In our many years saving derelict cars in rusty New England, we’ve seen rust repairs with stop signs, corrugated sheet metal, beer cans and license plates. This is our first experience with a fender repaired with a record.
We’re big fans of the 1973 to 1977 GM A-body cars. This ’73 Malibu was the best of the breed. The bumpers were large, but not overgrown like the later cars, and while they were choked with smog equipment, a Malibu equipped with a 350-cu.in. V-8 could still get out of its own way. The round quad taillamps are super cool, too.
What’s not cool is a Motown record album warped and affixed to the fender with sheet metal screws. That’s the kind of repair that gives backyard mechanics a bad name.
The Malibu is currently stranded in the wintry wilds of Schenectady, New York — General Electric country. The seller claims he got it five years ago as a restoration project for his son, but the entire project seems to have gone south, even if you discount Motown Long-Player screwed to the fender.
We can’t identify which Motown platter was used to patch the hole:
Surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of good songs about cars, driving or anything automotive related on the Motown label. If there’s any justice, maybe it’s Jr. Walker and the All-Stars “(I’m A) Road Runner”:
… but that one was on the Soul label, which was owned by Motown.
Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike” would be an appropriate fender-filler, too:
Again, that was on a Motown subsidiary, this time, the Tamla released “That Stubborn Kinda Fellow” in 1962.
The rest of the car is in pretty sorry shape.
“I was cleaning the engine area and fried the starter,” says the seller. Not sure exactly how that happens, but be that as it may, the seller installed a new starter. What most folks would do to replace the starter is unbolt the exhaust system to allow access to it. However, our intrepid technician “…cut the cross pipe to get at it. It runs good but now is very loud.”
Yes, that will happen when you cut the exhaust system to pieces.
“It had a vinyl top that came apart and held water at it[s] edges so there are holes around the windows,” the ad continues. That allowed water to “drip down though and took out the floor boards.”
In order to repair the floors, we’d suggest picking up a copy of weirdo guitarist Buckethead’s piece de resistance, the boxed set In Search of The, consisting of nine hours of music packed onto 13 individual 33 1/3 records.
Regardless of the blown-out floors, the rusty roof, and the hole in the fender, the seller still sings the Malibu’s praises. “Needs lots of work but she still has good bones,” he says. “Looks like she was never hit and every door ,hood, trunk lid line up prefect her lines are perfect.” Of course you’ll need to throw the doors, trunk lid and hood in the recycling bin, but that’s neither here nor there.
If you’re willing to pony up the $1800.00, the Malibu is currently in heavy rotation on Craigslist. Just be sure your tetanus shots are up to date.