This 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu was bought by John C. Reilly back in 1992, near the beginning of his acting career. He had the car restored to its current condition, then kept it for decades – it most recently appeared alongside him in the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty in 2022.
The car is a convertible Chevelle Malibu powered by the bulletproof 307 cubic inch V8 and a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Reilly had it repaired from Ash Gold to Tripoli Turquoise , a perfect color for the car, and it rides on period-correct white wall tires. He’s now selling it on Bring a Trailer out of Santa Clarita, California.
Fast Facts – John C. Reilly’s Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
- The Chevrolet Chevelle was a popular model series produced between the 1964 and 1978 model years over three major generations as part of the General Motors A-body platform.
- The first generation Chevelle was built from 1964 to 1967 at which point it was replaced with the second generation model, which is widely considered to be the most beautiful of the three series with the third generation cars coming in a distant third place.
- The Malibu variant of the Chevelle was the top-of-the-line model through to 1972, and interestingly it would completely replace the Chevelle nameplate from 1978 onwards.
- The car you see here is a convertible 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu that was bought by actor John C. Reilly in 1992. He had the car completely restored and kept it for decades. It has appeared in a number of TV and film projects, most recently in HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.”
The Chevrolet Chevelle
The Chevrolet Chevelle was introduced in 1964 as a new mid-sized car on the General Motors A-body platform. The model series was built across a range of body styles including coupes, sedans, convertibles, and station wagons with both four and two-door variants made.
The first generation Chevelle was made between 1964 and 1967, it helped to establish the model as a key competitor for the likes of the Ford Fairlane and the popular AMC Rambler American.
The top-of-the-line variant was the Malibu, which was offered until 1972, it proved so popular that it would eventually make a return in 1978 to completely replace the Chevelle in the Chevrolet model range.
In 1968 the second generation Chevelle appeared, it was lauded for its good looks from the moment of its introduction. The car had a classic Coke bottle silhouette, an aggressive quad-headlight front end, and a range of engines that included the hefty 454 cubic inch big block V8 on the high end.
The 1969 Chevelle would be immortalized by Bruce Springsteen with his song “Racing in the Street,” which tells the story of a street racer and his 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle with a 396 V8 and the Hurst on the floor. Springsteen’s ’69 Chevelle came up for sale recently and we covered it here on Silodrome.
The 1968 Chevelle Malibu came with the 307 cubic inch V8 as standard, an engine that earned itself a reputation for reliable power output and simple maintenance. This engine could be mated to a three or four-speed manual, or the two or three-speed automatic transmission – the latter became a popular choice with buyers.
The second generation car remained in production until 1972 when it was replaced with the third generation Chevelle – a car that was panned for its unappealing looks. The third generation car was a confirmed product of the Malaise Era – though the body style was used in NASCAR competition with some significant results through the 1970s.
John C. Reilly’s 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Shown Here
As you’ll have read in the introduction, this car has belonged to actor John C. Reilly for a little over 30 years. He bought it in 1992 and later sent it off for a restoration which included a color change from Ash Gold to Tripoli Turquoise, the body was repaired where needed, and it was returned to him in almost as-new condition.
Above Video: This is the official trailer for the series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” the Chevelle does make an appearance in the series (though not in the trailer).
The car today wears this same paint, a color that suits the Malibu well, as well as 14″ steel wheels with Chevrolet-branded chrome hub caps, white wall tires, and a black folding soft top. Braking is accomplished with power-assisted front discs and rear drums.
Inside the car you’ll find front bucket seats and rear bench, all of which is upholstered in black vinyl, this same material is used throughout the interior, and the steering wheel is the original Chevelle three-spoke design. The car has lap-style seat belts, roll-up windows, rubber floor mats, and an Alpine cassette stereo with a trunk-mounted subwoofer.
Power is provided by the correct 307 cubic inch V8 which is finished in orange, and the fuel tank and lines were all replaced last year. The engine is mated to a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission that was rebuilt in 2022.
Reilly has owned the car for a touch over 30 years now and it’s appeared in a number of TV and film projects, most recently in HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty in which Reilly himself was a major star, playing Jerry Buss who owned the Los Angeles Lakers.
Under Buss’ ownership the Lakers would win 10 NBA championships and sign some of the most important basketball players of all time, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant.
Reilly is now offering the car for sale on Bring a Trailer out of Santa Clarita, California. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here, at the time of writing there is still a week left to get your bids in.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.