A Timeline of the Chevrolet Malibu as it Approaches its 50th Birthday ~ Greatest Vehicles

Sunday, 16 October 2011

A Timeline of the Chevrolet Malibu as it Approaches its 50th Birthday

With the Chevrolet brand celebrating its centennial this year and the Malibu approaching its 50th anniversary, General Motors decided it was good time to share some interesting facts about its mid-size model that will soon enter the market in a new guise.

According to the Detroit-based automaker, the Malibu is the longest-running nameplate in the midsize segment, with Chevrolet having first introduced it in 1964.
In a career that spans six decades and 35 years (GM had discontinued the Malibu for more than a decade from the mid-1980s to the late-1990s), Chevrolet has produced more than 8.5 million Malibus in the United States.

It all started when GM expanded the Chevelle's lineup with the Malibu in 1964. In the first three years of production, it was offered with a full range of body styles including two-door hardtops, two-door convertibles, four-door sedans and station wagons.
The most interesting variants were the Malibu SS coupe and convertible fitted with a 300-horsepower, 327 cubic-inch V8, which was replaced in 1965 with a 350-horsepower 327 cubic-inch small block. The coupe was also available with the SS Z16 package featuring a 396 cubic-inch, 375-horsepower big-block V8.
The following year, Chevy replaced the Malibu SS with the SS396. It was equipped with numerous performance upgrades while buyers were able to order the 396 cubic-inch V8 in 325, 360 and 375 horsepower outputs.
1968 brought a significant redesign but the Malibu continued to offer a rear-wheel drive layout. In 1973, Chevrolet debuted the third generation of Chevelles, including a Malibu. An SS package was offered on all body styles including the wagon.
The fourth generation of the series was introduced in 1978 and remained in production until 1983. It was the last rear-wheel drive Malibu.
After a 14 year hiatus, Chevrolet welcomed a new front-wheel drive Malibu in 1997. It was offered as a four-door sedan and a choice of two engines, a 150HP four-cylinder and a 155HP V6.
The sixth-generation Malibu made its debut in 2004 with Chevrolet introducing an SS variant with a 240HP V6 in 2006.

The current model came into the scene in 2007 and quickly became General Motors' best-selling passenger car in 2010, with nearly 200,000 cars (198,770) delivered.
The upcoming eighth-generation Malibu was introduced earlier this year and will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2012. Unlike its predecessors, the 2013 Malibu will be built in numerous locationsworldwide and sold in more than 100 countries.

[From General Motors]
Highlights in Malibu history: (model years)
  • 1964 – Introduced as the top model of Chevrolet’s new midsize lineup, it sold more than 200,000 in its first year.
  • 1968 – Significant redesign delivered a smoother, more rounded Malibu; sales increased to more than 260,000 units.
  • 1973 – All-new Malibu introduced, with a “Colonnade” hardtop design developed to support increased safety requirements..
  • 1978 – Smaller, trimmer Malibu with significant advances in component weight reduction is introduced.
  • 1983 – Last year for rear-wheel-drive configuration.
  • 1997 – Malibu reborn as a midsize, front-wheel-drive sedan, attracting accolades for value, safety and quality.
  • 2004 – Redesigned on new vehicle platform, Malibu enhanced its reputation as a high-quality, safe and value-driven competitor in the midsize segment.
  • 2008 – Seventh generation Malibu is launched with distinctive design, longer wheelbase and exclusive features such as a fuel-saving, four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain. This current generation Malibu has sold more than 700,000 units since 2008.
  • 2013 – All-new Malibu designed to deliver high levels of content and features, interior craftsmanship, a line-up of fuel efficient four cylinder engines with dynamic capabilities rivaling high-end sedans set to launch in early 2012. The 2013 Malibu is Chevrolet’s most aerodynamic and fuel efficient midsize ever.
When the Chevrolet Malibu nameplate was first introduced in 1964:
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the United States
  • The Rolling Stones released their debut album, "The Rolling Stones"
  • The Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show
  • The Civil Rights Act - one of the most important piece of legislation in American history - became law
  • The average price for a new home in the United States was just over $13,000
  • Gasoline was 30 cents per gallon, postage stamps were 5 cents and a movie ticket was $1.25
  • Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight championship
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Bubble wrap was invented by Marc A Chavannes.


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