Junkyard Gem: 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Basic Landau Coupe


The third-generation Chevrolet Chevelle, constructed from the 1973 by way of 1977 mannequin years, was greater and plusher than its predecessors. Even within the wake of the 1973 Oil Embargo and ensuing gasoline shortages, North American automobile customers nonetheless purchased these smart midsize automobiles by the a whole lot of 1000’s every year. The period of the absurdly highly effective big-block Chevelle SS was gone by 1976, however automobiles like at the moment’s Junkyard Gem nonetheless supplied good-enough horsepower and loads of consolation per greenback of buy worth.

The Malibu identify began out as a trim stage for the Chevelle, approach again in 1964, and its use step by step expanded through the years till most Chevelles have been Malibus. By the 1976 mannequin 12 months, all Chevelles have been Malibus (aside from the rococo Chevelle Laguna Sort S-3). Beginning in 1978, the Chevelle identify acquired the axe and the midsize Chevrolet grew to become simply the Malibu, an association that continues to the current day.

The Basic was the mid-level Chevelle for 1976, between the bargain-basement common Malibu and the Laguna. Afterward, in our present century, GM separated the Basic identify from the Malibu with the intention to create a fleet-only mannequin of the growing older N-Physique Malibu for the 2004 and 2005 mannequin years: the Chevrolet Basic.

This automobile is the sporty Landau Coupe model of the Malibu Basic, a automobile that wasn’t fairly as snazzy as its Monte Carlo sibling however value fairly a bit much less. The MSRP on a ’76 Chevy Malibu Basic Landau Coupe began at simply $4,124 (about $19,300 in 2020 {dollars}). Should you did not want the padded landau roof, the Malibu Basic Coupe could possibly be had for a mere $3,636.

Nonetheless, these costs have been for the automobiles with straight-six engines (rated at 105 horsepower) and three-on-the-tree column-shifted guide transmissions. This automobile has the 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) small-block V8 engine, rated at 145 horses with a two-barrel carburetor and the three-speed computerized transmission. These choices would have pushed the worth as much as $4,670, very near that of the $4,673 Monte that 12 months. Different out there small-block V8s included the 140-horse 305, the 165-horse four-barrel 350 (solely in California), and the 175-horse 400. I’ve by no means seen a third-gen Chevelle with both a straight-six engine or three-on-the-tree guide, however some will need to have been bought.

Inside, the Malibu Basic got here with an ordinary material bench seat and fold-down middle armrest (buckets in a wide range of petroleum-derived coverings have been non-compulsory) and “simulated rosewood” accents.

The 1976 Malibu Basic got here with no commonplace radio of any kind, with even only a scratchy mono AM-only unit setting you again 75 bucks (that is about $350 in at the moment’s cash). That radio would have been superb for listening to unhealthy information broadcasts, however when you needed to listen to the newest hit songs you’d need at the least this Delco AM/FM stereo unit. The worth? $226, or about $1,060 at the moment. Ouch! I am a bit shocked that this automobile nonetheless has its unique manufacturing unit radio, since thieves focused these radios effectively into the 1980s.

1968-1972 Chevelle coupes nonetheless command hefty costs nowadays, and these 1973-1977 automobiles have acquired extra respect over the many years. This one has some icky rust within the standard spots, sadly— perhaps not too unhealthy by Illinois requirements, however the worth of a pleasant ’76 Chevelle coupe would not justify the price of this a lot physique restore. Most Entrance Vary areas in Colorado do not use highway salt throughout the winter, however they did again when this automobile was younger.

The dealership badge acquired pried off earlier than I may learn it, however we will see sufficient of its shadow to discern that this seems to be a automobile initially bought in Fort Lupton, about 30 miles northeast of Denver.

The form of automobile you need to drive!

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