Image is everything when it comes to building a hot-looking street machine. Just ask Al Donofrio. Noticing the recent popularity of station wagons, Al decided a 66 Malibu would be a perfect candidate for that new street machine image. Starting with a stock 283ci wagon, Al transformed this four-door dozer into a slick cruiser with just the right look. To help with the transformation, Al contacted bodyman Ken Marrow of Pompano Beach, Florida, to handle the painting chores. After sandblasting and refinishing the chassis, Ken went to work on all the sheetmetal and smoothed the rear tailgate. Since an intense image needs an intense color, Al chose PPG Viper Red to cover the body, bumpers, grille, and inner fenderwells.
Al added a Scott Siskbuilt 350ci small-block that blends a ZZ4 with a Crane cam, a Bow-Tie intake, and an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor. To complete the image, Al installed Mooneyes valve covers and an air cleaner. Exhaust duties are handled via a set of coated Hedman headers. The Griffin aluminum radiator and Flex-a-lite fan keep things cool, while a TCI Street Fighter Turbo 350 transmission with a 2,500-stall converter transfers the power to a Moser 9-inch rearend containing a Detroit Locker differential and 3.73 gears. Braking is the responsibility of a PST front disc conversion system.
To give the wagon the right stance, Al and his friend Chuck Cordeau installed 2-inch dropped front spindles from Belltech. For wheels, Al selected a set of American Racings Torq-Thrust II wheels measuring 17x8 rear and 16x7 front wrapped with BFGoodrich 205/55ZR16 front and 255/50ZR17 rear Comp TA radials. Inside, Creative Trims John Pellicone wrapped the interior and four Pontiac Grand Am bucket seats with leather and suede. Engine data is available via a custom dash cluster using a full set of Auto Meter instruments.
Performance cars have always been about doing it better. Building a slick street machine out of a pedestrian people mover may not be something new, but Als 66 proves it can be done as a crimson conversion.