1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 305 V8 from North America
Timeless design, rough execution
There was a small area (.5"x.5") of 'solvent popping' (no paint adhesion) on the body.
Rear bumper was missing a 1" square area of chrome.
4-Speed floor shifter broke off (nylon pin held shifter to linkage - the pin broke). Drove 20 miles to nearest dealer in 2nd gear (the only gear I could find). Had problems when car was about 2 months old.
Weld in clutch linkage broke, clutch plate worn out by time I could get to dealer (ironically I was looking at new cars that day). Car was about 5 years old at that time.
Bad crimp on spade lug inside distributor, resulting in an inability to start car - sometimes. Dealer could never locate problem, eventually found by an EE in the parking lot where I worked one time when it happened. First year of ownership.
Engine had noisy lifters, which I understand is a common problem of those engines. Started within the first year. Dealers would never address. Eventually found that there was a 'secret warranty' - but only right after said warranty was withdrawn...
Parking brake stopped working at about the 4-year mark.
Trim on bucket seats wore through, exposing plastic rod that shaped trim.
6 years in I was driving in a residential area when the right front wheel and suspension came off the car at the ball joints. I examined the problem, and put the wheel assembly back in place, re-attached the tie-rod and then drove (!) the car 3 miles to the nearest dealer. I drove slowly and carefully, turning as widely as possible. Dealer was shocked that I drove it there - I was too.
Really good looking car; there is a timelessness to the lines of that car that make a car that still looks good. I also had two-tone paint (blue/blue), sport wheels, bucket seats, full instrumentation, etc.)
Was a good performing car for the time; The V8 + 4-speed resulted in a car that could not only accelerate well, but also got decent gas mileage. The F41 suspension and optional (wider) wheels on my car made for a car that handled surprisingly well.
...I custom-ordered this car from the factory 'back in the day' when you could still do this; It was my dream car of the time. It was a great-looking car, with a good design, but very bad build quality.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 11th March, 2010