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A Malibu with pop

RIDE OF THE WEEK: 1966 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE MALIBU SS CONVERTIBLE

The Chevrolet Chevelle earned its reputation as a high value, fun and reliable car with models such as this week’s ride, a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS Convertible owned by Jack Grabowski of Berwick.

The Chevelle was produced by Chevy from 1964-1977 and was one of General Motors’ most successful cars of all time. During the Chevelle’s run, the model’s top level was the Malibu, which became so well known that the Chevelle was renamed that. Grabowski’s 1966 Malibu is the two-door convertible that features a 283 cubic inch V8 engine and a Powerglide automatic transmission.

“The 283 inch engine and the four barrel carburetor give this car a lot of power,” Grabowski said. “I also added an aluminum intake and an aftermarket air cleaner to get the air in there a little better.”

The 1966 Chevelle Malibu was the first year for the “Coke bottle” body shape, which became a fad for American cars in the mid to late 1960s. The 8-cylinder Chevelle was the only one to earn the “SS” (Super Sport) designation in 1966.

The car was originally light blue, so Grabowski had it repainted maroon metallic and replaced the convertible top so that it would be bright white.

“The car really pops when you see the bright white top against the darker body color,” he said.

The car also features a white interior with a column shift, original factory AM radio, an in-dash electric clock, and enough seating for six.

“I laugh sometimes because my daughter has a minivan,” Grabowski said, “but sometimes we all fit better in the Malibu.”

The Malibu currently sits on Rally wheels and raised white letter tires and has power steering and brakes.

“The car just runs and drives great,” Grabowski said. “I’ve owned it for maybe 15, 16 years now, and it always gives me a thrill to put the top down in the summer and take it for a ride.”

Grabowski’s Chevelle will be kept in the garage for the winter months, but he is waiting patiently for the first warm and sunny weekend in the spring to take it out for a drive.

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