Friday, September 2, 2016

Convertible Week continues with a beach ready cruiser!

Today I'm featuring another unexpected find for tony Park Slope. Parked in front of mutil-million dollar stoops and amidst an ocean of boring black to beige vehicles was this blue beauty. It looks ready for the beach!
This is a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu convertible in Mediterranean Blue. Malibu was the highest trim level for the Chevelle, and was required if the customer wanted to spring for the Super Sport option.
I love this car! The Chevelle was the mid-size offering from Chevy from 1964-1978. This is surprising as the name remains more legendary than you might expect from a mere 14 year run.
 There were much faster cars and definitely more luxurious ones, ,but I find this to be the perfect balance of comfort, power, and the all important cool factor. This is classic American muscle car cruising at its finest!
Those wheels are original Rallys from this era Chevy. Cragar SS rims are great but I think this is one of the prettiest muscle car wheels out there.
Everything you need to know to pinpoint the year is on display in this front pic. 1971 was the first of 2 years with this body style and a single headlight on each side as opposed to duals. In 1972 that single horizontal bar in the grill became 2, and the stacked dual turn signals seen here would become single units.
This hood is covering an engine bay that can accept almost anything you throw at it. Your choices were several V8s ranging in size from the 307 to the mighty 454 (called a Heavy Chevy when ordered complete with lettering saying as much on the fenders). I believe a 250 inline 6 cylinder could still be had but it would be a rarity.
The styling of this era Chevelle is clean as a whistle, especially this example which doesn't have any fancy doo dads like the Cowl Induction hood or SS Super Sport badges on the grill. Stripe packages were hugely popular too but the original owner of this ride opted for clean simplicity.
The General Motors siblings to this car are the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Pontiac LeMans. This was a neat trick because they really are essentially the same body but with different front and rear facades. Still they couldn't look more different.
The top on this ride looks a little baggy but not actually ripped. I'm wondering if the owner either tried to install it themselves or if they're missing a cable or two. Loving convertibles myself I would have this thing down every chance I got!

The interior looks pretty good and complete on this ride. It didn't come with many frills for sure other than the radio. Column shift automatic, crank windows, and a bench seat all fit with the serene blue color. This is definitely more about cruising than burning out.
They need to take this ride to the top repair guys stat to fix that baggy window!
The trunk lock is missing which is pretty troublesome for a convertible. If you reach your finger in you can simply pop it open, climb into the trunk (there's plenty of room), and go right over the backseat into the car itself.
Some small rust bubbles are emerging but nothing seems to tragic at first glance.
These round taillights look identical to the Camaro of the same year but they're subtley different. The Camaro has perfectly round lenses while these are actually an odd shape from the side in order to integrate into the convex shape of the bumper. The following year would bring totally boring square taillights to the Chevelle.
Oh man somebody had the brass to key this poor ride!
Every single part is available for this car. If you wanted to blow mountains of cash as an experiment I bet you could literally order each bit from the frame to the body shell and all the thousands of pieces in between and build one from scratch. Tons of Chevelles were built and so many of the mechanicals were the same across GM lines. If you wanted a usable classic you could do much worse than pick up an old Chevelle. While I usually swoon over rarity and obscurity you have to give it up when a popular car is done right. Hats off Malibu owner!

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