Walk around any car show or cruise night, you are certain to see certain car models that are more prevalent than others. While you might not see many early-’80s Malibus, you will surely see plenty of pre-72 models. It stands to reason, as these are the models that are revered as collectible muscle cars.
The style lends itself very well to upgrades, and now that car shows are inundated with hot rods featuring solely bolt-on parts, the trend has moved to more serious modifications that really help the cars stand out in a crowd. Take for instance this 1970 Chevelle Malibu. While it might look like a nice hot rod, there is so much more below that sleek exterior.
For instance, the foundation consists of an Art Morrison Engineering chassis that provides a great overall ride and delivers exceptional corner-carving ability. The chassis features improved camber and caster angle as well as a lower center of gravity. This means a more modern suspension package and the creation of suspension components that deliver optimum handling, ride, and no bumpsteer. Technically, the Morison chassis could be considered a “bolt-on” product, but it takes things much farther.
Sitting on the 21st-century chassis is a body that didn’t lend itself very well to being restored. “The car was actually just sitting in our shop,” says Toby Caldwell of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop. “It needed a lot of metalwork. In fact, the doors and trunk lid are the only original sheetmetal.” When the serious metalwork was finally completed, the shell was covered in a smooth-as-glass covering of black and Le Mans Blue.
As one might expect of a car of this caliber, the drivetrain is also a modern interpretation of power – an LSX crate engine from Chevrolet Performance. The LSX 454 is definitely worthy of placement in the Chevelle, as it can destroy a set of rear tires with its 627 horsepower. What’s a muscle car without a manual shifter? Not as fun to drive if you ask us. This one is surely more fun than should be allowed, as the American Powertrain-sourced TREMEC TKO sends that abundance of power to the Currie Enterprises-built 4.11-geared rearend.
Inside, the interior looks nearly stock, but a few hidden upgrades are sure to make driving more enjoyable. Also, the Le Mans Blue really complements the exterior colors.
There is no mistaking this Chevelle for a car rebuilt in the ’80s. Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop has definitely put together a classic hot rod that delivers so much more than bolt-on accessories to create a timeless classic.