1978 Chevy Malibu - Retirement Fun(d)

Kevin Lee Jul 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
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Everyone with half-finished projects waiting until you retire to finish please raise your hand. We thought so. We all look forward to those golden days when we have nothing to do but putter in the garage and not have to worry about making it back to work when the weekend's over.

Bob Lotz did just that, except he waited until he retired to start the build-up of this Malibu. Having spotted it half torn apart in a body shop where its owner worked, Bob saw the potential and made a deal to purchase it. Bob immediately started collecting parts for the rebuild but found that aftermarket support was lean for this era of the Malibu, so he did it the old-fashioned way and scoured local junkyards looking for parts.

Bob wanted the Malibu to be unique, and one way to accomplish this was to stuff a fat-block under the hood, but not just any big-block, it had to have some bite as well. He contacted Tim Alotti at TA Racing in Waukegan, Illinois, to build him a 454-cid monster. When Alotti was done, the engine was cranking out over 600 hp thanks to some well-chosen high-performance goodies. The block was treated to the standard cleanup and fitted with a balanced and blueprinted rotating assembly and a custom-ground Ultradyne roller bumpstick. The short-block was topped with Edelbrock aluminum heads and intake fed by a Holley 750 cfm carb. A dual exhaust consisting of Hooker Super Comp 1 7/8-inch headers, 3-inch pipes and Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers quiet the beast a little.

The exterior was turned over to Bob Uden Designs for the needed body work and paint. A cowl induction hood and rear spoiler from American Sports Car Design give a little hint as to what lurks under the hood. PPG Viper Red guarantees that the Malibu will not only be heard but seen as well.

Bob's junkyard hunting paid off in the interior with the addition of Monte Carlo SS buckets and dash. The seats and door panels have been covered in two-tone gray tweed to contrast the rich black carpet and dash. A Billet Specialties carbon fiber gripped wheel helps Bob keep the Malibu pointed in the right direction when he feels the need to unleash those 600 horses. What can we say, it sure beats Bingo.

VITALS

Owner Bob and Rachel Lotz, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Vehicle '78 Malibu
Engine '72 454-cid V-8
Transmission TH400
Suspension (F) Stock & (R) Ford 9-inch with a 3.73:1 posi and boxed control arms
Wheels Center Line Style 174 Fluted Stars (15x7 and 15x8)
Tires BFG Radial T/A's (215/70 and 255/60)

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