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1980 Malibu

Yellow Fever–Bob and Bill Joysey Build an 8-Second Malibu

Jeff Smith Jul 2, 2001

Step By Step

It’s human nature to do something a little different. Bob Joysey and his father, Bill, have been involved with the National Muscle Car Association and fast street car racing for years, competing with an Easy Street big-block Camaro that was always a contender. When the Joyseys discovered an ’80 Malibu for $500 with a V-6 and an automatic, it infected the two racers with a fever that needed a cure. The prescription was to invest two years and a couple more zeros to the end of that $500 purchase price to come up with a nitrous’d small-block that rewarded them with an 8.83/152-mph pass its first time out.

The original plan was to build another Easy Street car, but barely halfway through the process the plan changed to race the Malibu in Limited Street. Regardless of direction, the first step was to take the car to Stan Budke at Budke Racing for a completely certified chassis that included chrome-moly tubing and a Funny Car–style rollcage tied into the stock framerails. Budke also narrowed the rear framerails and built the modular 9-inch housing using Moser 33-spline axles and a set of Precision Gear 4.30 gears. The rear suspension features a four-link, HAL coilover shocks, Aerospace rear disc brakes, Weld wheels, and Mickey Thompson slicks. The front suspension mounts Bell Tech dropped front spindles, stock upper and lower control arms, and lightweight Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering.

The engine and drivetrain are the source of most of the excitement. The Joyseys decided to take on the Rat motor fans with a Mouse motor so that he could build a lighter car. But even for a Mouse motor, this small-block is diminutive at only 333 ci using a production block bored 4.040-inch with a short 3.250-inch stroke. Steve Recker at A&A Machine in Davison, Michigan, did all the block massage work including adding steel four-bolt-main caps and align honing. Bill started with a Cola steel crank and added Ross pistons and tool-steel rings to withstand the nitrous pressure. He keeps it all together with ARP fasteners. The Comp Cams mechanical roller pushes the valves with 286 degrees of duration and 0.760-inch valve lift. To breath better, iron CNC-ported Pro-Action heads locate 2.250/1.60-inch valves and inhale through a CNC-ported Edelbrock Super Victor manifold mounting a 1025-cfm Race Demon carburetor. On top of that is a complete NOS fogger system. A Stef’s aluminum oil pan, custom headers, and a complete Holley Annihilator ignition system all contribute to consistent power. Backing up all this power is a Coan Powerglide with help from a Coan 4,200-rpm 8-inch converter. TCI supplied the bellhousing shield while a Hurst shifter controls the shift action.

Bob is a fabricator and painter by trade, so it’s not too surprising that the body on his ’80 Malibu is virtually flawless. Bob says he used less than a pint of Bondo on the sheetmetal, complementing the work with gallons of DuPont chrome yellow and matching clearcoat. To clean up the car’s lines, Bob removed the door locks, and added a Glasstech fiberglass cowl hood and a 2-inch narrowed ’glass front bumper painted a subtle silver. Bob did all this work in his garage at home to help keep the cost down. All this attention to detail carried over into the interior as well with a pair of cloth-upholstered Kirkey aluminum racing seats by Bob’s mother, along with a full complement of Simpson safety equipment, Auto Meter tach and gauges, and custom wiring.

It’s clear the Joyseys have their racing act together to take a brand-new race car to the track and run 8.80s out of the box, but they had help. Jeff Brock at Applied Nitrous Technology also had a hand in the car’s development. This is high performance at its best, and the Joyseys know how to get it done—very quickly.

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