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Llumar Tint for North County, San Diego   Llumar Tint for North County, San Diego
GG in her 1972 Malibu

Llumar Tint for North County, San Diego   Llumar Tint for North County, San Diego
Winner of Best Modified Chevelle at the 2009 Super Chevy Car Show in Fontana.

GG's Gold

GG is my Grandmother and my kids Great Grandmother or GG as they affectionately call her and this is the story of her 1972 Malibu.

My Grandfather had always had Oldsmobile 98's, the big four door boats with all the chrome trim inside and out. I remember as a kid looking into the trunk of one of his cars and thinking that you could put a queen-size bed in there. He always kept them extremely clean and well waxed. In 1972 my Grandfather passed away.

My Grandmother knew right away that she could never maneuver the huge Oldsmobile into her Santa Monica apartment's one car garage, especially from a small alley entry. So she promptly went down to OWEN KEOWN CHEVROLET Co. in Marina Del Rey, California and traded the Oldsmobile in on a brand new Malibu two door. (I have the original build sheet, Protect-o-Plate, owners manual, first registration, Atlas Battery info, and 1972 Chevrolet New Vehicle Warranty and Policy on Owner Service)

She purchased the Malibu with the following options:

  • 350 CI V8
  • Air Conditioning
  • Black Vinyl Top
  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes
  • Tilt Steering Wheel
  • AM Radio
  • Black Vinyl Interior (bench seat)

Since she was already retired, her trips in the car each week consisted of going to the grocery store, getting her hair done and going to church on Sunday (honest). Over the years as we visited from San Diego (and later Orange County) I noticed that she was driving about 2,500 miles a year. She also always had the car serviced at the local Chevrolet Dealer.

A few years ago her sister, who lived next door to her, passed away. My family lives in North San Diego County and offered to help her move down closer to them so they could look after her and do things together. She agreed and moved to North San Diego County (near the Del Mar area).

Once she was settled in I called one of my High School friends, Ron Entzminger (760) 726-2310. Ron lives in Vista, California and has his own Mobile Car Care business. Ron is not only the best mechanic I know, he is extremely fair and honest. I told Ron about my Grandmother moving locally and asked him to stop by and service her car regularly so she would not have to worry about finding a new mechanic. I also asked Ron to send me the bill(s) for any work he did on her car.

Soon I received a call from my Grandma. She mentioned that a nice young man had stopped by and changed the oil and tuned up her car, but would not take any money. I told her that I was going to take care of that expense for her and hoped that she would leave me the car.

She laughed and agreed saying that I was the only one in the family that liked "old cars" anyway.

About a year ago she called me and said come get your car. For the record she is 92 years old, has had hip replacement surgery, cataract surgery and is a frail 90 pounds. I asked her if she was not going to drive anymore. She responded firmly "Well, you see I had a CD come due and figured what the heck am I saving the money for, so I went out and bought a new Ford Taurus." I was surprised, honored, and a little shocked, since I wasn't planning on the car for a few more years.

GG turning over the keys to Jeff
Window Tinting Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties My family made a big deal out of the trip to pick up the Malibu (wife Tracie, son Shaun age 9, daughter Sarah age 10) and included a special outing to Grandma's favorite restaurant for lunch with her and our "new" car.

The Malibu had 75,0093 miles on it when we started the 65 mile drive home. The first thing I noticed was that the original AM radio only picked up KNX 1070 and weakly at best. I made a note to keep the AM radio in place, but add a good sound system below the dash and some good speakers in the back package tray area, which we did.

Crager wheels added - vinyl top stripped off, back window out
Wintech, Tintdude and Tint Plus I had some Crager SS Wheels (2 15x6 and 2 15x8) in my garage from an old 1957 Chevy I used to race at OCIR. I took them to America's Tire on Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo for some beefy BF Goodrich T/A's. I put a pair of P275-60-15 on the back and matched the height and tread pattern with a pair of P215-70-15's on the front. I also put a 1/2" rubber spacer under the front coils and a 3" metal stool under the rear springs (Grandma's car was riding a little low from all the years on the springs). When I took off the original hub caps, it appeared they had only been off the wheels a once or twice! I stored the 14" wheels and hubcaps and liked the new look the Malibu had with just the wheel and tire change. Next up was the front suspension. I pulled all four control arms and had Dan at Freeway Auto (Avery Exit and I5 in Mission Viejo) replace the ball joints and bushings. He always cleans all my parts so they look like new when I get them back.

