Jack Hansen, with the help of a bunch of friends, has managed to transform his '78 Chevy Malibu from a prototypical `Granny car' into an impressive street/strip machine that may evolve into a gasser somewhere down the road.
The little V-6 is long gone, replaced by this 383 stroker motor built by Martin Machine Shop. With an Edelbrock intake, Holley carb, MSD ignition and Hedman headers, it puts out an estimated 400 horsepower, enough to propel the Malibu to low 13-second elapsed times.
It's not all business inside the cockpit of the Malibu --there's still a working radio, electric windows and even an ignition interlock. But the racing seats, shift-light tach and Hurst Quarter-Stick shifter hint this car spends a good deal of time on the drag strip.
Hansen decided to stick with the original metallic brown color when he had the Malibu repainted by Dawson's Rod & Custom about a year ago. He even retained the stock black vinyl roof on the little two-door.
With its cowl induction hood and one-of-a-kind front `bumper,' the Malibu presents a mean look. The openings in the sheetmetal bumper allow the car to be pulled by a tow bar, or lashed down on a trailer for transport.
Jack Hansen, right, and Randy Benjamin of Johnson Automotive share driving chores on Hansen's Malibu. Hansen said without the help of his longtime buddy, the car wouldn't have happened. This is their third collaboration.