It isn’t often that a single car unites car-lovers everywhere; but when one does, it really does.
In 1994 John Travolta turned heads in Pulp Fiction with his gorgeous, cherry red 1964 Chevrolet Malibu that he ends up crashing trying to get Uma Thurman help after she overdoses. The actual car was the property of Quentin Tarantino, but for nearly two decades, the car has been missing after it was stolen soon after the movie finished filming. Much to the relief of Tarantino and car lovers everywhere, the car has just been located about eighty five miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Pulp Fiction is known for its many car references, and the 1964 Chevy Malibu is no exception. Those who love the classic movie will call to mind the famous soliloquy by Vega when he wonders what kind of man would vandalize another man's car. When the Chevy ended up crashing in a desperate attempt to help Uma Thurman, movie viewers mourned the end of the car as they would the end of a much loved character. The image of the sleek and stylish John Travolta sitting in an equally stylish car is one that would stay in the minds of viewers for decades to come.
The 1964 Chevy Malibu was no ordinary car: Chevy was working to compete with Ford's Fairlane in the midsize car category, which meant pulling out all the stops. With a 115-inch wheel base, the car itself was known to be nearly as roomy as an Impala while still offering classic, clean lines and proportions that car lovers and collectors adore. The car featured engines ranging from 194 and 230 cubic-inch V-6s, that provided 120 and 155 horsepower respectively, as well as 195 cubic-inch V-8 engines that offered either 195 horsepower or 220 horsepower.
There was an SS version of the 1964 Chevy Malibu built as well. This car in particular featured a cleaner body look by dropping the beltline trim strap. Car buyers also had the option of adding a heavy duty suspension for just $5. Chevrolet built an estimated 149,000 Malibus in 1964, which came in the price range of $2,340 to $2,852, and an estimated 76,860 of the Malibu SS, which were sold for between $2,538 and $2,857. The car can now be worth between $8,000 all the way up to nearly $30,000.
It is easy to see why the car may have been targeted by the thieves, although the role of the car in the famous movie probably did not hurt its allure either.
The Case of the Missing Vehicle
According to police reports, Tarantino's Malibu went missing soon after the movie had finished filming and had not been seen since. The car was found because of some due diligence on the part of the sheriff of a town nearly one hundred miles from Los Angeles, known as Victorville.
The sheriff had noticed some men removing some parts from a 1964 Chevy Malibu, and approached them looking for some identification and ownership verification. Surprisingly, the men were able to produce a VIN that showed them to be the owners. Even more surprisingly, the VIN was identical to another 1964 Chevy Malibu in the Oakland area, which of course would be impossible in an honest transaction.
The sheriff and his department dug a little further and discovered that the car in front of them was the famous disappearing Malibu from Pulp Fiction. They determined that the thieves were quite smart about their business: they had cloned the VIN from a legitimate car, registered the vehicle with the new number, and sold it off to an unsuspecting buyer. For nearly two decades, their ploy had worked.
It is not yet been reported if the car has been returned to its former owner, if the unsuspecting buyer and fraud victim was maintaining ownership, or if it is being held by law enforcement somewhere. What is clear is that just about everyone involved in this car recovery effort, from the fraud victim to the police officer who just happened to stumble across the car, has quite the story to tell. It will be interesting to see how the wheels of justice are able to compensate those who were victimized by the thieves, but the value of this particular 1964 Chevy Malibu has surely gone through the roof with all this publicity.
Tell us what you think! Did you enjoy the Pulp Fiction movie?
Owners of certain Chevy models may need to change their oil more frequently than previously thought, according to a recent release from parent company General Motors.
In the past, most car owners needed to change their vehicles' oil every 3,000 miles in order to keep their car running smoothly and extend the life of the engine. However, thanks to recent developments in engine technology and oil chemistry, such frequent changes aren't usually necessary if you have a newer vehicle. In fact, many manufacturers of new cars now suggest that you can wait as long as 8,500 miles between oil changes or even longer, depending on your driving habits.
Some manufacturers, including Chevrolet, have even created oil-monitoring software that continuously evaluates the vehicle's activity and alerts you when an oil change is necessary. These systems work by monitoring the vehicle's drive time, temperature, and engine revolutions. This information is then run through a mathematical program, which determines when the vehicle is most likely to need an oil change. The life of the oil is displayed on a screen as a percentage so that you won't be surprised when the oil change light activates.
Unfortunately, recent news releases indicate that this software may not be functioning properly on certain Chevy vehicles.
According to Automotive News, General Motors has released a warning to owners of certain 2010 to 2012 models informing them that their built-in oil monitoring systems may not be alerting them soon enough as to when an oil change is needed. GM began investigating potential issues with these systems when it received a large number of warranty claims on some of its vehicles. The only Chevrolet models affected are the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Chevy Equinox with LEA four-cylinder engines or 2.4-liter LAF engines.
