1981 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 3.8L V6 from North America
A dated, but wonderful sedan
High beam switch had to be replaced.
Tires were replaced.
This is one of the nicer iterations of the Malibu. I've been a fan of this line of cars, and this model was good. It was built like a tank, with very solid bodywork, good paint quality, and nice interior appointments. The bench seats are definitely dated, but if you find the more upscale versions (Malibu Classic, for example) sometimes they have the split seats.
Mechanically, the car was supremely rugged and reliable. The V6 motor started easily and ran effortlessly. The smooth ride made any road trip easy, and the powerful AC system kept things comfortable, even in hot desert conditions. This car represents a high point in GM engineering, before the complexity of modern fuel injection and OBD compliant computers would ruin everything.
Of course, by now, this is a very old car. Still, I see many of them soldiering on, and some have been extensively restored or customized. If you desire one, finding a clean, lightly used model can be hard, since most were driven into the ground. In my opinion, this good looking midsize sedan is destined to be a classic on the par with other American iron, such as the 57 Bel Air.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd April, 2002
14th Sep 2002, 15:01
I agree with you I have a 79 Malibu Classic and I am happy with it. it is going on 24 years old and not a spot of rust and has never been repainted. my only complaint is the interior was not taking care of and it went to crap and now trying desperately to find new so I can finish restoring it.
24th May 2006, 08:18
My parents had a 1980 Malibu Classic wagon and what a car it was. They bought it in 1987 and put about 50,000 hard km on it a year for the next 8 years, we used it to haul roofing material for our house, loaded up the trailer so badly that it bottomed out, all four of us kids learnt to drive on it and it was in about ten accidents during the time we had it. All we had to do to the car was oil changes every 5,000km and we got some used spark plugs to put in it after the first 100,000km (we had no money at that time) that little 267ci 4.4L V8 was indestuctible. The only two major things that went wrong was terminal rust, we bought it in Ontario, and after 5 years on the used plugs it starting running on only 7 cylinders.
We called her the Silver Ghost at first until the second time we sold her then we call ed her the boomerang since she kept coming back. We ended up selling that car 5 times and gave it to about every family member we had, but she kept coming back to us. We ended up taking the engine out since we were going to put it in another car and sent the body to the wreckers. I still wish I had the car even though it has been ten years.