Parker's 1980 Blue Malibu

A Driver, not a show car.



Body 1980 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan.
Engine 355 Chevy, 4 bolt, balanced, 10-1 compression, LT1 2.02 Angle Plug heads.
Cam Ultradyne
Carburation Holly 650 Double Pumper, Weind Team G Intake
Exhaust Cassler Headers, Dual 2.5 Inch with Balance Tube
Ignition MSD 6AL, Mallory Unilite.
Transmission 4-speed manual, Muncie
Rear Gear 4.10, GM 7.5"
Suspension Rancho Kit - Lowered stiffer springs, Adjustable Sway Bars, gas shocks.


My Malibu has been with me since 1984. There were numerous adventures along the way. The Malibu is not a show car but a driver and me and my Malibu have been through a lot together. It has survived off road excursions in the upper peninsula of Michigan, numerous snow bank events, flat out rocket runs, blizzards, cross country excursions and one accident. Below are the highlights:

1984 Purchased for $375 with 80,000 miles on the clock. The seller sold it cheap because they thought the Transmission was bad. Actually, the problem was with the lock up torque converter. I snipped the wire and the problem was resolved. The car had the infamous 229 V6 with a 241 rear gear. Top speed was 85 MPH.

Malibu is used as a daily driver at college and commutes from home in Chelsea, Mi to Houghton, Mi.

Early 1985 I am convinced by a friend to finally be rid of the low performance 229 V6. We take a junk yard 350 from a '72 Impala and swap it in. The only work done to the engine is a new timing chain. We bolt it up to the 229s metric 200 trans. Even though the 350 was tired it really made a big difference in performance. The 241 gears still limit acceleration but top end performance goes way up.

We swap out the tired 350 for a much more formidable motor that we take out of a '69 Impala SS. I upgrade this motor with an aluminum intake and Holley 600 CFM carb. The performance difference is significant and I begin to terrorize the local street racers. Later in the year we swap out the slushbox for a Muncie 4-speed from a '70 Chevelle. The car suddenly is the ultimate sleeper.

1987 I graduate from Michigan Tech and use the car as my daily to work and back car. I have a blast on the Detroit Metro Interstates, routinely cruising in triple digits. In the fall, I install a Rancho suspension kit which includes lower and stiffer springs, adjustable sway bars, and gas shocks. Now the Malibu turns also.
1988 The Malibu is showing signs of serious Michigan rust. But me and my friend Joe have a plan. Actually it was Joe's plan. Joe has prodded me along the whole time to improve the car. Well, at this point in time, Joe was working as an auto mechanic in the San Diego area. Another friend Dave and I drive the Malibu from Detroit to San Diego in 40 Hours. We leave the car there and Joe begins to swap the entire drive line, suspension, interior, and other stuff to a completely RUST FREE '78 Malibu as well as to a 273 posi rear end. The car has not seen snow since.
1989 Joe and I drive the Malibu back to Michigan via Florida. A long story.
1990 I treat the Malibu to a serious upgrade. I purchased a balanced, forged piston, Ultradyned cammed, 4-bolt 355 short block from Speedway Motors. I add on a set of LT1 angle plug 2.02 heads, Holley 650 double pumper, and headers. Now the car is fast or "Stupid Fast" as Joe likes to call it.

Receive a wreckless driving ticket in Pontiac racing a Malibu Wagon down wide track drive. I get it reduced to careless driving.

1991 The low point! On my way to Chicago I change lanes too fast (tip - don't try manual steering!) and tangle with a semi on I-94. I lose, and end up in the median with a mangled right front fender and blown out back window. The car is driveable but it costs me $1400 to repair. I have Joe send me a straight rust free fender from Cali.
1992-1998 I drive the car on and off but it is not my daily driver. I get married and have kids so time becomes limited. I am also working on restoring a '69 Charger.
1999 Take the Malibu out of storage and Joe drives it for a few weeks. Bite the bullet and finally put in a 4.10 gear. The top end is less but it gets there mighty quick.
2000 Bring the Malibu home from storage now that I am done with the Charger for now. Plan on cleaning the poor thing up.
2004 Malibu is back on the road for the summer. Thinking of adding a Nitrous system.



If you would like to contact me please e-mail me at

More Photos: