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Chevrolet Malibu Celebrates 50th Anniversary

After 8 generations, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu is more comfortable and efficient than ever

After 50 years and 8 generations, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu lives on. Bringing comfort, style, and power to the road, the 4-door sedan is still achieving what it set out for back in 1964.

Weighing in at 523 lbs heavier than the original Malibu (2014: 3,393 lbs; 1964: 2,870 lbs), it’s impressive that the modern mid-sized family car churns out 65 percent more horsepower than its 1964 counterpart, and still retains 35 mpg on the highway. The original Chevy Malibu came with a standard, pushrod 3.2L six-cylinder that made 120hp; these days, the 2014 Chevy Malibu comes with a DOHC (dual over-head cam, with variable valve timing) 2.5L four-cylinder that cranks 196hp. The current Malibu is harnessed by a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the original 1964 version came with the standard 3-speed manual or an optional 2-speed automatic.

These days, it’s less about one factor, and rather the sum of all parts. Most consider fuel economy, safety, and reliability to be the most important decision makers when buying a car; others look to raw power, style, and comfort. With the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu all 6 factors can be weighed. With the added StabiliTrak stability control and 10 standard airbags, safety is clearly not an issue. The available 2.0L turbo engine with 259 horsepower offers those looking for power a quick solution to their desires. Every 2014 Malibu comes with 16-inch wheels with disc brakes at each corner; lending style and performance. Last, but not least, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system gives drivers, and passengers, a variety of comfort options while cruising the open road.

All-in-all, 50 years has flown by for Chevrolet and the Malibu, yet it’s kept up with the times. Adding better fuel economy, more safety, and better handling performance, the 8th generation of the 4-door sedan is certainly living-up to its legacy.

A breakdown of the generations

Generation 1 – 1964-1967 and Generation 2 – 1968-1972

Few cars of the mid-60s to early ‘70s live-up to the reputation of the Chevelle Malibu. Starting with the 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS396, the name said it all. A big-block 396ci between the fenders gave owners loads of power in a lightweight ride that could easily drag race. That trend continued into the second generation with the 1970 Chevelle Malibu SS454, a rare and sought after ride even today. With lots of aftermarket parts readily available for the engine, drivetrain and suspension, these muscle cars make for great projects.

Generation 3 – 1973-1977 and Generation 4 – 1978-1983

The Malibu isn’t well-known for its 3rd and 4th generations, federal crash standards and the gas crisis of the ‘70s made these platforms less desirable. The demand for better fuel economy, coupled with the government crack-down on emissions drastically cut power even from the largest of engines. This eventually ended the muscle car era and the Chevelle name was dropped. However, the Malibu lived on.

Generation 5 – 1997-2003 and Generation 6 – 2004-2007

Named Motor Trend Car of the Year for 1997, the 5th generation of the Malibu proved that front-wheel drive cars were beginning to take center stage in America. With revolutionary technology in EFI, DOHC, and ABS, a car like the Malibu was being revitalized for a modern, fuel efficient conscious society. The 2004 Chevrolet Malibu SS gave customers a 240-horsepower 3.9L V-6, making respectable power from only six-cylinders.

Generation 7 – 2008-2012 and Generation 8 – 2013-2014

The 7th generation stepped-up the safety features adding a standard head curtain side airbags that won it the 2008 North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Finally, the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu brings greater efficiency, new connectivity features, comfort enhancements and a new front-end appearance to the table. Available with a 2.0L turbo engine with 259hp, its clear Chevrolet is focused on preserving the 50 year performance legacy of the name Malibu.

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73 comments
Dana A Gerard
Dana A Gerard

66-67 best darn car i have ever had 67 elco two 66 ss 396 1 rag top 66ss

Brent Badua
Brent Badua

definitely the 67.I had a 79 Malibu,350,headers,mild cam.I love that bodystyle

Backyard Technology
Backyard Technology

1968-1972, and it will always be a CHEVELLE. The Mailbu was an option until 1978. Bring back the Chevelle!!!

Max Gato
Max Gato

Malibu was the top model name for a ladies car. Now any "Chevelle" Super Sport is the way to go

Brian O'Hop
Brian O'Hop

Have a 67 Malibu wagon and a 70 SS. 65,67, and 70 are favorites.

Nelson Garon
Nelson Garon

1966-1967 great 1968 beautiful and 1973 solid well built but my first car was a 1976 Malibu 2 dr in Canada and i liked this

Jim J Chiaravalle
Jim J Chiaravalle

Like them all up to 1987..But am a big fan of the 73-77..Maybe cuz it reminds me of my high school daze of owning them

Barry Stone
Barry Stone

Later 1st generation. 1966 is my favorite..

Tom Ringlein
Tom Ringlein

All of them - prior to 1973 at least. Mine is a 1972, but I have a 64 ElCamino on my bucket list, and a 69 442 convertible lined up as a project. Okay, not Malibus, but some of its A-body cousins. Great cars.

Jayson Brock
Jayson Brock

73-77 are my favorite chevelle-malibu. But love all of them.

Richardson Baker
Richardson Baker

I love my 1981 Bu. The little 229 V6 has over 200,000 miles on her and still running great. The only thing I've had to do was replace the cam,lifters, and timing gears. Oh, and it's now got a GM aluminum 4 barrel intake with a Holley 600cfm .

Carl Hopkins
Carl Hopkins

I have a 65 with 454 tunnel ram 2 holley 600 carbs

Adam Wiskow
Adam Wiskow

50th anniversary? They quit making real malibus in 1981. That shitty front wheel drive crap they currently build is an abomination. They should have called them Chevettes.

Paula Chapple
Paula Chapple

I still miss my 69 Malibu. Red with black leather interior

Dave Bishop
Dave Bishop

I have a 65 SS car and I am celebrating My 50th birthday today :)

Joe Burnham
Joe Burnham

I have a 79 Wagon, so naturally I'm partial to the 78-81 G-bodies!

John Perry
John Perry

1967 is my favorite, my uncle had an SS396 when I was a kid, just luv it..!!!!! #1

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

well if i could find that model in a two door, thats not rusted to nothing

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