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Memories of a First Car: 1969 Chevelle Malibu

Updated on July 3, 2020

I don't think anyone will forget what their first car was. It's as memorable as your first kiss, first relationship and the first time you got busy...

Yes that's an image of what my first car looked like. The only difference was mine had the 250 engine and the standard Chevelle hubcaps that came with the car. Later on, I added two Kraeger rims for the back tires since that's all I could afford.

My 1969 Chevelle Malibu was given to me by my father who bought the car new. When I got the car, it already had 126,000 miles and was dirty in and out. My father was a hard-working man who used it to commute 5-6 days a week from Port Jefferson on Long Island to Long Island City, Queens. That equates to about a 60-mile trip each way.

I was in high school when I got the car. The first thing I did was thoroughly cleaned it. I practically boiled it. I mean it was spotless. I even gunked the engine clean and waxed the cylinder head.

After cleaning it, I got it tuned-up and had new shocks installed. The car had power though it had a 250 engine. After adding the rims, when I was at a light, I'd often be asked; "Do you want to race?" I of course always said no. Despite my long hair and somewhat mean-looking car, I was not a racer. Many of the Malibu's that year came with a 307, 350 and 396 engine which came with the Super Sport (SS) model.

I had that car for about three years. It died at 176,000 miles. It started to overheat on the Long Island Expressway at Exit 61. My exit, 63, was in route to go home. I pushed it and while doing so got lost in the music I was listening to way too loud on my 8-Track. It was Frampton Comes Alive to be specific.

Also my friend owned the service station right off Exit 63. I thought I'd pull in there to get it looked at. I should of pulled over sooner, but I was young and foolish. I blew a rod as I reached the service road off my exit. My car for the most part was unrepairable.

I had to settle for selling the body for $250. Till this day I have the fondest memories of that car out of all the cars I've own since. Likely cause it was my very first car. I could almost say I loved it. It was so easy to keep clean and looked great after washing it, especially if I waxed the white painted top.

It was so easy to maintain. No computers of any kind of course with minimal electronics. Even for someone like me, who was not a moterhead, I could tune it up. It was a straight block 6-cyclinder. Being a slim teenager, I could practically get under the hood and change the sparkplugs that were so easy to remove. The air filter was on-top and the carburetor right below it.

Like all cars, each car has a faulty part. For my Malibu, it was the starter which I had to replace two or three times. Again, that was another easy fix.

How I miss my Malibu. Now, I feel like I'd driving a plane at times with my late-model Kia Optima EXgdi which is loaded with electronics. However, I do enjoy the phone and GPS the most in my current car.

Nothing with ever replace the thrill and joy of owning your first car, no matter what make, model and year it was. Of course, unless it was a "Bomb", as we use to call them. A "Bomb" was an old, ugly, dirty and dented car. Those don't equate to fond memories, more so embarrassment.


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