AUGUST 31, 2018: A 1969 CHEVELLE MALIBU PUSHES THE ENVELOPE FOR MUSCLE CAR STATUS

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Doug Hart is the second owner of a 1969 Chevelle Malibu; a car he purchased from its original owner in 1972.

 

Doug was the right owner for the Malibu because he kept the car for the past 46 years and has no intention to part with it.

 

Doug was also a good historian for the car because he knew how the first owner was able to squeeze as much muscle as possible out of the car-without drifting into Chevelle SS status at the time.

 

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Many older car guys will be able to recall how insurance companies frowned upon big block muscle cars owned by youthful car guys in the late Sixties. The cars were brute force performers in the hands of brash young drivers and the combination was disastrous in the eyes of insurance companies.

 

Inexperienced drivers with too much horsepower were enough to make insurance guys break into a cold sweat, so they hit the car guys with big premiums to discourage them from buying the muscle cars.

 

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The previous owner of Doug’s ’69 Chevelle tried to avoid the muscle car issue when he bought the Malibu model and attempted to order it with a big block Chevy. A flag was thrown because the car was viewed as a thinly-disguised Chevelle SS model if the original owner ordered the Malibu with all of the muscle car options.

 

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The net result was the original owner settled for a Malibu model that had an L-48 350 engine under the hood, coupled with a Muncie “rock-crusher” four-speed manual transmission.

 

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Doug told MyStarCollectorCar the car‘s first owner did not want any horsepower-sucking equipment on his car, so he did not even order power steering on the Malibu. He wanted to maximize the performance offered by the Malibu model back in ’69.

 

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As mentioned, Doug purchased the car from its original owner and initially drove the Malibu with its factory 350 engine. Doug was willing to bide his time with the car and built up a big inventory of memories from his days as a 20-something owner.

 

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One of the memories included an occasion when Doug and some young buddies were hoisting beer at a local bar and decided to leave on an 11 hour road trip so one of Doug’s love-struck buddies could visit his then-girlfriend.

 

Eventually Doug made different decisions about his Malibu and pulled the original engine out of the car.  Doug replaced the factory engine with a crate 350 engine that has 400 horsepower, according to Doug.

 

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The extra muscle under the hood has transformed the Malibu into a true muscle car and Doug assures MyStarCollectorCar that his original 4-speed manual is definitely up for the task.

 

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Doug has kept most of the original equipment from his Malibu in storage and even added to the originality mix when he managed to find five factory wheels and tires for his Malibu. However, the 49- year-old tires are for display purposes only, according to Doug.

 

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Doug’s 1969 Chevelle Malibu is a remarkable blend of originality and add-ons.

 

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We at MyStarCollectorCar truly believe the car’s second owner (Doug) is definitely the right guy to own and preserve its history.     

 

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.  

 

 

 

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