Featured Car
"Rosebud" 1981 Malibu
Amanda Myers
Amanda lives in Southington, Ohio with her father Chuck. He purchased the Malibu in 1999 from Miller's Amish Auction in Middlefield, Ohio for $ 215.00. It had no brakes and the gas tank was leaking, but it only had 58,000 miles on the odometer! His plan was to fix it up and give it to Amanda as a high school graduation gift.
It is now eight years later and they keep coming up with more things to change on the car. The Malibu is now mainly used for shows, parades and cruises! There isn't much left of the original car. All of the bolts on the body have been replaced with better used ones; also, everything under the car and under the hood has been changed. The whole interior has also been replaced.
The Malibu is painted Viper Red with two tone Gray hand pin-striping. The wheels are 15" x 7" chrome American Racing Torq-Thrust "D" with Goodyear 215 x 65 front tires with 225 x 70 on the rear. The rocker panel moldings are stainless steel taken from a Buick and shortened. The upholstery features 1983 Pontiac Bonneville Pillowed Seats and door panels done in blue gray cloth and red leather grain vinyl. They have red center seat panels and piping on the seams. The carpets are Firethorn Red plush. The steering wheel is a LaCarra done in red leather. The highlight of the interior is the embroidery work done up with large red roses that Amanda's dad designed on the seats, sun visors and rear side panels followed up with Amanda's monogram is on all four headrest. The dash and armrest are done in Viper red along with other trim on the interior. There is a tachometer and three other gauges mounted on the left side of the instrument panel and below the glove box is a panel with five lighted switches and indicator lights that control various functions of the car. The side and rear windows have been tinted smoke gray over factory tinted glass. The sound system consists of a Pioneer DEH-2300 Stereo Radio-Disc Player with dual Memphis PR-35 30 watt, 3.5' 2 way front speakers combined with dual Memphis PR-41-S 4" x 10" speakers in the rear. The electrical power comes from an Optima Red Top "Spiralcell" battery which is mounted in the trunk by a polished billet holder. Between the battery and the High Torque starter is 2/0 gauge welding cable to carry full amperage to crank the engine over. The battery is kept fully charged by a 100 amp chrome alternator.
Much of the work done to the Malibu was not being noticed at the shows and Amanda wanted to do something "Different" under the hood to make it more interesting. Perhaps a different engine would give it more sparkle! Chuck gave Amanda a choice of four different engines, a 350 Chevy with Tuned Port Injection, a 400 Chevy small block with dual four barrel carburetors, a 454 Chevy Big Block sporting Corvette Tri-Power or a 500 cubic inch Cadillac Eldorado engine! In October of 2005 Amanda told her dad that she wanted the 500 cubic inch Cadillac. The Malibu would not be back on the road until June of 2007! The 500 Cadillac is made up of parts from different years, but is basically a 1971. The actual motor mounts are Chrysler, but all of the brackets and supports had to be custom made. The frame was notched and boxed in three places, the right side valve cover and air conditioning box had to be modified while the steering column had to be shortened two inches. The fuel is fed by a Mallory 110 Electric pump through a Mallory 140 Filter to the 800 cfm Quadra-Jet carburetor with the pressure set at 4.5 P.S.I.

One of the criteria for this swap was that all equipment is fully functional and the car is easy to drive. This meant that the air conditioning had to stay and a stock flat Malibu hood must clear! 500 cubic inch engines make lots of heat, so a four pass 16.5" x 26.5" radiator with a Flex-A-Lite 7 blade 18.25" diameter belt driven fan do the cooling. The shroud is from a Dodge Dakota with an aluminum bushing ring to set fan clearance at 5/8 inch. The radiator cap maintains 18 PSI on the system with two stainless steel 3" diameter by 10" tanks handling the coolant recovery. A Flow Kooler water pump on the engine helps by increasing flow at low to mid-range R.P.M.s. The exhaust is handled by 1968 manifolds that feed 2.5" exhaust pipes with 17" x 4" diameter S/C Series Supertrapp mufflers that have the spark arresters removed.
Behind the engine handling the 535 foot pounds of torque is a Turbo 400 transmission with a Hughes 2,200 R.P.M. stall converter, TCI deep cast aluminum pan, Hurst V-Matic 2 Shifter, and Hurst Line/Loc. The Transmission is supported by a modified 1968 Impala cross-member. Cooling is done with by a Perma-Cool 10.5" x 14" six pas cooler with a 10" electric fan mounted beside the transmission under the passenger floor board. The drive shaft is a stock length Malibu with a 400 Pontiac yoke.
The suspension had to be beefed up. The front has a 1 5/16" diameter sway bar, special heavy springs, KYB Mono shocks, and a F-41 steering box. In the rear is a 2.41 Buick Positraction rear end, F-41 springs with adjustable air lifts, 7/8" diameter sway bar and KYB Mono shocks.
Under the Malibu is a Plasma Glow Fusion seven color 9 mode LED light system. Amanda wants to add more lights, under the hood, in the trunk and inside the car! What is coming next? All of the components have been purchased for an Audiobahn sound system to be installed in the trunk. The trunk will be customized to bring its looks up to the level of the rest of the car. The Buick rear end will be replaced with a 2:75.1 Lincoln nine inch positraction. The rear suspension will be modified for better traction. The front brakes will be changed from 10" diameter to 11" diameter GM. At the same time front geometry will be changed for better handling and stability. In order to be running for the 2007 season a back up motor had to be used, as the machine shop wasn't getting things done. The parts are now ready and the engine can be assembled. This modified engine should produce about 10% more horse-power and another five hundred usable R.P.M.'s, but most important, the engine will sound way more AUTHORITATIVE, so much for the stealth!
Amanda's most memorable moment of owning the Malibu came at the 2007 thousand car plus Glenn Christian Church Ox Roast in the Trumbull County Fairgrounds when they handed her the Big Best of Show Trophy, she had no idea that her Malibu would be considered for such a high award! Her dad Chuck said "To see Amanda with that trophy made all the long days and nights spent working on the car over eight years well worth it!" My own projects have sat and some will never be completed now, but working on this for Amanda is much more rewarding then doing my own!