This 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS two-door hardtop was the first car of Mike Petramalo before he sold it. When Mike first got the Malibu SS, he spent some time struggling to control the power of the Malibu as a daily driver, the 4.11 rear end with a pumped up TH350 and a racing spec 327 engine was probably too much for him. Mike wanted something easier to handle to as he drove the 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS to Federal Way, Washington. There, he went to Jet Chevrolet and traded the Malibu for a more tamable Chevrolet S-10 pickup. But of course, after some time Mike regretted his decision. (who wouldn’t?)
After a while, Mike found a very familiar looking 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS during a custom car show that was held in Graham, Washington but it was not in the actual show, he found it at the parking space with no cage and was configured to be a street driver. It even had undergone some small amount of restoration. But still, Mike had a strange feeling and could not stop but think that this used to be his first car, his 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS. (could it just be?)
Mike wanted to know about the Chevelle and left a note. Not too long after the owner called and told Mike about the Chevelle’s history, Jet sold it to a classic car dealer who then sold it to a man named Fred Levering. He had it restored and brought the newly restored car to the car show where Mike found it. Mike and Fred made a deal. (yehh)
Letting go of the Chevelle was probably a good thing because when it was away, it became something that Mike could enjoy driving. While it was under the ownership of Fred for years, the 327 got a lot calmer and it is still fitted with the dragster designed by Victor Jr. The 3-speed automatic transmission was replaced by a 700-R4 transmission and it also now has 3.73:1 gears that made it a lot more manageable to drive.
“From there I started working on whatever I could afford,” Mike said. He added power brakes, power steering, and four-wheel discs using Classic Performance Product kits. And for the wheels, the CPP brake setup also had dropped spindles with it and Mike complemented them with Speed Freaks tubular control arms and anti-roll bars. Mike also added a Viking Performance double adjustable coilovers.
The blue-green paint gives the Chevelle a gentler look but the white pearl flames give it some accent that says that it is not your ordinary restored classic. The interior was also brought to a whole different level which was worked by Icon Audio from Gig Harbor. They fabricated a uniquely designed a complete set of rear, door, and tray panels.
The panels are not just for style but they also serve to hide the Rockford Fosgate sound system. The system includes Power Series gear with a set of 6.5-inch components embedded in the door panels and 6x9s embedded into the tray. The system is connected to a Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth module which allows you to play music from you smartphone. The interior is then covered by black leather.
The dashboard is still the original but has been fitted with Classic Dash inserts that feature a full set Auto Meter Cobalt series gauges. For that smooth Driving Mike wanted, Billet Specialties Split Spoke steering wheel was used that is mounted on the stock column. B&M Hammer shifter sits on the center console and features a standard ball sprouts with Lokar finish.
The Chevelle rides on 18×8.5 and 19×9 Rushforth Night Trains, they are then fitted with 225/40R18 and 255/35R19, respectively, Toyo Proxes tires. Mike and his 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS is certainly a rare story and inspires a lot of other classic car fans to look for their very first love. That rare connection that will set it apart from all the other classics.
So go searching for your childhood car- stories like this make the impossible seem possible.
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