Brent tuned the engine on the dyno and made 637 hp at 6,400 rpm with 625 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm. Pleased with the engine combination, the owner says, "The engine never gets over 160 degrees. I'll admit that it's a bit snotty in rush hour traffic, but it makes great power and awesome torque. Torque comes on strong at 3,000 rpm with 600 lb-ft and stays strong until the peak horsepower numbers. It's a great road race engine! I just leave it in Third gear most of the time and use Fourth on the really long straights. At the drag strip, the car runs an 11.66 at 123 mph in only the first three gears-on the street tires! Top speed is 168 mph. It burns 93-octane unleaded and actually gets better mileage than my Suburban driving to and from work."
Speaking of gears, the transmission is a Super T10 wide ratio with a 2:88 First gear. It has been modified internally by Crash Enterprises and is shifted with a Brent Jarvis-modified Hurst Competition Plus shifter. Redline MTF is used inside the tranny. The 12-bolt rear is original to the Malibu and sports 3:08:1 gears and a heavy-duty posi unit. Ford 9-inch bearing ends are welded on the housing, and the C-clips were eliminated. Strange Engineering made the axles.
It goes without saying that dialing in the suspension was an intense exercise in trying a number of setups and combinations. The front suspension is controlled by Global West upper and lower A-arms, a 13/8-inch hollow sway bar from Hotchkis, 500-pound springs, and adjustable QA1 shocks. A fast-ratio, 12:1 power steering box transforms the road feel and handling prowess of the Malibu. Front-end alignment specs are as follows: Caster positive 6.3 degrees, camber negative 1.7 degrees, toe-out 1/8 inch. Out back, adjustable Hotchkis upper and lower control arms with a 1-inch solid Hotchkis sway bar and adjustable QA1 shocks keep the car nice and tight during brisk driving.
Binders & rollers
Many Pro Touring cars feature brakes so large they actually hamper performance. The brakes on the Jarvis car are effective without being ridiculous. The four-wheel disc brake system is comprised of an aluminum SSBC master cylinder, an adjustable proportioning valve, a line lock system, slotted 11-inch rotors from SSBC, and aluminum Wilwood calipers. The red pads from EBC are called into service for daily-driver street use, while the "yellow" pads are swapped in for track day. Front brakes have cooling ducts running from the front bumper to the vented center of the rotor. The rear brakes are ducted as well. Though very simple and inexpensive, the braking system flat-out works extremely well.
The wheels are the two-piece V40 five-spokes from Vintage Wheel Works and measure 17x9 in the front and 17x91/2 at the rear. Tires are the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cups, 255/40ZR17 in front and 275/40ZR17 on the rear. Perfect backspacing and a little massaging were required to fit this setup under the less-than-spacious Malibu fenders and quarters.
The interior features a rare factory tilt steering column with a '69-70 Chevrolet Comfortgrip three-spoke steering wheel and a custom-made SS horn button. A full gauge package with a 5,800 redline tach and an ultrarare Z16 160-mph speedo evokes serious envy from many purists. Factory bucket seats with the deluxe trim package make it comfy, though they're slightly lacking in lateral support under enthusiastic cornering episodes! A four-point rollbar with a removable harness bar has been added for both drag racing and road racing. When the harness bar is removed for street duty, the factory black seatbelts are used. The original die-cast '65 console has been swapped for a lighter and much more functional '66-67 Chevelle console that comes complete with clock and glove box.
Brent reports that the parts come together to produce a reasonably priced, do-it-all performance machine. "I've built many high-end project cars in the 200K range for myself and customers and have enjoyed them all," he says. "But this car is one my favorites. It does everything well, and it did not break the bank to build it. This car can be built on a budget by the average enthusiast. The key is always finding a solid foundation for your project. Plan well in terms of the ways in which the car will be used, and spend your money wisely. The end result here is a car that is driven to and from work every single day. It is extremely well balanced on the road courses and surprises quite a few Camaro, Mustang, and Corvette owners. Who says you can't have it all!"