After three years of an evolutionary collaboration, Lorne Plett of Ile des Chnes, Manitoba, Canada, has a car worthy of all the accolades it has been bestowed. When his ’65 Malibu was first shown at the 2010 World of Wheels show in Winnipeg, it walked away with a trunk load of trophies. The car Lorne has tagged The Shadow snagged the Ron Lechman Award Best Manitoba entry, Best Custom, and Outstanding Display. Then, a short time later when shown at our sister publication’s Car Craft Summer Nationals in St. Paul, where some 6,000 cars come to display their brand of hot rodding, it was crowned Top 10 in Show and the Perfect Paint winner. No small feat for even the most seasoned of builders.
It exceeds all expectation and handles like a new car, Lorne says. It turned out almost too nice to drive! That became obvious when it won top awards at two huge shows. The crowd reaction was amazing with a lot of top-notch hot rod builders paying the car very positive compliments. I always thought if I could afford to restore a car I would like to do a ’65 Malibu. I really like the clean line.
Lorne is the type of guy who helps out where he can and when he sees a good deal, he jumps on it. He was in the process of helping a charity buy a race car now that’s our idea of a charity!; it just so happened that buying the car, they also threw in a ’65 Malibu just to sweeten the deal. Lorne handed over the race car and kept the Malibu for himself. And that is the proverbial beginning of the end.
The vision for the project was to have an old-looking car to drive like a new one, Lorne says. My wife, Ingrid, and three sons, Matt, Justin, and Tyler, have had a keen interest in the development and design.
Lorne hired Sandale Fabrication to manage the build. They weren’t happy with the current body that Lorne had picked up, so they scrapped the entire project and started with a better hulk. It’s a pretty rare thing to nail everything right on a car, the stance may be a bit off or the interior could use freshening up. But, this one is an extraordinary example of the brilliant blend of visionary prowess, amazing metal-crafting faculty, and prophetic foresight into what the future of hot rodding could look like. Nothing looks out of place with subtle custom touches smattered all over the car; it’s almost as if this is what the original ’65 Malibu should have been.