PRI 2011: Jet-Hot’s Second-Chance ’79 Malibu

No, not all late-’80s G-body Malibu’s have been turned into three-wheel dippin’ low riders. While seeing one sitting on a set of 1,000-spoke Dayton’s is pretty cool, throwing one down at the drag strip or during an open-track event won’t net you the greatest return.

Low-riders were designed to look good hopping down Crenshaw boulevard, not clipping triple-digit speeds on the back straight. Thankfully, though, some have foreseen the future and kept them, waiting until the right moment to turn them into qualified boulevard bruisers.

We couldn’t help but to practically keep ourselves from crawling all over this sled once we came upon it in the Jet-Hot booth during the PRI 2011 Show. We’d love a chance to get this thing out on the streets. However, for now, we can only dream. So, what makes this seemingly bland ’79 Malibu such a tease?

Well for starters, it’s LS powered. Yeah, that’s right. When owner, Gordon McGilton, had his choice of building a solid open track car he had a couple options at his disposal.

Thankfully, he chose to tinker a bit with this ’79 ‘bu. As stated previously, It’s relies on a tried and true LS1 for power. While in today’s game that may seem a bit old-school among LS-fanatics, McGilton stepped up; adding another notch to his belt by planting a Magnacharger on top for some extra go. Though it hasn’t made its way to the dyno, yet, it’s safe to assume that this ‘bu might be pushing about 500hp…easy.

The interior offers up a classy feel while the exterior wheel and tire combo screams performance.

This swap shows how well and factory-appearing an LS engine and Magnacharger combination can turn out. Jealous?

Jet-Hot coated headers keep under hood temps at bay and provide the headers with a durable finish to last years to come.

McGilton also made sure to complete the package with a stiff suspension set up. He relied on none other than Detroit Speed & Engineering for their line of suspension goods and even added a big brake kit from Baer to round out the car. McGilton also threw on a classy set of chrome finished wheels which serve the streets as well as the track.

They were wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber. Of course, the build would not of been satisfied without a set of headers, coated from Jet-Hot. With minimal under-hood space, tight clearance wheel wells, and the addition of a supercharger, keeping under hood temps at bay was a must.

About the author

Sean Haggai

The former Associate Editor of Chevy High Performance, joins publication Chevy Hardcore, Sean is a true blue Bow Tie guy and a core do-it-yourself technician. If it doesn't run a "mouse motor" or a big rat between fenders, Sean ain't interested.
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