To deal with the problem, owners of affected vehicles can bring them back to the dealerships for a software update that will cause oil change warning lights to activate more frequently. The exact frequency of required oil changes will vary based on the owner's driving habits. GM will provide updates for free until Feb. 28, 2015, regardless of whether the vehicle is still under warranty. All vehicles sold in the U.S. or exported to other countries will be eligible for this free service.
Although the software update will solve the problem with oil change notification on affected Chevy vehicles, it won't solve any of the problems the lack of necessary oil changes have already caused, such as worn engine balance chains. Owners whose vehicles are still under warranty can easily return to the dealership to resolve these issues. However, it isn't yet clear whether GM will offer repair services to vehicle owners whose cars aren't under warranty anymore.
Regardless of whether your vehicle is under warranty or not, you can expect more frequent oil changes and possible engine trouble if you own an affected Chevy. If your Chevy needs an oil change or engine service, schedule your appointment today! Currently, you can get oil changes for only $19.95, and you can receive a 10 percent discount on any service you need.
Whether you’re an avid Corvette fan, or you prefer getting a little mud on your Silverado’s tires, your Chevy is going to need regular attention to perform at its best. With the summer season coming up, there’s bound to be a road trip in your future. Here are a few expert tips to ensure you won’t be stuck on the sidelines:
Helping You Help Your Chevy
If you can barely remember to fill up with gas in time, remembering to check your oil regularly can be a challenge. Chevy understands that you have a lot going on, so we made it easier for you: in 2004, Chevy introduced Oil Life System (GMOLS) technology into most vehicle models. The GMOLS system is designed to alert the driver to the need for an oil change. The interval between oil changes is based not only on time and on mileage, but even takes your unique driving habits and conditions into consideration. Now you don’t need to worry about oil change stickers or setting a reminder in your phone!
If you’re Chevy is a little well-worn and didn’t come with GMOLS technology, don’t worry. Simply monitor your mileage and driving conditions and estimate between three months to 3,000 miles for an oil change (which should include checking everything under the hood). If your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, this should be changed every six months or 6,000 miles. Tire rotation should be done every 6,000 to 12,000 miles.
12,000 to 15,000 mile, or yearly maintenance, includes replacing the air filter and fuel filter on the vehicle. Depending on the age of the vehicle, belts and hoses should be inspected on a yearly basis. Brakes should be inspected every year or 12,000 miles. Replacement intervals depend on the quality of the discs and pads installed. The average life span for brakes is 30,000 to 70,000 miles.
30,000-mile maintenance includes a brake fluid flush and replacement. The radiator coolant should be flushed and replaced. If the vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, the fluid should be flushed and refilled. The transmission filter should be also be changed at this time. Do note that some newer models allow for 50,000 miles between fluid changes.
60,000-mile maintenance includes all the items covered under the 30,000-mile schedule plus draining and replacing the differential fluid. Other services depend on the exact year and model of the vehicle. Normally, timing belts should be replaced after 60,000 miles. Newer and more durable belts are designed to last 100,000 miles. Spark plugs not designed for long-life should be replaced.
100,000 mile maintenance may include spark plug replacement. Platinum/Iridium spark plugs are designed to last 100,000 miles or longer. The 100,000-mile mark is the recommended replacement mark. If the timing belt was not replaced at 60,000 miles, it should be done at this time. Vehicles with a water pump under the timing belt cover should have the pump changed when the belt is changed.
A Little Extra
Just before you set out on this summer’s big adventure, double-check a few things on your Chevy (even if you just picked it up from the shop!). Tire pressure is an integral part of your Chevy’s performance, as the right pressure can maximize your gas mileage and extend tire life. This includes checking your spare tire, just in case you need it. Fluid levels (which include oil, transmission, brake, coolant, and power steering) should also be checked. Testing your battery is a simple step you can perform yourself if you have the right equipment, or you can stop by our service department if you don’t.
Even the least car-savvy driver can prevent mishap on the roadway by giving your Chevy a quick look, both under the hood and in the cab. If you notice any fraying belts or hoses, damaged wiper blades, or faulty lighting, just give us a call to get your Chevy in perfect condition before vacation.
Even if your Chevy passes its check-up with flying colors, accidents happen. Be sure to keep an emergency kit in your Chevy for those unpredictable moments. If you aren’t sure what your Chevy needs or how to go about getting started, check your owner’s manual or visit us.
In late 2012, Popular Mechanics released a list of the top 100 “Hottest Cars of All Time,” with the guidelines requiring that at least one mobile, fully-operable version of the car be produced. While that seems to leave the playing field wide open—the Batmobile, anyone?—Chevy is pleased to find themselves in the number seven seat with the second generation Stingray.
