While variety may be the spice of life, sticking with what you know can take you a long way. Just ask Joshua Chavarria, as his 1979 Malibu is proof of this. While the rest of his gearhead friend were out buying newer F-Bodies, Mustangs, and Trucks, Chavarria went with what his family had always known: the classic GM G-Body. Over the years, what started out as a mild Malibu has turned into a street sweeping, boosted brute that has seen 10’s and is ready for more.
The G-Body journey began for Chavarria with the help of his father. “My father purchased the Malibu for me when I was 16 in 2007 and it was equipped with full interior and factory 267 cubic inch V8.” As soon as the car was in Chavarria’s possession, the mods began with a quick lowering job and rims while the go-fast parts were on order. Soon the small cubic inch motor would be gone in favor of bigger cubic inches, power adders, and everything else needed to go fast.
Using a short block from a 1970 Chevy half ton truck, spare parts from his dad’s shop, and some help from Craigslist, a fairly stout combo was constructed. Using a set of Dart iron heads, a Victor Jr intake, Comp Cam, and an NOS plate kit, the once mild Malibu was now ready to do some work.
“On motor the car managed to run a low 12 at 109 mph and an unbelievable 10.56 at 124 mph on the 150 hit,” said Chavarria about the cars’ newfound performance.
After going through another traditional SBC combo and having some struggles, Chavarria sought some change, and late model performance was the answer. “Between our 10-second single cab Silverado with a 6.0 and 76mm turbo and two other F-bodies that managed low 11’s with cam and bolt-on’s, we were quickly drawn to the LS platform and decided to make the switch to LS and fuel injection,” said Chavarria on his new choice of power.
The first fuel injected mill started with a 5.3-liter long block with an upgraded fuel system that was backed by a TH350 and 10-inch PTC converter. A modified Kbracing log manifold turbo kit is mated with an S475 T6 turbo. This combo led to a 10.70 at 136 mph on a conservative tune, and an early exit from the track due to no helmet or roll bar.
Not one to sit on his hands, Chavarria is taking his build to the next level with a new bullet. For 2015, a 370-inch mill from USA Racing Engines with LSA heads, Holley High Ram intake, billet 80mm turbo and 160 lbs injectors to support the car’s E85 habit have all been added. Chavarria expects more with this new set up “The car has not been run with new Holley EFI, billet turbo and E85 for fuel. It has been low 10’s on wastegate spring only, and we plan to turn the wick up this year and get deep into the 9’s on 17-inch drag radials,” he says.
Chavarria’s particularly tame-looking Malibu is the kind of car that can surprise just about anybody at the dragstrip. If you see this forest green machine roll up next to you it would be best to not test it — the outcome will not be in your favor.