Light Blue
Light Blue
383 V8
5 Speed Manual

Sleeper fans get ready for another spectacular stealth cruiser that may look like any other restored Malibu, but packs the heart of a predator underneath. You know where fans of these Q-ships here at RK Motors Charlotte, and taking advantage of unsuspecting prey at the stop light grand prix is what this gorgeous 1965 Chevrolet Malibu SS is all about. With a 383 cubic inch small block, that subtle paint, and those way cool 17-inch steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps, this car is the very definition of a wolf in sheep's clothing. And yes number collectors, it is a real code 138 SS, not a clone.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this car is a stock restoration at first glance it has actually received an extensive frame-off restoration that has resulted in one gorgeous car. The paint is the original D-D code Mystic Blue, and has been applied over some extremely straight body panels. Like all great sleepers, the work is sanitary, but not over-done and it doesn't scream at onlookers that a ton of money has been spent on the bodywork (which, of course, implies that an equally big chunk of change was spent on the hardware underneath). Gaps are as the factory would have done it, and the 2-stage paint has just the right amount of metallic in it to duplicate the factory finish. Elegant and subtle, the Mystic Blue is the perfect choice for a car of this caliber no red or black, no shaved emblems or other body modifications, just a clean, original-looking piece.

Considerable time and effort was spent on the trim and other details as well. All the trim was correctly re-anodized or polished as original, the glass is new, and the lenses look like they're fresh out of the molds. RK Motors Charlotte just refinished the front grille, so there's nothing to distract you from the beautiful original lines of the car. Those are NOS dog dish hubcaps, not reproductions, which really add an authentic look to the car you know something is different when you first see it, but you can't quite put your finger on it. All the window channels, felts, and weather stripping is new, creating a super-tight car that feels new.

A sleeper is really nothing without some serious blasting powder under the hood, and this Malibu doesn't disappoint. The engine is a 383 cubic inch crate motor that puts out 396 horsepower and a whopping 440 pounds of torque typical for a 383, which is one sweet-running engine. This one has been dressed up to look mostly stock save for the MSD ignition on the firewall. Polished valve covers match the chrome air cleaner, and there are billet looms for the spark plug wires for a little more eye candy, but otherwise, this is a near-perfect stealth horsepower installation. You may also have noticed the A/C compressor and GM serpentine belt system, which is tied to a complete Vintage Air climate control system that makes this car the ideal traveling partner on long cruises. There's also a massive aluminum radiator with electric fan, and an Optima gel cell battery for reliability.

The chassis is equally well-fortified. No self-respecting street sleeper would be caught dead with an automatic transmission, so this one packs a rugged Tremec 5-speed manual that features a tall first gear for killer acceleration, and a deep overdrive for relaxed cruising. Out back, there's a set of 3.73 gears in a 12-bolt, and combined with the overdrive 70 MPH is just 2100 RPM. The suspension is a fully functional Air Ride RidePro e2 system with airbags at all four corners. Up front, new tubular A-arms have been installed along with the Air Ride Shockwave setup, while airbags take the place of the original springs out back. Hotchkis Performance added a rear axle control system, as well as a pair of thick anti-roll bars. Disc brakes have been installed at all four corners, creating a well-rounded package that accelerates, corners, and brakes like a modern performance car. Wheels are those cool steelies from Stockton measuring 17x7 up front and 17x9 out back, wearing 215/50/17 front and 255/50/17 rear redline radials for that finishing touch.

Inside, you'll find a very vintage-feeling interior with a few modern upgrades that transform this 45-year-old into a modern car that could easily be a daily driver. The bucket seats look right at home, and the carpet, door panels, and headliner are all fresh reproductions. The center console houses the shifter for the 5-speed and the dash is still full of original gauges that are all functional. Modern additions include a trio of gauges underneath the dash, plus a modern tachometer, and controls for the Air Ride system. Up top, that's a very rare accessory dash-mounted clock, which I've never seen before. The Vintage Air setup is integrated into the original dash invisibly and cools the car extremely well. The steering wheel looks like it may have come out of a later Camaro or Corvette, and it adds an OEM performance look that's perfectly appropriate to the car. The trunk is finished as original, and carries a spare tire and jack assembly, along with wiring for the powerful entertainment system that is cleverly hidden in the passenger compartment.

Documentation includes a large file full of receipts for the build, as well as a full photo album showing every step of the restoration process.

Even if you're not into sleepers, you have to appreciate the clean, elegant lines of this Malibu SS. The restoration is extremely nice, and the upgrades make it the ideal cruiser. Air conditioning, an overdrive transmission, and that Air Ride suspension that rides like a hovercraft make for an ideal long-distance cruiser that will put a huge smile on your face. Take it to local shows and pick up some trophies with the cars cool combination of stock and modern components, or hit the road and go cross-country. And if you manage to show your taillights to a few kids in their modern hardware, well, so much the better. That's what sleepers are all about. Call now!

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