1965 Chevy Malibu - Sinful SS

Is It Sacrilege To Modify A Chevelle Drop-Top? Not When It Looks This Good!

Damon Lee Oct 1, 2000 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0010_01_z 1965_chevy_malibu_SS Front_view 1/8

Brothers and sisters, what we have here is a Super Sport sinner! A heathen hot rod! It may look innocent enough, but this Chevelle has strayed from the flock of its restored brethren, rejected its OEM attributes, and bathed itself in a sinful scarlet hue! These transgressions may earn it earthly rewards like a color feature in Super Chevy magazine-plus a shot on the cover-but don't think for a minute that they'll be of any benefit in the afterlife!

Okay, so maybe it's not a mortal sin to modify a '65 Malibu SS convertible, but some restoration purists might take issue with Joe Maisano's righteous red ride-especially when they hear that it was a restored-original machine when Joe got it four-and-a-half years ago. The transformation into a sleek street machine started innocently enough, as Joe simply intended to make a few mechanical upgrades. In his first two years of ownership, he installed 17-inch wheels, disc brakes, a 12-bolt rearend, a ZZ3 350, and a 700-R4 transmission, all while leaving the mist blue paint and two-tone blue interior alone. Then came the unthinkable-a pair of door dings on the driver's side quarter-panel.

Sucp_0010_02_z 1965_chevy_malibu_SS Rear_view 2/8

Now this might seem like small potatoes, especially when you consider that Joe works as a paintless dent removal technician. But both door dings damaged the paint, and Joe was never satisfied with the airbrushed touch-up attempts. So he decided to have the entire car repainted in the original color. As luck would have it, a little rust was discovered while the car was being prepped for paint, motivating Joe to have the entire car stripped. This soon snowballed into a frame-off color change job, turning a three-month repaint into a comprehensive two-year rebuild.

Sucp_0010_03_z 1965_chevy_malibu_SS Engine 3/8

When the Chevelle finally rolled out of El Segundo Auto Body, it was a completely different car-a reformed ride, if you will. Painted Ferrari red and featuring a smoothed two-tone dash, it had taken on a whole new look. To complement this new image, Joe had Master Image Customs install a full air suspension that can literally put the car on the ground. As a finishing touch for the new suspension, he bolted up a set of custom-fitted 18x7- and 20x8-inch "Vista" rollers from Intro Custom Wheels.

Sucp_0010_04_z 1965_chevy_malibu_SS Steering_wheel 4/8

Using the Chevelle's original two-tone blue interior was obviously out of the question at this point, so B&R Auto Upholstery was called on to stitch the seats and door panels in black synthetic leather. Then came the addition of a full-boogie stereo system (Alpine head unit, Rockford Fosgate amps, JL woofers, etc.), and a new German canvas top installed by Hermosa Auto Upholstery.

Not surprisingly, Joe's decision to take a basically "complete" car and spend two-and-a-half years rebuilding it earned him plenty of ribbing and grief from his friends and family. But now that the car is finished, that teasing has subsided to smiles and compliments. But the question still remains, was this sacrilege? Well, whether it was sinful or not, we have a feeling that Joe's Chevelle will be widely accepted by those in the Chevrolet congregation.

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