My name is Jamie Clarmo. I own Clarmo Auto Repair in Metcalfe. We have been a loyal customer of Tubman Chevrolet for years.
I was surfing the internet the other day, looking for information on one of my favorite cars … “The Chevrolet Malibu”. I came across your newsletter for May 2016 about Chevy’s new 2016 Malibu which seemed a little bias toward the new model and did not show much love for the older models, the Iraqi Taxi in particular. Quote “Over the years, the good, the bad and the plain ugly have worn the nameplate. The ugly badge is pinned to the tail of the so-called Iraqi Malibu.”
I am not writing to you because I am upset. I am writing this to tell you my Malibu story and there is nothing bad or ugly about it.
Malibu’s have always been a part of my life. One of the most vivid and fondest memories I have of my childhood was of my father in his baby blue 1970 Chevelle Malibu squealing the tires and driving fast making my mother yell at him to slow down!
My first car in 1989 was an light tan/gold Iraqi Taxi (I guess it was a little ugly). My father paid $500 for it and proudly gave it to me on my 16th birthday. In 1991 I passed down the Taxi to my younger brother, and I purchased a 1969 Malibu Convertible, bright red with a white top and white interior. I spent every dollar I made on it, keeping me out of trouble while all my friends woke up with hangovers. In 1992, once I had it all fixed up and shiny, it helped me acquire a first date with a beautiful young lady named Sherri, who is currently my wife. Our son Steven is 16 and daughter Theresa is 14.
My dream as a boy was to go Drag Racing. My first trip down the drag strip was in 1990 with my best friends 1980 two door Malibu Sports Coupe which I purchased in 1995. It broke my heart but I sold the Convertible to rebuilt the 1980 Coupe to go Drag Racing. (Orange pic, Sanair QC. in 1993) I have been addicted to drag racing ever since. In 2006 I sold the 1980 Coupe to purchase another, more competitive race car (not a Malibu) but wished I could keep it.
I am now 43 years old and in January 2016, I was looking for a car for my son who was about to turn 16 in March. Searching Kijiji for a car I got thinking of my “first” car, the Iraqi Taxi and thought … what are the chances there are any still around .. so I typed in Iraqi Taxi and one popped up being advertised for sale in Peterborough. 1981 Iraqi Taxi with 33,000 km, all original everything, even the wiper blades!
The story is that the original owner worked at the Oshawa GM Plant where these cars were built and when the deal fell through with Iraq he bought one. He didn’t like the clutch and it hurt his knee so he parked it in 1984 in his garage and covered it in blankets. He passed away in 2010 and his sister acquired his estate as he did not have any wife or siblings. His sister and her husband also both worked at the GM plant in the 70’s and 80’s. The Taxi had not seen daylight in 26 years and they sold it to a guy in Peterborough who got it running but only ever put 1500 kms on the car in five years so he decided to sell it on Kijiji. I had to have it, I couldn’t resist!!! (Two tone blue pic. Not as ugly as my old gold one). But now I’m still looking for a car for my son!
My wife comes to me in March 2016 and says, “Your old orange race car is for sale on Facebook. You need to buy it back for Steven (my son)”. How could I say no to that???
Steven and I spent most of last summer fixing it up and in the fall we had it back on the track (now orange and black).
Well that’s my Malibu story. I have not yet driven a 2016 Malibu, but I’m sure when I do, I will love them too!