While seventh place may not seem much to brag about, the second-gen Stingray was competing against models ranging from the classic Porsche 550 to the modern Nissan GT-R. With such strong competition, who took home the title? The 1962-64 model Ferrari 250 GTO, shown in candy-apple red, of course.
The second-generation Stingray debuted in 1963 and wasn’t remodeled until 1967. Besides an exterior design overhaul, the new Stingray featured a new take on handling. With a lighter body, the Corvette was able to accelerate faster, although the horsepower remained the same from the previous model, which was also on Popular Mechanics’ list. The original Corvette, which ran from 1953 to 1962, came in at number 86.
For about $3,500 in 1953, you could have a first generation Chevy Corvette with clip-in plastic side curtains instead of roll-up windows, a cloth-top, and no outside door handles. Although a little shaky during its debut, the remodeling it would undergo in 1963 produced Chevy’s first real sports car: the second-generation Corvette Stingray.
The convertible model and new coupe model of the second-gen Stingray quickly began to outsell the original Corvette, which had previously set records for its 1962 production year. The sleek, rounded body and wraparound windshield were phenomenal, and was totally unique in its design. It certainly didn’t resemble anything Chevy had ever built before.
If the 1960s were a little before your time, the production of the second-gen Stingray also debuted a few new features that quickly became popularized: the power brake and power steering. On the other hand, sales of air conditioning and leather seating decreased, giving Chevy a clear indication of what their Corvette-lovers were after: speed.
Drastic remodeling must be a Chevy tradition, because they’re at it again. At the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, Chevy announced that the Stingray would be undergoing yet another facelift—it’s seventh to date—to produce a new take on an old love.
Although the 2013 Corvette Stingray certainly looks different from its record-setting ancestor, nothing much has changed. A powerful 6.2-liter V-8 engine with direct injection can be paired with either a 7-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Cranking out an estimated 450 horsepower, it certainly has more kick than its grandpa did.
The exterior continues with the same sleek, hard lines and grooved aerodynamic hood. Brake and powertrain cooling controls temperature and delivers extraordinary performance. Newly-designed seats styled for comfort and cut from Napa leather combine with an 8-inch diagonal instrument screen to create an interior you’ll never want to leave.
The price tag is a far cry from what it was in the 1950s---the seventh-generation Stingray starts out at $51,000. But can you put a price on unparalleled performance? If you haven’t yet, stop by and see why Chevy changed history with the Corvette Stingray.
Early this week, WardsAuto released the 2013 “Wards 10 Best Interior” list for both American and foreign made vehicles. The list was compiled after two months of analyzing the top 46 interiors that were all-new or significantly upgraded from previous models. Among the top ten was the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn and Chevrolet’s own Spark.
Ward’s Automotive Group, publisher of WardsAuto magazine, is an industry-leader of auto news, data, and analysis. WardsAuto Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter said, “This year’s batch of winners really drives home the point that auto interiors are vital in the battle for consumers’ hearts and minds.”
So what makes the Spark so special?
The new eco-friendly 4-cylinder has been catching a lot of press lately for competing with cars like the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ for compact fun. With five doors and an estimated 31.2 cubic feet of cargo space, this compact car packs a lot of punch.
Good things come in small packages, right?
In this case, they do. The Spark also features solar-absorbing glass, front and rear wipers, and colors ranging from Salsa Red to Techno Pink. A rear-spoiler has your 38 miles per gallon ride looking sporty, while the standard 10 air bags will keep all of your cargo safe.
The real star of the Spark, however, is the interior. Front high-back bucket seats will cradle you as your navigate the busiest of streets, available in cloth in the LS models, or leather in the LT. The rear-seats are split 60/40 on a flip-and-fold model, with adjustable headrests. The tilt-wheel steering wheel has optional interface controls, and is available in a three-spoke leather-trimmed version for optimum comfort.
The rear cargo area features a shelf and console with storage tray to hold all of your snacks. Folding armrests and footrests, with in-door bottle holders will help you relax on even the longest of trips, while the auxiliary power outlet up front will help you recharge your phone. An oil life monitoring system and tire monitoring system will keep an eye under the hood so you don’t have to.
Perhaps the star of your dashboard, the Chevy MyLink system is front-and-center with a 7-inch touch-screen, full-color display. With the ability to make phone calls, provide directions, connect to your phone, and program music, there’s not much it can’t do. An available six-speaker audio system will make your favorite tunes sound even better while you’re out and about.
It’s no surprise why the 2013 Chevy Spark was ranked high on WardsAuto’s list: it’s anything but your average compact car. Here, you can have your city-parking and cool ride, too!