1965 Chevrolet Malibu SS is an unrestored vintage dragster, needs TLC
The seller says this car has been in storage for decades somewhere in California. This explains the faded paint, rust spots, and the engine not running. The seller also claims he was going to restore it for vintage Meltdown Drags races, but it appears he abandoned the project for some reason.
Can it be restored? Well yes. The body doesn’t show any significant rust issues, while the frame looks surprisingly good for a 56-year-old car. The interior is dirtier than damaged and could become usable with a good cleaning. While the original dashboard is still in place, the door panels have been removed to save weight, while the original seats have been replaced with racing buckets. It also has a racing wheel.
So what’s going on under the hood? It looks like this dragster sports a small-block 5.4-liter V8. It could be a racing version of the Chevrolet L79 unit offered in these cars in 1965, but the lack of accessories, hoses and other components makes it impossible to assess. The seller says the V8 is still running, but I don’t see how that could happen with so many parts missing.
The original four-speed manual transmission disappeared, replaced by an automatic transmission. Factory air conditioning has also been removed. The wheel bars, drawbars, and rear-mounted fuel cell suggest this Malibu was a serious crawler machine at one point in time.
But this dragster needs a lot of work under the hood. The engine is so lacking in parts that it might be better to replace it with a vintage big block or even a modern crate engine. The exterior also needs a cleaning and a new coat of paint, but I wouldn’t change the look of this car. I love battle scars on a vintage dragster.
The Drag-Ready Chevelle is offered by eBay seller “hollywood-motorsports-it” with a Buy It Now price of $ 26,395. Seems a bit pricey given the lack of racing documentation and the dismantled engine, but there is a “bid” option that might knock off this sticker.
Things would be a lot more interesting if this survivor could be traced and his racing career unearthed, but I’d be happy to see him in action on the drag track again.