A Crumbly Colonnade

Its remarkable how far automotive rustproofing has come in the past 40 years. We went from cars that rusted in less than two years to modern cars that seemingly never oxidize. Case in point, my 1998 Mustang Cobra has had a paint chip down to the bare metal on the passenger front fender since 2004 (I really should buy some touch-up paint.) That chip hasn't rusted in 10 years. Not a single bubble or flake. That's incredible!

Then you have cars like the baby blue 1975 Chevrolet Malibu Classic that Sarah & I came across yesterday that shows well from the street, and upon closer inspection shows the tragic trace of the tin worm.

I know, it doesn't look that bad, right? Heck, you can still see shine on that paint, the chrome bumper and grille look great and its even got rally wheels. This baby's a cream puff! Let's take a closer look and you'll see the rust-out is pretty serious and would likely require a full replacement of the quarter panels. The rear bumper is also rusted through, but the thin chrome plating is still shiny! Its better than some of the similar 'mailaise era' cars where the rear bumpers & hardware rusted through and fell off.

Sure this Chevelle is rusty and who knows what the undercarriage looks like, but its still a great candidate for a light restoration. Why is this car worth saving? Because you don't see nice examples, even in warmer rust-free climates. Plus this car has original features that prove its never been apart.

Features like...

1. Original equipment Guide "Power Beam" headlamps in both sides. 

2. All of the urethane bumper filler strips are still intact. Many have crumbled and disappeared by now. 

3.  The interior is clean, and the OEM Delco radio remains in the dash. This hasn't been chopped up.

4.  The car retains its original dealer sticker from Wight Chevrolet in Williamsfield, Illinois. This dealership still exists, and may even have some paperwork for the car.

5.  It just looks mean. 

While millions of 70's cars and trucks shed a few pounds each year due to oxidation, this Chevy has held on for dear life and has still managed to catch the eye of a few passers-by. Should anyone be willing to tackle a little restoration of a car with little aftermarket support and a low market value...I know right where it is. Its worth doing up right. The last time I saw one of these in this condition was during the Reagan administration. Are you ready for a little cutting, welding and grinding?



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