1978 Chevy Malibu
Dan Millholland, Maryville, TN
Best E.T.: 7.55/93 (eighth-mile)
It's somewhat ironic that this Malibu wears a coat of Torch Red paint since it was originally a Chattanooga Fire Department car. After its service days were through, it eventually ended up in the hands of Dan Millholland's brother, who built it into a big-block-powered street machine. After retiring from powerplant operations four years ago, Dan began looking for a new toy, since he had time on his hands and his stable was currently empty. His brother offered the Malibu, and a deal was struck for $8,000.01-one penny over what it cost to build the car.
After losing a lifter, wiping a lobe on the cam, and damaging the crank with the debris, Dan pulled the basically stock 454, and decided to keep it street friendly, but make it a more fun ride at the local eighth-mile strip. Working in his garage with his friend, Todd Huffstetler, Dan rebuilt the big-block with oval-port heads, 9.5:1 Sealed Power pistons, and a Lunati cam. Behind that went a Turbo 400 upgraded with ATI internals and a set of 4.56 cogs in the 9-inch Ford rear. Since less rotational mass equals speed, Dan also upgraded to a lighter set of wheels.
All in all, the upgrades weren't expensive or extensive, but they served to both make the car his own creation, while making the Malibu much more fun to drive on the street, and capable of ripping off mid 7s in the eighth-mile.