Mike Millican’s 1967 Chevy Malibu Wears Its Older Restoration Well

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It takes a special car to make us stop in our tracks and take a second look. This absolutely stunning 1967 Chevy Chevelle Malibu owned by Mike Millican of Poulsbo, Washington, does just that. Although it sports a look that makes you believe it’s fresh paint over a new restoration, you might have a hard time believing this car was actually painted over two decades ago! “It has never had water on it,” Mike explained. “Even when I clean it, I use a waterless car wash.” On top of that, it only gets driven during the summer time.

Three old pictures from when they car was in the hands of the Auto Body Experts.

He thinks that along with careful care by both him and the previous owner, the current appearance of the car is owed to the quality of workmanship it received when the restoration was done. “It’s a credit to the skill and craftsmanship of the guys that did the work,” Mike said. The shop that did the work, Auto Body Experts, also in Poulsbo, Washington, are still in business today.

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A Lifetime Chevy Guy

For as long as Mike can remember, he had always wanted a ’67 Chevelle. “They are a beautiful car,” he told us. “It was in 1967 when Margret and I got married, and we sure couldn’t afford one of these back then.” Now married for almost fifty years, Margret told us about how things haven’t changed much in all that time.

“When we first got together, he would drive me around in his ’58 Impala,” Margret told us. “He would sometimes drop me off at my house and tell me he had to let me out so he could go race somebody.” Margret laughed as she told us about the fond memories she has of the pair riding in that car together when they started dating.

The pictures don't do this car justice. If you walked up on this beauty at a car show or cruise, you'd never guess the paint was a couple decades old!

Today, Mike also owns a different 1958 Impala than his previous racer, but that car is located in Arizona where they stay during the winter months. While that car is also stunning, there is something different about the Malibu that makes it a stand out for Mike. It probably has something to do with the fact that the Marina Blue color is hard to beat, and the way this car was put together.

It's the details that make this Chevelle so unique and desirable.

His favorite feature about this slightly-modified build is the smoothed firewall. He thinks that it provides a different look that really improves the overall aesthetic of the car. We have to admit, it really does make the engine compartment look a lot cleaner.

Power To Spare
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When taking a closer look at what’s under the hood, one realizes that this Malibu is put together with more than just great looks. It is powered by 377 cubic-inch engine with ported heads and Crane roller rockers. It also features an Edelbrock intake, Demon carburetor, and a Magnaflow exhaust.

Mike took us for a short ride down the highway and we’ll tell you that doesn’t take a lot of pedal effort to feel the power that this engine puts out. The Turbo 350 transmission handles that power well, and provides smooth and efficient shifting. Underneath, the Monroe shocks and upgraded power disc brakes help when it comes time for smoothing out road bumps and slowing down.

There is a certain feeling of pleasure in knowing your engine looks just as good as the rest of the car.

Speaking of the the brakes, that is another feature that he is really happy with – and for more than one reason. The performance and safety aspect of the braking system is hugely important, but Mike also really likes the way the chrome brake booster and reservoir look under the hood. This is just another small, personal touch that makes a big difference to him.

The matching Moroso air cleaner and valve covers go really well with the exterior of the car.

The rest of the area under the hood features matching blue Moroso valve covers and air cleaner that really look good with the aluminum intake, chrome braking equipment, and the aforementioned Marina Blue paint.

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Stance is a major part of a car’s appearance, and this one has it perfect.

One of the cool aspects about this older restoration is that most of the parts are rebuilt OE components rather than aftermarket or reproduction pieces. “They didn’t make most of this stuff at the time the car was restored,” Mike explained. For example, Instead of an aftermarket in-dash clock, this car features a rebuilt original time keeper. While reproduction parts are great and often provide access to pieces that are otherwise impossible to get, there is something to be said about a car that retains rebuilt original equipment.

This is an older restoration that still looks and drives like the day it was finished – Mike Millican

Invoking a feeling of nostalgia is a big part of what this car does for Mike. We asked him a little bit about what driving the car is like — while he did take us for a ride, he did not let us take the wheel. “It takes me back to 1967,” Mike told us. “Yes, I am that old!”

“This is an older restoration that still looks and drives like the day it was finished,” Mike detailed. “The craftsmanship and attention to detail shows.” That aspect of this build is part of what makes it so cool. It is a good looking car that has proven it will stand up to the test of time.

We got the feeling from Mike that this car is worth a little more to him than what he has into it financially. We asked if he would ever consider owning something else instead. If not cash, would a trade ever prompt him to go a different direction? He gave us the short and simple answer of “No.”

Sitting In The Lap Of Luxury – In 1967

We’ve taken a close look at the outside of the car and underneath the hood, but we haven’t forgotten about the interior. The seats, padded dash, and vinyl door panels look brand new, and are still plush and soft. The stitching even has the clean look of a recently done interior, as we could find no fraying of the threads. Mike also pointed out that it features refurbished factory seatbelts and buckles as opposed to aftermarket replacements.

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While the look of the interior is nearly stock, there are a few things that set it apart from how it came from the factory. One addition is under the heater controls where a trio of Auto Meter gauges help Mike keep an eye on his water temperature, battery voltage, and oil pressure. He also added the Grant steering wheel to replace the larger original one. Mike is a tall fellow, so the smaller-than-stock steering wheel makes it a lot easier for him to get into and out of the car.

Another interior modification that we are a fan of is the addition of the Kenwood stereo system. It features a 10-disc CD changer and a 12-inch sub-woofer in the trunk. The Sony speakers in the door panels, and Altec speakers on the rear window deck make the tunes sound exceptionally crisp. Did we mention that there are two, high-output amplifiers under the front bench seat? Yeah, the stereo is definitely clean, crisp, and loud.

What does the future hold for this car? According to Mike, it is darn near close to perfect, but there is one thing that he is looking to change in the not-too distant future. He wants to add bucket seats and a center console. Other than that, he is happy to keep it the way it is, and continue to add more miles on the odometer.

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We are definitely impressed with how well this older restoration has retained its fresh look. It’s not all that often that a couple decades of use allow a car to still look this good. It just goes to show that a job well done paired with careful maintenance can keep any car looking good, even years after you finish rebuilding it.

You would be hard pressed to see another interior in a car that was built twenty-years ago look this good. It's all about how your treat it, and Mike has definitely been good to this car — inside and out.

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About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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