Value of 81 malibu 60k original miles rust free ?


May 23, 2022
I was gonna list my 81 malibu for sale but dont have a clue on what to list it at with the market the way it is now days. Its a 81 malibu light blue, 2 door, V6,4 speed on the floor with bench seats, AC and radio delete from the factory, 61,000 original miles, 0 rust has been garage kept since it was new still have the build sheet. i looked on marketplace and the prices are everywhere. I know its a v6 but it would be a good starting point since you wouldnt have to have anything on body work or paint. What would be a good starting price to list it at? Thanks in advance.


Living in the Past
Jul 19, 2009
Permanent Temporary
Location? Post some photos interior and exterior. Original 4 speed is a value-adder for some people. Original unblemished paint is worth $5K to me. Perfect interior adds perhaps another $1.5K. Everything else I'd change is bolt-on.
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Thread starter
May 23, 2022
Southern Indiana interior is mint here’s a few pics


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Oct 14, 2008
If it looks as good in person as the pics, it definitely is worth what ssn696 mentioned, maybe a few thousand more easy to the right buyer. I don't think a 10K asking is out of line at all to start. G bodies finally are worth money besides the GN.
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Supporting Member
Mar 29, 2017
Factory 4 speed is in theory a big plus (although if the buyer is upgrading engine, the oem transmission likely will have to be swapped too) but V6 and no A/C are minuses (although adding A/C is not that hard.) You might find somebody that wants it as it is, but more potential buyers will likely view it as a good starting point for a resto-mod project. Your car is somewhat comparable to mine - a 39,000 mile Olds Cutlass Calais survivor with diesel engine.

To give you some insight on value, I paid $6,800 (plus shipping) early in 2021 for my diesel t-top Cutlass Calais, knowing I would gut the drivetrain for an LS swap. It was the model I wanted (79 Calais = bucket seats), a color I liked, with the interior color I wanted (carmine (dark red/burgundy), t-tops, no rust, interior in very good shape and only minor dings and scratches on the body. Your car seems to be in as good, if not better shape body and interior-wise. I would rate your car's defining feature of factory 4 speed as similar to mine's t-tops. While some buyers won't care, and some buyers won't like it all, that feature will make the car substantially more desirable to a certain number of buyers.

You are certainly on one of the best forums to find that pool of buyers that will appreciate your car's condition and features. You could set a high number as a negotiable starting point to see what you can get in the classifieds here. I feel like I got a pretty good price on mine, and it seems that prices in general (at least asking prices) have continued to rise over the last year.

If you just want to get the most out of it that you can, you could try the Bring A Trailer auction site. While there are a lot of exotic cars on there, I have seen some good prices paid for survivor grade 70's and 80's cars. I generally think the clientele on BAT is better than what you get on EBay. I know some hard core car folks that will NOT buy a car through EBay, but will buy through BAT. Another possible selling site is Barn Finds.

Personally, I'd keep it and resto-mod it myself if I were you.


Feb 18, 2014
It's a malibu, which for some reason a lot of people want. All original and not rusty adds $$$. Nice interior, nice paint, you're getting up there. Doesn't look like any wear or problem areas from what I can see on my phone.

The no ac is perfect for someone wanting a big engine who will add vintage air but keep everything stock underhood.

Just the setup for a manual is a plus, even if you need to swap the trans unit for higher power.

Honestly, I'd start my ask around $16,500 and take any reasonable cash offer over $12,500.

If you want to spend a Lil cash on marketing put it on bring a trailer with a reserve you're comfortable with, and, if the bidding gets near reserve you can lift reserve and post you're doing so in the auction listing.

It's nice enough you max your money out there.
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Sep 14, 2014
Elderton, Pa
Nobody buys non-A/C stick shift cars today. So to save you the horrors of selling it I'll take it off your hands for $100 & a ice cream cone of your choice. :mrgreen:
Seriously, Malibu coupes with a clutch will attract buyers. Good rear rails & low/no rust add value. You location might even be helpful for its value.
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Apr 8, 2021
Las Cruces NM 88005
Yep it doesn't have to be transported up to where the enthusiast base is. It's already up there. Most of those malibu coupes down here, went to yards, and were stripped for El Camino projects back in the nineties. I personally could have stockpiled remaining Malibu coupes available circa '00 in Albuquerque for as little as $200 for a no-op rolling body. $800 to $1500 for a runner. But no property at the time, working all the time, no long term storage, and then the problem of finding buyers then, to actually make something. And then, of course the transport issue. Which made it a non-starter. Personally brought a '78 coupe up to the '03 Norwalk Super Chevy Show and wound up selling it for too little. Frame off, NM body & title, Ford nine inch installed, all new suspension and frame painted. Not cost effective. Should have hauled it back.
A 2018 Buyers Guide, "Collector Car Price Guide" by Old Cars Report Price Guide shows a 1981 V-8 coupe as $7000 condition #2, and $10,000 condition #1. A subnote states "deduct 10% for 6 cyl" With the recent uptick in valuations for everything, one would think at least an additional 25% of valuation has occurred. Which makes the previous posters' statement of 12,500 to 15,500 pretty much in the ballpark. However, if these post '77 coupes are now worth this much, now what is a classic era '64 -'72 coupe, that is more highly optioned worth??
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Master Mechanic
Supporting Member
May 23, 2022
SW Arizona
Just looking at the photos, that is a Very nice survivor, unmolested in a nice color.

Mecum is over for the year in Indiana, so depending on your current needs, I would take to Mecum Spring Sale Indianapolis, which is usually Memorial day weekend. Do it as a "Star Car" meaning it will be televised.

Put a reserve of 12k there or about. In the mean time I wouldn't be in a hurry to sell low ball. That is Not a 1500 dollar car.
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