What makes a discarded vehicle a junkyard gem? Sometimes it achieves this status due to inherent coolness or enthusiast love; other times the honor comes due to its place in an obscure corner of automotive history. Today’s car is the latter type: a two-model-year-only version of a previous-generation car with ancient platform roots, kept in production for sale only to fleet buyers. Let’s take a look at such a car, at the end of a short lifetime that took it from fleet service to Kansas to a career-ending crash in next-door Colorado, with stops at cannabis dispensaries along the way.
GM ditched the Malibu name after 1983, when it lived on the rear-wheel-drive G-body platform, then revived it for 1997 as the Chevrolet-badged sibling to the Olds Achieva and Buick Skylark. When the Malibu became sibling to the Opel Vectra family in 2004, GM kept