Ugh - Rust gotta go
Safe-sun, mbnz.org and mbzdirect.com Next came a timing chain and lifetime water pump install. This was a hunch since the car had never had the timing cover off. It turned out the original nylon cam timing gear had the teeth down to the nubs. It was a good decision.

I began to notice rust and water leaks around the bottom of the back window. I pulled off the original vinyl top off and removed the back window. A friend of mine (Dennis Weber) has a metal fabrication shop in San Marcus, Ca. and agreed to replace the rear panel below the window. I bought the replacement panel from OPG in Huntington Beach to make the job easier. Dennis used to build custom street rods and is a master sheet metal man. The back window area is now set for another 28 years (probably longer, we used lots of rust proof primer, enamel and silicone putting the back window in and together.

Window Tint Laguna, Newport and Anaheim
Dennis replacing the rusted out panel

I am not going to mention the name of the place that re-did the black vinyl top, because they upset me by adding a knee dent to the hood, denting the stainless, leaving the windows down and filling the inside with glue scraped off the roof. The pristine seatbelts (rear) will never be the same.

Stripping car of chrome and interior prior to paint
Los Angeles,Wintech,Newport,San Diego
Added SS Hood. Ready for paint shop

At Al Martinez in Orange
Anaheim,Tint Plus,tintdude,dude,Riverside,Irvine Next up was finding a place to paint the car. The old yellow green gold paint had long since lost it's shine, and was in fact quite flat and oxidized. I had already decided not to repaint it the original color. If you have ever seen the original yellow green gold color, I need not say more.

I visited Al Martinez Auto Body and Paint on 1011 W. Barkley in Orange, Calif. (714) 288-6700. There I was welcomed by Mrs. Martinez (Carmen as she asked me to call her). Carman's late husband had started painting custom cars, trucks and motorcycles over 47 years ago in Santa Ana. The business is now run by Al Martinez Jr. and his son Danny Martinez (and of course Mrs. Martinez). They all made me feel like family and took a genuine interest in bringing Grandma's Malibu back to a respectable shiny color. I had picked out 1999 Cadillac Fire Mist Gold and wanted a two stage, base coat, clear coat finish. Danny said they would be glad to paint the car and gave me a very reasonable quote. My end of the agreement was to have the car stripped of all interior and chrome before bringing the car in. I also quickly added an after market SS hood from OPG (non-cowl induction) to give the car a subtle aggressive look. The hood was not a good fit and took some effort to get it on straight and fitting as good as the stock one.

Left to Right: Sarah Paulin (Age 10), Danny Martinez, Miguel
north county, Safe-sun, tinting forums Once the car was at the shop, the head painter, Miguel took complete charge of the project. The car was stripped and sealed with a special sealer, then sanded, primered, sanded a second time, primered, sanded a third time, base coated, sanded again, clear coated, and sanded! The door jams, under the hood, the trunk all look as beautiful and the rest of the car. The color I picked was not the normal reds or blues that a lot of old muscle cars are painted and everyone at the body shop seemed to enjoy the special gold paint going on GG's car. I cannot say enough good things about Miguel, every time I stopped by he was smiling and quick to give me a complete update on the progress since my last visit. He takes pride in his work and enjoys people that love their cars.

After getting the car back, I ordered all new weather stripping from Soft Seal and new carpets from OPG. I added extra padding under the carpet and in the doors to help quite the ride. It was a little difficult getting the seatbelt bolts back through the floorboards but well worth the effort.

The car gets lots of looks and great comments wherever we take it, and it is a daily driver now with 78,000+ miles on it. We try to get to the Fudruckers Cruise night on Tuesdays in Lake Forest on El Toro Road once a month.

You may have noticed that there has not been one word mentioned about the engine compartment. It is stone stock all Chevrolet parts. Smog pump and all. One day I will pull the complete motor and set it aside and install something stronger, but for now the stock (except for the paint and wheels) Malibu will roll along as it always has, quietly.

We took Grandma out to dinner recently and she insisted on going in her Malibu not her new Ford. After seeing the paint job and the new carpet she now wants her car back. I had to smile and say no.

GG's Gold

Conveniently located just east of I-5 (Avery exit) between
America's Tire and Carrow's Restaurant at
28570 Marguerite Parkway, Suite 107
Mission Viejo, California, 92692, USA
2008 All rights reserved.