1965 Chevy Malibu
Classic Look, Modern Touch
Denver Miller is the owner of this 1st gen 1965 Chevy Chevelle Malibu that you see before you. The origin of the Malibu is that it used to belong to a sweet old lady who bought it new, and it lived a carefree life in Northern California. It was sold some 50 years later to Denver’s friend Patrick at the Veteran’s Center Swap Meet. The Malibu made its way into Denver’s hands through trade from his buddy Patrick for a ’65 Galaxie. Denver was more of a fan of GM offerings and Patrick was more of a Blue Oval fan so the trade worked out for everyone.
Denver hopped into the running and driving ’65 with the intention of driving for a bit before he started in on it. As fate would have it, his timetable was moved up when a distracted driver plowed into the rear passenger quarter panel and the teardown was initiated. Denver decided to pull the body off the chassis and do a full custom upgrade. The body was sent to Santa Rosa Auto Body (conveniently owned by the former owner Patrick) for the beginning of a very well-planned restomod transformation.
Sittin’ Pretty He chose an interior from TMI that would highlight the vehicle’s vintage but also keep the restomod aspect by doing modern upgrades. The original front seats were scrapped and replaced with a set of Pro-Sport Lowbacks in Camel Verona vinyl with Tweed Inserts, a White Basketweave headliner with matching sun visors was ordered as well, Light Saddle loop carpet, with door panels from Stock Remakes, he even purchased more Camel Verona vinyl from TMI to re-cover the console and dash pad.
Denver then went on to deck out the interior with Goldsmith Street Rods Glove Box Trim, a Nu-Relics power window kit with switches, he dropped in an iPad into the console, while tunes blast out of a Classic Car USA-740 Stereo with a JL Audio amp and speakers all around, RTX Gauges, a GM SS Steering Wheel from Ground Up 396, and Wesco 4-Point Seatbelts to keep him nice and snug in the new seats.
A Mighty Rumble The power plant started life as a bored and stroked LS3 that was also balanced and blueprinted. The performance mods didn’t stop there but kept rolling with an ASA Camshaft, a Hooker Exhaust Manifold, Edelbrock intake, a Holley fuel injection system, Delmo Speed LS3 retro style dress-up kit, a Drive Junky front drive kit, LS Classic Distributor, a wiring kit from American Auto Wiring, POL Hydroboost, Jones Racing power steering pump, ConceptOne remote power steering reservoir, Ringbrothers hood hinges, DeWitts Aluminum Radiator, Tanks Inc fuel tank with a GPA-4 Fuel Pump, Holley 6-quart oil pan, Powermaster 180 Alternator, XForce 3-inch stainless exhaust, Tremec T-56, McLeod pressure plate, QuickTime bellhousing, Dynotech driveshaft, and a Strange Engineering limited-slip diff with 3.89 Ratio. Delmos Speed Shop in Prescott, Arizona, handled the engine while Bowler Performance in Lawrenceville, Illinois built the transmission.
Firmly Planted Wanting to keep all that power in check, Denver installed a set of Speedway Motors 2-inch drop spindles, UMI Performance A-Arms, a UMI Corner Max kit, some Viking Performance shocks and springs, while a mini tub kit along with a frame boxing kit and Stage 2 Suspension was sourced from ABC Performance.
Letting it Shine The exterior was kept nice and clean to accentuate the resto part of restomod with a close-to-factory PPG Silver being sprayed all over the exterior, interior, dash area, as well as the trunk and engine bay. Then the entire collection of chrome was dropped off at Sherms Custom Plating in Sacramento. Finishing touches included a new set of bumpers from OPGI and headlights from Dapper Lighting. Denver capped off the exterior build with some emblems that were custom-made by Goldsmith Street Rods.
Whoa There The final piece of the build was the wheels and tires combo and Denver decided to go with a set of American Racing VF503 Wheels in 18x8 with a 6-inch backspace with Diamondback Redline tires in 235/40/18 for the front and another set of VF503s in the rear in 19x11 with 5.5 inches of backspace shod with a near-identical set of Redlines measuring 305/30/19. He added a set of 12-inch Wilwood rotors all around with 6-piston calipers.
Time Well Spent For Denver it was a two-and-a-half year build process, but the investment paid off. He now has a uniquely custom Chevelle that turns heads wherever it goes. It is also modern enough that when he steps into driver’s seat it starts right up first time, has enough power to leave behind lesser builds, and has a well-appointed interior that treats him real nice on long distance drives.