1980 Chevy Malibu Classic
Corey Hewitt, Winston-Salem, NC
Best E.T.: 8.53/85.1 (eighth-mile)
One man's junk is another man's treasure sums this build up nicely. After an uncle rear-ended another car and caused more damage than the Malibu was worth, he gave it to 15-year-old Corey Hewitt to fix for his first car. As luck would have it, another friend gave him a wagon with perfect sheetmetal. Corey didn't even know what a Malibu was before that, but he knew he had his first car for free.

After swapping sheetmetal and doing a little bodywork, Corey had it sprayed black and drove it all through high school, to work, prom, and date nights with his then girlfriend Karen. The summer before college, Corey built a budget 383 using everything possible from the original 305, and swapped the 2.42 cogs for 3.42s and an Eaton posi. It continued daily duties and 250-mile trips from his college to see Karen, but the new power also got Corey interested in drag racing and a little canyon carving with the local Euro tuner cars.

By senior year, the amateur bodywork was starting to show, so with the help of Karen, a 10-day makeover was performed during spring break, and the Malibu was dowsed in '79 GM Medium Green. The striking color garnered a good cash offer that almost ended up in a sale, but the potential purchaser never called back after his shark fishing trip. Perhaps it was a sign.

Currently, Corey is a physics graduate student at Wake Forest University, and the Malibu is still his one and only car, and it's still making 250-mile trips every weekend to visit his wife, Karen, while she finishes her degree as well. Sure, he'd like to be wrenching and improving the Malibu again, but for now, he's just enjoying driving a unique rod that's only cost him one starter in the past seven years. "I didn't know what a Malibu was when I got it, but you can bet it has turned into my most beloved vehicle," Corey says. "I will hold onto this car for a long time."

'80 Chevy Malibu: free
Paint and body: $750
Interior: $469
Weatherstrip: $350
Wheels: $800
Tires: $480
Engine block: $100
Pistons: $80
Crank $212
Valvetrain: $250
Carb: $50
Exhaust: $375
Radiator: $300
Trans: $1,100
Differential: $100
Shocks: $130
Brakes: $150
Shifter: $100
Fluids: $200
Misc.: $200
Total: $6,196

Corey Hewitt, 24 • Winston-Salem, NC
Total cost to build: $6,196
Type: Chevy 383 small-block
Block: stock GM
Oiling: stock pump and pan
Rotating assembly: Eagle stroker crank, stock rods,
Federal Mogul 10.5:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: Dart 305 heads, Summit Racing valves
Camshaft: Crane Cams, unknown specs
Valvetrain: Harland Sharp, 1.6:1 rockers,
Crower pushrods,
Summit Racing springs
Induction: Power Plus intake manifold,
custom built Holley 700-cfm carb
Ignition: MSD 6TN box, distributor, and Blaster coil,
ACCEL plug wires
Exhaust: Schoenefeld headers, Pypes 3-inch X-pipe
Cooling: stock water pump; Summit Racing radiator
Output: untested
Built by: owner and father
Transmission: GM 700-R4 and 2,000-stall
Summit Racing converter;
B&M shifter
Rear axle: GM 7.5-inch 10-bolt rearend,
3.42:1 gears, Eaton posi differential
Front suspension: stock with cut stock springs and
Competition Engineering shocks,
Suspension Techniques sway bar
Rear suspension: Moog rear springs, KYB shocks,
Suspension Techniques sway bar
Brakes: Wilwood 12-inch rotors, four-piston calipers, front;
11-inch rotors and four-piston calipers, rear
Rolling Stock
Wheels: American Racing Torq Thrust II 15x7, front; 15x8, rear
Tires: BFGoodrich 225/50R16, front; 255/50R16, rear