11th Sep 2005, 18:58

To the person whom dropped a 350 in his 81, I have a few questions for you:

How bad is it on gas? mpg?

What is the performance like?

Do you know 0-60 or 1/4 mile times?

Thanks a lot.

13th Sep 2005, 00:46

Forget that guy, any Malibu that has made it 25 years and in good condition is worth something. These cars are real gems in my opinion, simple to work on, nice clean styling (compare to the previous generation!) and just enjoyable cars. Lots more character than an old Lumina or Cavalier. I have an '87 Chevy Caprice Landau Coupe and '83 Pontiac Bonneville (same platform) love both. Those little Malibu's are what turned me on to buying the Bonneville. The 78-80 Monte Carlo is nice, but I like the streamlined Malibu better. Great cars.

6th Oct 2005, 04:26

My Dad has a like new 78 Classic. The only thing I did not like about it was the pinging during acceleration or going up hills on any gas other than premium. I would think a later model engine like the 350 would have a knock sensor like the one in my GMC truck, but that may require an ECM also.

4th Sep 2006, 20:14

I have bought a 1981 wagon. It has the 350 with 350 turbo tranny and stock gears. I get 11 city and 16 highway, and also run 13.6 in the 1/4 mile. It is not a stock engine, but not wildly to the point on not able to take on a long trip. The only next modification I plan to do is a 700r4 to replace the 350 turbo to increase gas mileage and speed, but hope this helps you.

9th Nov 2006, 13:40

I am considering buying an 81 malibu classic that has come up for sale. I am curious though what kind of gas mileage they usual get? I tend to do a lot of across the state driving.

1st Sep 2007, 14:11

I drove an 81 Malibu classic 2 door with a 267 c.i.d. engine, and god I miss that car, the only reason I had to get rid of it is because the frame rotted out and broke just behind the rear wheels, a casualty of the Quebec winter, I would trade 100 new cars to have it back.