Back in 1980, my mother spotted her nine-year-old Junqueboi preparing to redecorate his brother’s 1974 Malibu Classic sedan and got “dad” to capture the moment. Big Brother, a Police Officer at the time, put the kibosh on my criminal intent, and I had to put my replacement Malibu and ’66 Pontiac wheel cover back in the shed with my ever-growing hubcap collection. My parents put up with my “recaps”, and the cars in our driveway often wore rather odd wheel cover combinations!
My brother didn’t much care for my company so I remember little about this car, other than it being the replacement for his totaled white ’69 XR7. Shortly after this was taken, large “West Chicago” rust splotches started appearing randomly down the entire side of the car like acne….and the car was replaced soon thereafter. From looking at the shot, it appeared to have had a white vinyl top and red interior: a nice color combination.
I currently own a ’74 Malibu Classic (stored inside now) but that’s more of a coincidence than an attempt to relive the memories of my brother’s late Malibu. One odd thing is that even though both cars had the 350, only my brother’s had the callouts on the fenders. Mine never had them.
Anyway, our neighbor’s driveway was interesting enough to mention and was easy to keep tabs on thanks to my 2nd story bedroom window overlooking it. Helmuth & Ingrid Weber had three sons and the youngest one Bernie (appropriately named!) hadn’t left the nest yet. The cars you see here were some of their earlier rides, before Bernie’s victims began showing up. Helmuth usually drove the brown Newport you see but sadly, it was replaced by a nasty brown new ’81-ish Toyota Corolla sedan with gagomatic transmission. Ingrid’s brown ’78-9 Cutlass Supreme you see was purchased new and replaced a brown ’79 Nova sedan. This poor Cutlass had the neat standard color-keyed wheelcovers (of course I kept a close eye on them!), 260 V8 and basic camel vinyl interior with few options. In just a few years, the Olds blew a ring or something as they drove it for years afterward with the #7 spark plug wire disconnected. When the Cutlass finally died, it was replaced with their first non-brown car, a new blue ’81 or ’82 Monte Carlo with the strange plain standard wheelcovers very seldom seen.
Bernie’s first car was a clean white ’67 Skylark, the first one I had ever seen. Within a month he hit something quite hard with the RF fender, knocking out both headlights and peeling the fender out enough to make the car a foot wider. Everyone had to give him a wide berth to avoid contact & my mother commented about how he was going to kill someone with that car. Somehow he located replacement front sheet metal which lasted another couple months until he rear-ended someone, pinching & eliminating the grille between the downward-bent hood & upwardly kinked bumper. Despite him blowing the original 340 and replacing with a 350, he still warmed up his car and all his future cars by holding them between 3 and 5,000RPM the second they fired up…yeah, even in February! A clean ’79 or ’80 Formula replaced the Buick but disappeared quickly – its poor 301 was probably not up to the subzero high-RPM warm-ups and constant WOT operation. When the Formula expired, a very clean Ivy Gold ’67 Mustang 289 showed up…but thankfully he couldn’t seem to keep it running long enough to blow it up….at least until he moved out!