‘Street or Strip’ sounds like the options offered to a teenaged runaway in an ‘80s B-movie, but it is in fact where it’s suggested today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Malibu might just rule. Let’s have a look at this coupe and see if its price rules too.
It’s been a rough week for the Brits here. Tuesday’s lovely but pricy Jag fell as did yesterday’s British steel fist in a velvet glove otherwise known as the wildly over-engined 1988 Bentley Turbo R. Italso went down in flames, or at least a 78% Crack Pipe loss.
They say that the path to ponies is paved with big blocks and that’s just how yesterday’s Bentley put the load to the road. That’s also how today’s 1980 Chevy Malibu two-door gets things done. This Chevy however is both cheaper than the Bentley, and vastly more single focused. Well, dual focused.
You don’t see a ton of old GM A-bodies any more. Well, at least I don’t, but then again I live in an area where everybody drives either a Prius or a Tesla, with an occasional Leaf thrown in for the wild hairs. That’s why this mean green machine’s location being in the hybrid hood that is Southern California just so deliriously sweet.
What makes this Malibu so mal-icious? well, check out that engine shot. Just look at it! That’s a three hundred and fifty cubic inch pushrod (the best rod in my estimation) V8 with a bat guano-crazy big 80mm GT45 turbo plumbed in to pump up the volume. That turbo is pushing through a Holley carb and the whole intake is so massive it can’t be contained by the hood, and in fact punches through it like the alien from the movie of the same name.
That holy hood - and the massive meats in back - are the only things that give away this car’s intentions. Other than that it looks like a plain clothes cop car. Well, perhaps a plain clothes cop car driven by Dirty Harry and out of which he lobs rounds from his over compensating hand cannon.
The green paint is subtle and demur, the simple hub caps on black steelies speak to parsimony and simplicity. Over all the car looks to be both refreshingly unadorned and in excellent shape.
The interior too seems perfectly serviceable. Yes, it’s not quire as nice as the outside, but those seats look comfy even if I can’t quite place their origin. The dash has been stripped (there’s that word again) of sound system and climate controls for a plethora of gauges. That’s okay because the car has no A/C or heater, and also the turbo whine probably drowns out the Megadeath you’d want to be listening to while driving it.
The only possible fly in the ointment here might be the transmission. It’s claimed to be a TH350 and while modern ones are pretty capable of standing up to a pony-packing engine, that wasn’t always the case. I’d guess a short chat with the present owner would sort that question out.
You could also discuss with him just how he’s able to get this bad motor scooter through California’s bi-annual smog test allowing it to fulfill the street part of strip or street that he is claiming. That could be a daunting task although it’s perhaps easier to get around if you’re
Volkswagen driving a pre-OBD II car.
The price for this street/strip star is $12,800 and of course you’re now adding up all the bits to see if you couldn’t just build something similar for less. I’m going to guess the answer to that is no.
In that case, what’s your take on this mighty Malibu and that $12,800 price? Is that a deal for this LS-equipped street stripper? Or, for that much would you expect highways and byways too?
H/T to MacGCU for the hookup!
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