenger side header panel which we will use later on.
A week went by when I was surprised by my friends. Brandan, Dave, Kevin, Ryan & Derek all worked together to get some new rubber for the Malibu. Kevin acquired my 15x8 rallies which were in storage, took them to Derek shop. Dave mounted some new Cooper Cobra 255/60/15 & 275/60/15 tires onto the rallies and Brandan brought my caps and rings which were being stored at his place. Dave & Ryan swapped over the new rubber onto the Malibu and then drove over to my place. I noticed that kind of stuff right away!! I LOVE IT!!. The rallies were purchased by my Mom back in the day for my 73 SS, and they hold alot of senstimental value to me and for the guys to surprise me with them on 'Mellow' was amazing.
I wasn't happy with the look of 'Mellow', with the 76 front clip on it. The hunt was still on for some 73 trim, a drivers side headlight pod and front grilles. Another friend of mine Steve B. informed me of an online for 73 headlight pods for sale, but in Calgary, Alberta. Unfortunately the guy wasn't interested in shipping them here to Winnipeg. My good friend Logan who lives just outside of Calgary sprung into action and scooped up the headlight pods for me.
Still missing the front grilles and 73 front bumper, an ad was placed again online looking for these parts. Got intouch with another guy from Calgary who had a driver side headlight pod and front grilles for the car. I can't thank Logan enough for running around for me, picking up these parts and shipping them to me.
However, before Logan shipped the parts, I received an early morning phone call from my friend Trevor who found 73 Chevelle Malibu for parts on a local Facebook Classifieds. Wasting no time, I call the gentlemen up as well as Dave, who was on his day off and we went promptly to check it out. Car looked good, front fenders, drivers door and most importantly, the front header panel and headlight pods. For $600 ... we jumped on it.
Wasting no time, we swapped over the front clip. Front header panel, grilles, headlight pods and front bumper. This is GREAT!!, my Chevelle Malibu is ALL 73 again ... and now looks like a 73!
A week or so later, the parts from Calgary arrived and I'm hidden them away for safe keeping. Getting so hard to find trim and parts for 73 Chevelles.
After I was done with the parts car, my friend Dan Klim came by and picked it up. His plan is to turn it into a 'dirt car' for the speedway. This worked out well for me, saved me having to haul the car away for scrap. Atleast there will still be some life left in that car.
That's where we ended up the car season of 2017, not quite sure what's planned for 2018 but you can bet your horses ... I'll be out cruisin' in my car!!
The plan for this Chevelle Malibu, is to leave it alone as it is right now. Under the hood is a stock 350, 2 barrel. Ignition has been converted over to HEI, still has the manifolds and single exhaust. This motor runs so well, you could put a glass of water on the air cleaner and not know it's running. I have my other 73 SS to monkey around on, and race with. So yeah, this will be my cruiser.