A true muscle car lover never loses the fever. With age, priorities (family, daily work commute, etc.) change, often times sending horsepower to the bottom of the list. In the case of this 1966 Chevrolet Malibu, our customer, Rick, found a way to feed his passion for muscle cars, while keeping his priorities in line.
In his glory days, Rick could be found cruising around town in a string of fast sports cars. Eventually, a daily commute to work and the need for more room persuaded the father of 4 to invest in a minivan. Rick never minded the compromise, but as he approached his 50th birthday, the urge (some would call it a mid life crisis) to feel some horsepower under his hind-end started to kick in. Although he wanted something with a little umph, he didn’t want to leave his family out in the cold. So, Rick decided to embark on a search for a car that could satisfy his need for speed while still being able to cart the family around town.
After a lot of research, Rick narrowed his search to something from the 63-71 era of GM cars—and why not, these years mark the hay day for American muscle. Although he found himself fancying the Chevelle SS, the Malibu convertible seemed like the perfect middle ground. After all, the Malibu was offered as an upgraded trim level for the ’66 Chevrolet Chevelle—the main difference being a smaller engine size and bench seats in the Malibu. Although this Malibu doesn’t carry the SS badge, it has muscle car status, looks and power, bench seats that fit the whole family, and a drop top that adds fun for everyone! Perfect.
Rick found this car almost as is on Ebay. In what Rick calls “ the trip of a lifetime,” he and his 9-year-old son flew down to Orlando to pick the car up, and drove it home. Which, according to Rick, “took a lot of trust and it could have turned out real bad.” Thankfully, Rick made it home safely to the rest of his family.
While he is a lover of muscle cars, he doesn’t have time to do any garage work himself. So, after getting the car home, Rick started on a new line of research to find a shop that could add the little touches that would make it his own. He spent some time browsing Google and came across American Resto Mods. Upon calling he encountered another A-body fan on the other end of the phone. Turns out our shop manager and connoisseur of all things classic, Mike Karbowski, owns a Olsmobile 442 Vert. Rick found comfort in this and decided to enlist us in checking out his new ride.
Once we got the car here, we inspected it and got everything that was broken working again. It was in pretty decent shape so we didn’t have much work to do initially. The next time Rick came back, we added an engine dress up kit and front disc brakes. Now everything is in working order and looks a little cooler, Rick and his whole family get to enjoy the oldie but goodie muscle car. Not only do the kids really love cruising in the Malubu, it seems that everyone on the streets really loves it, too. Rick says, “It is really cool that you can’t pull it out anywhere and everyone wants to talk about it. They want to know what I got in it, try to guess the year, etc. You wouldn’t believe how many people ask me to buy it. I even get thumbs up on the freeway on occasion. I really enjoy talking with the older people that love to see it out and about. It seems to really make a connection with the baby boomers.”
Although we didn’t do a whole lot of work on this beauty, we always enjoy seeing folks enjoying their classic ride. That’s what it is all about for us here at American Resto Mods. Smiles.